Mitt Romney Thinks Earning 19,000 Dollars a Year is Middle Class

It’s time we asked if Mitt Romney knows enough about real money to make decisions for average Americans. We already know he grew up privileged. We know he’s out of touch. But wouldn’t you think that by now, he would have brought in some experts who might have helped him understand what “middle class” is — what it buys and does not buy?

Mitt Romney was lecturing Americans on how he can fix this economy and why we should elect him because he knows how to save us all, when he pointed to Staples and The Sports Authority as examples of places where he is going to create jobs for us, while wearing his super hyped face and declaring the US can be “the best place in the world to be middle class again.”

I guess no one told Mr. Romney that jobs in retail are not typically creating middle class families. Does Mitt know what a retail job makes? Maybe if he figured this out, and then tried to pay a mortgage, car insurance and loan, doctors bills, etc. he might get a glimpse as to why Americans really do not want to hear about his four cars and his wife’s two Cadillacs right now. And they really don’t want to be told that their anger over his not getting it is jealousy over his “success” (aka: luck of being born into silver spoon).

According to Businsessweek, Retail jobs at Staples and Sports Authority (where they pay on average less than 3 dollars an hour from the national average- good pickings Mitt) make an average of less than $9 an hour (with cashiers making less). This means that someone working a 40 hour week (if they were so lucky which many are not because stores like Wal-Mart keep hours below a certain level in order to block workers from qualifying for certain benefits) is making $19,090, which is below the poverty line for a family of three.

Maybe Romney’s team needs to take him on a tour of a middle class neighborhood and he can go to work with someone for the day, come home and watch as said person pays some bills and shares one vehicle with said spouse in order to save money so they can pay their mortgage on a house they no longer have any equity in. Oh, and the daycare, don’t even get me started.

Retail jobs will never make up for manufacturing jobs, which pay far better. When you hear Mitt Romney talk about how he can create “middle class” jobs like he allegedly did at Staples, you should be asking yourself is this “Mitt Middle Class”, which is actually below the poverty line, or is this the Real Middle Class.

CNN reported in September of 2011:

The government defines the poverty line as income of $22,314 a year for a family of four and $11,139 for an individual. The Office of Management and Budget updates the poverty line each year to account for inflation.

Middle-class wealth falls: For middle-class families, income fell in 2010. The median household income was $49,445, down slightly from $49,777 the year before.

Median income has changed very little over the last 30 years. Adjusted for inflation, the middle-income family only earned 11% more in 2010 than they did in 1980, while the richest 5% in America saw their incomes surge 42%.

Can Mitt Romney see the problem here? How can Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans suggest that union labor is the problem in our economy, when it’s clear that the middle class is losing their average income while the uber rich are watching their income grow by almost 50% and just how long do they think American “exceptionalism” can survive at this rate?

The fact that Romney thinks retail jobs at big chains will solve our nation’s jobs problems tells us that he has no idea what those companies pay and how they structure their benefits and that he also has no idea what $19,000 buys a family of three.

Might I suggest he live off of the proceeds of just one of his vehicles, if he has one that has lost enough of its value to be worth only $19,000. Romney might want to just give that a shot — see how it feels to try to raise a kid on that and not have the connections and the cushion that Romney has always had to fall back on when he failed, thanks to his father’s hard work and appreciation for labor.

Of course, this is the Mitt Romney who it’s reported responded to an AP reporter’s question at a NASCAR race yesterday that he doesn’t follow NASCAR, but his friends own some of the teams.

Do you follow NASCAR? “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.”

Oh, right. And I’ll bet Mitt thinks everyone has access to NASCAR team owners who can drop $19,000 for a weekend trip. NASCAR fan, NASCAR team owner – what’s the diff, right?

This is the guy who says union workers make too much money and he’s going to make sure right to work states dominate. Romney said, “People are going to say you know what? If we want jobs, we’ve got to be right-to-work. And individual workers want to have the ability to choose whether they want to join a union or not. It’s extraordinary that we force people to join a union whether we want to or not.”

Yes, that’s right, people who are protected by unions so that they can make a living wage and get some health insurance feel that they are being “forced” to join whereas true freedom lovers would rather work for less in a right to work state with no benefits because heck, at least they are free to be taken advantage of by people like… Mitt Romney and they can go work to earn less than $20,000 a year at Staples as part of Romney’s “job creation” plan. Oh freedom!

We note that there are no states where union membership is “forced”, and Mitt might want to review federal law if indeed he is thinking of being President, for under federal labor law, workers cannot be legally required to join a union as part of a collective bargaining contract. Right to work states have a law that prohibits employers and employees in a unionized workplace from negotiating a “union security clause,” which essentially punishes those who pay into the union for representation because others can skate along for a free ride, taking the benefits without paying for the representation, thereby rejecting personal responsibility in what can only be seen as a Republican race to the bottom via pitting the working people against one another until they’re willing to work for dirt cheap for the 1%. The Maine Center for Economic Policy reported, “Fully half of all right-to-work states — 11 out of 22 — have poverty rates over 15 percent.”

The real point of right to work laws is to starve the unions, because pretty soon those California union members will get tired of paying for representation that a Georgia right to work state person benefits from while refusing to pay into, and as the pool grows smaller, so does the ability to collectively bargain. This benefits the 1%.

I wonder if Mitt Romney even has one clue about what workers make on average in right to work states versus strong union states, and I wonder if Mitt Romney can explain why he feels entitled to multiple Cadillacs but thinks workers should make a poverty level income that could not buy a Cadillac even if the family spent every penny that year on their vehicle. As Felix Salmon wrote in Reuters, “(W)e’ve reached the point at which 80% of workers don’t earn enough to support a good-sized family. How much further can that ratio rise, before we say ‘enough’?”

We should be saying “enough” rather than talking about how unions are ruining the economy or trying to sell a $9 an hour job at Staples as a good living. It’s not. It’s an honest living, and it’s hard work, but it’s not enough to raise a family on and it’s not an example of job creation for the middle class.

The more Mitt Romney talks, the harder it is to like him. And while he rides on the goodwill of his father’s name in Michigan, Willard Mitt Romney is obviously nothing like his father. It’s too bad, because George Romney was a good man who had seen hard times and understood the value and contribution of labor to both companies and a thriving economy. And yes, George was a Republican, back in the day when that meant something other than being a shill for big business and corporate tax dodgers.

Image: Money CNN

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16 Replies to “Mitt Romney Thinks Earning 19,000 Dollars a Year is Middle Class”

  1. Nineteen grand a year was middle-class for a family of four in 1979. Meanwhile, his Nascar remark is another case of, “Open mouth; insert both feet; vault to your death in the Grand Canyon”.

  2. I would like to tell Mr Romney “If you are serious about strengthening the middle class, promise to repeal the Taft Hartley Act and pass the check off legislation

  3. I just read this on twitter from two people who tweeted this story to me:

    With all that money he should be able to buy a clue!

    Another one:

    I’m rich!

    Lol. He is such a TOOL and a FOOL,

  4. Really real reality TeeVee: Survivor USA: take Mitt, Newt, and Rick, along with their family members to the thrift store and give them each $10.00 to re-clothe themselves. House them in a tenement that can be afforded on a minimum wage salary. Give them all minimum wage jobs and watch as the hilarity of eating rice and beans every day ensues. [They wouldn’t last a week.]

  5. This would pay off the national debt and put steak and lobster on everyone’s table!

    Intel Exclusive: Trillion Dollar Terror Exposed – Bush, Fed, Europe Banks in $15 Trillion Fraud, All Documented
    Thanks to William

    By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor, Veterans Today: Military and Foreign Affairs Journal
    February 21, 2012
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/02/21/intel-exclusive-trillion-dollar-terror-exposed
    Below is one of the strangest stories in financial history, one involving the US government lying about hundreds of thousands of tons of imaginary gold, illegal wire transfers and loans totaling $15 trillion. The video, from the House of Lords, is amazing in itself. What it doesn’t express is where the money came from though Lord James of Blackheath proves conclusively that an effort was made to say it came from a gold reserve in Brunei that, in fact, never existed.
    At surface, it appears we have stumbled upon the largest terrorist organization in the world and have found original documents tracing its funding to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, two of the top financial officers in the US. A cursory review of terrorism statues in the US indicate that all transactions we will learn about are, in fact, to be assumed “terrorist money laundering” and that the only thing preventing the immediate arrest of hundreds of top financial officials is their political connections alone.
    We will be able to offer an alternative, more insights, some hard intelligence and some very valuable background that we hope will offer insightful and realistic perspectives on this amazing story.
    Stephen: You may have already seen this video of Lord James of Blackheath speaking out in the UK House of Lords on February 16. But I have re-posted it within the context of this story, just as the writer of this piece intended.
    Click here to view the embedded video.
    On February 16, 2012, Lord James of Blackheath, member of Britain’s House of Lords presented evidence of an illegal scheme begun, he has thus discovered, in 2009. His documents including originals signed by Alan Greenspan and Timothy Geithner, show the illegal “off the books” transfer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of $15 trillion to, initially, HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) London and then to the Bank of Scotland.
    The Bank of Scotland, under royal charter but restricted from involvement in any such transactions, simply “gave” the money to 20 European banks to use in a highly profitable scheme of co-trading “fresh cut” MTN’s (mid-term notes), generating trillions of dollars in profits over 3 years, none of which is shown on books, none has been taxed or has benefited shareholders in those banks.
    As Blackheath outlines, the “deception and cover” for this transfer is the imaginary seizure of 750,000 tons of gold by agents of an unspoken entity (confirmed by the highest official sources as the Bush family and CIA), the listed “source” of the money.
    The government of Indonesia confirms this to be an utter fabrication and that the individual named had 700 tons of gold (about half of what Gaddafi was holding), not 750,000. It is noted that only 1,500 tons of gold have ever been traded in world history, as stated in the House of Lords.
    The issues that are initially brought out, issues inconsistent with international convention and starting the reader on what is only the surface discovery of two decades of crimes involving dozens of governments are as follows:
    • At no time has the Federal Reserve Bank of New York been authorized to hold the funds indicated
    • However, documents held by Lord Blackheath prove, conclusively that they did hold such funds and transfer them in a manner as to obscure their origin by using HSBC and the Bank of Scotland. This process, seemingly involving Alan Greenspan, Timothy Geithner and others would appear to be “money laundering” until some other explanation were found. None has been offered.
    • The “collateralization” of these funds, being 750,000 tons of gold, is proven to be fantasy. These funds then, in no way or manner, are related to Brunei. The presentation of this false transaction has been conclusively proven to be a “cover and deception” project such as an intelligence organization would use.
    • The transfer of these funds, all done without any authorizations, governmental or otherwise, particularly without agreements, payment of interest to the United States and without knowledge and approval of congress makes every aspect of this criminal in nature, a violation of innumerable statutes.
    • The receipt and use of these funds by the 20 banks, two of which are Wall Street’s largest, and the use of these funds to generate profits while the funds themselves are held “off the books” and the profits hidden and laundered, themselves the earnings of funds received through criminal acts makes any and all involved part of a criminal enterprise.
    Where Did the Money Come From?
    There is no record of the Federal Reserve being authorized to “create” $15 trillion, equal to the entire national debt of the United States. There is, however, proof that funds that totaled, at one time, $27 trillion had been earned surreptitiously, disposed of as part of an intelligence operation against the Soviet Union and then later stolen with accusations made against George H. W. Bush as being the perpetrator.
    I have spoken with two individuals, one President Reagan’s intelligence coordinator and the other Chief Legal Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency regarding these funds. Both have indicated that former President Bush had asked that these funds, totaling $27 trillion, be transferred to his control, that threats were made by Bush and that many involved in this operation suffered, issues including murder, illegal arrest, torture and detention among them.
    The individuals I am speaking of repeatedly met with President Bush over these funds, disputed his claim to them, and indicate that the majority of the funds are the property of the people of the United States.
    These funds are the mysterious “Wanta” funds, monies earned through years of currency trading aimed at collapsing the Soviet Union, a plan originated by President Ronald Reagan, then White House Intelligence Coordinator Lee Wanta and CIA Director William Casey. I have been told that, while this operation went forward under President Reagan, he had ordered that his successor, George H. W. Bush not be “briefed” out of “mistrust” for Bush.
    The funds themselves were earned through a scheme of trading Soviet roubles at enormous profit, a practice that eventually collapsed their government. A portion of the profits are subject to current litigation in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge Lee presiding. I have over 2,000 pages of documents on this case which shows a remainder of the original funds had been transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by the Bank of China, a party to the rouble trading practice, in 2006 and is claimed as totally owned by Ameritrust Corporation. That amount was $4.5 trillion of which we hold the SWIFT transfer documents.
    The other monies, which “likely” make up from the unspent portion of the missing $27 trillion, may well constitute all that is recoverable.
    Wanta, sole shareholder in Ameritrust, has offered his companies share, valued by the court now at $7.2 trillion, entirely to the American people as intended by President Reagan.
    The origin of the additional funds, issued by the Federal Reserve during the 80s and 90s, totaling nearly $8 trillion is unknown. High ranking sources within the US government indicate that this can only be either the remainder of funds Wanta raised or profits made from them after the majority of funds were stolen.
    Stories, some quite good actually, and personal interviews plus my own review of documents would place the theft or conversion of these funds initially with:
    • The Bush family
    • The “P2,” a Masonic lodge operating out of Switzerland involved in dozens of terror bombings tied to “Operation Gladio”
    • People around Wanta himself including the CIA
    What is lacking is a source for half of these funds. Technically, they don’t exist as there is no record of them being originated by nor transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York though there are clear and discernible records of them being transferred out of that institution which never possessed them, according to their 2010 audit, in the first place.
    Wanta Money
    The transfer of Wanta funds, they can be assumed to have no other origin as they track into the Federal Reserve banking system while in escrow and are currently awaiting payment based on the orders of President Obama in accordance with findings of the federal court, is complicated by the Scottish transfer.
    Either Wanta has claim to the entire amount or it is the property of the US government. That no effort has been made to secure the funds or enforce criminal and civil remedies to recover enough money to pay the entire US national debt and more, as with earnings, we are nearing well over $30 trillion by this time, is an indication that a criminal conspiracy with enough influence to overrule our own government is involved. Whether that “conspiracy is, as noted, the Bush family, rouge sections of the CIA or a secret society such as P2, one we can prove or others we only suspect exist, is another story.
    The lack of action, here or as requested by Lord James in Britain, is, in itself, proof of both the seriousness and actuality of these events and the powers that can prevent any inquiry when irrefutable documents such as SWIFT transfers are available. In fact, Lord James has offered a wealth of documents which, when combined with the 2000 pages of Wanta “discovery” from the Federal Court, constitutes more than prima facia evidence of money laundering, conversion, terrorism or worse.
    Thus, the inaction in the face of overwhelming and unquestioned proof is inexplicable.
    Flood of Wanta Litigation and Indictments Coming
    Currently, Wanta’s legal status is as technical conservator and owner of $7.2 trillion. However, as nearly half that is owed in taxes and the court settlement required Wanta to purchase $1 trillion in treasury bonds, the federal government should show positive interest other than President Obama and a few others. More are being obstructionist with the payout and exercise of $3 trillion in US debt reduction.
    This is, not only illegal but an indication of conspiracy.
    In addition, Russian Prime Minister Putin has communicated that he awaits the agreed upon 3% payment of Russian taxes, initially on the $7.2 trillion. Will Putin want to be paid on the entire $15 trillion plus interest and will Russia and/or the US have interest in why the Bank of Scotland transferred these funds to 20 European banks to trade in MTN’s (mid term notes) without any authorization or agreement, any participation or sharing of profits.
    As the funds, at least the half which the US government can claim ownership of, combined with the interest and earnings of, would quickly put the US “in the black,” again we look at, not just the press blackout on the Wanta litigation of the last 6 years but the press blackout on Lord James of Blackheath and the wealth of damning documentation he submitted to Parliament.
    Nothing has been done since, it is as though the proof submitted was so dangerous that those moments in time have been erased by a mysterious g-dlike power.
    What makes Wanta dangerous is that he has begun to distribute funds, some to government entities, counties and states, law enforcement agencies, giving them standing, not just in recovering funds intended for their use but in helping prosecute anyone involved in interfering with or attempting to divert funds.
    One grand jury is being formed to investigate diversion of Wanta funds even at this early date. It is likely that Wanta/Ameritrust funds earmarked for border protection could lead to the indictment of high ranking US officials. This is only the beginning.
    If the Royal Bank of Scotland doesn’t think it should be expecting the biggest chargeback in the history of the world, they are in for a shock.

  6. I’d like to see how someone could take care of their health on $19,000 a year… and you have to make far less than that to qualify for any outside medical help.

    (I’d be glad to get 19k a year right now… last year I took in only around 3k, and they almost kicked me off the plan because I made that – putting my life in danger.)

  7. Plus watch as their health crashes because of the rice-and-beans diet, and their wives getting really upset because they continued gaining weight, unless they literally starved themselves.

  8. no one seems to be addressing the fact that costs of products can going up with less people working. I’m not sure if $11,000 is a good place to have a poverty level I think it should be much higher

    Manufacturing is the only jobs the supply mass amounts of money into the economy. As far as I can see president Obama has the right idea and that is rewarding companies who bring work into the United States and punishing those who take it out. The GOP is going to have to get out of the way and we are going to have to vote them out of our Representation

  9. Nineteen grand a year would have been aspiring-to-middle-class in 1959. For a couple with no children. By 1979, 60 grand would be closer to the mark.

  10. Romney thinks $19K is middle class because that is what he feels he SHOULD be paying these terrible Union workers who demand a living wage… This from the #1 Vulture Capitalist, whose specialty is putting people – and successful companies – out of work, out of business, nd into his pocket.

    Do you have ANY IDEA how much he stands to personally profit if he is elected? Think how much he can get for the Grand Canyon alone, to say nothing of Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. Of course the crown jewel is Hoover Dam – buy that and you control the water supply of a quarter of the country. What a profit center – and potential weapon (vote for me or no water…)……

  11. $19K is middle class in some areas of the country. Here outside the DC area (and I would wager San Francisco, Chicago, LA, Boston, NY, and Atlanta), $19K is well below the poverty level. In 2007 or 2008, I heard a woman who works with hunger relief here in Loudoun County VA tell a group of us that the poverty level for a family of four was $80K. Income distribution is all over the place here and I am certain that is true for other major metropolitan areas in the US as well. Now, $19K sounds about right for Dayton, OH.

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