(NPR) A central question of debate leading up to the Senate's passage of a sweeping tax overhaul plan asked which Americans need a boost. Economists say the Republicans' selling point for previous iterations of their legislation, that the plan is designed to benefit the middle class, has a shaky foundation — that the rich are the big winners.
And the middle class is already struggling. The median household income is roughly $59,000 a year. But around the country, even six-figure salaries for some single-person households don't necessarily furnish financial security.
"People feel like they haven't been getting ahead for a long time," says Jim Tankersley, who covers taxes and the economy for The New York Times.
People whose upper-class salaries are not keeping pace with their upper-class standards of living, Tankersley says, are often experiencing a lingering effect of the 2008 financial crisis.
NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke to a variety of people in different cities about what their lives look like on $100,000 a year. On paper, that kind of salary is considered well-off. But as we heard from many, it often takes just one major expense for that to not feel like enough: student loans, health care, childcare or housing costs.