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$250,000 is a Lot of Money

By Matthew Yglesias on September 10, 2010 at 8:31 am

"$250,000 is a Lot of Money"

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One of the craziest notions to take hold in American politics is the idea that in some high-income geographical areas represented by Democrats in Congress, households earning over $250,000 a year aren’t “really” rich.

Jim Himes of Connecticut, for example, claims that this amount of money “does not make you really rich” which Annie Lowrey explains as driven by the fact that “Fairfield County, which Himes represents [...] is one of America’s wealthiest counties.” And so it is. But even in the very richest county in the United States of America a household earning $250,000 per year is 226% of the county’s median income. The median household in Himes’ congressional district earns $66,598. In Manhattan it’s similar—$66,525.

In a separate item earlier this week Lowrey made the case for more tax brackets which I think would do a good job of capturing the intuition that there’s a difference between earning $300,000 a year and earning $30 million. But there’s no getting around the fact that people making “only” a couple hundred grand are, in fact, making much more money than most people.

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