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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Staff Editorial

Politicians out of touch with middle class

In a recent interview with MSNBC, Rep. John Fleming, R-Louisiana, was asked to give his take on Obama’s recent proposal to implement a new minimum tax rate for people who make more than $1 million a year.

Fleming, a member of the Tea Party, staunchly opposed the president’s proposition, writing off the measure as a form of class warfare. When the host questioned Fleming on his more than $6 million income, he replied that, after business expenses, he actually earns only a fraction of that. He argued that increasing his taxes would make it too difficult to make a living.

“The amount that I have to reinvest in my business and feed my family is more like $600,000 of that $6.3 million,” Fleming said. “So by the time I feed my family I have, maybe, $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment.”

If he has trouble raising a family with that kind of salary, it’s hard to imagine how he could handle living like the 98 percent of Americans who live on much less. It makes one wonder how expensive the food must be that he feeds his family on.

Fleming’s protests highlight just how out of touch our politicians are with the daily lives and struggles of the average American, and why so many people are frustrated with today’s government. When the politicians who are supposed to represent the voters have no idea what the voters deal with, there is a disconnect in the system that undercuts the purpose of a democracy.

Fleming claims that raising the taxes on the rich would kill jobs. But when they still manage to earn that much money, one wonder’s how much of their rhetoric is motivated by pure greed.

We live in a society where the middle class is shrinking as the upper class gets richer.

In attempting to elicit sympathy by lamenting his financial troubles, Fleming has shown how a large part of our political discourse is skewed toward benefitting the wealthy. Our politicians need to get a grip, and unless they start fighting for the people, our country will be lost to those with more self-serving purposes.

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