Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Conservative Talk Radio Listener Profile

Gadabout believes that the success of talk radio (Rush and the like) is due to many middle class listeners believing that they are wealthier than they actually are. That is to say that the broad audience (who would be better off financially with higher taxes on the richest Americans) of such programs are unaware of financial entrenchment in the heart of the middle class. These listeners mistakenly side with wealthy Americans because of values and belief systems that denounce tax increases and incremental governmental growth. They appear to side with upper class simply on the basis of opposing ANY increase in taxation, even if it does not positively affect them as a group.

Take Social Security as an example. Social Security tax limits for 2008 have increased from $97,500 to $102,000. Workers making less than $102,000 are taxed at 15.3% (7.65% paid by the individual and another 7.65% paid by the employer). If you made exactly $102,000 the federal government would receive $15,606. Okay, how about if you made $204,000 (twice as much as the lowly $102,000 earner)? Well, the government receives $15,606, the exact same amount! Earn $1,000,000,000,000 a year and you pay the same amount: $15,606.

The federal income rates show similar trends. The middle bracket ranges between $77,000 and $160,000 and is anchored around 28%. Two higher brackets exist above $160,000 and $350,000, and top out at 35%. Yes, higher brackets exist, but they are offset by surprising low Social Security limits.

Who listens to Talk Radio? Well, I am going to guess that the majority is in the 28% tax bracket and don’t exceed the $102,000 Social Security limit. This group has been duped into believing that they are part of the highest classes in America, and that any increases in taxation would severely and negatively impact their little world. That’s my cut on it, anyway

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