This article gives some great examples of what this tax increase on the wealthy really looks like. To a player making $10 million a year, the proposed change of the tax rate would cost them about $400 thousand a year. That means Derek Jeter will pay about $900 thousand on his $20 million '09 salary. That's six games worth of pay, more or less.
Continuing to use Jeter as the example here, he now pays a 35% tax rate. Ignoring the deductions and other methods of reducing the tax burden as well as his other income, Jeter pays $7 million in federal income tax. That's a LOT of money, no doubt about it. I'm sure, somehow, Jeter will be able to make it without too big a hit on his lifestyle. Instead of pocketing a post-tax $13 million, he'll have $12 million.
But what if you're a normal American, not a Yankee. Well, you probably have more range, but that's another discussion. If you make $50,000, you'd be taxed at the current 28% rate, giving $14,000 to the IRS, again before deductions and other reductions. So you tell me, is it fair that someone making more is being taxed more? I'm not sure, but I'd guess that the effect is less. That $900 thousand isn't going to keep Jeter from eating, from buying a house, from paying his heating bill, or from jetting off to the Caymans with his hottie du jour. I'm not buying that it's patriotic, as Joe Biden suggested, but it's logical.