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Sorry for the short diary but here is prime example #1 of just how out of touch Mitt Romney is with the average American...

Romney says 'middle-income' $250k and below

BOSTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is promising to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans.

But how does he define "middle-income"? The Republican presidential nominee defined it as income of $200,000 to $250,000 a year.

Romney commented during an interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

As a reference point.... the median American income for a family of four is just over $ 50,000.00

According to the WaPo:

“No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers,” Romney told host George Stephanopoulos.

“Is $100,000 middle income?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,” Romney responded.

While I think anyone would reasonably put $ 200,000 in the Upper Middle Income bracket because for a family of four that is what it is, to think that many Americans make between $ 200,000.00 and $ 250,000.00 and to call that solid middle class is absolutely delusional at best.

Sorry for the short diary but I just see this disconnect with anything related to the average American as yet another example of how Mitt Romney is simply not qualified to be President of the United States.

Originally posted to volleyboy1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Jews For President Obama.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow! Mitt just stepped in it again. Look for (11+ / 0-)

    Obama and Biden to pounce on this.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:52:05 AM PDT

  •  already on the rec list. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anak, Deep Texan, DavidW

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:53:18 AM PDT

    •  Hmmm. I just noticed that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, Laughing Vergil

      The title of this one is much better though. I had no idea what the other one was about until I read your post.

      One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

      by Anak on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 08:58:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ok so go hang in that one... Have fun. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:09:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the previous author took it off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      because he realized it wasn't the political pay dirt he originally thought.

      I heard the story on progressive radio this AM as Mitt thinking the middle income was 200k to 250k.  Wow, I thought.

      I did a little digging and found that ABC summarized the interview in a news story and left the "and less" part out.  HuffPo picked it up with the misquote and the false story kind of got some traction.

      I really don't think this is usable politically for reasons noted in many comments below.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 10:02:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What difference does "and less" make? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, DaveS002, Avilyn

        The point is that either high end, $200k or $250k, is not middle class.

        If the "and less" counts, then people making $9k a year would be included in "middle class."

        •  because: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, Be Skeptical

          1) Romney is saying the top limit is within that range.  he doesn't mean that range is middle class.  He doesn't offer an exact number for the top limit because few people have an exact number to  whip out of their pocket like that.  

          What specific number do you think is the line between middle income and rich?  Would you include household or individual?  Would you account for geographical differences?  NYC will be 2-3 times what it is in Funk, Nebraska.  

          2) $250,000 also happens to be the break at which Obama discusses keeping Bush tax cuts for middle class and raising taxes for the wealthy.  That makes it less usable for us as a political tool.

          3) Yes, Romney doesn't name a floor to state where middle income stops and poverty begins, but the question wasn't about poverty and the good Lord knows his interviewer doesn't give a s**t about poverty either.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 10:36:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The middle of his donors median (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, PrahaPartizan

    income range. That's probably about accurate. Half make less, half make more.

  •  I believe that $200K-$250K is 96% percentile (6+ / 0-)

    and the bulk of the country's wealth is tied up in the uppermost 1% so that shows Mitt thinks the median lies at the 97.5% percentile. I guess that means the lower 96% are the lower class which would reflect a worldview which would have been skewed even during the Gilded Age which was supposedly this nation's period of greatest excess and inequality.  I guess this means instead of being a "Golden Boy", Mitt is really a "Gilded Boy" (which goes over the head of your local TP who doesn't really know what gilded means when applied to either the Boy or the lily)

  •  He won't raise taxes on the great middle class (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Those making over $250,000 a year. These people are the backbone of America!

  •  Well, I believe he said $250,00 and less (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, wwjjd, Catte Nappe

    which is essentially Obama's position (he proposes keeping the "middle class tax cuts " for incomes up to that point).

    $200,000 - $250,000 is certainly upper middle class, but it is hardly in the 1% range.  In some parts of the country, such as the SF Bay Area or NYC, it's really not a huge amount if you have two or three kids, especially if the local schools are crappy and you have to send your kids to private school.

  •  That's Middle the Hamptons maybe (4+ / 0-)

    Mitt even has a few "Middle Income"neighbors near his 6 homes.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:06:20 AM PDT

  •  In Mitt's world, if you're not a millionaire (4+ / 0-)

    you might as well be selling oranges by the side of the road.  

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:07:15 AM PDT

    •  Frank Zappa Discussed Long, Long Ago (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, Lefty Coaster, Troubadour

      Frank Zappa reviewed Romney's position long, long ago in his song "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing":

      "...You say yer life's a bum deal
      'N yer up against the wall...
      Well, people, you ain't even got no
      Deal at all
      'Cause what they do
      In Washington
      They just takes care
      of NUMBER ONE
      An' NUMBER ONE ain't YOU
      You ain't even NUMBER TWO (emphasis added)..."
      Romney and his team just keep driving this trope home every time they speak.  He's lived in a bubble his entire life and it shows.  I guess that might make him a bubble head, at least on a lot of things.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:20:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  while i disagree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical, Satya1, wwjjd, Catte Nappe

    it's pretty similar to what Pres. Obama has been saying.

    BO has said he wants to keep middle class taxes low, and then goes out and says he wants taxes for those making under 250k low.

    they seemt o both agree that someone making under 250k is middle class or below.

  •  If I told Mitt what I made... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Hey338Too

    I don't know whether he'd laugh or cry.

    No, wait. He'd smirk at me. And then he'd laugh.

    Where I come from, if you're pulling down 200K a year, you're not middle-class. You're rich.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:18:55 AM PDT

  •  I don't recall POTUS referring to people who make (4+ / 0-)

    $250k or less as "middle class," but it is the line he draws on where to start raising taxes. But I'm not sure how we contrast the President's view with the position Romney appears to try and take regarding where he'd also draw the line re taxes.

  •  America Redefined Working Class as "Middle" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical, Catte Nappe

    probably around New Deal time.

    Historically the middle class are the professionals and bureaucrats, small business owners like the fictional Scrooge, who were in the "middle" between the rich and the working class.

    Since they had the opportunties for travel, leisure, secure old age and education, when America began expanding those opportunities we brought a middle class lifestyle to the working classes for the first time (here and abroad) ever in human history.

    We're taking those things back now.

    Romney's definition is correct. Middle class isn't about median income and opportunity, it refers to a well to do professional class who has to work but has opportunity.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:45:30 AM PDT

  •  This is a non starter for us unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical

    The 200k to 250K Mitt mentioned was the range he placed the upper limit of middle income.  I read the transcript and watched the video.  It really isn't that awkward of a phrase IMHO.  At no time did I read or her Mittens say anything remotely like 200k being "solid middle class".

    (The median income per household is around 63k in 2011.)

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:58:32 AM PDT

  •  This will make a killer ad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atomicskunk, Deep Texan

    Quoting Romney in context.  
    Announcer, when Romney says he will lower taxes on the middle income families, you thought he was looking out four you? (with disbelief in his voice)

    Romney saying it is 200,000 to 250,000

    Announcer: something or other.

  •  Fortune/CNN (3+ / 0-)


    This won't help him shed the out-of-touch label...
    FORTUNE -- Mitt Romney has a curious definition of "middle income," based on an interview this morning with ABC News:
    MITT ROMNEY: No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers.
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
    MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.
    I'm honestly not sure what Romney is trying to say here, except that he doesn't want to raise federal income taxes.
    Is he honestly trying to argue that "middle-income" is $200,000 to $250,000?" According to recent U.S. Census data, just 1.9% of U.S. households fit that definition. I've heard people say the American middle class is disappearing, but 1.9% would be extreme.
    Romney defenders on Twitter have latched on to the "and less" part of his statement, but how does that really help matters? Does Romney mean everything under $250,000 is middle income? If so, that would seem to eliminate the "lower income" category entirely -- and how do you have a middle without the lower and higher?
    I've asked the Romney campaign for clarification. Also asked for a specific definition from the Obama campaign, given the President's tendency to refer to those earning less than $250,000 as "middle class." Not really expecting answers from either.
    For the record, median U.S. household income is around $50,000.
  •  Why this matters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, Satya1

    Romney is basically saying he won't raise taxes on people earning less than $200k. Fine.

    He has also said he will lower everyone's marginal tax rates, but for those earning above what would be middle class, he will make compensating reductions to various tax deductions. That is he'll both lower and raise taxes for those above $200k-$250k such that their total tax burden is the same.

    The problem for Romney is that the Tax Policy Center analysis basically shows that if Romney keeps his promise on reducing tax rates for those at the top, there is not a sufficient amount of deductions he could eliminate for that same group, to make the total impact revenue neutral. You would at the minimum have to eliminate deductions for taxpayers all the way down to $100,000. Stephanopolous understood that, which is why he was asking.

    Shorter version: Romney's plan has to raise taxes on people making $100K and up, not just those making 200k to 250K and up. Ergo he is proposing to raise  taxes on the middle class.

    •  You're right, this little quote isn't the issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, Economides

      which in the context of the interview doesn't really mean that he thinks the middle class is only those earning $200-$250 k, or that's the median income, etc.  Those are strained readings of his meaning.

      But if one reads the full interview transcript here, the tax shell game he has planned starts to emerge, and that should be the real killer in this story.

      •  Reading the transcript, this was all about policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        Romney is in fantasy land and he doesn't care one bit. Which is exactly why they were arguing about the $100,000 number.

        Here is the relevant section from the transcript in case people do not want to read through the whole awful thing:

        GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know Democrats are going to be wanting to get much more detail from you on how you’re going to pay for your tax cuts.  We’ve heard that at the Democratic Convention.  President Clinton said your math doesn’t work.  I know you dispute what President Clinton said and what the Democrats  that say that you’re going to have a $2,000 tax hike on middleclass families.  I know you dispute that.  You cite your own studies.  But one of the studies you cite by Martin Feldstein at Harvard shows that to make your math work, it could work, if you eliminate the home mortgage, charity, and state and local tax deductions for everyone earning over $100,000.  Is that what you propose?
        MITT ROMNEY: No, that’s not what I propose.  And, of course, part of my plan is to stimulate economic growth.  The biggest source of getting the country to a balanced budget is not by raising taxes or by cutting spending.  It’s by encouraging the growth of the economy.  So my tax plan is to encourage investment in growth in America, more jobs, that means more people paying taxes.  So that’s a big component of what allows us to get to a balanced budget.
        GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But his study, which you’ve cited, says it can only work if you take away those deductions for everyone earning more than $100,000.
        MITT ROMNEY: Well, it doesn’t necessarily show the same growth that we’re anticipating.  And I haven’t seen his precise study.  But I can tell you that we can lower our rates–
        GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you cited the study, though.
        MITT ROMNEY: Well, I said that there are five different studies that point out that we can get to a balanced budget without raising taxes on middle income people.  Let me tell you, George, the fundamentals of my tax policy are these.  Number one, reduce tax burdens on middle-income people.  So no one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers.
        GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
        MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.  So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them.
        Number two, don’t reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest.  The top 5% will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today.  That’s principle one, principle two.  Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs.  And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now.
        GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But you and Congressman Ryan, you’re going to hold the line.  You’re not going to put out any more detail on what kind of deductions you’re willing or loopholes you’re willing to close in order to pay for these tax cuts?
        MITT ROMNEY: You know, I had chance of being a governor and fighting for things I believe in as a governor.  And I’ve found that you have to work with the people across the aisle.  My legislature was 87 percent Democrat.  So if I’d have come out and said, “Here this is my bill.  This is the way I want it,” you’d never get it done.
        You lay out your principles.  Those are my principles, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, make sure the high-income people pay the same share they’re paying today, encourage growth by bringing down rates, and finally simplify the code.  Those are my principles.  I’ll stick with them.  And I believe that’s going to help get the economy going and grow jobs.
  •  i thought it was around 50K (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    maybe he was thinking of where he lives.  the poor people he knows personally make around 100K.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 11:03:13 AM PDT

  •  Make up your mind, you GOP idiots! (0+ / 0-)

    So if middle class starts at $200k, what do you call those making $20k?

    Oh, and let me remind you that for some conservatives think tanks state that one is not poor if he simply owns a fridge and a microwave over...

    These Republicans are just a bunch of clowns...

  •  Out of Touch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This clearly demonstrates how out of touch and elitist Romney is.

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