OK, maybe not all of us.
But according to a study I recently received from SmartAsset, a financial technology company, St. Tammany Parish ranks among the top parishes in Louisiana when it comes to highest net wealth.
I have a funny feeling there aren’t too many of you who suddenly feel so happy thanks to my news.
The study showed that the average income for St. Tammany residents is $30,948—which ranked as the highest in the state.
Then when you consider debt, the survey showing the highest net worth for residents of any parish in the state had St. Tammany coming in third. St. James was first and St. Charles was second.
You can make what you want from the stats, but I think we all know that these kinds of numbers are relative to each individual situation.
For someone making $30,948 a year it probably doesn’t seem like much money. But if you are a young kid right out of high school and were making $30K a year you would probably feel rich.
My grandson Zach is quite happy when I give him a $5 bill.
By the same token, I know plenty of people making $100,000 a year and even $200,000 a year and they don’t feel rich. That’s because the federal government takes what seems to be a lot of money from people who start making more money.
I wonder how many people realize how much the federal tax brackets are when you step up with your income.
If you make up to $9,275 you are taxed at a 10 percent rate by the federal government. From $9,276 to $37,650 the rate is 15 percent. Once you pass that level you are jacked up to a 25 percent tax bracket as long as you don’t make over $91,150.
So for those making in the $100K to $190K bracket you are being taxed 28 percent, and once over $190K you pay a third of whatever you make—33 percent—to the federal government.
The top tax bracket is 39.6 percent for those making over $415,000.
I know many people are probably reading this and thinking, “yea, if someone makes $415,000 they should pay a lot of taxes!” And don’t forget this doesn’t include state taxes.
As for me, I think there is something wrong with so many individuals who chase the American Dream by starting their own business—something that provides jobs and puts money in the coffers of government—but must give the feds a third of what they make.
I guess the reason it bothers me is because we all know where a huge chunk of that money is going—to support so many individuals who don’t want to work or take care of themselves.
There is a story I recently wrote about a man from Slovakia, who came to this country seeking the “American Dream,” as so many people do. He told me that when he was living in that country before Communism was ended it was the law for you to work.
“If you lived there, you went to work or you went to jail,” he told me.
OK, I don’t want Communism here, but I do agree with having some kind of laws that require people to do something, anything for the checks they receive from the government. I do support assistance for people working, but not making enough money, is absolutely something that should also be considered—if you are working and trying to take care of yourself and your family but things are still tough, then yes, I’ll be the first one in line to help.
But for those who simply live off the government—and you know there are plenty in that boat—we need some real, honest reform and it has to start with the billions of dollars going to entitlement programs, not by taxing hard-working Americans and business people to the max.
Hello, Mr. Trump? Got a plan?
There are a lot of things that are interesting at public meetings and one of them that get my attention is the person called on to say a prayer to start the gathering.
That’s not an easy job—public prayer. Most people I know cringe at the idea that they would be called to do that. Fortunately, I can pull off a prayer without advance notice if I have to, but I do acknowledge it’s a special talent to quickly, with little practice, pray out loud and in public.
I guess that, in itself, is a shame when you think about it. I believe our Founding Fathers didn’t have that problem, but we know that public prayer has gone the way of other things.
Back to the topic at hand. I just wanted to give props to the guys who are regularly called to do it for Slidell City Council meetings. Jay Newcomb, Bill Borchert and Sam Caruso seem to be the main “prayer warriors” if they even mind me calling them that.
It’s obvious the leadership there knows who to call and who not to call, but I must say those guys always do a good job in what I know is not the easiest calling in the world.
(Kevin Chiri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)