The Spectacle Blog

Wisconsin Dem Ron Kind Has Odd Definition of “Poor” and “Wealthy”

By on 10.28.10 | 11:33AM

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind, lamenting the prospect of Russ Feingold losing his Senate seat, told Dave Weigel, "Call me foolish...But I think it's important that we still have one poor person serving in the Senate. If Johnson buys this election, he'd be the 72nd multimillionaire in the Senate."

Kind has an odd definition of "poor." As a Senator, Russ Feingold earns $174,000 a year -- which easily puts him in the top 5 percent of income earners according to IRS data.

But what makes Kind's remark odder still is his definition of "wealthy."

At a recent debate, Kind defended his suport for raising taxes:

Kind said he would like the keep the (Bush) tax cuts in place for the first $250,000 of income.

“But for those who are calling for the permanent extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent … I tell them find a way to pay for it. Don’t borrow the money from China to do it and increase the debt burden for our children and grandchildren,” he said.

So, under Kind's set of definitions, Feingold -- as an individual earning $174,000 -- is a "poor person." Yet a household earning $250,000 is wealthy.

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