Posted by: rationalpsychic | Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Presidential Race is Heating Up

I have not really been too focused on the Presidential race right now. I figured that the interesting rhetoric that we would all howl at, take pot shots at or drink in like a smooth, oaky bourbon would not appear until the two conventions get going. However…

As a Democratic supporter, socialist leaner, I have to admit that I got my bib wet with drool when the following tidbits surfaced. They’re all the better because, even without much spin, they have a chewy texture that could keep us going for quite a while.

I love quoted material, this from a Washington Post website: “SEDONA, Ariz.– Sen. John McCain said in an interview that he did not know how many houses he and his wife own, a comment that Democrats immediately seized on as evidence that the Republican nominee is out of touch with the economic plight of most Americans.

‘I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,’ McCain told reporters for the Politico (click here for audio of the interview). ‘It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.’

The Democratic National Committee quickly send out a list noting that McCain owns at least seven different residences. That catalogue includes two homes in Phoenix — one of which is a $4.66 million condominium — and a $1.94 million vacation complex in Sedona, where he is spending this weekend before the Democratic convention.” More disastrous to contemplate: what if he can’t remember?

On the lighter side–at least in McCain’s mind–how about his definition of wealthy, rich, or top income bracket…how many ways can he spin this one in order to make himself sound in touch? Keep in mind that the top income tax bracket as defined by the IRS in 2007 listed $349,700 as the bottom of the highest bracket–to be taxed at a rate of 35%.

McCain’s answer to Rick Warren, the pastor of the Saddleback Church and moderator of the forum, wanted to

I earned $405,409 last year and Cindy brought home another $6M. But I know how you feel, working men and women!

"I earned $405,409 last year and Cindy brought home another $6M. But I know how you feel, working men and women!"

know what Obama and McCain each thought of as rich. McCain: “‘I think if you’re just talking about income, how about $5 million?'” Admittedly, shooting from the hip. But damn, John, how high do those hips go?

Since I know there will be those who were brought up on the Horatio Alger and his Ragged Dick stories, here are a few more bits of info from the LA Times article I’m drawing from.

How about a few bits of information from some folks paid to consider the question of economic wealth? “‘To be fair to both of them, “rich” is an adjective,’ said James P. Smith, a senior economist at the Rand Corp., a nonpartisan think thank in Santa Monica. ‘Economic science is not going to tell you that “this” is the cutoff point.’

Yet the $5-million level, Smith said, includes ‘almost nobody.’ Experts said that of all the households in the nation, fewer than one-tenth of 1% had an annual income of $5 million or more.

Ken Goldstein, an economist for the Conference Board, a business-research group based in New York, said he would define rich as income about $500,000 or more. ‘If you set the bar at half a million, you’re talking about the top 1% of taxpayers. If you think about the last eight years, those are the folks who have benefited the most.'”

So there you have it. My impression is: so what if McCain left his tables at home? Any fool knows that there aren’t many people making $5 million per year. Unless you’re a fool whose whole life revolves around NBA and NFL contracts. Even then, we Americans are front runners” (read Ball Four if I’m not getting through to you here). We see the tops in a given field and don’t realize that the minimum salary in the NBA is $442,114 rather than the multi-millions a few make. Not bad, if you can keep your knees from punking out on you.

How many of you out there have that realistic plan in place to put yourself in the top 1/10 of 1%, according to income, within the next 5 years?

If so, will you please share your plan? I’m broke and I’m not getting any younger.



  1. Upside of living outside of the U.S. right now = don’t have to dodge the mud getting slung around. 🙂

    Downside of living outside of the U.S. right now = can’t watch the Olympics. 😦

    Be sure to pass along that plan if you get anyone who tells you how to put themselves in that bracket.

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