John Edwards Says $200,000 Is Middle Class, But $250,000 Is Wealthy

August 10, 2007

At a campaign event yesterday in Aspen, Colorado (one of the places that pay the most in federal taxes) Presidential candidate John Edwards said that a $200,000 income is middle-class. From Fox News:

The candidate (Edwards) drew snickers from the crowd in this tiny resort town when he agreed with a woman who said people earning $200,000 a year in communities like Aspen are considered middle class.

“What she’s saying is true. Those are not rich people,” Edwards said. However, he said he had to draw the line somewhere and that $250,000 a year is a good figure for people to be considered wealthy.

Let’s take a look at where a household making $200,000 would be in terms of the income range among different types of households. We use the Census definition of income, which is cash money income, and is the most frequently cited when it comes to the median income. That data is from the 2006 Current Population Survey, which is based on 2005 income.

In terms of all households, a household earning $200,000 would be over 4 times the national median of all households. In fact, the household would be in the top 4 percent of all households on the income scale.

In terms of married household families only, a married household family earning $200,000 would be over 3 times the national median of all married household families.

Regardless of what John Edwards or the woman who asked the question thinks, middle class is not making $200,000, despite the fact that Aspen is the part-time home of many wealthy individuals. Harry and Lloyd weren’t even the wealthiest in Aspen — with the suitcase full of cash.

Related Articles