McCain Campaign Agrees With CNBC Pundit: Americans Making $200,000 Are ‘Not Rich’

Writing in Avenue, “a glossy, lifestyle magazine that chronicles the lives of Manhattan’s affluent and socially powerful,” CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo warns readers that under Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), “the income tax is…in for a bump”:

Right now [it] is 35 percent, Obama wants to take that to 39 percent…We’re talking about people who make over $200,000. That’s not rich. So it’s actually going to impact more people than you may think.

$200,000 may not look like much from Bartiromo’s perch, where she is making a seven-figure salary and just received a whopping $500,000 for her book advance.

Michael Goldfarb, the newest member of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) communications team, highlighted Bartiromo’s statements in the “Morning Update” on the official campaign blog, The McCain Report.

The McCain campaign’s perception of American incomes is woefully out of touch. An income of $200,000 places an American family firmly in the “rich” category:

— The 2006 census showed that an income of $174,012 put an American household within the top 5 percent of income earners.

— A report by the Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that in 2008, “only 3.2 percent of taxpayers will have adjusted gross income (AGI) greater than $200,000 and only 2.1 percent will have AGI over $250,000.”

— A 2007 Wall Street Journal article placed earners who make $277,000 in the top 1 percent of all income earners.

McCain’s fundamental misunderstanding of American incomes leads to his disastrous policies. His so-called “middle class tax relief” plan gives only 9 percent of its benefits to the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers, doling out 58 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent.

McCain, of course, ranks as the eighth wealthiest U.S. senator, with an average net worth of $36.4 million.

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Update:

We mistakenly reported that Goldfarb posted Bartiromo’s comments. In fact, they were posted by Joseph Pounder.