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  • Why Make $300,000 When $250,000 Is So Much More?

    The American dream used to consist of the one underlying principle that every generation had the opportunity to do better than the generation that preceded it. Sometimes this dream is realized in grand fashion as it is with our President, who was raised by a single mother with a father he barely knew living on another continent and who had access to school choice programs. Sometimes it simply means making a little more, living in a better neighborhood and sending your kids to a better school or even college through whatever opportunity exists.

    Earlier this morning, Erin Burnett of CNBC said: “I just came back from Asia, and that’s a place where people talk about ‘Hey I made more money than my parents made’, and that’s the way this country used to feel. And we can go back to that again, where people have a broader optimism about where the country is going, and I think that’s what we’re suffering from. We can get that back.”

    Erin is exactly right that the feeling in America today is less optimistic than it was even recently. However, it is unlikely that the nation will return to that perpetual state of hopefulness any time soon. Especially, when it makes more economic sense to earn less money in America, rather than do well and give it all to the government.

    ABC News reports that upper income taxpayers are now searching for ways to cut their income rather than become a victim of President Obama’s agenda to penalize families making $250,000. It is unlikely that at any other time in American history, has a more compelling argument been made that is best to underachieve. That economic security means earning less money. And that the fear of the government targeting you as an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or even a moderately successful investor is a real and legitimate fear.

    Take the 63 year old attorney in Lafayette, Louisiana who said: “We have to find a way out where we can make just what we need to just under the line so we can benefit from Obama’s tax plan,” She added, “why kill yourself working if you’re going to give it all away to people who aren’t working as hard?”

    In order for her to do this, she tells ABC News that she is going to have to drop clients she has counseled for years. Or consider Dr. Sharon Poczatek, the dentist in Boulder, Colorado who said she would probably start working fewer days, “which means having fewer employees, seeing fewer patients and taking time off.”

    Dr. Poczatek put it best when she said: “The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make, but if I’m going to be working just to give it back to the government — it’s de-motivating and demoralizing.”

    This is coupled with President Obama’s plan to significantly cut tax deductions for charitable donations for the earners over $250,000. These cuts are “are projected to help raise $634 billion for a kind of big federal piggy bank that would be used to extend health coverage to the more than 47 million people in America who are uninsured and subsidize premiums for others who can’t afford what they have.”

    Essentially this allows President Obama and Congress to decide who gets the charitable portion of your income as Robert F. Sharpe Jr., a fund-raising expert points out: “The administration’s proposal is doing just that, reordering charitable priorities by taking money wealthy people would have given to other charities and making it go into the health care system through higher taxes.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), said the potential loss of philanthropic giving is “clearly one of our concerns.”

    So while charities that research cures for Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) or breast cancer struggle to maintain donation levels, and as donors decide what areas of their annual budget to trim in lieu of higher taxes; President Obama is planning on spending the government’s windfall to fund a national health care system that could mirror Canada and Britain’s. These systems, by design, limit access to early detection of ALS or breast cancer by stalling access to specialists and treatments through bureaucratic red tape. It could be labeled ironic if it wasn’t so preventable.

    So while the debate continues on the President’s budget, and the omnibus and the stimulus and the trillions of dollars of new government debt, it is becoming increasingly clear who will be the victims of this tax and spend nightmare. First, it will be the entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers who will cut back hours and eliminate jobs to get under the President’s threshold for redistribution. Second, it will be the charities that these Americans already gave to so generously.

    Mark Ambinder of the Atlantic tells us to basically get over it. “If wealthy people want to give money, then they should give, regardless of tax benefits.” His presumption is that the wealthy will continue to give, and those that use charity as a “tax dodge” are beyond helping ignores the immediate argument that giving your money to the government means you have less to give in the first place. When you have less money, you make different decisions on how to spend it. Period. Although it is refreshing to see someone is optimistic.

    So in the end, we should stop feeling “de-motivated” and “demoralized” and let the government make our hiring decisions, and our charitable contributions. They know better, right? America’s spirit isn’t exactly the deflation they had in mind, but after all, $250,000 is the new $300,000.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    46 Responses to Why Make $300,000 When $250,000 Is So Much More?

    1. Kevin Bree,VA says:

      It reminds me of when a millionaire was defined as anyone who made $250,000; what a coincidence!

    2. Kelly Brannon, Texas says:

      I never believed from the very beginning of Obama's campaigning that his "heart" was in the right place to HELP AMERICA in any way.

      All my life I have been instructed to "go with my gut feeling and follow my instincts", I DID and I am glad that I did not help put him in office, although he is there in spite of that fact…AND he's there without ever having to show that he is even ELIGIBLE to sit in the Oval Office as President of the United States of America.

      He is wrecking our economy and our country as fast as he possibly can ….for some reason, Hmmmm…I wonder why that could possibly be??

      Feeling "de-motivated and demoralized" is not even the word for the way we are feeling….it's more like being "molested"!!

      My husband is an american truckdriver and I will enjoy having him at HOME MORE from now on if it means that by earning less, Obama will get less of our hard-earned, sacrificed for income to give to people who gladly hold out there hand every month for a welfare check etc, yet stand in the grocery line and buy 48 bottles of beer with it. I see it EVERY DAY…people who use their Lone Star card (food stamps) for their food and then whip out cash for booze. PLEEEASE!!! These are people who LIKE the way their life is…they get cheap housing, welfare checks, food stamps, healthcare and have a Cadillac Escalade with 22" super shiny spinning rims sitting in their driveway of their public housing. Are you kidding me? WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO TRRRY???? They are COMFORTABLE with their lives the way it is and are about to get even more COMFORTABLE from the looks of things to come.

      I believe in every society there truly ARE those human beings who suffer, who NEED HELP and ASSISTANCE and they SHOULD BE LOOKED OUT FOR COMPLETELY, however…we have in America, a situation created by giving out welfare to ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE who CAN WORK and CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES..instead, they live on the welfare system their entire lives and so do their children, and their children and so on…IT'S DISGUSTING to watch. Why would they want to do good in school, go on to college and MAKE SOMETHING OF THEMSELVES when their family has made it just fine by taking welfare handouts their entire life!! THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM IN AMERICA THAT NEEDS TO COME TO A SCREECHING HAULT!!!! The entire welfare system needs a good going over to weed out these generations of able-bodied people who are just too lazy to WORK FOR A LIVING LIKE THE REST OF US OUT HERE! What about FREE EVERYTHING FOR ILLEGALS??? Ughhh, don't even get me started on that one. Could we cross the border into Mexico and have their government make sure we have medical care and other essentuals while we came into THEIR COUNTRY ILLEGALLY??? You MUST be joking…NO WAY.

      I'd better go…this is making me furious to even talk about it.



    3. John Galt says:



    4. Joe Barber, SC says:

      Eye opening. I didn't realize the overall effect that the $250,000 income limit would have.

    5. Robert Mrava, New Be says:

      I heard about you guys on Sean Hannity,keep up the good work.I know many loyal Americans are sick over what is happening to this country and would like to contribute in some way to combat this wasteful foolishness.Please keep me informed of all I and others of my sort can do to help

    6. Joe Steeves, CA says:

      Consequences are something politicians seem to ignore. As long as it sounds good they are for it. Universal health care…who could be against that? Would someone please show me a system that really works? War on poverty. The poor are still with us and as a matter of fact the average African American family was better off before we started to give away billions of dollars. Don't even start on education. We spend 14k per student in the District of Columbia and we get one of the worse systems in the nation.But what do we do? We keep spending money even though it is obvious that it is not working. They appointed a new superintendent but the unions fight her at every turn.

    7. Bronson Stocking, CA says:

      Obama's rule of thumb for charitable giving is 1% of your AGI, unless your running for President of the United States, you might want to up that to 4% like he did.

      When Obama made $350,000.00 he gave only 3,500.00 (1%)

      When Obama made 1,000,000.00 the year before running for President, he gave only $60,000.00 (6%)

      So its safe to conclude the President has never had an appreciation for charitable donations, and it seems that tax deductions are the only reason he ever donated at all — well, that and a political campaign.

    8. Pingback: Obama’s Tax Plan: The Debate « Moody’s Pen

    9. Tom, Grahamsville, N says:

      Zero sum taxation. These socialist think that the number of a given group of taxpayers will never go down…but it always does when theyattack that group. Remember the truckers tax?


    10. Tony , The Land of 1 says:

      If my mother were sitting at the dinner table with me I would tell her she is part of the problem, she would tell me I'm wrong and full of lies, and I would have to call her something that you wouldn't want to print. It's very dissapointing to be at odds with your own family. Especially when they lived through and felt the pain of Jimmy "The Peanut" Carter. The point I try to make when I do talk to them is the stealing of their grandchildrens opportunity for a better life. This administration, not just the ineligible for office Obama, but all of the Liberals in Congress and a good number of RINO's, are STEALING!!!

    11. Bluezguise - NJ says:

      While Pres. BO is busily raising direct and indirect taxes and other fees, the states are following suit by increasing local and property taxes. This is driving up the cost of homeownership to such a degree that it is depressing the value of real estate. We are caught in a bizarre drama where government is propping up mortgages with the same taxes that are decreasing the property value thereby leaving the banks more vulnerable to default, homeowners with decreasing equity and potential buyers, thinking, "why bother?"

    12. Tony, Houston, Texas says:

      This article makes the exact point I've been making to friends and family. I have a full-time job (lucky, I know) as an engineer. For the past five years I have also had a very robust one-man consulting practice. I spend roughly 2400 hours per year at my full time job and another 800-1000 hours consulting. The consulting practice does sustain jobs other than mine because I purchase products and services I otherwise would not.

      I am a very driven individual, but the Obama plan gives me absolutely no incentive or motivation for working nights and weekends and busting my butt, while the guy across the street or a block over is hardly working, and getting all types of incentives, assistance and tax breaks I do not.

      While the economy has taken its toll on my consulting practice, Obama has put the nail in its coffin. Where is the motivation to continue if for only pride and personal satisfaction? It is certainly not for financial gain or "getting ahead" anymore.

      My parents and grandparents would be ashamed of what is happening to this great nation. I'm afraid that the blood they (and we) have spilled fighting for freedom and democracy may be in vain as we slip towards socialism and Marxism. Sad.

    13. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      The danger I see if the AFTER result of the first years failed attempt at taxes. He will have failed miserably and then what…. What does every "enlightend dictator" do when the miserable wretches wont play ball? He has both houses. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. $250,000.00 is just the start IMHO.

    14. TedN, St. Petersburg says:

      This administration is “disconnected” from the realities of our economic system. Why punish success and encourage non production at a time when our survival depends on exactly that? More nationalizing of health care will increase demand (being free to customers) while the supply of providers will be drying up! This is oxymoronic and inconsistent economic policy.

    15. Robert, Southern Cal says:

      I have a tip for all you hard-working, pedal-to-the-metal, don't-stop-til-you-drop capitalists out there. "Trusts". One clear way to (try) and avoid this monstrous taxation binge is to create a trust. Whereby you separate yourself from the long arm of the socialist in the White House. The Kennedy's have themselves set up with thousands of trusts. I don't believe anyone from Camelot has paid a penny in taxes for decades. Ask around, find out… it may cost a few extra bucks up front, but in the long haul, may save you a ton! That is my plan. To all you hard-working, pedal-to-the-metal, don't-stop-til-you-drop capitalists… I love you guys!!!

    16. John Winston S says:

      I am 62 years old and have always been told to work hard has its benefits. I don't see that now. I am scared as to what type of world we are making for our grandchildren. We will be gone but it we don't fight somehow, how will we make it any better for our kids. After four years there won't be anything left for them. We have got to figure out how we can get changes made now. I am ready to help, somehow.

    17. jac mills, loudon, T says:

      I am a refugee from living under socialism — three times — and can tell anyone who hasn't tried it and has an ounce of gray matter, "You will not like it." The system fosters cheating on income reporting, a mindset of milking the system before it milks you, and the adoption of a "Who cares?" and a "Why should I?" attitude. Not only do the doctors, dentists and lawyers reduce their ambitions, the average working man and woman do likewise with their work and, eventually, even with their lives. Take a good look at the United Kingdom today, and ponder. It is a no-hope prospect.

    18. Philip Hixon, Oklahoma says:

      My wife and I spent this weekend discussing how we could reduce our taxable income to keep President Obama from confiscating it for condoms, tattoo removal and socialized medicine. I am glad that we are not alone. The irony of it all is that, if we were not motivated to enagae in such an exercise, we might be in the market to replace our American made car with another American made car or otherwise spend our discretionary income. Keep up the good work, President Obama.

    19. ra,ohio says:

      The problem with socialism is it eventually runs out of money.

      At the speed this government is moving that won't be too long, and the country will be in the tank.

      Call your representatives and senators and give them a piece of your mind.

    20. Eileen says:

      Open invitation to a great conservative blog website where honest debates on the issues is always welcomed. Stop by for a visit and sit a spell. It is my favorite conservative site and we are generally civil and respectfully to one another opinions and enjoy civil debates on all the current issues. The web address is http://noleftturnz.wordpress.com/

    21. JanH, Florida says:

      Dr. Sharon Bonnie Poczatek makes $320,000 a year and wants to reduce her earnings to under $250,000 to avoid a tax increase. Our income tax system is progressive; meaning earners only pay a higher tax rate on the part of their salary that is over the cut off. Let's look as some calculations on Dr. Poczatek's plan.

      Tax rate increase over $250,000 goes from 35% to 39%

      At current rate, she pays $24,500 on the $70,000 over $250,000 cutoff and keeps $45,500.

      At 39% she will pay $27,300 on the $70,000 and keep $42,700.


      Glad she isn't MY dentist!

    22. FRANK E. MEHLER JR, says:

      I manage a small manufacturing plant. There is no way we will be able to survive the increases in taxation. Even if we were to double our income through miraculous means, the Obama tax attitude is removing all incentive to increase productivity to earn a greater profit. Obama is anti profit and therefore anti business. The additional taxes in the form of new regulations and penalties for using carbon based energy and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts are just the tip of the iceberg. Increases in the cost of employee health care benefits have just risen 40% over last year and the outlook is governement is going to make that go even higher. No small business can absorb that kind of cost. We will be fortunate to last through 2010. I am 61 and saw over 50% of my retirement savings lost. The outlook Obama presents is deathlike.

    23. Steve says:

      I'll say it again–Obama is propped up by overseas supporters who hate this nation. He is here with one lifelong goal to tear this country apart. He is not who he claims to be. He is not American or he would prove his birth questions. Why doesn't he make public his college transcripts? I think would also prove him not being qualified to be President.

      He is way over his head now and it will catch up to him- the public will slowly wake up and explain to blacks they picked the wrong black man to go goo-goo over. Where is J.C. Watts when you need him?

    24. Katie, Nashville TN says:

      It seems to me that we have reached a point of civil war, hopefully minus the guns. The long war that we capitalist have fought against socialism and communism has become a class war in our own house. The question will be how hard are we willing to fight to preserve our way of life. A way of life that has been, for two centuries, a guiding light for many as well as a source of envious hate for many many others.

    25. Gregory Clifton Moli says:

      Are there no humanitarians left anymore? Is everything only about greed and avarice? Competition in it's truest form is destructive and fosters more greed and avarice. Sometimes it's about the collective not the self centered greed of the individual. Life is not a game of ingenuity but one of integrity, caring and helping your fellowman. Light and Love

    26. Dick Hansen, San Die says:

      I thank God every day for all the right (correct) thinkers such as The Heritage Foundation and the many prominant consevative supporters from Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh on down the long list. I have a feeling that it may be awhile before the majority of Americans understand what a terrible thing it is that Obama is doing. My only hope is, that he hasn't done irreparable harm to our economy by the time we are able to change course. Righting the ship of state would be great only if there are survivors.

    27. Cindy, San Diego says:

      I must agree, the goal is to keep it under $250,000 as a married couple. Am I correct it is under $200,000 for a single person? I suppose divorce will rise because there is such an huge penalty for filing married. Two single people could cohabitat and earn $400,000 before getting hit.

      The children would be so enriched don't you agree.

    28. Perry Gard says:

      I sense that there are a whole lot of people out there who are frustrated and want to do something but are at a loss as to how to proceed. May I suggest you unburden yourself by writing to Obama at The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington. D. C. I guarantee it will be read. If enough "Joe the Plumbers" write often enough we will be heard.

    29. Amber, Kansas City says:

      I am just sick of people making money at tax time. They call it a refund for a reason — it is set up to give you back the money you paid in. If you are getting more, you are making money on my taxes. Not cool. I don't make anywhere near $250k; my husband and I pull a cool $42k. That's it, but we're paying taxes like crazy while our friends with identical incomes (my husband and his buddy work together at same pay and I and buddy's wife work together at same pay) raked in over $4200 at tax time! It's a joke. A refund should ONLY be for what you paid in–and then think of all the money the gov't would have left!

    30. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      The key phrase here is,"Universal Health Care", just incase no one noticed. Our MD., a general Medical Practitioner, here in Oregon, currently pays 50% of her gross salary for 'Mal-Practice' Insurance.

      Mr. Obama's plan specifically states that thou shalt not deduct Insurance premiums prior to taxes, along with a number of other deductions that we can no longer deduct, like our State Taxes.

      In order for our MD. to be able to pay for her office, staff, thier benefits and taxes, 'Mal-Practice' ect.,she has to gross over $500,000. That is with long, long hours of work!

      Take away the deductions and what does that leave her? Probably less than a McDonald's buger flipper! Think she is going to stay in practice? She is dedicated, but she's not stupid.

      That's where Mr. Obama's Universal Health Care comes in—the Government pays all the overhead! Meaning we the people pay all the overhead.

      Even crime wouldn't pay if the Government ran it!


    31. Carol, Kansas says:

      Perry, you're going to have to do more than write letters. This administration doesn't care what you or any of us think.

    32. Barb -mn says:

      Will we be heard? And if we are, we will be targeted. INDIVIDUALLY AND SILENCED.

    33. Tom Ballard, Sacrame says:

      JanH – you are only looking at the increase in the marginal tax rates. The real damage is done in loss of deductions that pushes up the effective tax rate considerably.

    34. Karen, Indiana says:


      Nationwide tea party April 15th…. go there and click on your state and join like minded Americans to stop this radical change of America.

    35. Pingback: Obama’s Economy « Liberty and Justice for All

    36. Doug, Pennsylvania says:


      Concerning the dentist Dr. Sharon Bonnie Poczatek… perhaps you didn't read President Obama's new tax plan. Not that I can blame you… most of the senators and representatives probably didn't/won't either. You left out one little detail that raises the top bracket to approx 42% (not 39.6%… although you wrote only 39%) according to most estimates. The reduction in charitable deductions and mortgage interest. So, you would need to add approx $5200 to your $2800 figure. Thus, the total taxes on the $70,000 would be $32,920 (not $27,300 as you said). Leaving $37,080. If she chose to forgo that amount (as she says she is going to), she can work 55 less days per year (20% reduction in total earnings x approx 255 work days per year for non-government employees).

      And what you might not understand is many people STILL do things based on the 'principle' of things… rather than just a calculator. You see, to her the extra $37,080 isn't worth giving up on her principles that a hard days work should benefit the one who does that hard days work. But, when she can't participate in nearly half of the return for her efforts… sometimes someone decides that it just isn't worth it.

      I wonder if you had made the same argument to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson if they would've agreed with you or not. Granted, their reasonings boiled down to 'taxation without representation'. But, the amount of tax on the tea that they were disputing with the British about? It was the huge amount of 3%.

      I understand that under social redistribution of income and assets that everyone will be more 'equal'. But, everyone will also be more equally 'poorer' as a result. Be careful Washington. You are about to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!

    37. John, San Francisco says:

      Reading the other comments of like-thinkers helps me feel not so alone. I live in the belly of the radically left beast. I am a physician who is one of those wage earners in the cross-hairs of Obama's economic weapon of mass destruction. I'm planning on an early retirement in an attempt to keep my financial head down below his line of fire–one more MD not available to respond to the demand for free health care. I will probably move to Nevada to avoid California's increasingly abusive income taxes as well. How demoralizing. It does feel like I'm being molested.

    38. Bob S., IL says:

      I wonder if our modern day "Robin Hood" is even familiar with the groups he is advocating.

      I would like to consider myself a man of principle, and being a God fearing Christian, I am reminded every Sunday to help my fellow man. How, though, am I supposed to want to help someone who is clearly an able-bodied individual who has come to expect hand-outs without so much as a drop of his own sweat? After all, God helps those who help themselves, right? Faceless government agencies have proven time and again that they are too large and shoddily run to effectively weed out the abusers of what is no longer even considered a privelege but now is a right. I was not taught, nor will I teach my children, that it is O.K. to give a minimal amount of effort and abuse the largesse of others.

      I worked hard for everything I own by the sweat of my brow. The callouses on my hands remind me every day that I am at least trying to do my part. And how dare ANYONE tell me that my desire for something better for my family(i.e.; a larger home, a more comfortable life) amounts to greed and avarice! And why can't I, or my church, or some other small and personable community organization decide as to who will aid from me? I want to look in a person's eyes and know that they are honest and sincere about making their own way. And a young physically viable man with no job, three children from three different women, and a souped up car with chrome rims that COST MORE THAN MY WORK TRUCK is not that person.

    39. Herman Sampson says:

      I'm probably more liberal than 99.9% of contributors here. My income also will leave me vulnerable to the new tax laws. I don't like what I'm going to have to pay, but the money will come from somewhere and trickle down doesn't work.

      I think in a (nearly) perfect world, we would have a flat income tax and either a VAT or consumption tax. Unfortunately, either probably would kill the economy at this point.

      I think we also would maintain social safety nets but put time limits on them. Enforced education and job training, WPA-style programs, and military service could be options.

      The contributor who comments on the dentist's income is right; the increased income tax represents a marginal rate. You do realize diminishing marginal returns as your income goes up in our tax code, but your after tax home income does not decrease due to this increase.

      But wait, the other parts of the new tax plan may decrease after tax income. These include the loss of the charity deduction and the recalculation of the mortgage interest deduction from the marginal tax rate over $250K to 28%.

      The charity and mortgage interest deduction eliminations, frankly, were stupid. Degrees of altruism aside, how much you can deduct for many people will alter the amount given or the gifts to "second choice" charities.

      A better way would have been to tie charity deductions to consumption (take home income-savings). People who have $100K of consumption per year most likely have less latitude in charitable giving than those who have $300K of consumption per year. This is going to hurt charities.

      Finally, this tax plan is nothing new; it's just bigger. Anyone who has lived with AMT realizes that.

    40. Pingback: Americans Will Not Forsake Their Freedom to Elected Tyrants

    41. Pingback: Socialist Sneer at Tea Party Efforts « Temple of Mut

    42. Financial Samurai says:

      Ahhhh, I love this debate! I have a raging comment over at http://www.financialsamurai.com where I argue why a Flat Tax is Fair!

      See you guys over there.

    43. Bill says:

      If you are an attorney and you have to drop clients to get under an income level then you are a crappy attorney. You are not using your brain. It's not how much you make, its how much you have left over. You are a fool to not reinvest that income somewhere else to avoid the extra income and income taxes.

      Even as a small business owner, I look at my years income and decide where I am going to invest my income back into my business or elsewhere to reduce my income taxes. If you are really an attorney and victimized by the system and can't figure out how to lower your tax burden then you get what you deserve and I believe you are not working as hard as you say you are. Stop being so stupid and crying about what business owners and leaned people have been doing legally for years.

    44. allyson, raleigh says:

      The new sloggan for the people of America should be, no representation without taxation. Everyone should pay, our system will not breed compasion and charity without fairness, and responsibile spending from goverment. That would urge compassion from the community, where it would be the most efficient and effective.

    45. R Davis, Klamath Fal says:

      Is the $250000 gross income or taxable income?

    46. Mendel Potok says:

      I don't see how $250,000 in yearly income is anything near underachievement! You can have a VERY luxurious lifestyle making that much. And I don't really get the argument that you can be a good Christian and not help people you deem unworthy of help. That isn't up to you to decide, that's god's decision. You keep your hand out regardless, otherwise you aren't any good to anyone.


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