CNBC's Maria Bartiromo, whose collagen injections are widely reputed to be a key market bellwether, offered the New York Post the precise sort of dire warnings you'd expect them to solicit on the deadly dangers of Senator Barack Obama's policies on the capital gains and income tax. It's certainly not surprising to hear Bartiromo express concern over a prospective rise in the capital gains tax - after all, back when he was co-moderating the worst political debate in recorded history, Charlie Gibson, no doubt blessed with the capital gains problem himself, spent an inordinate amount of time yelling about it. Yet, we will allow that it is a worthwhile debate to have: when President Clinton raised the capital gains tax in the 1990's, the economic conditions were vastly different than they are today.
Still, on matters of tax policy, you'd sort of like the anointed experts to have their facts right, and not indulge in misleading characterizations of the impact of that policy. Unfortunately, Bartiromo can't resist getting a little hysterical:
The income tax is also in for a bump. Bartiromo says, "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."
Bartiromo's suggestion that $200K per annum income is "not rich," and that an increased tax on those who earn that much represents some sort of widespread impact on mainstream earners is flatly false. The facts are these: in 2005, the national median income was a mere $44,389. And, according to the 2006 U.S. Census data on household income, households earning $200K or more represent a slim 3.5% of all households. That means that over 95% of all American households would likely prefer to have the problem Obama would impose on the nations' elite earners.