I was pointed to a piece by a person claiming to be a member of the 1% crowd. If this is not a piece of creative writing but rather something autobiographical, then what follows is a ringing indigtment of the tenor of American politics at the moment.
Thus you can imagine my amazement this summer when I watched the Republicans in Congress push the United States to the brink of default – and the world to the brink of ruin – over whether to repeal a portion of the Bush tax cuts and raise my taxes by 3.5%. I know a lot of people with high incomes and even the conservatives among them were confused by that sequence of events. Here is a secret about rich people: we wouldn’t have noticed a 3.5% tax increase. That is not only because there isn’t a material difference between having $1 million and $965,000, which is obvious, but also because most of us don’t actually know how much money we are going to make in a given year. Most income at that level is the result of profits rather than salary, whether it comes in the form of bonuses, stock options, partnership distributions, dividends or capital gains. Profits are unpredictable and they tend to vary wildly. At my own firm, the general rule of thumb is that if we are within 5% of our budget for the year, everyone is happy and no one complains. A variation of 3.5% is merely a random blip.