The next would-be American oligarch, Republican John Raese, has no problems at all with the fact that his American experience doesn't reflect that of 99.75 percent of American. He's proud to be the idle rich.
Yesterday, Raese appeared on the Matt Lewis show, a conservative talk radio program. When Lewis asked Raese about his background and his life experience, Raese offered this straight-faced response:
LEWIS: Tell us a little bit about you and your business experience and how you got here.
RAESE: I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that’s a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.
Once again, a Republican who thinks everybody is rich. It apparently hasn't occurred to Raese that very few people will inherit $3.5 million, nor fight the income inequality trend in America in order to amass that much to leave to their heirs.
Which, given how Raese lives, is perhaps the case. Politico has a story today detailing his lifestyle--which is conducted almost exclusively in Florida, even though he's running for office in West Virginia.
Raese leads a lavish lifestyle that's included over 15 cars, boats and motorcycles, a home in Florida where his family lives full-time and where, records show, he paved the driveway with marble in 2008 as the economy was nosediving.
The fact of Raese's family living in another state fulltime almost certain to come up on the campaign trail.
Elizabeth and John Raese have a nearly 7,000 square-foot home, one where in 2008 - shortly after the first of the TARP package was being allocated - the Raeses put in permits to repave their marble driveway with fresh pink stone. They've also claimed homeowners' exemptions, which are only available to Florida state residents, including a $25,000 one this year, according to Palm Beach County property records, because of his wife's residence....
On the trail, Raese has had some swank accomodations, flying around on a private jet of his own, which, according to press accounts, he's used to head to Florida at least five times in the past three months. He's owned properties in Florida for well over a decade, and his kids went to school there - a fact, he's said, that comes from his desire to have them attend a system he "believes in."
According to the USDA, the median household income in West Virginia in 2008 was $37,528. The unemployment rate in West Virginia is 8.9 percent. Maybe some of those folks could go stay in Raese's house in Florida and re-marble his driveway for him.
For more discussion, see TomP's diary. -- Barbara Morrill