The $250,000 Focal Point

Yes, people who think they'll get walloped with extra taxes if they touch that 250 thousand and first dollar don't understand the nature of marginal tax rates. But it's hard to escape the class war overtones of Obama's stategy of sticking it only to those who've passed the magic number. If you're under the line, you're one of us. If you're over the line, you're one of them. Reserving higher marginal rates, the cut in the charitable deduction, etc. for the top bracket sends a message: you don't deserve it and you owe us. It's easy enough to grasp the desire to approach but not join the resented class.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center