Joe Biden (family earnings: $407,000 last year plus a free house, driver, meals, etc.) claims he “I don’t own a single stock or bond. . . . I have no savings accounts . . . I’m the poorest man in Congress.” (Triple fail: Joe isn’t poor, isn’t in Congress and wouldn’t be the poorest member of it if he were.)
Right here in New York, we’ve learned that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the daughter of a wealthy doctor who left a $6.7 million inheritance, took advantage of a no-interest loan intended for underprivileged New Yorkers to buy a Harlem townhouse. Then she forgot to declare the rental income on required city disclosure forms. The townhouse you and I helped buy her for $240,000 is today worth $1.2 million.
The more Democrats insist on their proletarian cred, the more absurd it gets. They’re no longer just holier than thou: Now they’re prolier than thou.
Reid is worth about $3 million to $6 million and declined to release his tax returns even as he was screaming about Mitt Romney’s. His statement that “we don’t have many billionaires” was wrong too. Politifact dug up 22 billionaires who have made campaign donations to super PACs lately. Most of them — 13 — sent their checks to liberal and Democratic groups.
Biden may have been the poorest member of the Senate (not all of Congress) when he was there, but his net worth is still somewhere in the $390,000 to $800,000 range, reported the Center for Responsive Politics.
Why do all these exceedingly well-off people keep trying to convince us we’ll see them at the dollar store?
It’s all part of the increasingly delusional myth Democrats tell themselves that they are the tribunes of the middle class. In fact, their party is a strange two-headed beast — picture a Cerberus featuring the faces of Barbra Streisand and Lois Lerner.
The Dems are a coalition of ultra-rich cultural-elite donors on the one hand and government employees and their clients on the other. In 2012, President Obama carried those earning under $50,000 by a wide margin. But Romney easily bested him among those over that threshold.
Ever wonder why the Democrats seem to want to keep people poor?
But there’s another reason Democrats can’t talk about their wealth. It’s because they can’t say, “I made it big. Follow me and you can, too.”
Democrats earn their money in ways that aren’t available to most Americans. Yet even for Democrats, the Clintons got rich in an exotic way. They accumulated something like $100 million not by building a business or inventing something or even writing some hit songs. Their entire fortune came from political celebrity. (Their daughter has even accumulated $15 million by being the offspring of political celebrities. Or did you think NBC News paid her $600,000 a year because of her obvious broadcasting ability?)
If the Clintons had gotten rich inventing Facebook, that fortune would have spawned many others. But celebrity honoraria don’t work that way.
Drug dealers create more middle-class jobs than these people do.
Moreover, both Clintons have given so many speeches to big-bucks interest groups that there are legions of fat cats who think Hillary owes them a favor should she reach the White House.
No, Hillary, contra your interview in The Guardian, you didn’t strike it rich by “hard work.” Swanning around the world staying in five-star hotels, reading speeches drafted by someone else and signing your name to books written by someone else is not exactly quarry labor.
Hillary would have been better off admitting she has done well and then pivoted gracefully to how her ideas might benefit struggling Americans. Instead, by getting tetchy, she made her vast wealth the thing people are talking about. Her approval rating last week hit 52%, down from as high as 70%.
Her miscues in talking about money, though, like many political gaffes, are symptoms of an underlying problem: her likability.
Like Mitt Romney, she seems disconnected from ordinary American life. The more she tries to seem normal, the more she comes across as Lady Hillary.
By following her lead, her party risks becoming more and more alien to the middle class whose interest it purports to protect.