Inspired to earn less

Matthew J. Bonelli
If you make $200k as an individual or $250k as a couple you make a pretty healthy living in most parts of the United States. There are a few select places, New York City for example, where even though having an income that high is nice, it is by no means extraordinarily wealthy. Either way, that is the limit that our federal government has decided as the base for those who should pay for America.

Even though language in the new healthcare bill seems to be a win for most people under that income level, everyone is going to be hit with some sort of tax or higher insurance premiums. For the people over that $200k base, you get taxed a lot more over the next ten years to pay for this new bill. What is even worse is that this is just one bill; if the government was able to get away with this, they are going to try it with another bill, and another, until they have full control. So, as a workforce member who makes less than $200k a year, why strive to make more?

If you are sitting right at that $200k level, I would ask for a pay cut, maybe down to $180k or so because you'll probably keep more money in the end. If you are married, shoot for $230k, just to give you a cushion in case you make a little extra money from investing. Now if you want to start and grow a family, $230k a year should be enough to get started. What if your child wants to play in a soccer league, or baseball league, or God forbid wants to go to a private college?! Now we're talking about some serious expenses.

If you plan right and the economy steadily increases over the next 20 to 30 years you might be able to do it. Emphasis on might. Cost of college tuition is rising fast. If you are in your mid to late 20s now, it may very well cost you a half a million dollars to send one child through college. Now you are thinking, "well that's okay; I can apply for financial aid, right?" Sure! You can apply, but if you are making over $200k good luck getting any.

So I say you should stick to the state schools and enjoy some savings there. Better yet, why waste the money on a college education? I'm sure your kids can eventually earn a little over $100k a year with a high school diploma, and if they don't, there are plenty of government hand outs to go around. Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but reality is what it is.

Here is the scary part, if even a small percentage of people in this country are inspired to earn less to avoid high taxation and to enjoy some free stuff, soon there will be no money to pay for any of that free stuff. Maybe it isn't as simple as bar stool economics, but then again, maybe not. When you have 10% of the people paying over 50% of the bill, what happens when that 10% doesn't show up any more?

In the end, it comes down to this; do you want to knock on your neighbor's door and ask him to pay for your wellbeing? Or do you want to work hard and earn your dollars for your prosperity? This has nothing to do with greed either, because I'm sure that if you made more and were taxed less; you would be more willing to donate some of your income as well. "Help thy neighbor" or "ask thy neighbor." Which position do you want to be in?

 

 

If you make $200k as an individual or $250k as a couple you make a pretty healthy living in most parts of the United States. There are a few select places, New York City for example, where even though having an income that high is nice, it is by no means extraordinarily wealthy. Either way, that is the limit that our federal government has decided as the base for those who should pay for America.

Even though language in the new healthcare bill seems to be a win for most people under that income level, everyone is going to be hit with some sort of tax or higher insurance premiums. For the people over that $200k base, you get taxed a lot more over the next ten years to pay for this new bill. What is even worse is that this is just one bill; if the government was able to get away with this, they are going to try it with another bill, and another, until they have full control. So, as a workforce member who makes less than $200k a year, why strive to make more?

If you are sitting right at that $200k level, I would ask for a pay cut, maybe down to $180k or so because you'll probably keep more money in the end. If you are married, shoot for $230k, just to give you a cushion in case you make a little extra money from investing. Now if you want to start and grow a family, $230k a year should be enough to get started. What if your child wants to play in a soccer league, or baseball league, or God forbid wants to go to a private college?! Now we're talking about some serious expenses.

If you plan right and the economy steadily increases over the next 20 to 30 years you might be able to do it. Emphasis on might. Cost of college tuition is rising fast. If you are in your mid to late 20s now, it may very well cost you a half a million dollars to send one child through college. Now you are thinking, "well that's okay; I can apply for financial aid, right?" Sure! You can apply, but if you are making over $200k good luck getting any.

So I say you should stick to the state schools and enjoy some savings there. Better yet, why waste the money on a college education? I'm sure your kids can eventually earn a little over $100k a year with a high school diploma, and if they don't, there are plenty of government hand outs to go around. Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but reality is what it is.

Here is the scary part, if even a small percentage of people in this country are inspired to earn less to avoid high taxation and to enjoy some free stuff, soon there will be no money to pay for any of that free stuff. Maybe it isn't as simple as bar stool economics, but then again, maybe not. When you have 10% of the people paying over 50% of the bill, what happens when that 10% doesn't show up any more?

In the end, it comes down to this; do you want to knock on your neighbor's door and ask him to pay for your wellbeing? Or do you want to work hard and earn your dollars for your prosperity? This has nothing to do with greed either, because I'm sure that if you made more and were taxed less; you would be more willing to donate some of your income as well. "Help thy neighbor" or "ask thy neighbor." Which position do you want to be in?