I've been watching some of the early rhetoric in the political campaign about 'the wealthiest Americans" and their tax responsibility. While candidates throw this term around quite loosely I have never seen one define what qualifies a person to being among the wealthiest Americans. Lately I have been required to study a considerable amount about tax code and law. (far more than any human should have to!) I have not found any clear and consistent answer within about the definition of "Wealthiest American". There are a myriad of breakpoints and thresholds for an assortment of brackets, credits, phase-outs etc. There does not seem to be a set standard between the various items. I know the income levels for the top 5%, top 1%, etc. of earners in America. Does being the highest earner out of 20 people make one wealthy? That would seem a low threshold. Highest earner out of 100? That would still mean there are millions of people in America who could call themselves the "Wealthiest". Is it a fixed dollar amount with inflation adjustments? What would that amount be? Does it vary by region? Marital status? I am very curious about the income definition of wealthy. I want to know if public perception is similar or relevant to IRS policy. I wonder how much the definition varies across income strata (Does a person earning $40,000/yr consider wealthy to mean the same as someone earning $150,000/yr) The whole issue fascinates me. What are your thoughts?