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wundayatta's avatar

How do you think the politics of wealth will play out in the 2012 election?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) April 13th, 2012

Romney is a millionaire many times over. His wife never had to work outside the home, and perhaps didn’t have to cook or clean inside the home, as she raised her boys. Mitt has lots of friends who own NASCAR teams, and he goes elk and quail hunting with his rich buddies in Montana. God knows what cars he owns or whether he has yachts or how many homes he has.

Obama is probably a millionaire by now, but a million dollars isn’t nearly what it used to be. It’s kind of an old standard, and should be adjusted for inflation. In any case, he has a lot less than Mitt and is newer to the wealth. He’s also black, and I don’t know if that is related to the wealth issue—like maybe people believe that because he’s black, he can’t be as wealthy as whites, or something. If it plays in, feel free to mention it, though.

So how will this play? Are Mitt and Ann out of touch due to wealth? Will people care? Or are they just symbols of aspiration?

What about Barack and Michelle? Are they better aspirational symbols because they come from further back (if they do)? Are they out of touch because they live in Washington?

How do the independents see wealth? Are Democrats anti-wealth? In the perception of who? Are Republicans anti-poor? What does it mean to be anti-wealthy or anti-poor?

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7 Answers

tom_g's avatar

I don’t care if Mitt and Romney are rich or poor. It’s their proposed policies that matter. The media will play up stories and make things about “character” (whatever the holy f*ck that’s supposed to mean). “Mitt’s out of touch.” Really? So, are we supposed to have “Joe the plumber” be the president because he’s more “down to earth” or something?

Blackberry's avatar

There are essentially two groups, but I’m not sure what the ratio is. There are people who see such wealth as absurd, and others who see it as an aspiration.

It’s not necessarily wrong to have so much money, but it’s just our widening wealth gap and heavy capitalist mindset that accompany some people that have that kind of money. So it depends on how many people have that ideology.

Bill1939's avatar

Wealth is not the issue. Poverty is, and the fact that many from the economic middle-class are being driven into it. The difference between the political parties is the role that government should have in its amelioration. Neither party is opposed to citizens aspiring wealth. However, one questions the cost to many for the few attaining great wealth.

tom_g's avatar

@tom_g: “I don’t care if Mitt and Romney are rich or poor.”

Why do I bother typing? Let’s try again….“Romney and Obama”.

Jaxk's avatar

Obama is not exactly a pauper with a net worth in $8 million range. Still not even close to Romney who is in the $200 million range. I would think we’d want a president who has been successful rather than someone who has failed at everything they tried.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think the wealthy will do their best to buy the election for Romney by giving heavily to the Super PACs, because Romney has promised to keep the taxes low for the wealthiest Americans. And they might succeed, because too many voters believe every anti-Obama email that they receive, too many voters only hear the words in the negative ads (they do not do their own research), & too many voters swallow the religious BS handed out by the fundamentalists / evangelicals. I think it will be a close election. Regardless of which party wins the election in November, very little will change for the average American citizen. We will still be involved in needless wars, we will still be subject to the NDAA, & the Patriot
Act, & the military will still get most of the tax money. Of course, if Romney wins, things will get brighter for the Republicans & much dimmer for the rest of us.

ETpro's avatar

I think that Obama is a gifted enough orator that he will manage to frame the fairness vs. “class warfare” debate in starkly clear terms. It is not about wealth, it is about being patriotic enough to do your fair share even if your wealth makes that fair share a substantial amount of money. There is no question but that the Greatest Generation understood shared sacrifice. To end the Great Depression and stop Hitler from carrying out his master plan to exterminate all of non “Aryan: humanity, the rich paid a top tax rate of as much as 94%.

Today, with America under threat of sliding into third-world status, President Obama is just asking that the really rich—those with incomes over $1,000,000 a year—accept a top tax rate of 39.6%. That is what they paid during the Clinton years, and millionaires did fabulously during that economic boom. The US added more jobs in those 8 years than during any other 8 year period in our nation;s history.

Candidate Ryan supports the Ryan Budget, which would allow the average millionaire to keep an extra $250,000 per year. That’s the George W. Bush tax cuts for the rich on steroids. Romney argues that the millionaires and billionaires are the job creators, so giving them ever more tax cuts produces ever more jobs. But the reality is that George W. Bush had the worst job creation record since Herbert Hoover (and the onset of the Great Depression). And Bush’s economic and tax policies led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Romney wants to double down on a set of policies that came ever so close to destroying the US economy and plunging the entire world into a second Great Depression. But hey, doing so would give him millions more to hang on to at the end of each tax year. If it bankrupts 99% of the people in the world, that’s what they get for playing dumb.

I can’t remember a time when the choice of competing visions for the USA was so incredibly stark.

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