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Mar1-12, 11:16 AM
P: 12
Lets remember that based on Adjusted Gross income in 2009 the "top 50%" had an income floor at $32,396 Top 25% was $66,193.

And remember AGI is after your deductions and children and spouse and whatever else.

With that in mind what is the poverty level? $20,000 AGI? 15? or do we define it by saying the bottom 20% of incomes and have it float?

I think at some point we need to define these things instead of using vague terms like "the poor" I do not feel the entire bottom 50% of incomes is the poor but some people seem to.

On the one hand you're talking about the people who don't work. On the other hand you're talking about the bottom 50% of income earners. It seems like you're trying to equate those two which is not fair. Some of those bottom 50% income earners are juggling two or three jobs and trying to raise a family. Just because they aren't secure, full-time jobs with benefits doesn't mean they aren't working.

If you make $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, working full time, year round, for 52 weeks a year, that's around $15,000.

Now, what is the median household income in the U.S? It appears to be somewhere around $50,000 from a look here.

In any case, I think your attitude toward the bottom 50%, and food-stamps, WIC etc, is misguided. People who need food-stamps and WIC are not usually bums. They may be working two jobs and still not be able to afford to feed their family.

I guess my point is if we define a term either with a percentile or an AGI we can get passed these arguments. Blanket statements about needing to expand the tax base or about the bottom 50% all being poor and needing to not pay taxes are just opposing sides talking past each other.