In various tax proposals Mr. Obama has set the definition of rich at levels of $100,000, $200,000 and $250,000 in annual income. He has vowed, for example, to erase the Bush tax cuts not only for those who make more than $250,000, but to end the cap on Social Security taxes, which amounts to a tax hike on anyone who makes more than $100,000 in income. More recently, Austan Goolsbee, an Obama economic adviser, told me the new cap might be set at $200,000.As Media Matters points out, Social Security taxes are levied against individual incomes, not joint incomes, so unless that cop and his wife are making $100,000 on their own, they'd see no change.
All of this has caused some heartburn among certain Democrats in high cost-of-living states. New York Rep. Joseph Crowley says a couple with earnings of $100,000 could be "a police officer and nurse." "In New York City," he adds, "they'd be struggling."