Home > Beltway bulls**t, Media fail > Millionaire pundit’s boo-hoo-hoo deserves ridicule

Millionaire pundit’s boo-hoo-hoo deserves ridicule

The Millionaire Pundit Class gets a fair amount of attention at The Daily Howler, where Bob Somerby reminds us regularly that highly paid “journalists” don’t face the same kinds of problems that trouble ordinary folks…like us. That helps to explain why so much class-conscious piffle gets published and broadcast, he suggests.

One boo-hoo-hoo topic that fully deserves scorn is the “down and out on $250,000 a year” meme, recently deployed again in the Fiscal Times and sympathetically portrayed by NY Times reporter-columnist Andew Ross Sorkin.

The original FT piece examined a hypothetical two-earner family with $250 K in income who “end up in the red” anyway. Of course, these “poor” people are setting aside $41,000 a year in savings, spend more than $16,000 owning two cars, and put another $19,000 a year towards child-care and after-school care. (Remember, as Felix Salmon points out, the average U.S. family of four earns about $66,000 a year pre-tax…not much more than the $250 K family puts into savings and cars.)

The point of the piece? These “poor” people earning $250 K can’t possibly afford to pay higher taxes.

Why would NYT pundit Sorkin look favorably on this idea? Well, for one thing, he recently purchased a posh apartment on NYC’s Upper West Side for more than $2.3 million! The very idea of higher tax rates must put his shorts in a twist.

Felix Salmon’s take is spot-on:

The thing which really annoys me about all these pieces is that they seem to be based on the idea that a sensible fiscal policy would only raise taxes on people who are so rich that they never need to worry about money. Which of course is ridiculous.

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