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. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    I made 26,000 for the year and I had to pay the feds I claimed 1 exemption I don't think that was fair at all, I don't have money to give them. Personally I think, you are taxed EVERY TIME you buy something or walk into a store, and they take taxes out of your paycheck before you even get paid like they worked for it, It wouldn't suprise me if they start taxing us to breathe and THEN at the end of the year they want more money, you still owe them something this country is UNREAL sometime. If I made the money I would not have any problems paying more taxes so the little person could breathe.

    June 27, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. William, from Cali!

    I'm more concern about my safety and that of my family and of the planet; than I'm of higher "taxes" on the rich.............................it's harder for them to get to Heaven, than for me.....................................

    June 27, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Phil Newton - Oregon

    This makes sense. High-income filers benefit disproportionately from the system our tax dollars support.

    They should pay in proportion to the benefit they take from the system.

    Long overdue.

    June 27, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Patricia in Las Vegas

    ummm, people. If we don't pay taxes you can kiss our country's infrastructure goodbye. Grow up and realize that taxes pay much more that just for our government...highways, schools, police, firefighters, etc....

    June 27, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Beverly, NYC

    How are we supposed to pay for the mess were are in print more money? Or should we mortage the country to China or the highest bidder. Wake up people, do you think McCain would not have to raise taxes. At least you're getting the truth up front, rather than another read my lips speech then tax raised through the back door.

    June 27, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. MD in GA

    Most of you folks complaining on this blog have little to no real idea what it's like to be poor. I mean really poor in America.
    And by the way, those of us who don't make 250K plus are not all uneducated underachievers. Remember, teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. typically make somewhere between 30 and 60K in this country. These are the folks who teach your children (That is if their not in some private school somewhere), fight crime and save us from burning buildings.

    Net, net, most college grads (i.e., well educated people) in this country make far less then 250K annually, regardless of their profession.

    You all need to GROW UP. WE have been paying the lion's share of taxes in this country for long enough. This last 8 years has nearly distroyed the average American and all you do is whin about the prospect of being asked to pay your fair share AGAIN FINALLY...

    June 27, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Common Sense

    There is no reason my my income should be taxed at a higher rate that someone making more than me or less than me. Discard the AMT, establish a single income tax rate, and remove most of the available deductions and you will begin to see everyone paying their "fair" share in taxes. The super rich won't have all the loopholes currently available to them to avoid paying taxes, meaning they will pay more. That increase in tax revenue would mean the majority of tax payers would find their percentage rates dropping. So more revenue at lower tax rates is a good thing. Why Obama and McCain can't grasp that is beyond me.

    June 27, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Jim

    i think it's time for the FAIRTAX!

    June 27, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Ohio

    As someone who is very close to that amount and recognizing the fact that I am reaping some portion of the American dream I see no reason why I can't help my country and those who have been less fortunate than myself. It is just greed and selfishness that would spark someone to complain about giving a few more dollars out of their $200,000+ dollar income to help those that make 25% or less than what I make and can't take care of their family due to the horrible economic environment. After all, any person smart with their money knows that they can find tons of write offs and proper investments to save even more. Though the % may be the same for some the true value is not. 30% of my income does not carry the same weight as 30% of the income for a family struggling to get by (most blue collar families). That is unless you make a habit of living dangerously close to or outside of your means.

    June 27, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. The Patriot

    Get real folks, the economy effects everyone............200-250K really isn't that much. If you work hard to succeed, why should you have to pay for the slacker that doesn't go to school, drops out, has too many kids to pay for (they made the choice to have them) and won't leave their precious 'home town' way of life to better their own circumstances? I say a flat tax is the way to go........everyone pays 20% or 25% of their income every year.

    June 27, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Straight Express??

    At least he has a plan all McCain does is to take a Nap during the Weekends might as well run for President of Daydreamers.

    June 27, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Rita

    I don't make a lot of money – under $45,000 per year and I can't keep up with my own bills because of taxes.... If I were to get more money in my pocket I would be one happy person. I live from paycheck to paycheck and welcome Obama reducing my taxes.... yes yes... that would be a good thing.

    June 27, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Anonymous

    CNN = always wrong, although taxes for people making 250k+ will go up by a couple of thousand dollars, the real difference will be from people making 700k+. Check the business week article about it if you really want a news source that knows what they are talking about.

    June 27, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Shelly in IL

    You people that make above $250,000 in income are greedy cry babyies.

    June 27, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Cindy

    Amazing how some people think. I for one want to remain free and if that means paying a few more dollars to keep that freedom then so be it. Believe me, I am in the low to middle tax bracket and every penny counts. However, it is sad that we have to borrow billions of dollars to pay for things (such as the war) when we are suppose to be the richest nation in the world. If anyone believes that McCain will not raise taxes, then they need to get their head out of the sand. We are already in major debt with other countries and he talks about all these things he wants to do.....Where do you think he is going to get the money?????

    June 27, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Republican for OBAMA!


    Well, now a days most Americans don’t make over 250,000 so we would welcome the change. Clearly you are benefiting from the current "tax the poor, tax cuts for the wealthy" policy the cheney/bush administration currently has in place. In that case who really cares what some greedy old republican has to say. You’re a minority and will LOSE this Nov.

    June 27, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Johnny in NJ

    Did you all know that only the first 100k of any american's salary is put into social security?
    So all the millionaires and billionaires in America are paying about the same amount to it as just about everybody else.
    Can any one see why social security is going bankrupt?
    If anyone cares about the system they should look into it instead of privatizing it and sending us all to Vegas to procure retirement!

    June 27, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Stuart

    Everyone will be taxed more, it may not come across in the income tax but the government will get there share (certainly not fair). Until the government starts spending what they already have well, I'm not inclined to want them to take more. Why do people actually think the answer to our social problems are always solved by giving the government more money? Do they have a solid track record?

    And the comment about people making over $250k a year don't feel the burden of high gas prices. A lot of these people are small business owners and the gas is effecting their business which in turn affects how many people they hire and what their wage is. Please people THINK! This isn't a difficult concept to grasp.

    June 27, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Shawn

    If anyone really believes that trickle down economics still works...the idea that you just give lots of breaks to the rich and it will help the little guy...great..vote for Johnny Macsame...(ask the ceo of Bear Stearns he loves it) we've had 8 years of that..and if your better off today than you were during the Clinton years..by all means vote republican...Me I make way less than 200,000 a year..and I'll be voting OBAMA...THE LAST 8 years have seen the biggest growth in the divide between the rich and the poor in this country's history. 5% of the population controls most of the wealth of this country. If thinking thats wrong makes me a Socialists (it doesn't but thats what the Wingnuts will tell you) than so be it. Don't let them tell you the Dems are communists, just because they believe society should be measured on how well we treat the people on the bottom instead of how cushy we make it for thost at the top.
    Turn off the talk radio and think for youreslf.

    June 27, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. Julie

    I am in a higher tax bracket, but I support Obama. I honestly think we need to look at the bigger picture here – meaning our economy and global warming! The money gained from removing tax breaks to higher income Americans (by Bush) is supposed to be used to invest in Health Care, Alternative Energy, and improving our education system. I say that is a great investment and one we MUST make as a nation now to stay competitive in a global market. Everyone will benefit (including higher income Americans) if the money is invested properly. We also have to keep him accountable if he is elected! If it is not used for those purposes, then he should not be elected to a second term.

    June 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Dave

    Get real, if we want to win the war it cost $$$. People want to win the war, but no one want to pay the $$$.

    I wish we could simply put a check box on our tax form that you either pay $5,000 (or more) and we stay int he war and win, or you dont. Then the majority rules.

    Everyoen want to stay the course, win the war, but no one wants to pay....168 billion approved for the war yesterday.. that' s $320,000 an hour! Yes thats the facts. So we get out, or start paying!!!

    June 27, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Republican for OBAMA!

    Average Americans will pay LESS in taxes under Obama. Dont believe the lies and twisted facts spread by the greedy. They just want to keep more money for themselves while the average people foot the bill.

    June 27, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. no

    Worst idea
    They already pay a larger % of there earnings to the government. And they make up the largest part of the economy. You thought the economy was doing bad now.
    For the last year our economy has been doing poorly. When did the democrats take control of the house and senate?

    June 27, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. JBY

    Since 2000:
    My property taxes have increased 110% because federal funding to the states have been cut.
    Gas prices have gone up 275%.
    My electric bill is up 160%
    My water bill is up 220%

    Oh, but my federal income taxes are down 3%. I want to thank the GOP for saving me $4500 a year on my federal taxes but increasing my other expenses by over $20,000 a year.

    So I want to thank the Republicans for exchanging my tax savings into exponential corporate profit and the degradation of local government.

    Facism you can believe in!!!

    June 27, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Ilona Proud Canadian

    To all of the Obama Bashers above!

    Please STOP TRYING TO SCARE people! Barack said that he will be raising taxes on those who earn over $200,000 or $250,000, and that is exactly what HE WILL DO! SO STOP WITH THE SCARE-MONGERING!

    Barack also said that he WILL BE HANDING OUT all kinds of TAX RELIEF FOR THOSE LOWER INCOME PEOPLE! He also said that HE WILL be handing out $4,000 dollars each year in STUDENT RELIEF to those students who GIVE BACK TO THEIR COMMUNITY!

    By the way, here in CANADA we have the option of filing SEPARATE TAX RETURNS, and I know that this option is also available in the us.
    so those couples who make combined income of $200,000 or $250,000 plus, can always file SEPARATE TAX RETURNS! Furthermore Barack's income tax policies are waaaaaaaaaay ahead of McCain's. McCain will keep handing out the huge tax cuts to Large Corporations and Big Money Makers, like CINDY.

    Please folks you must start thinking responsibly, don't let these naysayers pull the wool over your eyes! Please don't let these REPUBLICANS who are dressed in DEMOCRATS CLOTHING scare you. You are not gullible, you CAN THINK FOR YOURSELVES, just keep listening to Barack's policies, and educate yourselves on the truth and facts of said policies, in that way you will not be buying into scare tactics!

    June 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8