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. AustHall

    I think that that is a great policy. A single filer making over $200k annually and/or a couple making over $250k annually can and should pay a higher percentage of tax because their incomes are higher. The average American family has an annual income of $75k and a large portion of the population makes less than that. It is so interesting and sad to hear affluent individuals complain and worry about paying taxes especially since they have higher disposable incomes in the first place.

    June 27, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Joe in NJ

    In theory, taxing the rich sounds like a good idea but looking at everything Obama is proposing, there is no way additional taxes from the rich will cover it all. Plus, if Obama delivers on everything he is promising, the additional taxes from the rich will be needed to offset other taxes that won't be collected. I read on Obama's website that under his plan, an additional 10 million people won't have to pay any taxes. As it is, not enough people are paying.

    I'm just curious as to where he is going to get the money from for everything he intends to do. I hope he's not counting on the money currently being spent on the war to finance his pet projects.

    June 27, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Rick FL

    This article should mention that Obama plans to CUT taxes for Americans making under $75K, no taxes for senior citizens living on Social Security under $50K, and eliminate capital-gains taxes for small businesses. This seems to be smart policy for Americans who need relief in a struggling economy.

    June 27, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Dave

    If I was making that kind of money, I'd be glad to pay those kinds of taxes...I'd still have more than I do now.
    At least they can afford to put gas in their cars.

    June 27, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. JB

    So tax the people that worked hard to get to where they are now making more then $200,000 a year. How dare they make that much money. Take it and give it to those that don't want to improve their lives and you can bet that no one will try to make that kind of money again. It would be better to take the money from the wealthy and give it to those that don't care to work for it, that will keep people from trying to do such a horrible thing as make over $200,000 a year. They should be ashame of themselves.

    June 27, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Foreign observer

    As long as the rich ones pay the same prizes for bread and gas a higher taxation on them is only fair.

    June 27, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Jason

    You know what, if you love this country, and you feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction. You shouldn't have a problem being taxed. If the country needs to raise my taxes to help get this country back on track, then I'm all for it. Remember those great words, "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" I love this country...tax me if you have to...

    June 27, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Brad Burklow, Harrisburg, IL

    "If you stupidly think you will not pay more taxes under Obama, you really need to get your head out of the sand."

    Sue, if you stupidly think we can continue to run up huge deficits and fund a costly war without paying a heavy price in the future, YOU need to pull YOUR head out of the sand. Why is it so radical to ask those at the very top of the income scale to pay a little more in the name of fairness and fiscal responsibility? We shouldn't go overboard in soaking the rich, but they will survive a little dunk or 2. Spare me the violins please.

    June 27, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Loretta

    To those over the $200,000 tax level, do you really think that you do not use government services? Was your higher education earned at a public university? Do you drive on interstate highways and expect protection from civil servants? Just because you don't ask for Medicaid or Social Security Disability doesn't mean that you don't want "government handouts." Please use your higher education to think openly and not just from the viewpoint of your checkbook.

    June 27, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Nick

    I don't understand how there can be so many people claiming they were economically troubled during the Clinton years. Unemployment was at an all time low, the dollar was strong, gas was cheap, intrest rates made investing possible for average Americans. Sounds like a case of getting your news, education, and ideology from an entertainer rather then facts. Under Clinton, the government had a surpluss! That is conservativism: saving money not spending it.

    June 27, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Independent

    You are right on Target "No more fighting". Lot of people think that Obama is raising every ones taxes. But the truth he is raising taxes only the people who make more than 250k which is 3% of the US population. So I think it's fair. I do support welfare system but I hate to see people don't want to work but get welfare check. I work hard to make my $. People on welfare should try to find work, we shouldn't provide free meal for life to them, if they are not handicap.

    June 27, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. FloridaVoter

    I still don't understand why I have to be penalized for getting myself an education, being succesful and earning more than $200K? I have to pay more taxes so that a stay-at-home mom with six kids can receive her welfare check? This is "leveling the playing field"...sounds like communism to me. A distraught Democrat in Florida...

    June 27, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Rod

    99 pecent of people posting here don't make over 200k. Clearly the rich will do whatever they can to make you fear that you will be taxed more under Obama but thats simply not what he is planning.
    reading and comprehension are fundamentally important.

    June 27, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Ariana

    YES PLEASE!! Tax the wealthy, not regular Americans!!!! Let's use alittle common sense here!

    June 27, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Tom, St. Paul

    Wow! How would these people who make $200k+ be able to afford the guns the Supreme Court has entitled them to if Obama's plan does through? They'll have hire more illegal workers to make up for their lost income! What has happened to the American Dream?

    June 27, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Kirk, DC

    I am one of those who make in the $200K range. I come from a poor rural background and paid my own way to college. I work hard and was never handed anything. Why would I pay more tax that anyone else to sustain entitlement Programs? This is a Robinhood mentality that tries to portrait people who make ggod money as the bad guys. Or perhapos it is socialism.
    If they want to be fair, just put a flat tax on consumption. I will stil be paying more tax than the average American but at least, it will be my choice to consume or not.


    June 27, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Tax everyone the same

    This country prints “In God We Trust” on everything they can, why not trust God’s way and just tax everyone 10% on their income. If it’s good enough for God in tithes its good enough for the US Government.

    I would vote for the candidate who wants federal and state taxes for everyone to be 10% of income.

    June 27, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Steve

    Obama's plan will lower taxes on most Americans. Only the wealthy will have theirs increase. I'm amazed that so many rich people have time to write comments on this site instead of being out there working hard and using their educations to support themselves and their families.

    June 27, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Lifelong Democrat

    I am scared of Barack Hussein Obama. He will ruin this country and the world.

    June 27, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Bill Whitley

    Money in American pockets equals good economy. Less money in American pockets equals less good economy. That is just plain common sense.

    June 27, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Stephina

    Why should successful hard-working Americans be taxed more to cover services to those who just want a hand-out??

    The unions have been the successful force in all manufacturing jobs going over-seas. They wanted $35/hour to push a button or put part A into Part B. Thus, they over-priced themselves and now they want govt support. They should be outlawed from existing.

    And no the the mortgage bail-out. If lenders were stupid enough to finance homes for people who should have never qualified in the first place and those people bought into escalating mortgages they knew they would not be able to pay in the future – well TOO BAD!!!

    These are type of people that move off, trash their property and leave their poor pets locked inside the house to die – Just plain Evil but the Govt wants to bail them out – no thank you!!!

    Obamanomics will break this country!!!!

    McCain in 2008

    June 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Georgia Girl

    In 2006 the average income of Americans were $48,200.
    Whites average $50,700
    Asians average $64,200
    Non-Hispanics whites averge $52,400
    Hispanics average $37,800
    Blacks average $32,000

    The average household that has a B.S degree or higher averages $73,000.

    So the regardless of race or education most Americans will not be taxed, and the people who are taxed will help their fellow Americans.

    June 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. MARYANN Oswego IL

    Every News organization always has to explain what BARACK OBAMA means ...nobody ever had to do that when Hillary gave a speech or her husband Bill. Living in New York or California and making 250,000 a year as a couple is not alot...I know someone living in SC or Iowa this may seem like a huge upper income to them...BUT look at real estate in Iowa you can get a 4000 sq foot home for about 300,000 that same home in California will cost you MILLIONS so wake up America none of these nominees are good for our country ...I am a life long Democrat who is dissappointed with both candidates....I have lived in CT,SC,TX and now IL....CHICAGOLAND area is outrageous for TAXES...Barack needs to come home and work on lowering IL taxes and making CHICAGO a safe place...CRIME is up in Chicago ...look at what Hillary ,Shumer and Bloomberg did for NY...crime is down....DALY,Durbin and Obama have done nothing for Chicago...is this how he is going to run our country?????

    June 27, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. Tanya, GA


    If everyone was given a fair shot to attain goals in this society, do you think there would be poor people? Tell me why public schools in more affluent areas score better on standardized tests. Tell me why they always have better textbooks and teachers. Aren't they funded with the same money?

    Alot of people are poor because of circumstance, not because of a lack of drive, and they should not have to pay the same taxes as a person who makes 400K per year.

    Actually, when income taxes were introduced, they were intended to be paid by corporations, not citizens. Guess the loopholes allowed too much money to escape so how do we continue to run the government and keep the fat cats happy? Let's tax the poor!

    June 27, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. MattH

    "McCain says it really isn't important when our troops come home from Iraq."

    Chipster, you do realize that quote-mining is, in itself, arrogant?

    June 27, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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