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August 21, 2006

Joe "Middle Class" Lieberman

Here's a piece of mine from about the weird delusions of some politicians that they're middle class. Among the most deluded? Joe Lieberman:

The day before the Connecticut primary, Joe Lieberman was getting down with the folks in a restaurant in Southington, a small town near Hartford. As the American Prospect reported, a longtime state employee named Paola Roy told Lieberman she felt the middle class has been forgotten by the federal government. Lieberman responded that he shared her concerns, and for good reason: “I came out of the middle class," he said, "and, being a senator, I haven’t gone much beyond the middle class.”

Being a senator, I haven't gone much beyond the middle class. Could anything better sum up the way American politicians seem to have relocated en masse to a new planet, and forgotten how things are back on Earth? In 2005, Lieberman and his wife Hadassah—a lobbyist at D.C. powerhouse Hill & Knowlton—together made $366,084. This places them securely in the top 1 percent of U.S. households. In fact, just the money they receive each year for supervising family trusts would likely put them in the middle quintile of American families. Moreover, they have financial assets —i.e., over and above their homes in Connecticut and Washington—worth somewhere between $465,000 and $1.9 million. The comparable amount for the average U.S. family is about $30,000.

The rest.

Posted at August 21, 2006 03:37 PM | TrackBack

This is almost as bad as McCain asking AFL-CIO members if they'd cut lettuce for the paltry sum of $50 an hour.

Posted by: thrashbluegrass at August 21, 2006 03:54 PM

A republican by any other name, Joe Lieberman.

Unfortunately the demise of Joe Lieberman has been greatly exaggerated per this recent Quinnipiac poll.

August 17, 2006 - Lieberman Leads Among Likely Connecticut Voters, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Strong Democratic Boost Gives Rell 2 -1 Lead

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, running as an independent, gets 53 percent of likely voters, with 41 percent for Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont and 4 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Among registered voters, Sen. Lieberman gets 49 percent, followed by Lamont with 38 percent and Schlesinger with 4 percent. This compares to a 51 - 27 percent Lieberman lead over Lamont, with 9 percent for Schlesinger in a July 20 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Lieberman leads 75 - 13 - 10 percent among likely Republican voters, and 58 - 36 - 3 percent among likely independent voters, while likely Democratic voters back Lamont 63 - 35 percent. Two percent are undecided, but 28 percent of those who name a candidate might change their mind before Election Day.

"Sen. Lieberman's support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing. It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats. As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding onto a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran Senator will be hard to beat," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Ned Lamont's Democratic primary win was based on a very small percentage of voters statewide. He must expand beyond this base if he is going to beat Lieberman."

Even though there is no exact definition of middle class and since everyone from a janitor to a doctor and obviously certain senators believes they are middle class let us look at what the median household income is and compare that to mighty Joe.

According to Infoploease,

The median income for all households in the year 2004 was 44,389 dollars. So if we can define middle class by median income then Joe Lieberman is way out of line when he says he is middle class.

Of course Lamont is hardly middle class himself and now that Hillary Clinton is backing Lamont one wonders just what Lamont is other than we know he does not agree with Lieberman on Iraq.

So let us see who gave to Lamont.

The largest contribution is from insurance, finance and real estate. The second largest is from other. The second smallest is a pittance from labor. So if Lamont is so progressive why is he getting so little from labor? However what ever Lamont is it may be a moot point as he has a ways to go before he defeats Lieberman come November.

Posted by: rob payne at August 21, 2006 05:26 PM

Just caught this article on Tom Paine. It's dead on.

What's more, the big media reek of the same "let them eat cake" attitude. I've seen network news anchors snicker about the working poor struggling to pay high gas prices to get to work.

Today on CNN an anchor was chatting with a business reporter about a slowdown in consumer spending. They referred dismissively to a decline in spending at Wal-Mart, then went on to bemoan similar declines at high-end stores as a REALLY serious trend. You could tell that they could not have cared less about what the working stiffs were going through.

Maybe another Great Depression wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. It might serve as a wake-up call for some of our more affluent politicians and media types.

Posted by: A.A. Murphy at August 21, 2006 05:32 PM

A Depression would still leave the very top people on top -- and in fact, their comparative advantage would be increased.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at August 21, 2006 05:44 PM

Since they are all rich already, why am I STILL paying them? They aren't doing ANYTHING for me.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 21, 2006 06:37 PM

I react very negatively when I hear the repugs claim that the difference between the two main political parties has nothing to do with class structure.
I'm amazed at the American public's acceptance of the hypocrisy contained therein. Lieberman now thinks like a wrongwinger, more than likely because he's comfortable and can't remember what it was like
when he was a, so called, middle class member.
That's most of the problem with Americans in general, no long term memory. That explains many things...

Posted by: Michael D. at August 21, 2006 07:38 PM

Then there's the corresponding delusion, in which truly middle-class people think they're voting their class interests when they vote for Republicans of the tax-cut crazy and deregulation persuasion, because they think they're voting their class interests.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at August 21, 2006 08:57 PM

Ok, that was redundantly redundant. Sorry about that. I'm going to blame Bill Gates for my typographic error becuse I'm using Windows, rather than my mental sloppiness. Fight the power, and don't trust anyone over 43..

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at August 21, 2006 09:00 PM
don't trust anyone over 43..

Hey now! I bet you're no spring chicken yourself.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at August 21, 2006 10:17 PM

If Senator Joe makes $365,000/year compared to the average American family earning $30,000/year, how many average families will be fleeced by the IRS to compensate for Middle Class Joe's tax loopholes? The answer is obvious.

This is the New Math now being taught in schools today as part of Fearless Leader's 'No Child Left Alive' pogram. When it comes to politicians, don't trust anyone over or under 30.

Posted by: JLaR at August 22, 2006 12:39 AM

Weel now. I think that at 72, I've now been officially declared to be sui generis.

Posted by: Jeus B. Ochoa at August 22, 2006 09:23 AM

He must have meant middle class (bourgeois) in the Flaubertian sense.

Posted by: Walter Miale at August 23, 2006 12:22 AM

America is a society with only three classes: the middle class, the middle class and the middle class.

In that aspect it is a classless society. Yep, no class at all, what I'm saying.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at August 23, 2006 11:56 AM