The Politics of Big Downturns
In Which Mr. Deling Responds to Someone Who Might Be Professor Xxxx Xxxxxxxxx

Michael O'Hare on the Class War

Michael O'Hare reads Chicago Law Professor Xxxx Xxxxxxxxx , and reacts:

The whining of the rich « The Reality-Based Community: Through Glenn Reynolds, whither I wandered because of Mark’s post about something else entirely, I came upon this truly amazing pasticcio of mendacity, ignorance, and small-minded cupidity.  It’s worth a close look because the author is a law professor, not some high-school dropout Limbaugh lemming, and because the tone of entitlement and whining is typical of a fair number of the comments I got on my post about intergenerational equity (and by extension, equity).

Because Obama proposes to let the Bush tax cuts expire only on “incomes above $250K”, I was surprised that Prof. Xxxx Xxxxxxxxx expected to be importantly worse off under the president’s plan....  He says his family’s “combined income  exceeds the $250,000 threshhold for the super rich (but not by that much).”... [H]e says he’s paying “nearly $100,000″ in state and federal taxes, not including sales  tax; let’s say $95,000. Leaving out his property tax, that’s $80,000 in income tax.  How much income would lead to this kind of tax hit?... [H]is pretax family income exceeds $250,000 by at least $90,000.  But this doesn’t include tax-free contributions to their 401Ks.... So we’re pretty close to $400K gross income,  and on top of that their employers are surely putting money into their retirement funds....

He is also whining about his and his wife’s education loans, $500,000, which are costing them about $50K per year in interest. Let’s just sketch out the family budget here: Taxes: $100,000. Housing... $80,000. Two really nice cars... $10,500. Student loan payments (20 year amortization at 10%) = $60,000....

This leaves about $90,000, a lousy $245 a day, for food, clothes, vacations, cable TV, and like that. You can walk into Nordstrom’s on Upper Michigan and spend that in a minute, and for stuff you really need. Really, I don’t know how these people get by; their adaptive skills, economical habits, and modest living style is an inspiration to all of us.  Perhaps they are careful to tip no more than 15% at the Sizzler when they splurge.

So how does our third-of-a-million-a-year law prof/doctor couple and their three kids, barely scraping by already and falling before our eyes to the very bottom of the top 1% of US families by income, make out under Obama’s rapacious soak-the-rich commie attack on all that is holy and American and fine?... His taxes will go down $3700.... And this guy is threatening to fire the gardener and the house cleaner, take the kid out of art class, turn off his cell phones, and try to raise competent adults with only basic cable.

Prof. Xxxx Xxxxxxxxx, I’m ashamed to share my profession with you....

The next time you come upon a Chicago law professor in his scuffed Gucci loafers and tattered Armani on the sidewalk, holding up his libertarian down-with-government sign and shaking his tin cup to get his doctor wife and hollow-eyed waifs through another tough week in their million-dollar hovel, please don’t just walk by. Remember, it could be you. Be a mensch: throw a nice shiny 3/8″ washer and couple of nickel slugs in there, with my blessings.