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<there wasn't anything obviously inflammatory about it.>

Like the old saying goes, if 10 people tell you you're drunk, go home & lie down, regardless of how you think you feel.

You wrote:
<Granted - but I think that's more due to the type of people [emphasis added] they are than the amount they can contribute. I suspect that many of the same people would contribute no more to an IRA if their
income went up $10k or more.>

I think most people assumed that you were saying that ALL people in the lowest income tax bracket are shiftless spendthrifts; i.e., 'poor' people are poor because of a character defect which prevents them from saving money, regardless of their income level. Whether or not you intended to say that is another issue, but that's what it sounded like to me.
What you might have said (without fear of contradiction or causing offense) is that Americans, in general, at all income levels save very little and that that would account for the low levels of IRA savings which Ray was speculating about.

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