FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty
Raising taxes on wealthy Americans could drive them right out of the country.
In a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal, a California real estate executive wrote that although he makes more than $250,000, he doesn't consider his family wealthy. Glen Esnard says he's still paying off school loans for his three children, has no funded retirement plan except Social Security and no guarantee of permanent health care.
Yet he believes people making more than $250,000 are "vilified" and held accountable for paying for the government's runaway spending.
He writes, "Apparently our president thinks that living in America is so wonderful that we will never leave, despite being directly attacked... He should think again."
A Los Angeles Times reporter asked Esnard if he really expected wealthy Americans to consider leaving the U-S because their tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.
Esnard responded that although he's not an expert, he thinks it's a real issue. And that he's received a lot of support from people who agree with him.
One possibility is Bermuda. It's a short hop from the U.S. and while you do have to battle an occasional hurricane, islanders pay no national income tax.
Meanwhile, most economists think it's a good idea to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, despite the president's call to let them expire for the wealthiest Americans.
CNNMoney.com polled 31 leading economists, and 18 of them said extending the tax cuts for everyone is the most important thing Congress can do to help the economy.
Only three backed President Obama's plan to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
Here’s my question to you: If your wealth was threatened by rising taxes, would you consider moving to another country?
Interested to see which ones made it to air?
L.S. in Illinois
I've been considering the move for quite a while and I'm not even close to earning $250,000 per year. It's not only the federal income tax but rising property taxes. I paid off my home ten years ago and the escalating property taxes are almost equal to what my mortgage payment was. When people no longer own their own homes in this country but are forced to rent them from the state in the form of taxes, it's time to leave. I'm sick of all of it.
Let them move. They seem to think that the conditions under which they earned their wealth magically appeared. It's taxes that pay for the education, health and infrastructure responsible for our great society. They can all fight for the small amount of high-paying jobs available in Bermuda.
Anthony in New Jersey
I've traveled the world, Jack, and would never live anywhere other than America. The trouble with most citizens is that they're too provincial and have never traveled. Even in Europe, they don't have close to the amenities I enjoy every day. Believe me folks, there's no place like home!
Eric in Montreal
Hi Jack, I just have to laugh. After a recent trip to Virginia this summer where I paid 50% less for some of my favorite wines and 35% less for gas than I do in Quebec, Canada, I am stunned by some who want to move to another country. If you do want to move, don't come to Canada where my salary of $70K a year turns into just over $34K after income tax and that still does not take into account $4/gallon gas and a general federal/provincial sales tax of 13%! Plus, there all sorts of other similar tax nightmares.
Jack, The problem is that taxes are not 39.6% but they are now going up to over 60%. You are forgetting Social Security, Medicare, Medicare on Capital Gains, State taxes (NJ at 10%), property taxes. I am of the opinion that after 60% a person making $250k should seriously consider leaving America. Why not look at life in growing economies like India, China other places.
Frank in Indiana
Know any countries without FOX?