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Susan Estrich
8 Oct 2014
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Romney's Money Troubles

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Money troubles? Mitt Romney? The guy who pays a lower tax rate than I do because I actually work? The guy whose wife drives two Cadillacs and hangs with the NASCAR owners?

Yep. He's got money troubles. Or, as we call it in Los Angeles where the disease is rampant, TMM: Too Much Money. To paraphrase the late, great Ann Richards, he keeps putting that solid gold foot of his right in his mouth. And it could cost him far more than it did George Bush, who was born with a silver foot in his.

The rule of thumb in Democratic circles used to be that "class war" (us against them, them being the millionaires and Wall Street types) got you to about 46 percent, which (barring a third-party challenge) is not enough to win you a general election. To the great frustration of many of us who lived it and watched it, "us against them" poor people (welfare mothers, black criminals) always got you higher numbers than running against Donald Trump and Wall Street. But that was then.

Then was when the average CEO made 40 times what the average working stiff did (the 1970s), or even 100 times (the early '90s), but not 300 times (the latest numbers I've found). Then was when unemployment was in single digits, a home was a good investment and kids graduated from colleges with four- or five-figure debts, not six-figure debts and no jobs.

A fat cat may be the only decent choice Republicans have, but this is not the year for fat-cat politics. It's not the year for a guy who was on board to bail out Wall Street but not the auto industry, despite his love for the height of the trees in Michigan.

And it's not just Romney who has a problem. Occupy Wall Street was misguided and mismanaged, lacking a coherent theme, a long-term strategy, sophisticated leadership and the rest. But the fact that it struck such a resounding chord notwithstanding the epic confusion tells you something about the state of America today — or rather, to quote poor John Edwards, the two Americas.

I spend much of my time, gratefully, working for one of the most successful law firms in the world, representing many of the most successful companies in the world.

The 1 percent, or maybe the 0.1 percent: people who work too hard but have the luxury of not worrying about money. I spend the rest of my life among friends and family, where the conversation almost always returns to money: friends who have no jobs or are underwater on their houses, whose kids are slammed by debt and unable to make ends meet, or relatives with no jobs and no health insurance. Money. Money worries. And I should add that these are middle-class people I'm talking about.

Middle class doesn't mean what it used to mean. Middle class means in the middle of the struggle.

Sometimes I wonder whether the people at the top understand this at all. Does Romney know what it's like to worry about money? Does he have a clue what it means to work your way through school, to think you're about to live the American dream, only to find that you can't find a job and the interest payments on your loans keep adding up? Does he know what a foreclosure notice looks like? Has he ever stood in front of an ATM that won't spit out cash?

I know, he's met Jane and Joe and Albert on the campaign trail, and a well-trained aide has trailed behind him and written down their stories so he can use them in a speech or put them in an ad. It's not the same.

Remember when George Bush lost the election in 1992 because he couldn't say how the recession had affected him? A stumper. I'm sure Romney is more prepared for that question than most Wall Streeters are, but he's not the only one who should be looking in the mirror and trying to answer it.

The danger for Romney is that he could become the symbol of the 1 percent who have no clue about the lives of everyone else and, at the end of the day, no real interest, either. It could cost him the election, but the underlying anger could cost all of us far more. It's a dangerous game, for all sides.

Class warfare may work in this election, but that's really no cause for celebration, even for those of us who are rooting against Mr. TMM.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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Comments

12 Comments | Post Comment
Once again a reviosion of history. The deciding factor in the 1992 that resulted in the Clinton victory was not Bush being 'out of touch with people, but was that the third party candicatincy[sp] of Ross Perot took far more votes away from Bush than Clinton. If Perot had not been a canidate Bush may have very well won the election.
Comment: #1
Posted by: jon thomas
Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:28 PM
This piece by Estrich is staggering in the breadth of its hypocrisy and dishonesty by omission and that is so even by Estrich's very low personal standards in that regard.
She appears to rail as against class warfare but the whole piece is of itself simply an act of such warfare and from one belonging to the ,protrayed to be evil, class against whom such warfare is to be propogated, supposedly by others.
Firstly, Estrich fails to disclose that she is in fact a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan (and not just an employee as she dishonestly hints) and as such is undoubtedly in the top 5% class, if not the 1% class, you know the so called millionaires and billionaires class (in reality those earning over $250,000) for whom little president zero and the Democratic party has such undisguised hypocritical hatred. The notion that she would be in middle of the struggle or stands in front of an ATM that will not spit out cash is entirely laughable and entirely dishonest.
Secondly, of the top 12 richest members of Congress 9 positions (75%) are Democrats including Kerry, Warner, Pelosi, Kohn et al. Highest personal net worth of that bunch of 9 is Kerry the gigilo with $233 millions,with lowest Boxer at $70+ millions.
Yet these are the clowns that bypass the Constitution daily, that have governed by threat, diktat and corruption and all with not one word of objection from the humble class warrior Estrich.
Thirdly as to unemployment now in its 37th consecutive month over a real 12%, declining house values, mortgage and financial crisis, spiraling energy prices, student debt, rampant national debt now exceeding GDP, Estrich and everyone else need look no further than the policies of the Democratic party, and this rotten, corrupt to the core, crony capitalist president, who together have been the sole and direct cause of the present misery of this nation.
I earn a very good living but sincerely and truly wish that someday I can be rich enough to consider being a Democrat so that I may not have to worry about what some Marxist secularist extremist distribution of everyone elses's property save his, pos Democrat politician is going to do with my private property and the wealth that I have earned.
Comment: #2
Posted by: joseph wright
Fri Mar 2, 2012 5:11 AM
What I dislike the most about liberals is their mind-boggling hypocrisy. This article is an example.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Motley Wisdom
Fri Mar 2, 2012 5:48 AM
Why does susan get to decide how much is "too much money? Envy is an ugly emotion. If being rich is "bad" why bother trying to get rich. I'm rooting for rich people to get richer. If, susan and her kind get their way the "rich" will be gone and then the middle class will be "the rich". Then, when the middle class is gone everyone will be poor. WTF
Comment: #4
Posted by: David Henricks
Sat Mar 3, 2012 10:33 AM
Re: Motley Wisdom

I totally agree with you and Jon's replies.

Estrich as I have pointed out on numerous occasions 'forgets' Ross Perot received like 22% of the vote!

Comment: #5
Posted by: Dennis
Sat Mar 3, 2012 2:36 PM
My comment is not about this article, it is about what I just heard Susan Estrich say on Fox News...."this ia about contraception. The Republicans should not be talking about our sex lives." WRONG SUSAN: They are talking about who pays for the contraception!! Leave it to the liberals to conveniently twist things! By the way, it is the Democrats who brought it up.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Rose F.
Sat Mar 3, 2012 4:02 PM
Re: Rose F. Agreed. But the real issue is not contraception at all. Just for a moment, for argument's sake only, accept that contraception should be covered by health insurance policies and accept also for arguments sake only that the religious waiver actually meant anything and that the Catholic Church will cave {it won't ] then can someone explain just where the Constitutional power for the federal government to order any private business to provide service that will cost it huge sums to select individuals or class of individuals free of charge arises or comes from. Answer there is no such power. Not only is the mandate from Sebilius (her name sounds like nasty disease) an attack on first amendment freedom of religion and freedom of speech it is a monstrous power grab disguised as women's health issue. If this can be ordered then there is no service provided by any private business that cannot be be mandated by federal government for free delivery to the parasitic scum and bottom feeders that inhabit this country. There really is two Americas now, to wit, the producers and the worthless takers/users and included in the takers/users is every government employee, save the military, first responders and intelligence agencies.
Comment: #7
Posted by: joseph wright
Sat Mar 3, 2012 8:02 PM
Suzie, you are completely around the bend it would seem.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Paul
Sun Mar 4, 2012 5:37 PM
Once again Susan shows her ignorance. Romney and Buffett have a lot in common - they have very LITTLE OR NO TAXABLE INCOME! They do have investments that pay dividends and they take risk to manipulate their investments trying to create wealth. As a result they pay capital gain taxes, not income taxes. How can you be a college professor and be so ignorant? OR, is she a puppet for the Marxist agenda?
Comment: #9
Posted by: Early
Mon Mar 5, 2012 7:59 AM

Carbonite just pulled it advertising from Rush Limbaugh. I have been using Carbonite for years. I just pulled my automatic renewal for Carbonite and will not use their service again.

Comment: #10
Posted by: SusansMirror
Mon Mar 5, 2012 9:03 AM
Re: Early

I have to agree with you 100% on your post

Congress has been dominated by the Democrats for most of the last 50+ tears, and it's congress that makes tax law giving the rich and influential 'loopholes' [tax breaks]. Face it, the rich and influential will always be able to buy congress either thru [campaign donations], positions after retirement, and just out right bribery!

Does anyone really think 'campaign finance reform' will stop these so-called 'loopholes'?

Nuff Said...Dennis
Comment: #11
Posted by: Dennis
Tue Mar 6, 2012 5:13 PM
Re: Dennis
Are you for taxing wealth instead of income? That would destroy our capitalistic system completely!!
Don't go there! The only truly 'wealthy' person would be the dictator!
Comment: #12
Posted by: Early
Wed Mar 7, 2012 8:12 AM
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