Ramesh Ponnuru, Fool
David Warsh Has Lost His Mind

Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned-and-Smoking Watch (Lori Montgomery and V. Dion Haynes Edition)

Is there any reason--other than a combination of incompetence and political bias--that the second half of the lead sentence is not "but she and her husband make more money than all but 0.6% and are in the richest 800,000 of the 140,000,000 American households"?


Montgomery and Haynes:

Small Businesses Brace for Tax Battle: Gail Johnson doesn't think of herself as wealthy. The former pediatric nurse has spent 20 years building a chain of preschools and after-school programs that accommodate sick children so working parents can keep their jobs.... In a typical year, she and her husband make more than $500,000, according to her accountant, a figure that throws them squarely into the ranks of the richest Americans -- and makes them a prime target for the Obama administration's tax policy.... If Obama's tax plans are enacted, her accountant estimates that her federal tax bill -- typically, around $120,000 a year -- would rise by at least $23,000, a 19 percent increase. "You hear 'tax the rich,' and you think, 'I don't make that much money,'" said Johnson, whose Rainbow Station programs are headquartered near Richmond. "But then you realize: 'Oh, if I put my business income with my wages, then, suddenly, I'm there'"...

Plus the special bonus:

Small Businesses Brace for Tax Battle: Republicans and business groups argue that Obama's plan to tax the rich would strike some of the nation's most productive businesses.... Most of these businesses make much less than $200,000 a year, though the precise figure is in dispute. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has said the tax increase would affect about 2 percent of taxpayers with small-business income. An analysis by the Bush Treasury Department found that 7 percent of filers with business profit were in the top brackets in 2006. More recently, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which evaluates tax policy for Congress, projected that 3 percent of filers with business profits -- about 750,000 taxpayers -- were likely to face higher taxes in 2011 under Obama's proposal. Whatever the figure, Republicans argue that those who fall into the upper brackets tend to be firms with the greatest capacity for job creation...

Montgomery and Haynes can't be bothered to use Teh Google to even try to find out why opinions on shape of earth differ. If they had:

Chye-Ching Huang and James Horney: [M]any of the roughly 650,000 [high income] filers with small-business income... are merely passive investors who have nothing to do with running the business.... [T]he [Bush] Treasury Department [uses a] relatively broad definition of “small business.” Under the Treasury definition, for example, the $84 of income President Bush received in 2001 from a passive investment in an oil and gas company7 made him a “small-business owner.” About 35 percent of “small-business owners” with incomes above $200,000, and about 58 percent of “small-business owners” with incomes over $1 million, received some or all of their business income in the form of passive investments. The Treasury definition also counts as “small-business income” the fees that CEOs are paid for sitting on corporate boards...

they would have found out--surprise, surprise--that the Democrats' number is the right one if you are worrying about not the income of the rich guy but the capacity for job creation.