Here’s a piece of mine from TomPaine.com on the weird delusions of politicians that they’re middle class. Among the most deluded? Joe Lieberman.
The day before the Connecticut primary, Joe Lieberman was getting down with the folks in a restaurant in Southington, a small town near Hartford. As the American Prospect reported, a longtime state employee named Paola Roy told Lieberman she felt the middle class has been forgotten by the federal government. Lieberman responded that he shared her concerns, and for good reason: â€œI came out of the middle class,” he said, “and, being a senator, I havenâ€™t gone much beyond the middle class.â€
Being a senator, I haven’t gone much beyond the middle class. Could anything better sum up the way American politicians seem to have relocated en masse to a new planet, and forgotten how things are back on Earth? In 2005, Lieberman and his wife Hadassahâ€”a lobbyist at D.C. powerhouse Hill & Knowltonâ€”together made $366,084. This places them securely in the top 1 percent of U.S. households. In fact, just the money they receive each year for supervising family trusts would likely put them in the middle quintile of American families. Moreover, they have financial assets â€”i.e., over and above their homes in Connecticut and Washingtonâ€”worth somewhere between $465,000 and $1.9 million. The comparable amount for the average U.S. family is about $30,000.