It’s amazing to me, that the American public would even consider a man like Newt Gingrich for public office, much less for the Presidency of the United States. His recent surge in the polls is obviously aided and/or manufactured by the media, and he is just the latest GOP turd (candidate) to float to the top of the political toilet bowl. But Newt has outdone himself this time. During a recent debate with Herman Cain, Gingrich let out a well-practiced diatribe against The Occupy Wall Street Movement in which he tells the protestors to “Get a job right after you take a Bath” Check Out the video of this classically clueless GOP front-runners moment below……..
Last time I checked, Mr. Gingrich was running for President of The United States of America, which includes EVERY AMERICAN, not just the 1%. If he seriously wants to be elected president of just the rich and influential, then he should enter a different race altogether. America is not just for the “haves” or “have-nots”, but it’s greatest strength comes from the totality of the population and not just 1 individual or class. Newt Gingrich represents everything that is wrong with America, it’s corruption, cronyism, lack of compassion, and most of all, it’s apathy, the very things that #OWS are protesting against. No wonder he felt the need to attack the movement……..but Thanks Newt, for telling us we need a bath, and employment. Here’s a tip for you…. You should Brush your teeth more often, because the Bullshit coming out of your mouth, is starting to leave a stain.
- Newt Gingrich To Occupy Wall Streeters: “Go Get A Job After You Take A Bath” (alan.com)
- Newt Gingrich Tells Off Occupy Wall Street At GOP Debate: ‘Go Get A Job After You Take A Bath’ (mediaite.com)
- Newt Gingrich On Occupy Wall Street: Protesters Should ‘Get A Job’ And ‘Take A Bath’ (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Cain fades while Newt gains, mouths off (capitolhillblue.com)
- Newt Gingrich Tells Occupy Wall Street: ‘Go Get a Job Right After You Take a Bath’ (timesunion.com)
- Does Anyone Else Remember Newt Gingrich’s ad with Nancy Pelosi About Climate Change? (reason.com)
- GINGRICH: Newt Gingrich: the GOP candidate of the moment; can Newt break away from the pack and take the GOP nomination? (marcjan.wordpress.com)
With the advent of the Occupy Wall Street protests, we have heard consistently about the 99% and the 1%. But which Presidential Candidates are really of the 1% and which ones fall into the 99%? The Answer May Surprise You.
Occupy Wall Street protesters have touched a nerve with their slogan, “We are the 99 percent.” It has focused attention on the ground gained by the rich even as a brutal economy has pushed the typical American family backward. Economic inequality may or may not become a central issue in the presidential race, but the candidates have at least one reason to hope it does not.
A look at the finances of those vying for the presidency shows that almost all of them rank at the very top of the country’s earners. In other words, they are the 1 percent.
The possible exceptions are Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Representative Ron Paul of Texas, whose annual household earnings may not exceed the estimated cutoff of $700,000 for the top 1 percent, and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who has yet to file a financial disclosure.
Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana, probably does not make the cut either, which may be one reason Mr. Roemer paid a visit to the protest encampment in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan to express his solidarity.
But Mitt Romney, whose fortune, totaling as much as a quarter of a billion dollars, dwarfs those of his rivals; Jon M. Huntsman Jr., whose father owns a global chemical company; Newt Gingrich, a successful author; Herman Cain, a businessman who reports earnings of over $1.2 million; and Rick Santorum, the former senator, who took in over $700,000 last year, are all solidly in the 1 percent, as measured by assets, income or both.
The wealth is not limited to Republicans. Though President Obama was not in the 1 percent in 2006, before his entry to presidential politics, he earned between $1.8 million and $6.8 million last year, largely from book royalties.
The gap between the candidates and the electorate is especially striking in an election season in which the economy is foremost in people’s minds and politicians are trying to demonstrate that they can feel the pain. Many people believe that those responsible for the financial crisis escaped punishment with the help of political allies.
Democrats have more or less embraced the Wall Street protesters, while Republicans have wavered between dismissing them and trying to redirect their anger from Wall Street to the White House.
The protesters are far from the only potential voters disturbed by the growing wealth divide. In a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, 69 percent of respondents said that Republican policies favored the rich. Twenty-eight percent said the same of Mr. Obama’s policies, while only 23 percent thought his policies favored the middle class. Sixty-six percent said the country’s distribution of wealth should be more even.
The wealth of the candidates exacerbates the sense that politicians are far removed from middle-class American lives. “You want to know that elected leaders understand the consequences of their political decisions,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of theAnnenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “Does that candidate understand what I’m going through right now? What my family is going through? Do they know what it’s like to lose your home, to lose your job?”
Of course, presidential politics has long been a sport for the rich, and candidates need not be middle-class themselves to convince voters that they understand. Some, like Mr. Cain and Mr. Perry, may win people over with their stories of ascent from humble beginnings.
But even bootstraps are not strictly necessary. “A rich person can represent the 99 percent,” said Judy Goldstock, a retired social worker protesting in Zuccotti Park. “Look at Kennedy.”
Mr. Romney has scolded his audiences at times for “attacking people based on their success.” And Mr. Cain proclaimed, “If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” (Or, he later amended, blame Mr. Obama.)
The 99 percent meme has shifted the debate from the days when President Obama spoke of raising taxes on families that made more than $250,000. “Many people could see a future in which they might make $250,000,” Ms. Jamieson said. “Very few can see a future in which they would be a member of the 1 percent.”
The alienation is evident in a study of mothers who shop at Wal-Mart, where pollsters found that the women did not believe their elected officials could understand what it was like to be consumed by the price of milk, gasoline and college tuition.
“We asked, ‘If your elected officials knew about your life what would they do?’ And somebody said, ‘Cry,’ ” said Margie Omero, the founder of Momentum Analysis, a Democratic polling firm that along with Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican firm, has been tracking the women since May 2010. “They always want to know, ‘When is my bailout going to come?’ ”
In focus groups, the women discussed the satisfaction they derived from watching “Undercover Boss,” a reality show in which top executives take a turn at the bottom of the ladder in their own companies.
Membership in the 1 percent can be measured by wealth or by income. By household wealth, the cutoff point would be a projected $9 million in 2010, according to an analysis of the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances by Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University. The cutoff for annual household income would be about $700,000, Mr. Wolff said. (Using Internal Revenue Service figures, which count earnings differently, the Congressional Budget Office puts the earnings cutoff at $350,000 for the 1 percent in 2007.
At Zuccotti Park, protesters described the 1 percent variously as people who “can just make money with money,” “the ones so interested in making profits that they’re willing to lay off hundreds of thousands of people a year,” and “anyone who doesn’t create a product.”
Even by the numbers, though, it is hard to tell precisely where the candidates stand. The majority have not released tax returns, and their financial disclosure forms give only a range of assets and income. Mrs. Bachmann’s income was listed at $280,000 to $840,000, and Mr. Paul’s was $360,000 to $1.1 million, which included their Congressional salaries of $174,000.
The disclosures exclude the candidates’ homes and other noninvestment property, as well as the salaries of their spouses. Most disclose income over a period longer than a year, from which The New York Times calculated annual earnings. The candidates were likelier to rank in the elite in income rather than in assets. Mr. Cain’s net worth topped out at $6.6 million, for example, and Mr. Santorum’s at $2.6 million.
Mr. Perry appears to be among the least affluent of the leading candidates. He earns $150,000 a year as governor, and his wife makes $60,000 a year at a nonprofit organization. But the couple have made money in real estate deals, including one that pushed their income above $1 million in 2007. Various news organizations have estimated the Perrys’ net worth at just over $1 million.
By SHAILA DEWAN /New York Times
A version of this article appeared in print on October 29, 2011, on page A12 of the New York edition with the headline: Presidential Candidates? Few Are the 99 Percent.
There are progressive millionaires available to run! What’s more, OWS – or at least, the issues that propel it – are vastly more popular than the Tea Party that gestated Cain and gave Joe his soapbox. A New York Times/CBS poll out Wednesday found that while only 24% of those polled describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party, 43% said they “generally agree” with the view of OWS. And when asked about the views themselves (not in the context of OWS), Americans expressed opinions that would have them hooted off a GOP debate stage: 65% want to increase taxes on millionaires and 66% believe that “the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among more people.”
Conservatives might claim that the OWS movement hasn’t generated a candidate because they already have one: Obama. But it was the Obama administration that oversaw many of the policies that have brought so many people out of their heavily mortgaged homes and into the streets.
I think the appeal of these outsider candidates on the right has to do with what’s at the heart of conservatism: resistance to change. For all their carping about the tax code (and Cain’s truly, genuinely radical proposal to replace it), GOP voters believe that what’s wrong with America right now is who’s running it, not the system of governance itself.
Daron Shaw, a political science professor at the University of Texas, says that among outsider candidates issues “are important but only symbolically”. According to Shaw, policy points like the budget or the tax code become important only when an outsider can “can claim them as symbols of either corruption or competence”.
Cain’s appeal is fundamentally one of competence; he ran a successful business, he can run the country! And he points to the tax code’s eleventy kajillion words (he hasn’t seemed to settle on an exact count) as a representation of redundancy and complexity, not as a policy that is inherently unjust. That’s what his plan is for.
Occupy Wall Street has, in Shaw’s parlance, a corruption claim, and as such, resists being embodied by a single individual or policy … even as it gains energy every time authorities try to crack down on it. See: Oakland.
It may be impossible for Obama – or anyone running for office, politician or not – to capitalise on that energy. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to go to waste. As Shaw puts it, “When governments fall, they tend to fall not because of a new set of issues, but because … parties come along whose central claim is that they’re not part of the established order.” Third parties in American history have been unsuccessful – but they’ve also mostly been formed around a single person. Talk about catering to the 1%.
OWS doesn’t need a leader to become a persistent presence (it might fail specifically because it appoints one), it just needs even more followers. It doesn’t need a celebrity Joe, just more regular ones.
by Anne Marie Cox – Guardian UK