I was sitting in my living room nestled down in my favorite chair, slippers on and sipping some of the wife’s great coffee, when presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States John McCain appeared on my television screen.
I have always liked John McCain, maverick of the United States Senate, a true American hero. The television news reporter posed a question to John, “What is the income level beneath which you would classify a person as middle class?” McCain’s answer was quick and straight forward; “five million dollars.” Then he laughed and said he wanted everyone in America to be rich.
McCain was asked this question because of ads his campaign is running attacking Barack Obama for proposing an increase in taxes on those Americans earning more than $250,000 per year. According to the U.S Census Bureau 2006 Economic Survey Income Data Report only 19.26% of American households had incomes exceeding $100,000. That means over 80% of American families earn less than $100,000 annually. The Census Bureau survey was completed in 2006 and overall incomes have declined since then.
Additionally, according to the Treasury Department and Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, joint returns with more than $250,000 adjusted gross income and single returns with more than $125,000 adjusted gross income together are estimated to make up only 3.1 percent of households in 2009.
Let that sink in… more than eighty percent of American families earn less than $100,000 a year and only 3.1 percent of American families earn more than $250,000.This means that 97% of Americans will not see their tax burden increase, but go down, because of the additional tax credits in Obama’s proposal for those earning less than $250,000.
In other words John McCain’s attack ads claiming Obama will raise your taxes only applies to 3.1% of all Americans. The rest of us, 97%, will see our taxes go down under Obama’s tax plan. McCain’s tax plan of course continues to give billions in tax breaks to big oil while a large number of American families can’t afford health care.
Why would a man of John’s obvious stature answer such a serious question with the nonsensical statement, “I want all Americans to be rich” John McCain believes that is the answer to America’s problems? Wishing we were all rich and promoting policies that provide all the breaks and opportunities for that 3.1% will not put food on the table, gas in our cars, create good paying jobs or provide health insurance for the remaining 97 % of Americans.
McCain’s response to the reporter’s question glorifies the rich and says to those who are not rich, “It’s your fault you are not rich. “All good American should strive to be rich.” Contrary to John’s nonsensical wish that all Americans get rich our next President must be a person who understands his success will be determined by how well the United States government, under his administration, cares for its middle class, poor and most disadvantaged citizens.
I wonder if John McCain believes that he can joke his way to the White House. Does he truly believe the color of Obama’s skin guarantees the Republican Party a win in November? The reality is that while many Americans can’t afford food, health care or gas to look for a decent job McCain’s nonsensical remarks demonstrate he is out of touch with the economic pain Americans are experiencing. This is the reason John can give nonsensical responses to serious questions about his attack ads and economic policy proposals.
Why does McCain believe everyone getting rich is the answer to our problems? The problems we have as a nation stem from greed and corruption of values, not because we don’t have the resources to solve them. McCain’s dream should be for a free and just society where government cares for the have-nots as much as it cares for the haves.
Most of the young adults I’ve spoken with, who still believe in America’s higher calling, do not seek wealth so they can have a fat life style. Nor do they seek to limit the beliefs and opportunities of others, but rather to lift the veil of ignorance from our people, which will in turn reduce inequities and injustice in our society, improving the quality of life for all Americans.
Implying to the American people we should pursue riches for riches sake will only lead to a more corrupt and heartless society.
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