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. judyc

    We are in the over $250,000/yr bracket. We have no problem paying more tax. When we get out of Iraq, my tax dollars will go to fund things that I don't mind paying for–like education and infrastructure rebuilding which will create thousands of new jobs.

    Most in this bracket have enough money to make some widely diversified investments. When the economy improves, the investment income will more than offset the additional tax. Obama's plan will lower taxes on 85% of the population.

    June 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Lora B.

    CNNMONEY: What Obama means by tax the wealthy

    Notice the title......so are you speaking for Obama now, CNN? You fight his battles and make his arguments – how thoughtful of you! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that you are like a crazed fan salivating over a rock star. Just look at the "Categories" section of your website:

    Barrack Obama (1840)
    John McCain (986)

    It looks as though you've published twice as many articles about Obama as you have McCain. No favoritism there, huh CNN? And, yes, I am being facetious.

    June 27, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. kescia

    The American people can either pay our own way or mortgage our childrens' future to China, etc. It's that simple. If I earned 200k a year I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to see more of our citizens have affordable health care, more money invested in renewable energy exploration, better schools with higher paid teachers. "To whom much is given, much is required." Oh wait, the difference between so called liberals and conservatives is that conservatives believe they have "earned" everything they have. Most so-called liberals believe "there, but for the grace of God, go I".

    June 27, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. sk

    This is not fair. Even people who make up to 300k have enough to provide better education to their kids, able to pay high gas prices, go for vacation once a year with the family, save little for retirement. These people are not living lavish life style. Why should they pay more? They are making more because they are working hard. They finished their education. They waited to have kids so that they are able to provide good future to thier kids. This is plain wrong. I am democrat and I don't agree with Obama's plan tax people higher who have worked hard in their life. I will not vote for him based on that.

    If he makes it limit up to million and up then I will consider voting for him.

    June 27, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. R. Grayson

    Hey all you public school graduates! Do the math.

    According to the IRS, there are about 93 million Americans that make $50,000 or less. There are just 2 million Americans who make $200,000 or more. Last year our federal deficit was $450 billion.


    That is with what we are spending now. With the big promising free spending generosity of a new administration coming online in January - who knows where we will be next year.

    One thing you can count on for sure. THE REST OF US will all get to pay more taxes.

    June 27, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. sk

    Mike June 27th, 2008 9:18 am ET

    I only wish I had that kind of money. I haven't made that much in 24 years combine

    That is not anyone's fault except yours.

    June 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Greg

    Socialism is not the change this country needs.

    Obama is a socialist!

    June 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Mark Battle

    Don't be so blind to what is happening folks! Our government will have to raise revenues from taxes somehow to pay for the ump-teen million boomers that are beginning to retire and apply for social security and medicare...let alone repair the crumbling infrastructure of this country. Did I mention research funds for renewable energy sources? Obama is the only candidate with the plan and intellect to do this. We have no choice but to raise taxes on big corporations and those making over $200,000/year. And by the way, energy independence is completely dependent on researching alternative energy sources. Oil and coal are going, going, nearly gone. Electing McCain will continue the failed policies of BUSH and we will keep spiraling out of control toward a very unattractive fate.

    June 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Greg

    Penalizing those who work for themselves to support those who don't care enough about their lives to find a job...GO SOCIALISM!!

    The American Dream is NOT "what can the government give me" but "if I put my mind to it, the possibilities are endless." I'm not at all interested in spending any more of my money (by force) on people who don't care about themselves enough to find work.

    June 27, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Steve

    I don't think I deserve to be penalized because I have spent my life going to school and working hard. I came from a very modest family to make something of myself so why should I have to pay more for the same services others use. Do I use them more? Hmmmm

    June 27, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Not to worry

    Big deal, I can afford the higher taxes because my Social Security has already capped out in June and most of my investments are sheltered.

    In fact, I wish they would lift the cap on Social Security. It just seems like it is all the little people complaining about the taxes, we on the other hand can afford not only to pay them but will still come out ahead of the game.

    June 27, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    Trickle down economics...skim off the top taxes...

    One ideology creates private sector jobs–the other ideology creates public sector jobs.

    Who cares really–will anything change for the average worker except that there will probably be extended unemployment and some government funded job retraining (of course only in large metro areas) so when our bosses cut us loose to shave costs (and retain profit) because of the increased taxes–those taxes will have paid for a dandy (not) safety net.

    No wonder so many former Demo-hypocrites and Repugnikans have joined the Libertarian Party.

    June 27, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. rice, bryan

    with the bush "tax cuts" the wealthy got the break, it's time for them pay up.

    June 27, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Ken in NM

    Obviously Bush's tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest of americans disproportionately has really been great for our economy. I know all of that invested in our country because of those tax breaks created lots of new jobs.

    June 27, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Doug from CO

    I'm not thrilled about the potential for a tax increase, but I'm also not excited about our runaway debt under the current GOP spending model. The declining dollar fueled by our need for foreign investment hurts me and my children. Maybe I should just pay a little more now instead of leveraging the future with debt. I'm getting a better idea why we have such a low savings rate: no one can live within their means ... especially the government.

    June 27, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Brenda

    My view is that we are all created equal in America-I think we can pay some of our money to help those in our own country who are less fortunate. I would rather my hard earned money go to help Americans who need it then to have my hard earned money going billions of dollars in debt for a war that none of us want. There are only two choices here. We pay and help Americans or we pay and help Bush and McBush. Let your conscious lead you

    June 27, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Oh! The Irony

    gary June 27th, 2008 9:15 am ET



    However, the educational system will be better and you can learn correct grammar.


    June 27, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Mike

    If you make over $200,000 a year and you get taxed an extra 5% Gary, you are a moron if you become poor. Don't hide your racism behind a bad argument. People will see right through that. That goes for everyone.

    June 27, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. republican for obama

    unfortunately bush decided to start a war and give tax cuts he could not afford. now we are broke, and it's too bad people want to blame obama for trying to show some fiscal conservatism and and balance the budget. something i always expected from the republicans....

    June 27, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. lorenzo

    i have one question how many people make 200,000 plus?
    most of america don't so why are most of the people making under the cap complaining? it just simple means if you make the averag" 30 to 75 grand " you'll get a tax break duh!!!!

    June 27, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. jack

    I made 12k last year I am safe I can't get any poorer.

    June 27, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Dave

    First of all, all people are NOT taxed evenly or fairly. Out of their average incomes of nearly $174 million, under the Bush tax cuts the top 400 taxpayers would have paid the government 17.5% in income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. For people who make $100,000 to $200,000, the tax burden is much higher at 20.6%. And you know what? I know that at my measly $45k salary, my share in the tax pie is 25% and rising. So, anyone that want’s to complain about Obama’s plan to start taxing the crazy rich more is either crazy rich and greedy or stupid. What a lot of people don’t realize is where all of these taxes actually go. Most go to pay subsidies as corporate welfare, benefiting those in that top 400 of already crazy rich taxpayers. When, really, where it all should be going is to public services such as public education, after-school programs, maintaining our crumbling infrastructure, energy initiatives and health care. If these areas of public services were getting the attention and financing that they used to, before the Regan era, there would be a chance for people out side of that top 400 to better themselves and not have to sit around waiting for government handouts. This is the goal of Obama’s tax plan. This is the goal of his presidency.

    June 27, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. John, NC

    Does Obama not understand that jobs will be lost if the wealthy is taxed more. They are the people who invest and create jobs.

    June 27, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The wealthy, traditionally, pay more from payday to payday; however, they get a lot of it back on April 15.

    Having the wealthy pay their fair share would be a great start. Eliminating the ridiculous level of tax shelters and loopholes is what really needs to be done!

    June 27, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. insanity

    Let's not forget, those people use the public systems to get to where they are now. It's not a bad idea to tax them a bit more.

    The more money you have the easier it is to make more money. While this is a great system for a growing economy, there is a tipping point where it become difficult for people below that line to contribute to the economy. Then they become a burden to the system. That's what has happened under Bush. The economy has tilted towards one end, and it's much harder for the low income people to make it.

    His tax plan tries to make it an even playing field. That is ultimatly good for the economy.

    June 27, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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