Admitting to being 'rich,' by the Clinton definition


Thursday, August 19, 1993
Originally published in The Indianapolis Star

I want to begin with an admission. As terrible as it may seem I'm rich.

At least as it stands now, ac-cording to Clinton parameters I'm rich. Before he became president, I wasn't. I didn't start making more money: the parameters changed. Last year, rich was defined as anyone making more than $200.000 a year. But now I only have to be making $115,000 a year to be rich.

I didn't always make so much money. There was a time when I was Just like everyone else - middle class. 1 had a regular Job with a salary and benefits, punched in my time card and made about 25,000 a year.

It was great to be part of the middle class. Everyone In Washington tried to protect us, and no one ever wanted to hurt our feelings.

Back In the days when I was middle class, people used to talk about working hard. borrowing money from the bank, starting their own business, trying to make something they really believed In, and hopefully earning a little extra money as well. My wile and I really worked hard for a couple of years, including nights and weekends: we worried that we might not make It. But sure enough, Just like the American dream, it came together and we started turning a profit.

Now, we've got a successful business with seven employees, all of whom get a fair salary. I thought I was doing a good thing with all this extra work, both for my family and the community, since I was creating Jobs and providing a service. Boy, was 1 ever wrong.

I learned lately that it doesn't help being part of such a small minority of the "rich" since our numbers don't amount to much come election time. Washington can say and do whatever it wants to us. But there's so many in the middle class that politicians are careful about what they say and do. Sure, they called for a little gasoline tax, which the middle class will have to pay. but the rich will have to pay that too.

Some economic experts timidly pointed out that the gasoline tax was going to cost the middle class about an extra $10 a month. God forbid! If that's the Clinton idea of "shared sacrifice," it doesn't sound like much to me.

We've been told Is that we "rich" people haven't been paying our lair share. Last year, I wrote checks throughout the year that amounted to 875,000 to pay for federal and state income taxes that was 40 percent of my net income. It exuded plenty lair to me. That did not bet judge prosperity taxes, workmen's compensation, federal or state unemployment taxes or the matching, Medicare are and social security taxes I pay for my employees.

Now, with the new tax rates in store for us, the overall tax total should come pretty close to 50 percent, or half my total income: It makes me wonder whom I'm working for - my family or Uncle Sam.

I was planning on expanding my business operations a bit. hiring a few more employees, taking out another loan, and maybe even earning a little more money. But now that I see the error of my ways, you can rest assured that 1'm canceling my plans.

I came from humble origins. I had very little when I started. And I worked myself up. But now that I'm "rich," I realize how good it was when I was middle class when everyone in the nation's capital loved me. It's tough being rich in America. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Moss resides in Jasper



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