Add Louisiana Congressman John Fleming to the list of anti-tax Republicans who whine that getting by on a six- or seven-figure income isn’t as easy as you five-figure folk may think.
Back in July, Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) shared that he struggles to pay his bills on his $174,000 Congressional salary (more than three times the median household income in his Wisconsin county). Today, on Chris Jansing’s MSNBC show, multimillionaire Fleming explained in personal terms why Obama’s plan to raise taxes on millionaires is so unfair.
Fleming, whose flock of Subway shops and UPS stores brought in $6.3 million last year, said that after expenses he nets about $600,000—and “by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment.”
“So,” Jansing asked, “you’re saying that if you have to pay more in taxes you would get rid of some of those employees?” Fleming never answered the question.
She tried again: “You do understand, Congressman, that the average person out there who’s making forty, fifty, sixty thousand dollars a year, when they hear that you have only $400,000 left over, it’s not exactly a sympathetic position.”
“Well, again,” he said, “class warfare’s never created a job.”
Neither have record-low taxes on the rich, as ten years of Bush tax cuts should have proven once and for all. Finally, in his speech today on why we must raise taxes on the wealthy to reduce the deficit, Obama came up with just the right, succinct retort: “This isn’t class warfare. It’s math.”