1. You are misinterpreting my point about trading places. We are essentially arguing the same thing, but at different price points. Yes, your mom would gladly pay a couple thousand in taxes to jump to 30K income. But remove the arbitrary line of $24K and the same argument applies to all salaries. Someone making $10K / year would gladly pay $500 in taxes if it meant their salary could be increased to $19K / year. The point being, no matter what salary level you are at, there is always someone who would trade you places (even if it meant they had to pay a little in income tax).
2. I wasn't arguing that we should reduce taxes on the rich. I'm only saying everyone should pay something. They are not mutually exclusive. Whether it's $75B or $1B in additional tax revenue, it's still a significant amount of money that could be used. No, it's not going to solve the debt crisis, but a billion dollars still buys about 25,000 new teachers like your mom.
3. Like you, I have been on both sides of the income spectrum. The first year I filed taxes (working part-time in college), I was absolutely shocked to find out I was getting a refund check for the exact amount that I paid in. What was so special about me that I was exempt from paying my share of taxes? It wasn't a lot of money so neither paying it throughout the year nor receiving the small check back at the end of the year had any siginificant effect on me. However, 10 years later, seeing ~35% of my salary go to taxes and still having to pay more at the end of the year, I realized what all the hoopla over taxes was about. I didn't complain too much (obviously I was living better than before), but I assure you it wasn't a "barely-noticeable" tax.
Honestly, I don't think we are too far apart on our views. I applaud you for wanting to help those 10 families by paying an extra $1000 in taxes. I wish there were more people like you. But I also don't think you are giving enough respect to wealthy people. Most are not selfish, greedy and completely unware as you characterize them. As your $1T figure illustrates, they are already paying 90% of the taxes to help the less fortunate. That's pretty generous if you ask me.
Like I said before, I'm not suggesting giving the wealthy more advantages so they can further take adavantage of the poor. I'm simply saying everyone should have some skin in the game. Whether it's $10 or $500 doesn't matter. We should all be doing our part for the greater good of the community.