Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) owns a number of small businesses—according to the clip, Subway and UPS outlets, so franchises of national corporations—and he's objecting to President Obama's proposal to tax the wealthy a little more for deficit reduction, because it might hit non-rich people like him and then they'd create fewer jobs.
As Think Progress describes the scene:
Fleming is himself a businesses owner, so Jansing asked, “If you have to pay more in taxes, you would get rid of some of those employees?” Fleming responded by saying that while his businesses made $6.3 million last year, after you “pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment, and food,” his profits “a mere fraction of that” — “by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over.”
Let's look at the math. Out of total income of $6.3 million, Fleming has $400,000 left over after paying 500 workers and for rent and equipment and feeding his family; $600,000 before he feeds his family, which apparently eats a lot of very expensive food. (I think what he's implying is that he keeps $200,000 and uses $400,000 to expand his businesses—if we believe his vague account, we're to see expanding his businesses as noble job-creation, not personal enrichment. But mostly we're not supposed to think too hard about these numbers at all, because they don't make much sense.)
That leaves $5.7 million to run his businesses and pay his workers. If that $5.7 million was divided between 500 workers, without even thinking about rent and equipment, the average pay would be $11,400. Obviously the real number is much lower, which points to a whole lot of part-time, minimum wage jobs. So, Rep. Fleming? If you really wanted to be a noble job-creator, you'd give more of your employees something close to full-time work at something over minimum wage.
But, hey, the poor guy! Only either $600,000 or $400,000 to "feed his family" and expand his low-wage business empire. Plus, presumably, the government salary he doesn't see fit to mention here. It's just unfair to beat up on someone so disadvantaged, let alone raise their taxes.
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