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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:32 PM

I'm not crazy about the $400,000 limit, but I can live with it. Here's why.

When I think of people making that kind of money, I think of doctors and lawyers (and, unfortunately, investment bankers).

I think of professionals with advanced degrees and, in most cases, a TON of student loan debt.

I think it's important to realize that many of these people make a handsome salary, but they're not able to keep all of it. If they have $300,000 in student loan debt (which is very common these days), they'll have to pay upwards of $4,000 each month just towards their student loans. Have a two physician/lawyer couple? Then double those monthly loan payments.

Combine this with the fact that those loans come due at the same time these individuals are trying to buy a home, start a family, start to save for retirement (which can get delayed up to 20 years compared to most workers), and I think you'll find that many aren't exactly living in luxury. They're living well, to be sure, but certainly nothing compared to the 1%.

As for the investment bankers, well fuck them of course, but they'll always get off easily.

So that's why I'm somewhat disappointed by the $400,000 ($450,000 for couples) cut off, but I can ultimately live with it.

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Reply I'm not crazy about the $400,000 limit, but I can live with it. Here's why. (Original post)
Barack_America Dec 2012 OP
ZRT2209 Dec 2012 #1
Cobalt Violet Dec 2012 #2
KittyWampus Dec 2012 #5
Cobalt Violet Dec 2012 #8
WooWooWoo Dec 2012 #13
Barack_America Jan 2013 #23
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #31
unblock Dec 2012 #3
seabeyond Dec 2012 #4
Dirty Socialist Dec 2012 #9
white_wolf Dec 2012 #6
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #11
white_wolf Jan 2013 #21
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #24
white_wolf Jan 2013 #25
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #26
Barack_America Jan 2013 #27
elehhhhna Jan 2013 #45
Firebrand Gary Dec 2012 #7
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #10
AnnieBW Dec 2012 #12
bluestateguy Dec 2012 #14
Jim Warren Dec 2012 #15
wiggs Dec 2012 #16
Ilsa Dec 2012 #17
Barack_America Jan 2013 #22
Ilsa Jan 2013 #38
seabeyond Jan 2013 #42
jillan Dec 2012 #18
1KansasDem Jan 2013 #32
Ilsa Jan 2013 #39
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #19
gollygee Dec 2012 #20
d_r Jan 2013 #28
snot Jan 2013 #29
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #35
jayjayusa Jan 2013 #30
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #33
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #34
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #36
Barack_America Jan 2013 #41
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #47
noamnety Jan 2013 #37
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #40
Barack_America Jan 2013 #44
noamnety Jan 2013 #46
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #43

Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:37 PM

1. and it's not like they are not paying taxes now, this just means no increase

in taxes for the portion of income under that threshold

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:37 PM

2. poor, poor rich people.

Life is just so hard for them.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:45 PM

5. No, these are upper middle class. And your attitude is the Leftist version of Union haters who want

to take away Union benefits since they don't have them instead of fighting so EVERYONE gets bennies.

Instead of attacking those who are WORKING long hours weekly and mostly liberal types, why not have the goal where everyone below the lawyers and doctors get higher salaries?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:53 PM

8. Like it or lump it. They are rich!

They need pay their fair share. This country has been good to them. Good enough that they could get where they are. They didn't do it alone!
You sound like a republican against economic patriotism.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:06 PM

13. I would say $7,700 a week is pretty much well above even upper middle class

If I made $7,700 a month I'd consider myself rich.

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Response to WooWooWoo (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:08 AM

23. Until you do the math on what the 1% makes, and the lack of what they had to sacrifice to get it.

I can't speak for lawyers, but the life of MDs is, for most, pretty brutal.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 03:20 AM

31. Upper middle class my ass

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:40 PM

3. just so you know about investment bankers, ....

most of the ones making under $400,000 are the young manhattan liberal types.
it's the ones making over $4,000,000 who are the sociopathic republicans.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:41 PM

4. i agree. i like 250k but can live with 400k. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:00 PM

9. I agree too.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:47 PM

6. I see your point, also how many professionals start at those salaries anyway?

I know the starting salary for a junior associate at one a big law firm is 160K. A lot of money to be sure, but those jobs normally go to people at top 20 schools and they are usually in at least 200k debt. I don't know how much doctors make starting out, but I doubt it's much more than that. I would like 250K, but I can live with 400K. Honestly, though I don't have too much sympathy for anyone making that much.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:05 PM

11. Less than that for doctors.

Much less.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:02 AM

21. Really? I always assumed being a doctor was "safer" moneywise than being a lawyer.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:17 AM

24. Really

http://mdsalaries.blogspot.com/?m=1

Realize doctors start at much less as interns and fellows doing residency rotations.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:18 AM

25. Interesting. Thanks for the link.

I never knew that.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:21 AM

26. It varies a lot by specialty

And with liability insurance.

Many younger dcs are salaried at HMOs as well.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:32 AM

27. Huh. I'm an MD dropout. Have an MD, not going to practice. The lifestyle is inhumane, imho.

I would've topped out at $250K in my specialty. Not worth missing my entire life for.

I'm fortunate to not have the debt (scholarships, fellowships, etc.). At least half of MDs would get out if they didn't have the debt keeping them in. Sad truth. For most, the MD was a horrible financial decision. But with private med school tuition at 45K/yr, you're locked in before you get a chance to realize your mistake.

I'm selling out and going into med-business, but plan to get into public service after I pad my resume a bit more. It is what it is.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:47 AM

45. Headhunter here -

just placed a Reservoir Engineer w/ MS, MBA for 165K plus 30% bonus ( net comp ~ 190K) - her husband works in finance (MBA) making ~ 120K. Their original loans are probably in the range of 300K. They have 2 kids. Have a small house.

They are from a small town in Cameroon and they have worked their asses off.

I don't get why SINGLE is 400K but married is 450K. IMO single should be 250 or less, even.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:48 PM

7. I also can live with this as well. It's a big pill, but swallowable...

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:03 PM

10. It drops another how many hundreds of billions on spending cuts over ten years?

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:05 PM

12. My husband and I make about $200K combined

We're not rich by any means, because $200K in the DC Metro area is about average. If we lived pretty much anywhere else, we'd have a huge house with a lot of land. Here, we have an average house (2200 sq. ft.) in the 'burbs, in a quiet, mixed ethnicity neighborhood.

I'd be happy to pay more taxes if it would help others. I'm a Fed, and my husband is a contractor, so we were both worried about the Fiscal Cliff and being furloughed, etc. I'm glad that they have a deal. It's not the best we could have, but at least it's something.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:07 PM

14. I'd rather this be conceeded than anything concerning SS or Medicare

And getting the unemployment insurance extension and EITC extension are both good too.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:08 PM

15. And golly, maybe some of that will

trickle down

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:14 PM

16. Reminder: if we're talking 400K adjusted gross income, they are probably actually making

a lot more...probably 500K.

Reminder: EVERYONE is excluded from the tax increase up to the treshold amount. So a threshold of 250K (AGI) is still a tax break for EVERYONE. The tax difference between thresholds 250K and 400K is 6K. 6K is the amount the gop says will keep the top 2% from 'creating jobs' and investing. 6K is the reason the gop is going to the mat and holding the middle class, the unemployed, the wage earners hostage. Dems MUST make them pay politically for this after the deal is made...point out what the gop cares about most....and it's not the deficit, not workers, not our grandchildren, not democracy.

This is not a threshold based on economics, logic, or reason...just a bone to throw to gop who relies on money to win elections and maintain economic inequality. Makes me angry....

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:21 PM

17. I can live with this for all the reasons you've

cited. And geography plays a part in this as well.

These people are working professionals, sometimes working 60 hours a week, with debt to repay and getting a late start on savings. I think the higher tax burden should be on the corporate executives with the monstrously high salaries.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:06 AM

22. I have a doctor friend who makes around 400K a year...works 80-90 hrs/wk.

I'm an MD, who decided not to practice because I didn't want to miss my son growing up. Honestly, 60hrs/wk is about the least I know of any MDs working. In my field, I would've topped out around $250K. The money wasn't worth it.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:53 AM

38. Thanks for fine-tuning the rationale

For me. My husband isn't making the $250k, but if he were required to put in more hours than he does already, at some point he'd say "screw it".

And a lot of people don't really get how physically demanding careers in healthcare are. Most people are on their feet most of the day, for starters.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:33 AM

42. same with the medicare part of the deal. doctors, not specialist put in a hell of a lot of hours

from what i see in my own little word. there is no way i would work the hours they do. i do not know how much they make, having to work those hours.... but, i dont begrudge them this.

specialist world is a whole other story.

we have to understand there is a difference between the groups, financially and time spent.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:21 PM

18. 39% permanent on the 400k + crowd. 55% on Capital Gains. No "entitlement" cuts.... It's not bad -

it's not great...

but it is the process of negotiation.

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Response to jillan (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 03:37 AM

32. Capital gains

and dividends are going from 15% to 20%.
Not much of a change

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Response to 1KansasDem (Reply #32)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 08:12 AM

39. I'd like to see a progressive rate on capital gains.

If some retirees are counting on capital gains income to live on, keep the rate low on the first $25k/person, then raise the rate on higher levels, make it progressive like for salaries/wages.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:23 PM

19. I am fine with it--gotta think big picture.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:23 PM

20. It isn't horrible

I'm OK with it.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:50 AM

28. funny

I thought of congressmen, their woves and kids.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 01:16 AM

29. 400K IS the 1%. 250K is the top 2%; 400 is the 1%. At least that's what I heard on NPR tonite.

And P.S., I don't think very many beginning doctors and lawyers make 400K in taxable income.

Of course, we should ALL be making significantly more than we are; then 400K might not seem so high compared to the rest of us.

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Response to snot (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:15 AM

35. not just beginning salaries: here's averages by region from a 2011 medscape survey.

 

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 01:59 AM

30. well

This is what we get for not having the darn house. 2010 hurt us bad.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:00 AM

33. The largest employer in America (Walmart) pays an average of about 17K a year

No benefits of course.

So really, I don't want to hear about the struggles of people making half a mil a year, or even the tragedy of only earning 250K. If you earn that much... congratulations on your double blessing -- you are not only fabulously well off, you have a both political parties working feverishly to protect your wealth. So enjoy it.

But please, PLEASE, don't insult the vast majority of American's who cannot even fathom the security and luxury that kind of wealth can provide by claiming that you are middle class regular folks. You're not. You're not even close. And if this makes you feel bad, here's a fun game you can play to feel better about your struggle. It's all the rage in the best circles. Do this:

Go to your closest Walmart, count every employee you see, and then remember that you alone earn as much money as everyone you have counted combined. Those poor serfs you counted will work till they die; they have a boss that fucks with them just to keep them in their proper Walmart place. They have no benefits, no sick days, no days off at all. They of course have no healthcare -- if they get a cavity or cancer they can turn to Jesus on their regimented break and then get back to work. And not one of them can afford to exist -- they cannot eat or pay their rent or utilities -- without the social services we are cutting to ensure no one in the upper crust earns a penny less. And if the "Count the peasants" game isn't fun enough try this twist. Walk around the store dropping ten dollar bills just to watch them scramble -- they have to work two hours to take home that much, so really you are doing them a favor!

It's about the cheapest fun a struggling "middle class" Lord or Lady can have. And now, more than ever, you can afford it.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:12 AM

34. most doctors & lawyers don't make that kind of money though. and $300K in student loans

 

actually isn't that common.

median student loan debt for undergrads was $16K in 2003, for grad students $23K. for both combined, $24K.

in 2005, $450K was the highest medical school debt reported in one survey, but the average debt was $87K.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:53 AM

36. Can YOU get by on only 20,000 a month? I doubt it!

Until you have walked a mile in our thousand dollar Coach shoes, don't judge.

Do you think private academy for the children comes cheap? How about personal drivers, personal shoppers, an antique scout, groundskeepers, housekeepers, therapists, and plastic surgeons. They are bleeding us dry! It's not like we are wealthy, we live in an average run of the mill 3500 square foot house -- it's practically a shack. The pool is tiny! You would think with a pool that small the pool boy would give us a discount, but no. No one gives the middle class folks like us a break.

Just the other day, my son Chadwich made the mistake of strolling un-escorted outside the wall surrounding our humble community, and he was set upon by some scary sounding ruffians who had the audacity to mock the very jaunty bowler he was wearing at the time. Now he will have to be in therapy, so we have that bill as well. Plus his bowler fell off in his headlong flight and he was inconsolable until we promised to have a new one flown in direct from London.

So please, until you have experienced the nightmare of "middle class" living, do not judge.

/sarcasm

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:23 AM

41. From this year, average MD debt is $162,000.

From the AMA.

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/08/27/prsb0827.htm

I don't believe that is taking undergraduate debt into account.

And most MDs getting into the subspecialties that could get you that $400K paycheck would be attending private medical schools. My (private) medical school tuition was $45K/yr, and that didn't include any living expenses.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #41)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 04:50 PM

47. and median debt is $170K. only 6% of new grads have debt of $300K or more. only 36% of new

 

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:15 AM

37. This is ridiculous.

Someone making 400k a year is going to have $200-300k take home pay. So they could pay off their entire hypothetical $300k student loan in 2 years, maybe 3, and still have well over what most of us survive on for living expenses during that time. Let's say they delay their home, family, and 401k by two years, then after that they can pocket the extra $200-300 thousand a year, or a million dollars every 4 or 5 years.

Am I supposed to believe that's not living in luxury? Am I supposed to worry about their ability to save for retirement?

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Response to noamnety (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 08:16 AM

40. If you could only buy one new million dollar home every few years... (nt)

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Response to noamnety (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:41 AM

44. Doesn't include malpractice insurance for MDs. About $50K/yr on average.

Also, for most of the professional class to make this money, would require two salaries....and two student loan debts to pay off.

And what will you say to these people when, after delaying their family again, the only way they can get pregnant is IVF at $20K a shot? Will you say they should have started their family earlier?

I'm not saying that doctors don't get paid, they do. I'm asking you to think about the personal sacrifices they make. Most MDs will continue to work 60+ hours weekly well into their careers. On an hourly basis, that puts them at $250K yearly for an average 40 hour week. And, realistically, that $400K payout would require 80hrs/wk (including call) for most. Also, for most, being is a physician is an emotionally and physically exhausting job.

I think we can find better villains in this economy.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #44)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:09 PM

46. Even with the extra 50K out of their 400K salary

They are still financially set for life.

I'm not arguing about their quality of life or working conditions or demonizing doctors or saying they are bad people. I'm just saying from a FINANCIAL perspective, it's absurd to paint them as somehow unable to pay taxes because they won't be able to retire or pay their bills without still being filthy rich.

As for delaying a family for 2-3 years because they are paying off their student loans, again this is absurd. Even with insurance, they have plenty of salary left over to raise a family - far more than the average American. Most people who have student loans and want to start a family don't have the luxury of enough surplus income to pay off their loans in such a short amount of time.

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Response to Barack_America (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:40 AM

43. MOST Doctors don't make $400,000/yr. The average salary is $140,000/yr

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/People_with_Jobs_as_Physicians_%2F_Doctors/Salary

BUT, I agree I can live with it as long as SS & Medicare aren't being touched and also Doctors very much deserve their salary's.

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