This is something that really gets my goat. When people (usually Republicans/Libertarians) claim that an income that is significantly higher than what most Americans make
is somehow not "rich." And to add to the ridiculous-ness, then claim that public workers who make far less, are "fat cats."
I've heard this same line many, many times, even from liberals who complain that their quarter million dollar salaries are barely enough to meet expenses. I heard one complaining a few years back that one simply can't afford to live in LA on less that 300k a year (and even then you'd have to live somewhere horrible, darling, like Encino.) I hear this and I want to give them a brisk slap. They simply must not even see the hundreds of people they cross paths with every day of their lives.
Amen to this. I have a very liberal friend who now makes pretty good money is complaining about how hard it is to get by in LA now that he crossed the $250K tax bracket. After all he has 2 car payments (Both Mercedes!!) and a house in Redondo Beach. Cry me a river. I have another friend who has a very nice home in the Valley with his own tennis court (must have been a million $ property even when he bought it in 1994) who constantly laments how taxes are so out-of-control on the wealthy!! (despite him paying prop-13, 1973 property rates and his business probably paying the minimum $800 franchise tax.)
What irritates me most about these types of complaints are that A.) they are completely oblivious to reality (you CAN get by in Los Angeles on FAR less than $300K...I do, Semi-comfortably, renting in a pretty decent neighborhood.) and B.) they illustrate a total hypocrisy towards fiscal responsibility and what constitutes "luxury." I've heard these people scream and holler about poor people living "beyond their means", even using such silly examples as poor people owning cell-phones or a big-screen tv. Ok, well then, what is the difference between that and causing yourself to be financially strapped because you just HAVE to OWN your own home, and have two cars etc.
I've tried telling my friend that if he makes $250K he is in fact "rich." Choosing to buy a home in very nice neighborhood, owning two luxury cars etc., to the point that he has very little left after payments, does not mean he is any less rich. If Bill Gates makes a billion $ and buys a house that is $999,980,000 and left with only $20K, is he no longer rich? Now, I know what my friend's response would be. "Well my job is in Los Angeles so I can't move to South Carolina etc. and buy a cheap house, and I want to raise kids so I can't live in a crappy neighborhood, and in LA you need to have a car etc., etc." It's funny how poor people always seem to be blamed for not choosing their (limited) options wisely, but the rich are totally hamstrung by their unfortunate situations.
Speaking of which. A second question arises. There is NOTHING more expensive than raising children. Yet people like Rep. Duffy CHOOSE to have 6 of them. If he is truly struggling financially, how is his situation any different than the mythical welfare moms driving Cadillacs?