Only 74 Americans Make More Than $50 Million A Year. But How Can You Live On That?

Posted by | October 28, 2010 13:01 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Barry Weintraub

A new government report shows income among almost all Americans to be significantly lower in 2009 than in 2008. But what a relief that those numbers don’t apply to those making more than $50 million a year. The  folks in that bracket saw a huge bump in their income, averaging more than $500 million each, to the point where only 74 earners at the top made more than 19 million earners at the bottom. But that doesn’t mean life is rosy here.

I’m sure everyone of these folks worked their fingers to the bone for that windfall. Not a one could have earned that kind of money by defrauding homeowners or investors or employees. Right?

What’s more, just because a person earns more than $50 million dollars in one year (10 times more, on average) … does that necessarily mean that person is really rich?

It costs a fortune to have that kind of money. First of all, at current tax rates, you can just about cut that $50 million right down the middle. What with the 28% Federal tax rate just gouging your paychecks, you’re already down to like $36 million. Then there’s state and local fees and depending on where you live, you might only be left with half. (Unless most of that money was made in the market and then you only have to pay at the 15% capital gains rate, but why bother with details?)

So here I am with only $25 million in disposable cash, for the year. When you think about it, that isn’t really much.

I’ve got kids to feed. Several ex-wives to keep happy. And of course the house in New York… and the one in the Hamptons… and the one in Aspen… and the one in Santa Monica… and the one in Belize. Those get expensive you know.

And the kids have to go to school and that isn’t free. It’s not like I can send them to the public school down the street. They need a campus. Special attention. Access to other kids in the same economic straights.

And what about the woman who cleans the house… in New York? And the one who watches the kids, in Santa Monica? And the one who is currently caring for my needs, where ever I live?

Then there’s health insurance. Any idea how much of a chunk that will take out of your paycheck every month. I’m not kidding, that stuff is expensive. I really think they should do something about that.

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