June 27th, 2008
07:45 AM ET
10 years ago

CNNMoney: What Obama means by tax the wealthy

Sen. Barack Obama says he wants to raise taxes on high-income taxpayers.

Sen. Barack Obama says he wants to raise taxes on high-income taxpayers.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Most voters are aware that Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on high-income taxpayers if he's elected president in November.

But what does the Democratic candidate mean by high-income? Who'd be affected and how? While the Obama campaign must still settle on more details about their plans, outlines are starting to emerge.

To start, Obama frequently cites $250,000 as the line between those who would be subject to higher taxes and those who wouldn't.

Indeed, under Obama's tax plan, married couples with at least $250,000 in gross income are likely to see their taxes go up if Obama is elected president.

But what about single filers? The line for them would likely be about $200,000, according to an Obama adviser.

Those groups could end up paying anywhere from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars more to Uncle Sam than they do now, according to estimates from the Tax Policy Center.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Obama Bob

    Wake up America our tax system in this country is lower than a lot of prosperous countries. Taxing people that make over 100,000 per year, at a higher rate is the only way to go, these people should pay a tax comparable to what they are making. Warren Buffett said it best, and that was "When my secretary pays more taxes than I do or a billionaire, something is wrong with the tax system" The loophole for these big corporations also need to be closed. Obama isn't planning to raise taxes for people in lower brackets. Americans quit being sheep, and stop believing the Republicans, they are they reason this country is in the mess it's in.

    June 27, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Ilene from Michigan

    Republicans try to scare the uneducated with the higher taxes scare. What they don't realize is they are paying more out on a daily basis for groceries, gas, and all other daily needs. They don't realize that the republicans want the illegals here so they can cut the rich man's amount he has to pay his workers. The Republicans are for the rich. They will do anything to protect the rich man. People who can't see that are just ignorant.

    June 27, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. seriously?

    His plan would tax the wealth to help the less wealthy. A progressive tax would help the majority of the country not further hurt the country. For those of you who doubt this...

    Obama's plan is the exact opposite of Bush's/McCain and will have the opposite results-The country and the people will benefit !!!!

    June 27, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Karen

    Have you ever heard of the AMT? Alternative Minimum Tax. We have this system because after the wealthy finish with all their deductions, their tax liability is so low, the government had to put the AMT in place to make sure they pay something.

    Most of them already know their minimum and they will always make sure they have the deductions, etc. to get there.

    So, they won't see a change in their tax payments anyway!

    June 27, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Phil, FL

    If I had a job – and if I had that much coming in – I'd gladly pay a higher tax rate.

    Watch all the wealthy republicans whine over this one.

    Obama '08

    June 27, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Enlightened Voter

    Well thank God the rich will be paying more than me for a change.

    June 27, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Tom

    This is what Democrats consistently fail to understand: taxing the rich reduces their capital investment, in turn slowing business growth and thus job creation. Take a good look at France to see the effects of high taxes and bloated beaurocracies. Economics 101.

    That being said, the real focos of the next president should be to eliminate the budget deficit. That is worthy of raising taxes.

    June 27, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    Good. If a person cannot make a decent life for themselves and their families on $250k a year, then they are pathetic. And don't whine about the cost of living in a big city – every city has nice suburbs at a commutable distance that are affordable with that salary.

    It's about time people in my salary bracket and up pay their fair share.

    June 27, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Why stop there? I hear them rich folk are good eatin'...

    June 27, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. Cut Stupid Social Programs

    If he actually increases these tax rates, I might as well apply for citizenship in the UAE and live in Dubai where you are not penalized for contributing. Why should I have to pay for other people's healthcare when all most do is eat McDonalds and not excercise to get diabetes....

    No way.

    June 27, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    "The American way is to keep government out of private lives and let us keep the money we earn and pay only a small tax to support government operations."

    Wow – a truly clueless American. Where the heck have YOU been the last 16 years?

    June 27, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. BK

    Not only will we pay more taxes illegals will have drivers license and no border secruity. The jails will open up because he says some people are spending to much time in jail. This man is dangerous.

    June 27, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. James

    Here's the choice, raise taxes now or raise taxes more later. The longer it's put off, the higher the taxes will have to be.

    Or we could put our heads in the sand and pretend China will continue to support us. Meanwhile the dollar gets so worthless that a stick of gum costs 5 bucks.

    June 27, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Tax Facts

    A recent comparison of McCain and Obama's tax plans by the Tax Policy Center showed that both candidates' plans would reduce taxes for everyone under 227k income, with Obama's reductions being much higher for those under 112k. Above 227k, McCain still gave tax cuts that grew substantially the higher you went. Obama's plan increased taxes by greater amounts than McCain's cuts. At the top of the scale, those making over 2.9M, McCain's plan cuts their taxes by 269k, Obama's raises them by 702k. At the bottom, under 38k, McCain's cuts are from $19-$113, Obama's are from $567-$892. Everyone knows where they fit on this scale. Decide for yourself which plan most benefits you.

    June 27, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. Jay NY/NJ

    I thinik that's fair. Why shouldn't people who make over 250K, in essence pay less taxes than us.

    June 27, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Deb, Allentown, PA

    We're close to the threshhold for which Obama is proposing additional taxes. I'm still voting for him. Call me a Socialist if you want, but we have a responsibility as high-income wage earners to help those less fortunate. For all of you who think only of yourself, remember...

    "There but for the grace of God go I. "

    June 27, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Eric

    I don't know, maybe it's true that federal taxes have been lower since Dubya has been in office. But fees for every little thing have gone up to offset it, along with insurance costs, gas prices, food prices, etc. And services have gotten noticeably worse.
    I've always felt that if your biggest problem is you think taxes are too high, it means you don't have a whole lot in your life to worry about.

    June 27, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Jessica

    Ginger, do you honestly believe the only possible incentive for low-income workers to get an education and a better paying job would be to benefit from lower taxes? That's not only ignorant, but also absurd. Why are you the only person who believes in the American dream? Low-income workers are just as likely as you are to want better for themselves just because they want better for themselves.

    June 27, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Lucas, Nashville TN

    YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Look at the last 8 years.

    June 27, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. RC

    Dirt = the people, Water = Money, The Planter = Society, the stalk and leaves = small buisness, bigger leaves = bigger buisness, the Flower = The richest of the rich. We have been watering the flower for too long. Time to water the dirt, put money in the peoples pockets, they then spend it in the buisnesses... The plant grows and thrives. Water the flower only and it is sure to die or not grow very well.

    June 27, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. GB

    I pay taxes on ALL MY INCOME. Those who make more should do the same.

    June 27, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |

    I have a college degree and so does my husband. We have a house 2 cars and two kids. I consider myself an average American. Our salaries dont even come close to $200k/year. So naturally, the gas prices, food prices, and everything prices are hitting us very hard.

    If you are making over 250k/year and are living sensibly within your means, paying a bit more in taxes shouldn't bother you. Don't be a spoiler, vote Obama to help out the regular folk of this nation.

    June 27, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. SDunn

    ok yeah and John McCain's non existant policies are definitely going to make this world a better place??? You people make me laugh. John is going to keep borrowing and borrowing money from foreign nations burying us further and further into debt! He wants to continue Bush's tax cuts to the wealthiest americans, money that we don't have! If you think for one minute that the flip flopper John McCain will not destroy this country by continuing Bush's stupid policies then you're insane! At least Obama has clear decisive plans on foreign policy and domestic policy. Why is it that I never hear McSame talk about domestic policy in detail? It's because he doesn't have one! He thinks everything is fine just the way it is. He thinks our trade agreements are fine just the way they are! He could care less about the american worker. He's just another Repug trying to lie his way into the White House.

    June 27, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Beck

    Socialism is such a bad word, liberals have started calling it "progressive". The are high on symbolism, not substance. If it quacks like a duck...

    June 27, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Noah

    If higher taxes will result in a booming economy as it did in the nineties, I’m all for it. I will not vote for McCain this time around (although I voted for him in the 2000 Primary).

    Don’t get me wrong I think McCain is an excellent Senator but he’s catered to much to the far right this year that I just can’t support the guy.

    I live in Chicago and have been a fan of Obama since he was a Southside State Senator. After W, I’m skeptical to ever vote for a Republican again.

    June 27, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8