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Home>UPDATE: Gary Cohn apparently doesn't know what things cost

UPDATE: Gary Cohn apparently doesn't know what things cost

UPDATE: Gary Cohn apparently doesn't know what things cost

09/29/2017

By Mike Murphy

$1,000 won't get you far if you want a car, a new kitchen or a vacation

Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser, defended the Republicans' new tax plan Thursday, but some of his comments left people wondering if he's out of touch with reality -- or has ever watched HGTV.

Cohn was referring to the potential tax break for a "typical" family with two children making $100,000 a year.

For starters, that income is way above the "typical" American family. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income was $59,039 in 2016 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/poverty-rate-drops-as-median-income-climbs-over-3-2017-09-12). The average American household is a bit higher than that: $74,000 in 2016 (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/27/how-your-spending-compares-to-the-average-american-and-us-government.html), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but still a far cry from six figures.

And good luck buying a car, renovating a kitchen or taking a vacation for $1,000.

According to Kelly Blue Book (https://mediaroom.kbb.com/2017-02-01-New-Car-Transaction-Prices-Remain-High-Up-More-Than-3-Percent-Year-Over-Year-In-January-2017-According-To-Kelley-Blue-Book), the average new car cost nearly $35,000 as of January 2017. Used cars are always a cheaper option, but the average used car still goes for about $19,000, according to Edmunds (https://dealers.edmunds.com/static/assets/articles/2017_Feb_Used_Market_Report.pdf).

As for a kitchen renovation, $1,000 might get you a fridge (http://www.sears.com/appliances-refrigerators/b-1020022?sortOption=UNITS_HIGH_TO_LOW), but not much else. While a smaller remodel -- which includes painting, refacing cabinets, upgrading the sink and adding a tile backsplash -- can be done for about $10,000 to $15,000, according to HomeAdvisor.com (http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/kitchens/remodel-a-kitchen/), the average American kitchen remodel costs $21,800.

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