Monday, September 24, 2012

Inside the Life of Mitt Romney’s Middle Class $250,000 Family – How the Struggling Middle Class Survives

Adventures in Cluelessness

Now that Mitt Romney has informed everyone that a family with $250,000 a year in income is the quintessential American middle class family The Dismal Political Economist thought it would be interesting for everyone to understand just how that family lives.  After all, for years now the press has been reporting the struggles of middle class and now that Mr. Romney has defined just exactly who this is we can investigate what their poor, pathetic lives are really like.

Meet Janice and Jimmy Cracket.  Janice is a tax attorney and earns $135,000 a year from her law firm.  Jimmy is a computer network specialist, and makes $115,000 a year.  They have two children and live in a quiet suburb of a major American city.  Here, from their own words (and from spying on them from the bushes) are what there lives are like.

The Crackets have two cars, a Mercedes SUV and a Prius to accommodate their dedication to the environment.  Like most Americans they can’t afford to spend a lot money on cars, so the Mercedes is two years old and the Prius was bought a whole year ago.  In a pinch they can use the luxury motor home that they use to go on vacations, but they don’t like to do that because at 40 feet it is just too hard to park.

The couple is proud of the fact that they don’t own a private jet, which they say would be ostentatious and have commented that just like everybody else they have had to pay for private jet travel trip by trip.  They said they did understand that a lot of people used the airlines but didn’t understand why when private jet travel was just so easy, cheap and available.  “The whole family flew to Aspen for the winter break for less than $20,000, and that was round trip” a smiling Janice exclaimed.

A typical day finds the children off to private school, which would be a financial burden except for help for the tuition they get from a program that diverts public education tax revenues to support private schools.  After school the children work on their conversational French, as they will be spending at least one year as exchange students in a private French ecole.  On weekends private golf and tennis lessons at the club take up most of the day.

Jimmy likes to garden, and grows vegetables to help the family food budget but has so little time that he has turned most of the work over to the family gardening service.  His other hobby is photography, which he indulges by three week annual safari trips to Africa, or as he puts it “getting away from the ball and chain”.  Because of his knowledge of electronics he has outfitted the house with a home theater that seats 20 people, but would not have done so had he known he could not take expenses on his tax return.

Janice is a self-admitted clothes junky, and she goes to the New York fashion shows every year to buy a new wardrobe for the coming 12 months.  She has great compassion for those less fortunate, and donates her old clothing to the homeless women most of whom have done without chic designer suits and evening gowns all their lives, and who revel in being able to wear them while panhandling on the streets of the inner city.

Like everyone else the Crackets are struggling with taxes, but after hiring an experienced lawyer they were able to get a huge decline in their property taxes because, as they put it, “why should we pay for someone else’s child to go to public schools when ours don’t?”  Because of various deferred compensation schemes they have limited their income tax rates to 18%, which as they proudly point out is “more than Mitt Romney pays and he’s a gazillionaire.”

So there it is, the Mitt Romney typical middle class family in America.  Yes they are struggling, but they are optimistic and hopeful that Mitt will cut their taxes and get rid of all of those useless government programs. 

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