Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Says He Made Money From Speaker’s Fees, But “Not Very Much”

He’s Right, It Was Only $375,000, Only 6 to 7 Times Medium Family Income

Under pressure to release his tax returns, soon to be Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he would release his tax returns, maybe in April and provided reporters and the public with some information about his income and his taxes.  The big news for many was his 15% effective tax rate, but that should have been expected.  After all that’s what the Bush era tax cuts did for people like Mr. Romney.

What Mr. Romney Sees as
a House That Cost "Not Very Much"

Mr. Romney also made money from people paying him to give speeches.  Ok, after everyone get’s over that concept, let’s look at what Mr. Romney said about the income from those speeches.

I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away,” Mr. Romney told reporters after an event here. “And then I get speakers’ fees from time to time, but not very much.”

Financial disclosure forms that candidates are required to file annually shows that Mr. Romney earned $374,327.62 in speakers’ fees from February of 2010 to February of 2011, at an average of $41,592 per speech.

Wow, that isn’t very much, is it.  Only $375,000 for speaking, only about $41,500 per speech.  It’s amazing Mr. Romney and his family can survive and afford the basic necessities of life on such a paltry sum.  Oh wait, that was only a small part of his income.

Depending upon which data one looks at the medium family income in the United States is between $50,000 and $60,000 per year.  What Mr. Romney regards as “not very much” the average American family would find a king’s ransom.  The statement that $375,000 a year is “not very much” tells us all we have to know about the values and financial circumstances of Mitt Romney.

This is not to say that a wealthy politician cannot be an effective leader and champion for working Americans.  FDR and JFK are a prime examples of how privilege and wealth do not prevent a decent and caring person from pursuing policy to help American working families. But most people like Mr. Romney cannot do that, in part because they don’t care or because they are too selfish and self centered to believe that government is one instrument by which society advances the economic circumstances of all. 

But mainly people like Mr. Romney cannot pursue policies that would aid and support working Americans because they just do not understand working Americans and the problems they face trying to survive financially.  A man with many houses like Mr. Romney is just incapable of even comprehending how someone could lose their home in foreclosure.  And that is why Mr. Romney would want to speed up that process, because how would that hurt anybody that he knows or whose life he understand.

The lesson for all of this for Mr. Romney, don't go off the script, your advisers and supporters won't like it if you go off script.  The lesson for the rest of us, don't expect much for working Americans from a person who thinks $375,000 is not very much

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