Jeff Lord takes Rick Santorum to task for criticizing Mitt Romney’s public speaking fees and characterized Santorum’s criticism as stepping into the “I-hate-capitalism cow pie.”
I disagree. To start with, let’s stop equating criticism of Romney with anti-capitalism. Santorum’s criticism of Romney’s public speaking fees is no more anti-capitalist than when people complain about the salaries of baseball players.
Case in point. Last September, when the New York Yankees clinched the American League East, I wrote a blog post praising them for doing it at a bargain:
Then let’s also consider the players who were developed in the Yankees organization who have also made significant contributions to the team this season and aren’t millionaires. Ivan Nova has become the Yankees number two starting pitcher with a 16-4 record with a respectable 3.62 ERA. Nova earned a modest $432,900.
Well, one reader took exception to that last sentence:
Only a guy who makes his living as a poltiical commentator and writer would think that Ivan Nova’s salary of $432,900.00 for playing Baseball in taxpayer subsidized stadiums in the middle of the country’s worst recession since 1930 is a modest amount of money!
No wonder people don’t think that Republicans are serious about fixing the economy!
Get back to your real job Aaron!
To which I retorted, “In comparison to C.C. Sabathia’s $23 million a season, Nova’s $432,900 is a modest amount of money.”
So in the grand scheme of things, the $362,000 Romney earned in public speaking fees represents a very small portion of his fortune and, as Jeff points out (via Rush Limbaugh) is paltry in comparison to the $82 million Bill Clinton has earned in public speaking fees. In fact, you could say that in the world of public speaking, Romney is to Clinton what Nova is to fellow Yankees starter A.J. Burnett (who is entering the fourth year of a five year contract worth $82.5 million.)
On the other hand, to most people, $362,000 is not a small amount of money. The median household income in the U.S. last year was $49,445. It would take more than seven years for a household earning the median income to earn what Romney earned in public speaking fees. For most Americans, $362,000 would represent a vast fortune beyond their wildest imaginations. The fact that Romney can casually state that $362,000 amounts to “not very much” illustrates the gap between his own good fortune and a critical mass of the electorate struggling to make ends meet. As I stated in yesterday’s article:
Romney has no idea what it is to worry about money and so long as he remains insulated from the real world he stands little chance of being elected President.
With that said, I think Romney has less in common with Ivan Nova than he does with the late George Steinbrenner. Both men enjoyed firing people who provided services to them. The only difference was that Steinbrenner rehired the people he fired only to fire them again.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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