More Evidence That Mitt Romney Has No Clue How Real Americans Live

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Mitt Romney recently said that he wants to help the 90-95% of America in the struggling middle class, neither very rich nor very poor. This is just one more piece of evidence that he has no clue about the country; he wants power.

Here is what the country really looks like.

The Very Rich: There are many ways to define High Net Worth Individuals. Much of the financial industry requires $500,000 liquid investable assets before they will talk to you, so that certainly creates a demarcation. If that is you, you are in the top 5% to 10% of the population.

The Very Poor: There are 49 million people living in poverty–maybe 50 by now, the number has been going up pretty fast. I make that about 1 in 6 (16%) living below the poverty line, the highest we have seen in decades.

So in very rough figures, we can say that 1 in 12 is very rich and 2 in 12 are very poor. However, that doesn’t include the soon-to-be poor:

  • The unemployed who are living off their retirement assets before retirement age
  • Parents, friends, and other relatives supporting unemployed adults, thus straining their own financial resources
  • The employed who are making less than they used to and now cannot reach previous retirement goals
  • Middle-aged and older Americans whose retirement accounts were damaged beyond their ability to refund
  • Younger Americans whose school debt will prevent adequate saving for retirement
  • Those losing their homes to foreclosure
  • Anyone who falls through the safety net in the future, especially those hit with medical bills

How about that middle? Household spending power for the middle has been falling. In 2011, the average household income was $49,500. It has inched up in dollars, but it has not kept ahead of inflation, thus losing spending power.

By the way, if you want more disturbing news, try out a retirement calculator.  If you make that average $49,500, hope to retire at 65, and expect $1000 a month in Social Security, you will need $635,000 in today’s dollars—not just net worth, but spendable—to maintain your lifestyle. Take out Social Security, and you would need $838,000.  In a wealthy country of 310 million, we should be asking why there aren’t more millionaires.

The reason, of course, is that our nation’s wealth has not been distributed evenly. The higher your income, the more you benefitted—by both dollar and percentage—from the last decades of economic growth. By far the largest share of our growing GDP went to Mitt Romney’s income group, whose earnings skew any measurement of average income. If Mitt Romney wants to help the middle, he will have to give less to his own income group. Is he likely to do this?

  • His firm lobbied heavily to keep the section in the tax code that allows people like Mitt to pay 15% tax on their incomes instead of the graduated tax everyone else pays.
  • Mitt has said that 47% paying no tax (because they don’t earn enough) is a problem that should be fixed. Meanwhile, more tax cuts for the wealthy are a great idea.

So, no, Mitt has shown no interest in helping the country. He sees popular opinion rising up against unequal distribution of wealth and wants to be in a position to make sure wealth continues to flow to his own income bracket.

That 90-95% figure was probably floating around in his head because that is the percentage of the population who would be economically worse off if Mitt Romney were elected President.

14 Replies to “More Evidence That Mitt Romney Has No Clue How Real Americans Live”

  1. Average household income, or median household income?

    The first is essentially meaningless because of the skewed distribution (towards the rich).

  2. This is such a great post. It puts all this GOP extreme behavior into practical perspectives that we can all understand. The GOP, as a result of the 2010 midterm elections, ushered in the Tea Party extremists that are reeking havoc on America. They’re busting unions; they’re hurting women and children, suppressing the vote, and on and on and on.
    And now that Romney has appeared as the uncaring jerk that he is, he shows up in Vegas with billionaire ringmaster Donald Trump who also has a vendetta against our President because he called him out for what he was. The multimillionaire Willard Mitt Romney, aspires to be a billionaire and that’s his goal and the other multimillionaires and billionaires want to help him get there. Willard couldn’t care less if the rest of us fell off the face of the earth. How can anyone criticize the President right now with all this power and money and racists waged against him and America? While the multimillionaires and billionaires were hanging out in Vegas flaunted wealth, our President was in a prayer breakfast supporting the poor and middle class with humility….. God help us….

  3. I don’t think that any of the candidates have an idea. This country has never faced almost all of its wealth being at one end of the spectrum and those that are well off don’t like looking down on the rest to see how they live. Romney never has that’s for sure. Its half the country Mittens

  4. Obama sure does. His family was struggling to modest income all his growing up life. It’s why he CAN say he’s well off and should pay more. He knows what it’s like to grow up on the margins – his mom was not very well off. That’s when his grandparents stepped in – and he became economically more secure because they were middle class. The GOP? I don’t see a one that ever did a day’s work and understands anything. Obama makes very clear he does his own shopping (Christmas and vacations), knows what things cost, and does not remove himself from the fray. Clinton was similar – he grew up pretty lower income, too. And then people say BUSH was the guy they “could have a beer with”? Hardly!

  5. Actually, quite a few of the Koch cartel are self-made millionaires who were not born to wealth. Their problem is:

    1. They think that because they did it, everybody should be able to do it. Thus they disdain the not-rich as lazy–not willing to work hard enough to be rich.
    2. They are all old and rose to the top decades ago when it was easier to do so. They don’t understand that this basic opportunity has been made more difficult.

    Then of course on top of that are the Mitts who think of anyone not in their wealth class as “the help,” i.e., subject to the whims of the wealthy as part of some kind of natural order.

  6. Actually, we had similar wealth distribution just before the 1929 stock market crash. I think the only reasons we don’t have 20% unemployment, impromptu homeless villages, and bread lines today are 1)20th century social programs from FDR forward that have given at least some people a safety net, and 2) Barack Obama, who reacted to the 2008 crash much more effectively than Herbert Hoover reacted to the 1929 crash.

  7. Okay. Lets look at the whole picture. Rich Democrats account for about 40% of the top 50 richest people in Congress. 7 of the top ten are Democrats. Of the top 400 richest in the US, more are Democrats than Republicans. Of the top 20, 12 are Democrats.

    If tou taxed the top 1% of the richest people in this Country 100% of their income, it would cover about 6% of this year’s projected deficit. I don’t like the overall situation either, but nobody, for the past 40 years, has come up with a solution of how to bring the 15% of the population that lives in poverty up to middle class standards.

    Why are the rich bad?? Without the rich, who would finance all the businesses and start-ups in this Country? Who would hire the millions of workers who are working and in the middle class??

    Let’s hear some solutions???

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