Same as it ever was.

On the road to the airport yesterday morning, I heard an NPR story about Hilary now having to pay back her massive $22 million campaign debt. It talked about how Obama would likely participate in fund-raising on her behalf for that purpose (and I just read that he and Michelle contributed $2300 personally to “the cause” — ain’t that swell), and that Hillary had given her own campaign $12 million. The commentators talked about how it would be a tough sell — people want to support their party’s run for office, not pay off the losing candidate’s debt.

What struck me most was the $12 million donation. (Also had a chuckle about her being known by a one-word name — like Cher or Madonna — obviously the Clinton part is more of a detriment than an asset.) Seems the Clintons are worth $34.9 million and have earned $109 million since leaving the presidency. The McCains are worth $40.4 million. Modest in comparison, the Obamas are worth $1.3 million. (I heard a comment from Obama last night that they are as close to middle class as you will ever see running for president. I scoffed at that, and still do. I saw the same Obama commercial at least 5 times on TV in a one-hour period. How are we going to survive the next 5 months of election bombardment — especially as he starts spending his cajillion campaign dollars?)

Truth is — all of these people are millionaires. I’m not a millionaire — can’t fathom being a millionaire. No one I know appears to be a millionaire (you don’t really know how much money people might have). So, with all the talk about how far we’ve come to have a woman and an African-American vying for president, how far have we really come? None of these people can possibly understand what it’s like to be me, or to be the vast majority of Americans. All the rhetoric about “feeling your pain” and angst over rising prices for food, gas, shelter, utilities, health care — it’s laughable. It’s not affecting these folks one bit.  

It’s the same as it ever was (do the Talking Heads arm chop with me) — Washington is about people of wealth and privilege, jockeying for power and position, and spending the $2.6 trillion collected in taxes (44 cents of every dollar of that from individual taxpayers like Mike and me) however the heck they want. It’s not about me or you or our reality.

Now get back to work. You have taxes to pay.

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have
come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. 
                                                       ~ Ronald Reagan


  1. robbie said,

    Friday, June 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I’d like to know how one leaves the presidency in debt (by millions – all those lawsuits) and in eight years, earns 109M!!!!! No wonder Hilary wants back in and Obama, at a mere 1.3M, truly a pittance, wants in. Let’s face it, when one is elected to go to Washington, one always returns a millionaire. By the way, is anyone paying back Mitt’s lost millions???? Hmmm. It’s OK when Republicans spend and lose their own dough but the Dems need to have a block party to pay back the loser.

  2. Friday, June 27, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Well-said Robbie. I shudder to think what the next few months (and the next 4 years) hold in store.

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