Says He's For Millionaire's Tax, But $250,000 Threshold Not Right For Our AreaBy Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama headed to New York on Monday afternoon, just hours after rolling out his controversial plan to raise taxes.

The battle is on over how to cut America’s staggering deficit, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“We shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class, that for us to solve this problem everybody, including the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, have to pay their fair share,” Obama said.

The president’s plan calls for higher taxes on the rich and spending cuts in programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The president’s plan would end Bush-era tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000 a year and institute a minimum tax on millionaires.

Currently, the highest earners can pay as little as 15 percent of their income in taxes while most middle class Americans pay between 25 percent and 38 percent.

Under the proposal, families making $250,000 would pay and extra, $2,100 in tax. Those making $300,000 would see a $4,441 increase in their tax bill. Those making $500,000 would pay $7,388 more.

If you make $1 million, the tax bill goes up $51,389.

“It’s only right that we ask everybody to pay their fair share,” the president said.

Kramer asked our area politicians how they felt. Senators Charles Schumer of New York, Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey all support the millionaire’s tax.

Menendez, Lautenberg and Kirsten Gillibrand support eliminating some or all of the Bush tax cuts. Schumer said the $250,000 limit is unacceptable since it will hit the metropolitan area disproportionately because of the high cost of living here.

“$250,000 makes you really rich in Mississippi but it doesn’t make you rich at all in New York and there ought to be some kind of scale based on the cost of living on how much you pay,” Schumer said.

Republican Congressman Peter King of Long Island echoed the position of his fellow Republicans who control the House.

“I am strongly against it,” King told Kramer.

“It’s wrong to raise taxes in a downturn, because you’re raising taxes on the people who are going to create jobs, but especially for us in New York and Long Island where $200,000, $250,000 is not a lot of money.

“You’re going to find people who are basically a working family — a police officer and a teacher.”

In New York City opinions vary.

“The president is not very intelligent as far as economics are concerned and he’s surrounded himself by non-business people. I think it would be very good if he stepped back and let people revise the entire tax code,” said Peter Sammon of Queens.

“To help the economy we need to make more jobs here and if you’re going to take money away from the rich, who are making business, that is going to give jobs to people, what is the point of that?” added Ellen Joseph of Hewlett.

“Tax the millionaires but not forever, just until we can get ourselves back on our feet after that it will probably go back to business as usual,” Upper West Side resident Samuel Huggins said.

“I’m not really in favor of it. Sounds like it doesn’t apply to people who are millionaires but to people who make substantially less income,” Neil Higgins of Long Island added.

“Who has the money to pay taxes today? People who make the money right?” Brenda Vemich of the Upper West Side said.

Congressman King said the president’s plan seemed more like a political document to help him energize his liberal base than a plan the Republicans can work with and pass.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Marcia Kramer

Comments (19)
  1. cygon says:


  2. erin says:

    I kind of can’t blame the rich for not wanting to pay up more… I’m middle to lower class and I hate the fact that I bust my hiney to put food on the table and others just sit and do nothing and us taxpayers pay for them to be lazy. There are jobs out there, but so many are lazy and don’t want to work. I know educated people don’t want to work in retail or at a fast food chain or in call centers, but hey its work!!! Anything is better than nothing! I waitressed and bartended for years to make ends meet, and it was better than the alternative. I know many people who abuse the system and live off the welfare system! Tax hikes are fine if they start to drug test welfare recipients. Some folks definitely need assistance, I get that, but too many abuse it and it makes everyone else suffer relentlessly!

    1. Rodin says:

      Systems are always abused. Supermarkets constantly overcharge their customers. Wanna do away with them? Not to mention airlines, brokers, bankers, insurance companies, doctors, lawyers, politicians, you name it.

      1. erin says:

        when it has to do with our tax dollars…yes. insurance companies are the worst of all you mentioned. politicians a very close second. but grocery stores hike prices due to fuel surcharges and costs to them. the government gouges costs at every turn and then what…the stores’ prices go up. did you take economics? I shop at a small local grocery and I spend a quarter of what most do on meats and produce because they are from local farms/stockyards. Also, the supply has to meet the demand and if the demand is higher than the supply, they will hike the costs and those who can pay do. Simple facts of life. Fair, not always…but until we stand up and do something about it like those that started our country, we do as we must.

      2. Rodin says:

        As consumers of goods and services, it’s OUR dollars as well. Did YOU take economics? Get off your high horse and get real!

        PS –
        “I shop at a small local grocery and I spend a quarter of what most do on meats and produce because they are from local farms/stockyards.”

        I live in the Warwick Valley and, though I like to support local businesses, I have yet to find a local grocery or market to beat supermarket prices. Actually, our supermarkets highlight local produce. It’s a matter of volume.

  3. Anita says:

    A cop and a teacher in NY can make $250,000 a year? Wow.

  4. DanTe says:

    You want fair? How about a simple FLAT TAX? EVERYBODY pays the same tax percentage. No deductions. No exemptions. Can you parasitic libs handle that?

    1. Rodin says:


      It’s your fanatical, right-wing, Tea Party cowed GOP who won’t “FLAT TAX EVERYBODY.” Or ANYBODY except the working slobs.

      Every Republican should be charged with treason and sedition and every Democrat with desertion and dereliction of duty. Scratch a liberal, find a fascist! Ergo Schmucker.

      1. Rodin needs a Fact Check says:

        Guess not.

        Flat Tax is a Tea Party idea by the way.

        1. Rodin says:

          Another of their OXYMORONS.

  5. chazmartel says:

    So wait, it’s called the “millionaire tax,” but it hits people making $250,000? That makes a lot of sense.

    And I guess Chuck Schumer is one of those NIMBY limo-liberals. “Yes, tax the rich!!1!, but not the rich who vote for me! Just those dirty Southern rich!” What a dirty hypocrite. Vote the Dems out in 2012.

    1. KPMc says:

      If you make 250 grand a year for any length of time and are NOT a millionaire you need some lessons in financial management.

      Use your mellon.

  6. ObamaNation says:

    Hey, Like Ron Paul said, Just close the 900 Military bases overseas and that would add trillions to our needs coffers.

    By the way, a sleezball terrorist has more of a choice than a millionaire. What do I mean by that? Well, The sleezball terrorist actually has more of a choice than most Americans. They can, either blow away a Humvee with a rocket Propelled grenade Launcher, or they can drop it into the sand, go to their local airport, get on a plane and come to the USA, and the liberal bleeding heart Democrats will make sure that they will get job hiring preference over qualified American unemployed citizens. So, let me ask you, how much does our military presence at these 900 military bases help us?

    RON Paul 2012

  7. BUZYGIRLPAT says:


    1. Bye Obama says:

      1 term Obama is clueless.Why should he care after he leves office shortly he will make millions on books and interviews.He really let the American people down.

  8. Rev. Charles L. Nowell, Sr. says:

    Senator Schumer stop falling prey to your buddy or the Republican body about a execellent President. Remember former President Bush, that ruin not only our country, but cities all over this nation. 8 yrs. of lies that was proven quickly that only did he lie, but convince the senate and house of the foolishness. Weapon of Mast Destruction, think about Senator Schumer. Be a servant of the people and not your buddy on both sides. WE NEW YORKER VOTED FOR YOU!

  9. Michael H. says:

    I’m sorry, but if you’re struggling with $250k a year, you’ve overextended yourself and are living way beyond your means and most certainly do not deserve any sympathy when the tax man comes knocking asking for a few extra percent.

    1. Michael_dont_get_it says:

      For once Schumer gets it right. In the NY/NJ area, $250 isn’t going far when a modest home is in the $500K range and the average property taxes are above $10K. Government expense per diem rates recognize this by indexing travel expense to to the cost of living in a area, this should be done with any attempts to screw people out of more cash they make. Add in that people making that money have typically broken their butts and work very long hours to provide a better life for their family. They should not be penalized because people don’t understand how it is a struggle at a moderate income level that they are looking to tax.

    2. goblin says:

      Earning 250K a year is nothing considering you’ll only be taking home half right off the bat. Figure in quarterly estimated taxes, and you’re under six figures.

      Taxing the rich to kingdom come is popular, but it’s not going to do much in correcting a system that is flawed.

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