From the interviews with Rick Warren last weekend:
Q. Okay. Taxes. This is a real simple
question. Define rich. I mean, give me a
number. Is it 50,000, 100,000,
200,000? Everybody keeps talking about
well, here we're going to tax. How do
you define that?
A. You know, if you've got book sales of 25 million and you qualify --
Q. Okay. All right. I'm not asking about me.
A. Look, here is how I think of it. Here is how I think of it and this is reflected in my tax plan. If you are making $150,000 a year or less as a family, then are you middle class or you may be poor. But $150 down, you are basically middle class. Obviously it depends on region where you are living.
Q Define rich. Everybody talks about, you know, taxing the rich and -- but not the poor, the middle class. At what point -- give me a number, give me a specific number, where do you move from middle class to rich? Is it 100,000, is it 50,000, 200,000? How does anybody know if we don't know what the standards are?
A Some of the richest people I've ever known in my life are the most unhappy. I think that rich is -- should be defined by a home, a good job and education and the ability to hand to our children a more prosperous and safer world than the one that we inherited. I don't want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don't believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth. But I can tell you for example there are small businessmen and women who are working 16 hours a day, seven days a week that some people would classify as, quote, rich, my friends, who want to raise their taxes and raise their payroll taxes…
So I think if you're just talking about income, how about five million. So -- but seriously, I don't think you can -- I don't think, seriously that -- the point is that I'm trying to make here seriously -- and I'm sure that comment will be distorted, but the point is -- the point is -- the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues.
From a recent Pew survey:
2 percent described themselves as "upper class"
19 percent described themselves as "upper-middle class"
53 percent described themselves as "middle class"
19 percent described themselves as "lower-middle class"
6 percent described themselves as "lower class"
1 percent didn't know or refused to answer.