I was shocked by something I heard from one of my friend’s sons the other day. He is a college graduate with a business degree and fortunately has a job. We were all talking about the fiscal cliff and how it would affect people making over $250K a year. His reaction to the top rate rising to 39% along with the California State tax increase due to Proposition 30 prompted him to say, “Whew, I think I dodged a bullet! I was up for a promotion with a pay raise but someone else got it. I’m pretty sure my taxable income will be under the level where I would have gotten punished.” PUNISHED.
He was basically saying that he would rather earn less and stop advancing in his career than be hit with massive taxes. I asked him to explain and he said that basically he didn’t want to work and then fork over 50% or more of his earnings to the government. He said that he had gone to school, studied hard and gotten a job but was still burdened with excessive student loans and he felt that with that hanging over his head he couldn’t afford to pay more in taxes.
As for buying a home and starting a family, well that was not even an option for him. He said that if they were talking about taking away the mortgage home deduction then why buy a house anyway?
This is where we have come in this country. It is now a better option to take a lower paying job, rent a home or live with mom and take government benefits than it is to climb up the ladder to success. The American dream is fading folks. Like an old photograph from a Polaroid instant camera, the picture is slowly disintegrating.
Our entitlement society is out of control. It is a sad fact that a head of a household of four making minimum wage has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year. In an article in August 2010 this issue was discussed in The National Review.
“In many cases, economists have calculated, welfare recipients who enter the work force or receive pay raises lose a dollar or more of benefits for each additional dollar they earn. The system makes fools of those who work hard.
“Recently the chairmen of two important subcommittees on Capitol Hill convened a hearing on this issue. The hearing elicited some revealing testimony from one of the chairmen’s congressional colleagues.”