So, our Hillary has released her tax returns. We learn that she makes a ton of money, and that because hers is earned in the here-and-now, she pays a more or less normal person’s tax rate on her notable wealth.
The politics of the release are obvious: I’ve shown you mine, ya Cheeto-Faced, Ferret-Wearing Shitgibbon.*
But I’m a person devoid of the milk of human kindness, at least where the Leather-Faced Shit Tobogganist** is concerned so my mind immediately leapt to this thought:
With adjusted gross income of $10.6 million in 2015 — and $28 million*** in 2014 (no, that’s not a typo) — what if Hillary and Bill Clinton flat-out make more money/year than the Polyester Cockwomble?
Oooooh, the pwetty wittle Donald. Does ums need a band-aid — a gold one, no doubt — for that boo-boo?
Like I said — no redeeming social virtue here; no analysis. Just nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah…good bye.
*Still my favorite among the Scottish epithets for our Donald, though “Hamster-Heedit Bampot” retains a special place in my heart.
**Also up there.
***Yeah, I know. That’s a metric f**k-tonne of money, and a reminder that the Clintons, like most of the political elite, do not live the lives the rest of us enjoy. Which is a topic for another day, or a few hundred comments below.
Image: Hendrik Heerschop, An Alchemist Making Gold, 1665.
I don’t begrudge the Clintons one bit using their station to make money via speeches and book sales.
Making money is what our capitalist America is mostly about, right?
I was kind of surprised they’re making that much — what are the main sources? Investments?
@BR: Speeches and book royaltys.
@redshirt: Most of Obama’s money comes from book royalties also.
As long as people make it legally and pay taxes on it I do not care how much anyone makes. Capitalism is still the worst least way to run a country. I personally am a Marxist-Groucho Marxist.
I heard on NPR yesterday that they paid an effective federal tax rate north of 30%, which is way more than I’m paying, so there is that. It’s probably way more than most people making that much are paying, so definitely paying their share.
Presumably both Clintons could have gone to work as associates in major law firms, followed the route to partnership and at top firms would have started making $10 million a year when they were in their early 40s.
This will never be discussed because the tea party peabrains can’t wrap their tiny minds around it. It would just be further proof of their power-mad bloodlust that they would defer that kind of income.
The teevee talkingheads are determined to make a scandal out of nothing…just for balance, of course.
I had exactly the same thought when I first saw reports about the Clinton returns.
Even Fox is getting a little testy about the H-H B not releasing his tax returns. The surrogate got some pushback on it.
Wouldn’t Trump have gotten a salary for the Apprentice? It was probably in this range.
I still imagine the Russians busting Trump like Tony Soprano’s crew in the sporting goods store. He may be flat broke by now. He definitely hasn’t donated anything to his foundation since 2008.
@Baud: interesting, because there’s usually some public information about that, just like with other TV show stars.
I think “We voted against brexit, ya spoon!” takes the win for turgid poignant brevity.
@Baud: He also had a producer credit which should have also upped the money he got paid for it.
@satby: @Yutsano: and there seems to be some info available
@lollipopguild: All Hail Marx and Lennon!
@bystander: It should be noted, but won’t be. Just like the fact they paid a 30% rate instead of loopholing it to a lower rate, and that she and President Clinton have released 39 years of taxes returns.
Seriously, why the two of them never just said fuckit and retired to their own private island instead of putting up with all the public BS will always amaze me.
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@redshirt: @Baud: well, I have Cole’s last 3,200 tweets. Now what?
@Major Major Major Major: Can you burn them?
This also ties into the speculation of why someone who claims to be worth several billion dollars would waste his time with relatively penny-ante stuff like mail-order steaks. Perhaps, just perhaps, he’s exaggerating his net worth. I know, a shocking thought.
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@Baud: I can delete them, but it’d only be my local copy.
Haha now I want to cluster them by time and sentiment analysis like they did with Trump.
I was kind of wondering, with all the ink used in the 1990s to hound them from public life, all the pundit salaries paid to apply Clinton Rules, the billiionaires funding special investigations independently and the amount of money spent trying to defeat them when they ran for office – well, why not just go to those billionaires and ask them to pony up a $100 million annuity not to give speeches or write books. I wonder why they work giving speeches when there’s a ton of billionaires and wealthy grifters who’d pay to make them stay home and sit on their hands. I believe they are leaving good money on the table.
Apologies but I would like some citation on partners in their 40’s making $10M a year at “top firms”?
No, mainly speeches. Like those fat check Wall Street speeches Hillary made.
And no, I do not begrudge either Clinton from making money on the speech circuit. But for anyone, of either political party, it is also a way of rewarding past service.
I am surprised that the Clintons don’t have more in the way of investments.
@Major Major Major Major: Blackmail.
Satby – after this AM I had a bunch of stuff to do so I didn’t get nack till just recently. I wanted to thank you for the link to the shower thoughts on imgur. They were all pretty good & a couple of them were most excellent. THANKS for the laughs!
@Brachiator: Where do they hold their assets?
@Schlemazel: glad you enjoyed them, I know I did too!
PASTA how I miss Firesign Theater!
Can you imagine having 40 years of some of the most personal info in your life exposed for anyone who cared to see it? And still have morons say out loud they don’t find you “trustworthy” for some garbage time shit like what the RWNJ’s have ginned up for 20+ years.
I, personally, am surprised laser beams haven’t started erupting out of her eyes to burn the next dumbass who says the words “trust”.
@pat: And hi’s.
@Baud: Inserts “I got your assets right heah!” joke.
Why does Ryan Lochte somehow look like the Twitter Terrorist Milo Y. from Breitbart?
The dumbest dig against the Clintons that I heard was a conservative talk show host who accused them of being hypocrites for advocating for the poor while not being poor themselves. But it was OK if Trump’s tax returns showed that he had manipulated the system to pay no tax, because he was only working the system, and promised to pay more under a new system that he would devise himself using his huge Trump brain.
I think the Clintons’ release of their tax returns really puts not just Trump, but the whole GOP in a bind:
– the Clintons clearly pay their fair share
– they’re transparent about it
– most of their income is from ‘work’ (albeit paid speeches, not digging ditches)
– AND they also give about 10% of their AGI to charity
Who amongst the “deep bench” could have said the same?
Perhaps best of all, with all that $$$ coming in…the Clintons are still fine with the estate tax staying the way it is.
@Brachiator: Common theme. “Al Gore rides aer-o-planes. Hur, Hur.”
@Corner Stone: I agree. And that makes her a much better person than me.
Though the psychos use that as the “proof” that she’s power mad.
I have to assume he is not stupid enough to lie to the FEC so I assume he makes at least $15MM a year from the apprentice. I assume, like all developers, he is deep in hock on the crap he owns but if he is at least average he could cash out & live comfortably. OTOH, if he is as crappy a landowner as he is a politician he could be under water. If he is he is a worse businessman than I would be and its not my field. If he is so far under that he is pissing away $15MM a year he is a disaster
Dumb indeed and so beatable – should every rich person put themselves below the poverty line before they open their mouths about income/wealth inequality? Of course not. Let’s have everyone pay their fair share of taxes first – no carried interest loophole, no lower rate on capital gains, no Social Security tax limit, no more banging on the estate tax as though it were written by Satan – and see if we don’t get pretty darn close to balancing the budget, as these “conservatives” claim is so important.
@Yutsano: If he negotiated it himself, can we guarantee that the producer credit didn’t cost him money?.
I remember the GOP outrage at the public outrage after Reagan made $3 million on a speech in Japan. Apples and oranges!
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@Jeffro: IIRC from playing with the budget widget the Times had a couple(?) years back, that wouldn’t come close to balancing the budget.
The tax return shows dividends of $84,000 from the Vanguard 500 index fund. And some interest income.
Otherwise, Schedule C’s for both Bill and Hillary.
@Baud: You know who else made a lot of money from book royalties?
@Brachiator: So I guess they stuck it all in an index mutual fund. Pretty generic.
@Jeffro: I have no problem with a lower rate on capital gains or some limit on Social Security tax contributions. But the noise about the estate tax is twaddle.
The best friend working poor ever had was FDR, probably the richest men to ever be President (discounting slaves). He grew up with great wealth but felt an honest nobles oblige. I have to believe the Clintons, who grew up H) middle-class or W) dirt poor really believe they can help America. Why else would anyone put themselves through this for power alone? They could sit back & enjoy the life of an American multi-millionaire. I’m their age & despite wanting to do good I could not hold up under the ugly thrown at them. I’d be having wagyu beef steaks medium rare & Asahi Shuzou Dassai Sake under an umbrella in Japan right now.
@Corner Stone: The laser beams might actually happen when she finally gets to the no plucks left to give moment. She should reach that moment very quickly.
@Schlemazel: FDR cared about America as a country and Americans as individuals. Eisenhower is the last Republican that you can say that about.
Capital gains is a toughie. It should be for people who really take a chance to finance expansion but I don’t know how you limit to that. Certainly should not be holdings less than a year. I’d make social security tax exempt. Not just because I am 5 years away from it & in desperate need of the income but because anything that increases disposable income for seniors will fuel economic growth. These are not people who will sit on their money, they will spend it.
And the creator of the biggest social programs, Social `Security and Medicare, was FDR, from one of the wealthiest families in the country,
I see Im late to the game in mentioning FDR.
@Major Major Major Major:
So…therefore we shouldn’t even start? lol
funny…I remember (and love) that exact same widget, and that combo certainly does help close the gap. Just because it’s not the total solution is no reason not to do it.
@Corner Stone: Yeah, me too. Hubby’s a partner at a decent-sized DC firm, in his 50s, and makes nothing like that. A very nice salary, but nothing like that.
@Jeffro: Yeah, what about the Kennedys and the Roosevelts. They were both pretty rich clans and still felt the need for public service on behalf of those less well off than they were.
@Brachiator: And also, like Obama, aren’t both Clintons exactly the American Dream? Nobodies who through skill and hard work made it to the very top? Is that not what Republicans tell us we should be striving for?
Well, it should be game, set, match, but you forgot to apply the Clinton Rules.
Which is one of the things I hate about the media.
You are all to correct, but 90% of Americans won’t vote for sane tax policy. Now bannig your neighbor…
We’ll all have differences of opinion, I’m sure, but if you’re for a progressive income tax, there’s no good argument against lower rates on capital gains and definitely no way to defend a limit on SS contributions/taxes.
I dunno if we need 90%…51% is a good start, I’ll take that in November and we can move on from there. =)
I think the band aids tRump would wear would be the purple heart ones the (R)s were sporting when Kerry was running for office. As for the Clinton Tax returns, they’ve put theirs out there – now it’s time for tRump to put up or….nevermind, he’s never going to shut up.
@Thoughtful David: it’s funny, I have had a blast explaining “Clinton Rules” to people recently…Trump is certainly helping illustrate how CR works, that’s for sure.
Trump won’t release a single tax return…but OMG HILLARY HASN’T HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE IN A WHILE! And so on.
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@Jeffro: You said it might get ‘pretty darn close’. I was responding.
There was some elections historian who said for the Dem to win, they had to have a good biography, a good story. I think it’s easier for a Dem to have that if they started out not rich.
Unless he tried to be clever and held out for a percentage of the net. In which case, he learned a valuable lesson about accounting as practiced in Hollywood.
They’ll dig in Clinton’s returns until they think they’ve hit pay dirt. They’re digging now around the clock. That’s how it works. You offer transparency and they discover something they can twist around until it’s around your neck. I figure within 3 days we’ll have a new scandal based on something innocuous years back in HRC’s taxes.
I read a background piece on Hillary’s and Bill’s childhoods, where they came from, station wise, and it just HIT me that most all of the grief they’ve (especially Hillary) gotten (early political years) is because they are from the wrong side of the tracks. ( Jimmy Carter and Obama also fit here)
They weren’t old money, they were NO money. You know the kind of folks that our “betters” use as wedges.
Funny that from nothing, these 2 (4) have managed sooo much more than their detractors who were born into wealth.
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@sukabi: And now they’re evil corporatist neoliberal elites who are not to be trusted. Funny, that.
@satby: OT i know you are very involved with housing issues but are you presently able to take any etsy orders?
For what it’s worth, a Wiki article ranks Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, and LBJ higher in net worth than FDR.
But FDR was notable for “betraying” his class to champion the poor and the working class.
I skipped that “neoliberal” crap from a previous thread. But WJC was legitimately interested in making deals, making things happen. The times were different, the society was different, and we sure af aren’t there any more as a country.
If someone can tell me what a “neoliberal” is in 2016 I am all about the feels to hear it. Don’t give me the Trump “sarcasm” about what it is not. Let’s hear what it actually is now.
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@Corner Stone: Huh?
I was just thinking it’s funny how no matter what they do, the conclusion is that (for a variety of ever-changing reasons) they’re “not to be trusted.”
Yes, someone explain to us what exactly “Neoliberal” means and where on the doll it touched you.
I do not see why favoring progressive tax rates means that you must oppose lower rates on capital gains, or for example, the exclusion of most gains when you sell a personal residence.
I would exclude some amount of interest income (and unemployment income) From taxation in addition to some capital gains.
I would consider making more S Corp income subject to self employment tax before I would totally eliminate the cap on Social Security contributions.
Exactly. At least they’re honest about THAT.
Conservatives are not noted for their consistency. Or honesty. Or many other noble traits.
I’m probably being unfair to honest and noble conservatives. I apologize to both of them.
I recently read Paul Theroux’s book Deep South. In it he covers Hot Springs AR in some detail. Apparently it was/is a pretty rowdy place with a lot of trouble to get into. That’s where WJC grew up. Theroux speculates that a lot of Clinton’s irresponsible behavior as an adult originated in his upbringing in what was essentially a party town. It’s a convincing argument in the book, but Theroux is not clear about why he’s making it.
In any case it appears Hot Springs was firmly on the wrong side of the tracks.
@pat: fix’t. Heat addled my brain. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it (as my clothes stick to me).
@Major Major Major Major:
I tire of the insistent conservative conventional wisdom that the Clintons are untrustworthy and that everyone (or at least half the electorate) hates Hillary.
Tom; I finished Ice Time and now I’m way more scared about the climate. Kudos for mentioning my favorite book. “A screaming goes across the sky” indeed.
I have Measure For Measure for my flight tomorrow. Hope you’re working on another because I’m running out. And congrats for the honors on Vulcan.
Yes they made it, but not the right way, they are not business people. They have not shown the ability to step on the little people on their way to the top. ( I mean actual crushing of little people in the name of profits, not ‘destroying and killing’ people who got in the way of their quests for power.) The fact that the Clinton’s and Obama’s have succeeded in beating the republicans every time they’ve battled makes them evil and corrupt, ruthlessness by republicans makes them savvy businessmen and women.
@Brachiator: Two of them? That Many?
@Brachiator: Also, from what I’ve seen, a lot of Republicans want the Presidency to have the air of nobility and therefore don’t like Presidents who come from less than stellar backgrounds. Hence Clinton and Obama, both from broken homes, raised by single mothers who lived in poverty for at least part of their childhoods, don’t meet the criteria. (Of course, these guys overlook the fact that their idol Reagan, the son of a poor drunk, didn’t exactly fit either.)
You wouldn’t either if every investment you had previously either led to an investigation because it was successful, or a special prosecutor spent years trying to pin the blame for a failed investment on you. Hell, the Republicans would call her to account if she had more than one share in QQQ and a Vanguard Index fund.
@Doug R: Neoliberals==Democrats that Berners/ purity progressives don’t like
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@gf120581: No, when Republicans do it, it’s a sign of authenticity and a connection to traditional American roots.
Yeah, the Clinton Rules have been around for a long time. I’ve always just thought of them as a subset of the Democrat Rules, of which one version is IOKIYAR.
This has been a long failing of the media, and why one of the tags here at BJ is Our Failed Media Experiment. Had the US media actually done their jobs since the 1970s, and not given us High Broderism, the Democrat Rules and their subsets IOKYAR and the Clinton Rules, this nation would be very different place and we likely would not be facing Trump.
Some talking head made the point that since they have been disclosing their taxes for over 30 years, they are almost too cautious in completing their taxes, leaving money they are entitled to on the table in order to be extra sure that every i is dotted and every t crossed. Which makes decisions like Hillary accepting speaking fees after she left the State Dept. when she knew she would be running, giving her opponents unnecessary fodder.
@Ultraviolet Thunder: You’re a hero! Tolerating that much of my library is something else. Am working on the next one, but it won’t be out for a couple of years or so. Alas.
I hate this book, or at least the parts that I read of it. Black people seem not to exist, or to be connected to the South in the same way that white people are.
Clinton reminds me of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Evangelist Marjoe Gortner (who was not born in the South, but exhibits the same sensibility) and other Southerners who indulge a hedonistic spirit. There’s a lot of BS in the “wrong side of the tracks,” stuff, since many Southern aristocrats lie about their roots or have recreated themselves, or are just two steps away from being ignorant crackers themselves.
The main difference is that in order to be considered “the right kind of people,” you must be willing to profess loyalty to the hypocrisy at the heart of the myth of the noble South.
as litigious as he is he would have sued.
Since the term has gained currency, I’ve been trying to nail it down. The clearest (not necessarily most accurate) definition I’ve found so far was from Investopedia:
Based on that, I’m probably a demi-neo-liberal. For example, I think limiting protectionism is probably wise. I’m not on board with privatization, etc. Also, the definition seems suspiciously like straight-up “Republicanism”, so I’m not sure why we needed a new term.
We should probably ask why these companies and entities and orgs are paying people so much to speak. Come on. This is a waste of money.
Does anyone walk out of there saying “my life was changed because one of the Clintons spoke at that trade group event”? Paying so much for prestige that comes with a name is dumb. The money would be better used on other things.
They also use the murder of Vince Foster as proof of her insatiable lust for power.
When it comes to Hillary, they imagine her capable of anything evil.
You see this in all the Benghazi conspiracy theories.
@Major Major Major Major:
It’s been a steady drumbeat for 30 years, and so now it’s a media truism that is taken as gospel by the media, even though it’s based on bullshit. Much like the narrative that Obama was not willing to work with republicans is GOP bs, but the villagers all spout it and lament what could have been if only Obama hadn’t reneged on the promise of his 2004 convention speech.
I hope the person who was complaining the other day that Bernie bought a lake camp (quel scandale!) reads this post.
Interesting, thanks. Ted came from the same money as Frank (BTW – my grandmothers family has 2 people who were servants for the Roosevelt family, Elinor’s branch, and I have a piece fo their silver that they used to pay the help when things went bad in ’29.
I am only surprised by LBJ, is that accounting fo inflation? He worked road construction and was a school teacher before politics. Hard to imagine he had Roosevelt or Kennedy money.
I read the whole thing, and all of Theroux’s other travel books. This one’s different. The others are about Peoples, places and individuals (last). Deep South is more intimate. Spends more time in one place getting to know people. Many of them are black and are trying to help their communities deal with messed up situations. I thought it was quite sympathetic about race, though pessimistic.
Of course as usual he decries do-gooder foundation money as useless.
I assume it blends with Tony Blair’s – New Democrat stuff and the DLC pro-business leanings thing. Socially liberal but solid for Wall Street. It does not have to be a bad thing but the trick is finding the balance. Mostly it is a slur for the purity ponies.
@Major Major Major Major: yes I did and yes you were only responding to that. My bad.
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@hovercraft: Well, yeah, I know. I must not be expressing myself well today.
@Schlemazel: I don’t assume he’s not stupid enough to lie on FEC forms. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump thinks he will lose and nobody will care or he wins and he can get rid of the scandal by firing everyday. When’s the last time you heard about FEC stuff on the loser candidate? Trumps a con man. I worked with a guy years ago who lied about everything. Everything. He was also job wise a really good salesman and at the same time a con artist.
If it’s some kind of “norm” that you have to pay people huge sums of money to speak, well, why doesn’t anyone try to buck the norm? Do something else at your convention or meeting. To me, the two most compelling presentations at the DNC were BLM mothers and the Khans. Invite people like them. They were great and they’re regular people. Best of all, they were actually interesting.
Gin & Tonic
@Schlemazel: LBJ made a shitload of money once he entered politics.
You’re full of shit. There are plenty of data out there about what partners at major law firms make. Go look at them.
I have hated pretty much everything I’ve ever read by Paul Theroux, and for similar reasons to what you cite. I keep hearing about what a great writer he is, and I’m assuming the people who say so think that because he’s capable in his use of the English language. But his attitude and thinking are usually so far off the mark or utterly clueless. I think the first thing I read by him was back in the 1980s, and threw it aside in disgust. Then I gave him another chance, and threw that aside in disgust. Then every few years someone would recommend some “wonderful book” by him, and I’d give him another chance, only to throw it aside in disgust after a chapter or two. I’ve finally learned my lesson and haven’t even touched anything by him in eight or ten years.
This is by the way pretty much what I think of Sully too. He gets credit because he writes pretty prose, but underneath is nothing.
It’s been out of control ever since St. Reagan went to Japan for 2 million. For the corporations and organizations, it’s an expense, so it’s deductible.
I gotta say, I don’t really get this. Personally, I think paying a thousand dollars to go to the Superbowl is stupid, but I’m not ready to say the practice should be abolished. Value is incredibly subjective. People pay $650 to attend a Tony Robbins seminar.
@Kay: But at a certain floor level–the one you need a special elevator to reach in the skyscraper–can’t be said about anything? Why so many on the Boards of Directors and why do they need so much money? Why do CEOs and other execs get so much regardless of performance?
It’s a very slight adaptation of the Blazing Saddles line,”We’ve got to keep our phony-baloney jobs!”
I have enjoyed all of Theroux’s books to one extent or another. I keep in mind that he’s a crank, has his personal prejudices (foreign aid bad, local self sufficiency good) and is an introvert out in the world by himself.
The Happy Isles of Oceania is the best of a couple dozen travel books I’ve read.
Your mileage obviously varies. I appreciate that he deviates from the typical travel book’s catalog of tourist stops and represents the local flavor, bitter or sweet.
he easily spends that much. in the early 1990’s he was in bankruptcy and put on an allowance of ONLY $450k/month.
Someone said he could cash out and live high. Not if he has lots of debts and lots of plates to keep spinning. He obviously needs that $15-20M /yr from the Apprentice.
For a while after he retired, Pops was on the audit committees of the boards of two Fortune 500-size companies. If you take your responsibilities seriously (and he did), that can be a full-time job. The binders he used to get every month had to be shipped in a banker’s box, because they didn’t fit in a standard FedEx box.
J R in WV
Actually, Medicare was created in the 60s, but the reviled Lyndon B Johnson, (D) Texas, who forced Medicare through, along with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. Pretty sure I have that right.
Like I say, I don’t think I’ve ever finished one of Theroux’s books, and I haven’t even tried any lately. But my problem with his books was exactly that he totally misunderstood the local flavor. He would go off the beaten path, meet some locals, be totally clueless about their lives, and misrepresent them.
I have traveled a lot of places he has been–I work internationally but not in foreign aid field–so I get to be familiar with a lot of other cultures. And I find that Theroux usually never gets within a mile of understanding them. But he writes nice sentences.
Of course value is subjective. But people aren’t paying to go to these conventions and such for a seminar from Bill Clinton. They’re going anyway. It adds prestige- we were able to draw and afford a big name speaker. It just says something about your values as an organization that you’re willing to buy into this- that “big name speaker” is where you put money.
I personally would think less of Girl Scouts of America if they spent a million dollars on this. I’d rather hear from the Girl Scouts. What does it say about who and what they value? I was amazed by how great the non-celebrity speakers were at the DNC. I laughed at loud at the two teenagers who told the story of how one found out she being paid less than her male co-worker and her male co-worker joined her in solidarity and they both got fired. That’s what would really happen! There wasn’t a happy ending! Truth! So refreshing and real compared to some movie ending, where they were both promoted to CEO or founded a nonprofit or something.
There’s a million ways to reach people. You don’t have to throw a huge wad of money at them.
@sukabi: You have a different image of what ‘being from the wrong side of track means’, than I do. You can be poor as church mice and NOT be from the wrong side of the tracks, by my lights.
Also, I thought Hillary’s family was much more middle class than Bill’s. Or that is always the impression I had.
@Thoughtful David: \
Well, he did live in Africa for several years as a Peace Corps worker and a teacher. Basically got tossed out for backing a despot’s opponent. His writing about that should have some credibility due to considerable personal experience. He does bring his own unique point of view, which is relentlessly pessimistic about the developing world, if not about development generally. His books about Africa are pretty downbeat. Especially the last, Zona Verde, where he bails on the trip just short of a war zone and goes home for his own safety. That’s not a happy tale.
@Technocrat: Yeah. And the thing is, people at all levels of income will happily pay to be in “the company” of someone famous. Prince Charles used his Navy severance pay of a little over 7,000 pounds to start the Prince’s Trust, and then he put his name to work. These days they spend over 30 million pounds a year to help young people kickstart careers or businesses. Two thirds of the people that happily fork over money to the trust wouldn’t even look at it if it had been started by Charles Smith. Annoying but a fact of life.
This is an extension/projection of their own identity and class politics onto others. Most conservatives derive a tremendous amount of self-worth simply from the categories of people they belong to, and look down on people who are farther down the ladder – people who are poorer than them, people who don’t share their culture (i.e. race), etc.
Because of this, they assume that everyone thinks the same way. Therefore, when they see a rich liberal advocating for poor people, or a white liberal advocating for black people, etc, they immediately assume that there’s something terribly shady and dishonest at work. After all, they want to fuck the poor, so it naturally follows that liberals must want to fuck the rich; therefore, if a liberal is rich, he can only be a hypocrite.
The idea that most liberals don’t want to fuck the rich, only see to it that everybody has a decent standard of living… I’m not sure if it’s genuinely never crossed their mind because they’re just not very bright, or if they work hard to ignore this possibility because it would raise some serious questions about their worldview.
J R in WV
LBJ somehow acquired broadcasting licenses in TX, while he was in Congress. Robert Caro’s prodigious biography of LBJ, now approaching 5 volumes, (4 published, one still in the chute) details how he stole an election for Class President at the teacher’s college he attended, but never was able to spell out where his wealth came from. Except for those broadcasting licenses…
J R in WV
@J R in WV:
“Medicare was created in the 60s,
butBY the reviled Lyndon B Johnson, (D) Texas,”
FTFY. Sorry, stupid fingers.,er,e.r e,res
You could make a similar argument for Sully. Sully has written some good stuff, but there’s a lot of chaff to separate it from. Mostly, Sully gets thought of as a great pundit because he uses the English language well, not because he has good insight. Sometimes the one obscures the other.
That’s another reason they hate them: they’re exactly what Republicans claim to be and claim to value, and yet they’re Democrats. It holds up an unpleasant mirror to how shallow their values are, especially when you consider that in the last five elections in a row, all their candidates have been aristocrats to the manor born – Trump, Romney, McCain, George W. Bush. (Trump may be too vulgar and unpleasant for most of those to claim him as one of their own, but like the other three, he’s a man whose single greatest asset in life was being born to wealthy and connected parents). When you’re always attacking your enemies as “liberal elites” and waggling your finger at people for not valuing hard work, it’s ind of glaring.
Thank you Mr. Esq. I can only compare top salaries to my industry (civil engineering) and $10MM was insane. it’s even insane if they’re billed out at that, although I understand law firm multipliers are ridiculously higher than engineering. We’re constrained by having to work for municipalities and state agencies, many of which have a cap on what they’ll pay for overhead.
@Chris: Republicans are utter hypocrites you say? SHOCKING!!!
But seriously, exactly.
Me too. Tried Mosquito Coast awhile back and didn’t like it. Can’t say what put me off but I haven’t liked anything else he’s written either.
Also, the Roosevelts had not just money but class. They were among a handful of families like the Rockefellers that were considered the closest thing America had to royalty. The Kennedys probably are in that ballpark now, but I don’t know if that would be true at the time – their elevation was pretty recent, I believe it was JFK’s dad who made the family fortune (and political power).
True. To an extent that even TR wasn’t, although he too got plenty of crap for being a dictator and a socialist and whatnot. But by the time of the Great Depression I believe there’d been a serious split in politics between the two sides of the family, with TR’s peeps believing that Franklin’s New Deal went much too far.
I think of that Sopranos episode constantly. We are getting “busted out” nine ways from Sunday by the 1% sucking away assets so methodically that the general population still doesn’t quite believe it. And yes, Trump’s been busted out, fer sure.
Theroux isn’t a pundit using his writing for advocacy. He’s a traveler relating his experience from his own point of view. If he’s off base the offense is minor.
Plus Sully is a dick who cares more about being clever than being right.
I pulled an early flight to the opposite coast and have to sleep.
I was talking about this to my two grown kids last weekend- how no one ever talks about how 99.9% of personal justice crusades either fail or come with a big cost. This is why people don’t demand equal pay at pizza chains! Because if they do they get fired. To me that’s a much better message of resilience – that these two got fired and are still pursuing this. They probably won’t have a law named after them. They may not benefit at all, and nothing will be tied up with a neat bow- they won’t be the youngest AG’s in state history or President of the United States. That’s what it’s really like. That’s what you’re really asking people to do. The vast majority of people won’t because it’s easier and safer not to.
So, why do you think Bernie lied about how he was going to release his taxes before the convention?
@Brachiator: Avoiding investments avoids conflicts of interest charges when they inevitably make decisions that have effects. Sort of proves that her long-range plans have always included a presidential run.
I think they concluded they can live ell enough on $10-20M annually.
I think that’s complicated. While it’s admirable that they’re still pursuing it, it certainly sends a deterrent message. Objectively, they’re just two fired people. You can’t expect to motivate people to take social risks if you simply show them rows of heads on pikes.
The fantasy of success is important, even though it understates the risks of failure.
ETA: The most effective speakers I’ve ever witnessed were the ones at big Amway rallies in the late 80’s. They were manipulative conmen, but man oh man could they motivate a crowd. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and sell some soap!
@martian: That’s a complete non sequitur.
Yep. And it’s difficult to blame them: this is, for most people and especially for those at that income level, the main concern. People on their own find it extraordinarily hard to get justice out of this, which is what unions used to be for.
This may be complete bullshit because it’s based on a sample of “my grown children and their friends” but they have been sold this same formulation a long time. If I were pitching to them I would deviate from that narrative.
My daughter has this hysterical riff she goes on where she talks about assemblies in high school where speakers “sprinkled success on us”. They’re wary of it. It’s too simple. It doesn’t match their experience, which is harsher and less forgiving.
Chelsea Clinton did this “ordinary heroes” tv thing for a while- it’s a formulation they love- lone crusader triumphs over adversity. That has nothing to do with reality for most people. It’s more like “well, a lot of people helped and really it was sort of a split decision- some good, some bad. I don’t know if I’d do it again”.
That’s frikken hilarious. And to be fair, my perspective is also shaped by my own experiences. I had to shed a lot of “hood” to navigate corporate America, so I consumed garbage like “Dress For Success” and yes, Tony Robbins. My Liberal Arts majoring daughter receives overt cheerleading much like your children do.
@muddy: Don’t agree. I think most of the snarking people were doing about Bernie’s third home is out of impatience with the way the glow of Bernie’s halo obscures the gaps between his behavior and his rhetoric. There’s no gap here for Clinton. She’s rich, she didn’t claim not to be. In fact, because of her transparency, we know a great deal more about the allegedly corrupt Hill and Bill’s finances than Bernie and Jane’s. So, what did the people complaining about Bernie’s new vacation home need to see in this post? The startling difference in their tax rates?
@Renie: I am. It’s going to be the last stuff I move.
Did Sanders claim that being rich was an objectionable thing by definition? I can think of several things for which he could rightly be slammed as a hypocrite, but I’m not sure this qualifies.
Brachiator’s been having some vision problems lately, seeing double and stuff.
@Chris: Bernie doesn’t like Millionaires and Billionaires™, haven’t you heard? ;-p
@Chris: Sanders’ mythos is centered on being the last honest man in Washington. A regular guy, a man of the people, what you see is what you get. He constantly insinuated that Hillary Clinton was corrupt, bought and paid for, that the entire system (except for him) is corrupt. Millionaires and billionaires don’t pay their fair share, haven’t you heard? But Bernie had a plan to make them. Did Bernie claim in exactly those words that being rich was objectionable by definition? Likely not. But how finely do you want to dice this? I just find it really rich (ha!) that Hillary Clinton pays a fairer share than Bernie Sanders, man of the people.
There’s not a lot of dicing involved. Saying that rich people don’t pay enough in taxes and saying that their excessive influence in Washington has corrupted the political process is not the same as saying that you shouldn’t be allowed to be rich – period. As pointed out over the last 140 plus comments.
That’s not to say that the Sanders image of being above that kind of corruption and undue influence is true (to cite only one example, his moderate stance on guns indicates that he’s plenty receptive to special interests if they have a presence in his state. And then, if you want to expand this to his wife, there’s all these stories about Burlington College). But the simple fact that he’s rich doesn’t mean any more than Al Gore having a jet or Hillary Clinton making money in speakers’ fees.
And maybe we should be asking ourselves why sports organizations pay millions of dollars to an athlete who will occasionally hit a ball out of the ball park, or run past another guy also making millions of dollars to catch an oddly shaped ball. Capitalism, how the fuck does it work?
@Chris: I think Bernie obfuscating about his personal wealth to the point of telling dog-ate-my-homework stories regarding the whereabouts of his taxes suggests that he sees a problem with it. What precisely that problem is, be it concern for the appearance of conflict with his Socialist values, some specific issue he doesn’t want aired out, or whatever, Bernie chose to hide his taxes and lie about it. If you go around to the Bernie hangouts, it’s an article of faith that he’s only worth 4 or 500 thou in total, and it is not an accident that his supporters are convinced of that. So, no, Bernie didn’t explicitly say no one should be rich. But, by his actions, it appears that Bernie certainly thought he needed to not look rich himself.
@gf120581: I know that this is a dead thread, but I will forever resent Nancy Reagan and her supporters for their dissing of Jimmy and Rosalyn when the former became First Lady. Remember, she ordered this very expensive china and the implication was that her predecessors were not acquainted with the art of fine dining and setting a table. It pissed me off then as it does even today. Part of that was the instinctive awareness that a Southerner has when one was disrespected just because…..
@catclub: from the perspective of “old connected money” everybody who is not from their side of the tracks is on the wrong side…you , me, Clintons, ect.
Really good point. No Northerner would ever notice that. /whatthefuck?
Also too, the Carters were Southerners and the Reagans were not.
@sukabi: Bill was from the wrong side of the tracks no matter how Georgetown, Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law-ish he was. HRC was not. She came from successful bourgeois roots – she just married someone awful…..
@Schlemazel: LBJ was probably the most personally dishonest president. He was ruthless in using political power to enrich himself-see Bobby Baker. The foundation was the media licence for Austin’s only TV station.
@Thoughtful David: I really liked his first travel boo, the name of which escapes me right now, but it involved going by train from London to Singapore. The Old Patagonia Express was excellent. But beginning with Riding the Iron Rooster something went sour. His book about Britain was unreadable and I gave up after Pillars of Hercules-just so mean spirited.
My Scottish girlfriend has her family in town this week and I must say they were impressed with my knowledge of Scottish insults I gleamed solely from tweets after Trumps visit.