Joshua Tucker gives a basic lesson in tax rates:
I just want to point out again that the current Democratic proposal for extending tax cuts is a tax cut for everyone who pays taxes. The cut off rate is for income over $250,000 (or $1,000,000, or whatever). But people who earn over $250,000 will still get a tax cut on their first $250,000 of income.
... if you want to talk about the policy proposal in terms of what will happens to the amount of taxes people are paying right now, it is correct that people earning over $250,000 will pay more taxes come January 1 if the Democratic plan passes, but only on income beyond $250,000. So if you make $250,001 a year, your tax rate will only increase on that last $1. But again, if you want to talk about extending the Bush tax cuts, the Democratic proposal ensures that those tax cuts will be extended to everyone for their first $250,000 of earned income.