Coupla Black Dudes Talkin' Bout Money

by digby

I just don't know what to say about this:

NC Chairman Michael Steele and former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) held a joint appearance Thursday night at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. When the debate turned to President Obama’s plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire on families making over $250,000, Steele “joke[d]” that that wasn’t very much money:

The two often traded jokes, especially when Steele panned President Barack Obama’s long-stated plan to let income tax rates return to higher levels for families making more than $250,000 a year.

“Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money,” Steele said.

Ford later asked the audience of mostly college students, “Who in here makes a million dollars a year?”

“How many of you want to make a million dollars a year?” Steele quickly responded when no hands were raised.

Of course, to most Americans, $250,000 — let alone a million — is “a lot of money.” The median household income is about $52,000 and only two percent of Americans make $250,000 or more. Fewer than half-a-percent make more than a million dollars. “After taxes,” someone making a million dollars can still expect to keep about $675,000.

After Steele asked them if they wanted to make a million dollars a year,if he were any kind of a politician Ford would have asked if once they became millionaires if they'd be willing to pay higher taxes to make this country a better place.

Think Progress points out that a million dollar gross only leaves you with a paltry 675k (assuming you only take the standard deductions) so I can see how it's hard to struggle through.

I think what's most appalling about their appearance however, is that fact these two millionaires made 40k for this event. Is this going to be some kind of regular sideshow?

I've gotten into trouble on this blog for writing that 250k is a lot of money even for people who live in big expensive cities like mine. And it is. It doesn't go as far as it would in Joplin Missouri or Mobile Alabama, but it goes far enough to give you a more comfortable life than 98% of the population, no matter where they live.