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This raises the question of what, in all of those public speeches, is meant by 'if you earn more than....'

Of course, this depends on the final bill that ultimately, after final mark-up, is passed and becomes law. But I often wonder which of the following the spoken word is referring to:

1. Compensation inccome only. This most closely matches the words "if you make more than...", because to "make" money you must be working, and this implies a W2 or schedule C, net of pretax contributions such as contributions to one's retirement plan. But then, this definition of 'earned' would exclude those like Buffet and hedge fund managers with virtually no earned income but huge unearned income (interest and capital gains), which would be excluded from whatever surtax is being referred to.

2. Gross Income

3. Adjusted Gross Income

4. Modified Adjusted Gross Income

5. Taxable Income before credits

I'd guess they are really referring to Adjusted Gross Income.

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