No one is trying to bleed the rich

NO ONE IS TRYING TO BLEED THE RICH…. Slate‘s Daniel Gross noted last night, “To hear conservatives tell it, you’d think mobs of shiftless welfare moms were marauding through the streets of Greenwich and Palm Springs, lynching bankers and hedge-fund managers, stringing up shopkeepers, and herding lawyers into internment camps. President Obama and his budgeteers, they say, have declared war on the rich.”

If only that were an exaggeration. Have you seen the latest cover of the National Review? The right has gone from merely misguided to wildly hysterical. If the unhinged rhetoric were limited to right-wing blogs and talk radio, it would be easier to dismiss. But “mainstream” far-right figures — members of Congress, newspaper columnists, on-air television analysts — have gone completely off the deep end.

Gross tackles some of the more nonsensical talking points in his piece, but his point about the practical effects of the Obama agenda bear repeating.

Say you’re a CNBC anchor, or a Washington Post columnist with a seat at the Council on Foreign Relations, or a dentist, and you managed to cobble together $350,000 a year in income. You’re doing quite well. If you subtract deductions for state and property taxes, mortgage interest and charitable deductions, and other deductions, the amount on which tax rates are calculated might total $300,000. What would happen if the marginal rate on the portion of your income above $250,000 were to rise from 33 percent to 36 percent? Under the old regime, you’d pay $16,500 in federal taxes on that amount. Under the new one, you’d pay $18,000. The difference is $1,500 per year, or $4.10 per day. Obviously, the numbers rise as you make more. But is $4.10 a day bleeding the rich, a war on the wealthy, a killer of innovation and enterprise? That dentist eager to slash her income from $320,000 to $250,000 would avoid the pain of paying an extra $2,100 in federal taxes. But she’d also deprive herself of an additional $70,000 in income!

Can she, or we, really be that stupid?

Is that a rhetorical question?