Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2010

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.... Just this week, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was asked by a reporter whether he might put some effort into avoiding humiliating gaffes. He replied, "Oh, no. Accidents happen, baby."

They sure do.

RNC chairman Michael Steele has yet another gaffe to live down after arguing in a debate yesterday that $1 million isn't a lot of money.

Steele made the comments while debating former Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) at the University of Arkansas. The topic turned to taxes, and Steele criticized President Obama's plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire for wealthy Americans.

"Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money," Steele said, according to the Associated Press.

Alex Koppelman noted, "[I]f there's a specific part of the brain that keeps most of us from saying every stupid thing that pops into our heads, it just doesn't seem to be working for Steele."

For the record, the median American household income is about $50,000. For the chairman of the Republican National Committee, 20 times that number is "not a lot of money."

In the midst of a recession, when literally 99.6% of the country aren't millionaires, it's probably fair to say this is another one of Steele's "accidents."

Indeed, it wasn't long before DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse noted just how out of touch Michael Steele really is, mocking his "caviar dreams."

"While millions of Americans are unemployed, while millions can't afford to send their kids to college, can't afford to purchase health insurance, can't afford to stay in their homes, Michael Steele -- a man who moonlights from his RNC gig by getting paid up to 20k to give a speech -- has the audacity to tell the American people, 'a million dollars is not a lot of money."

Steve Benen 9:10 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Comments

Actually, he's qualifying it by emphasizing "after taxes," so, more accurately, we should be mocking him because he's saying that "$600,000 is not a lot of money."

Personally, I think that makes him sound more pathetic, but your mileage may vary.

Posted by: Paulk on February 6, 2010 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Is the RNC finished with populism already? That was fast.

Posted by: oh my on February 6, 2010 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

What an asshole. I'm sure that even AFTER taxes, that would be enough money to keep myself and about 15 of my fellow teachers from being laid off next year.

Posted by: John on February 6, 2010 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Just the annual interest on a million dollars is more than many families have to live on.

The Republicans are desperately, hopelessly out of touch. Will Democrats point this out in the coming campaign?

Posted by: Okie on February 6, 2010 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Fot the people he represents, a million probably ISN'T a lot of money. But for the rest of us who work for a living...

Posted by: bikelib on February 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

It is populism. For the Republican voter, being a small businessman making $1 million a year is the exemplar for all Americans. If you are not making that, then you should be working harder. Most Republican voters don't make anywhere near that, but they live vicariously through those who do. It's just like the Hollywood ideal of female beauty. Most Americans don't look like that, but it's still the standard for what "beauty" means.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 6, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

My point is that Republicans don't feel that doing things for the rich is elitist, because they believe (or claim to believe) that in America, everyone can become rich if they work at it.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 6, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

"Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money,"-Steele

Trust me? Trust me? Sounds like someone speaking from personal experience. I think it's better, Michael, if you just give me a cool mil and let me find out for myself how little is leftover after taxes. I'd even be happy to work off your gift by making speaking engagements, writing sloppy books, and making gaffes on national teevee.

Posted by: tempered optimism on February 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Indeed, it wasn't long before DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse noted just how out of touch Michael Steele really is, mocking his "caviar dreams."

"While millions of Americans are unemployed, while millions can't afford to send their kids to college, can't afford to purchase health insurance, can't afford to stay in their homes, Michael Steele -- a man who moonlights from his RNC gig by getting paid up to 20k to give a speech -- has the audacity to tell the American people, 'a million dollars is not a lot of money."

Where did I hear about this? On this blog. It would be a story if it was on the network news.Like so much these days, it's a case of the tree falling in the forest, with no-one to hear it.

Posted by: PeteCO on February 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Poor Steve Benen doesn't get it. As much as people like I and others who read this blog think Steele's remarks are absurd, a far greater number of people -- many of whom will never earn a million bucks in lifetime earnings -- agree with him.

That's the fundamental problem. And that's why Steele is not a gift to the left.

Posted by: g. powell on February 6, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

That idiot Steele's put his foot in his mouth again. Call our operatives at the NYT, WaPo, LAT, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR and tell them to make sure this is thouroughly spinned and gets no traction.

And get Murdoch on the line and find out when he's gonna finish buying the rest of the media so we don't have to make so many godamned phone calls.

Posted by: Carlyle on February 6, 2010 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just use their own logic here. If $1 million isn't a lot of money, then the additional tax, after the increase...about $30k, is a very small amount. (4% of $750k). A millionaire couldn't even afford to hire one additional person at the average wage with the amount they will save if the tax cut is extended.

Posted by: tomj on February 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

A piddly little million? Especially after taxes? It won't even get you into the middle-class. Just ask President McCain.

Posted by: exlibra on February 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Shhh!

Michael Steele is actually a long time Democratic party plant, operating under deep cover to sow as much trouble and discord in the Republican party as possible.

When you understand him that way, everything he does appears to be really quite brilliant.

Posted by: patm on February 6, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I found this article useful in a paper I am writing at university. Hopefully, I get an A+ now!

Thanks

Bernice Franklin

UGG Boots

Posted by: UGG Boots on February 10, 2010 at 4:32 AM | PERMALINK

If the government keeps printing money, Mr. Steele's calculation of the worth of a million bucks might be wildly optimistic.

Posted by: Walt Waldman on February 12, 2010 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: HurryKekrex on April 8, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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