If there was a "gotcha" question in Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren's interviews with the presidential candidates Saturday, it was asking them each to take a shot at defining "rich." Barack Obama said people making more than $250,000 per year. John McCain went with $5 million—a figure he immediately regretted—"I'm sure that comment will be distorted," he added—and his campaign later claimed was a joke.
The answers reflect the differences in the candidates’ own tax brackets, the Los Angeles Times notes, as well as their policies: Obama has proposed tax hikes on those earning more than $250,000; McCain has proposed to extend tax cuts that benefit predominantly the wealthy. The paper asked some economists where they'd draw the line; all came in under $500,000. The $5-million level, one noted, includes "almost nobody." But then, 95% of Americans describe themselves as "middle class."