All Those Firemen at the Country Club

On AC360 tonight recent Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Carly Fiorina, pushed back against the Democratic talking point of Republicans only caring about protecting “millionaires and billionaires” from taxes in unintentionally comical fashion. She claimed that Obama and the Democrats are really talking about any family making over $250K a year and added that she didn’t believe a married couple consisting of a fireman and nurse feel rich right now, clearly inferring that this would be a couple making $250K a year or more.

I waited for her to be called “out of touch” or at least questioned. After all, depending on the source you believe (and how you define a household), somewhere between 1% and a little over 3% of American households made at least $250K.  2% seems to be the most typical number. That doesn’t sound like firemen and nurses.  Especially since median household income is pretty steadily reported at about $50K. Do firemen and nurses combine to make 500% more than the typical American household? However, both the guest host, Sanjay Gupta, and former Democratic Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine, let her escape unscathed with this misleading statement.

For the record, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos329.htm) reported a median salary for fireman to be under $45K. Mean wages for registered nurses hover around $60K to $80K depending on the particular title and specialty (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291111.htm ). So, the fireman and nurse would be expected to make around $110K. Even if both were at the high end of their professions, they would fall far short in all but the most extreme cases, and at that point you probably wouldn’t refer to the fire chief of a major city as a fireman.

It is interesting to note that Fiorina was CEO of HP and Corzine was CEO of Goldman Sachs prior to seeking power in the political world. This is a nice example of CNN providing a wide range of views on who should be taxed. Now viewers know what super-wealthy CEO’s from both technology based and finance industries think about the rich shouldering their share the burden.

  1. wsthursday posted this
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