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So who’s rich? Now we know

Democratic stump speeches routinely play the plight of “working families” against the worry-free lifestyles of “the rich,” as though those on the higher end of the income scale do nothing difficult or productive to collect their heavily taxed paychecks.

But pinning down Democratic candidates on the exact income threshold that turns a “working family” into a rich one is like trying to catch a wet piglet with bare hands — even when cornered, they dash, dodge, wriggle and squeal to escape.

Such questions couldn’t be avoided in crafting the compromise economic stimulus package announced Thursday by congressional leaders. Democrats simply wouldn’t support anything that might benefit “the rich.” So the generous tax refunds that constitute the most anticipated and expensive part of the legislation won’t have any relation to income taxes actually paid.

Who won’t get checks for at least $600 or $1,200 sometime this summer? The magic numbers for the middle class are $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for working couples. Those are the annual income levels at which tax rebates will be significantly reduced. Those are the salaries at which households approach affluence and insulation from the effects of a struggling economy, according to Democrats.

And if you make $87,000 as an individual or $174,000 as a couple, you’ll get nothing at all. If you fall in that bracket, congratulations. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid think you’re rich.

Of course, such a notion is absurd. Famiies earning at the cap level are squarely in the middle class in most metropolitan areas, including Las Vegas. In New York, Los Angeles, Boston or San Francisco, you’ll find some two-teacher households among the “rich.”

Democrats’ calls for class warfare have always been general, avoiding specific targets. But with this legislation, we now know their enemies. These taxpayers are not only unworthy of congressional welfare, they can afford even higher taxes to pay for all the new social programs Democrats want to create in 2009 and beyond.

Now, when you file your income taxes for 2007, you’ll know whether you’re a “working family” or “rich” — and whether you’ll have a bull’s-eye on your back.

 

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