In a nation where median household income hovers just above $50,000 a year and jobless claims are soaring, one would think the political and financial elite might be mindful of stepping on the little guy when they’re speaking in public.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele? Not so much.
At a recent debate with possible Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr., Steele boasted that after taxes, $1 million “is not a lot of money,” apparently trying to leverage a rhetorical attack against President Obama’s tax policies.
President Obama has said he wants the Bush-era tax cuts on wealthy Americans to expire, returning tax rates to Clinton-era levels and shifting more of the burden from poor families to those earning over $250,000 per year.
“Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money,” Steele said, according to the Associated Press.
Ford reportedly retorted, “Who in here makes a million dollars a year?” No hands were raised, to which Steele asked, “How many of you want to make a million dollars a year?”
Just two percent of Americans earn over $250,000 per year, with membership in higher income brackets growing even thinner, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Current rates tax people making over $372,950 per year some 35%. Think Progress notes that taxes on $1 million would still leave about $675,000 — a total which Steele apparently scoffs at.
The RNC chairman earns as much as $20,000 for every speaking engagement, according to The Washington Times.
How The Hill’s John Solomon helped Rudy Giuliani spread his Ukraine conspiracies
After John Solomon ran columns in The Hill that touched off a disinformation campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the publication had discussions with Rudy Giuliani about a business venture.
As ProPublica revealed last month, Giuliani associate Lev Parnas had helped arrange an interview Solomon conducted with a Ukrainian prosecutor who claimed the Obama administration interfered with anti-corruption cases involving high-profile people, including Biden’s son Hunter. Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, trumpeted Solomon’s work on cable news. The Hill articles are now a central component of the Trump impeachment investigation.
Forget the politics — for now: Follow the flowing money in the Ukraine scandal
The Ukraine scandal is mostly viewed through the prism of politics — an attempt by President Donald Trump to gain an advantage over a political opponent. But, as most things are, it’s also about money — and we found lots of it flowing between key players in the scandal.
On this week’s episode of “Trump, Inc.,” we follow the money.First, Let’s Meet Our Cast of Ukraine Players
Richest among them is Dmitry Firtash, an oligarch who has been battling to avoid an extradition flight to Chicago, where he faces federal charges of bribery. The Department of Justice has described Firtash as an “upper-echelon” associate “of Russian organized crime.” (He denies the charges and says the prosecution is politically motivated.)
Televised impeachment hearings mattered during Watergate — but they may not today: John Dean associate
I started a continuing legal education program with John Dean in 2011. We have done over one-hundred-and-fifty programs across the nation since then.
Our first program was about obstruction of justice and how Dean, as Nixon’s White House Counsel, navigated the stormy waters when he turned on the president and became history’s most important whistleblower. Unlike the current whistleblower, Dean had been involved in the cover-up, but ultimately decided he had to end the criminal activity in the White House, with no assurance of anonymity and with the almost certain expectation that he was blowing himself up in the process.