As I've grown older, I've made more money. I don't consider myself rich by American standards, being comfortably middle class in housing, income, and employment. Last year, my wife and I were shocked to see the total amount of income on line 37 of our combined 1040. She's been doing what she does for over 25 years, and I've been doing what I do for over 25 years, and experience counts for something in the pay column, although we are both just working stiffs.
Then there's this thing called the AMT, or Alternative Minimum Tax, which targets taxpayers making $100,000 to $500,000. I don't qualify for that yet, thank God, but bracket creep and normal career progression are such that we might have to face it soon.
Guess who is riding to the rescue? The Democrats. Yeah, those tax cutting Democrats.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), the presumptive chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, this week put fixing the AMT at the top of his agenda, calling it far more urgent than dealing with President Bush's request to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in 2010.Why does Charlie Rangel want to do that? The answer is down one paragraph.
The focus on the AMT is hardly surprising, given that victims of the tax have been concentrated in high-cost urban areas such as Washington, New York and San Francisco -- places that tend to vote Democratic. Rangel, Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the presumptive House speaker, all represent states hit hard by the AMT, which is sometimes called the "blue-state tax." To map states with the highest concentrations of AMT taxpayers is to draw bull's-eyes over California and the Northeastern seaboard.The hell you say!
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for paying less taxes. Reagan came into power on tax cits. I believe that the economy is strongest when an individual makes his own investment decisions without the confiscatory bother of income taxes. I hope Charlie Rangel cuts taxes to the bone. For all Americans. Rich and Poor alike.