4/9 Update: Read more commentary on this story here.
Remember what I wrote earlier today about how visiting Harrisburg, NC was perfect for Ms. Down on Her Country Michelle Obama in terms of how she would try to “relate” to the poor and middle class people who live there, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, in part, because of a wave of job losses that have hit Cabarrus County over the last several years? Well, I hate to say I Toldjah So, but … :
HARRISBURG, N.C. –Michelle Obama says she and her husband have a better understanding of the everyday challenges facing Americans than do policy makers in Washingon.
The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigned Tuesday at a town hall meeting north of Charlotte. She said the Illinois senator and his family are “not so far away from life that we don’t understand and get it.”
Obama said when she and her husband left law school, the monthly payments on their school loan debt was more than their monthly mortgage payment. She said they only got out of that debt when Barack Obama wrote two best selling books.
Here’s a video clip from the meeting.
Let’s address that last paragraph: “Obama said when she and her husband left law school, the monthly payments on their school loan debt was more than their monthly mortgage payment. She said they only got out of that debt when Barack Obama wrote two best selling books.”
Here are a few things to keep in mind while considering this sob story:
1. His tax returns:
Newly released tax returns offer a glimpse into Barack Obama’s transformation from a state senator making a household income of less than $250,000 just three years ago into a millionaire U.S. senator and best-selling author.
The Obamas’ jointly filed tax returns from 2000 to 2006, released by the campaign Tuesday, show that Obama made a total of $1.6 million in 2005 and 2006 as the author of the best-selling “Dreams of My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.”
2. Barack Obama’s financial status in 2004:
The [late 2004] big book deal may help relieve Obama of some financial concerns. Obama said at the end of July that he had taken out a second mortgage and was worried whether his Senate salary of $158,100 a year would be enough.
He put in three bids for the $1.65 million house he and his family currently reside in in early 2005.
3. Michelle Obama’s income over the last three years:
â€¢ â€¢ Michelle Obama’s income of $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals. She will get paid less in 2007 because she cut back on her job because of the campaign. She made more in 2005 because of a signing bonus from the U. of C. given when she was promoted to vice president of community and external affairs in January 2005, just as Obama was sworn in as senator.
Tax returns from last year showed her total compensation in 2005 went from $122,000 to $317,000, though the higher figure includes a one-time pension payout and the bonus.
â€¢ â€¢ Michelle Obama’s income of $51,200 from TreeHouse Foods, where she has been on the board of directors since June 2005.
4. Their pre-US Senate income:
2004: Joint income totaled $207,342 (includes $32,144 to B. Obama from University of Chicago; $53,288 state senator salary and $121,910 for Michelle’s University of Chicago Hospital salary). The couple gave $2,500 in miscellaneous charity contributions.
2003: Joint income totaled $238,327 (includes $64,287 to Barack from University of Chicago; $58,151 state senator salary, and $115,889 for Michelle’s University of Chicago Hospital salary). They gave $3,400 to miscellaneous charities.
2002: Joint income totaled $226,300 (includes $69,287 to Barack from University of Chicago; $58,187 state senator salary and $98,826 for Michelle’s University of Chicago Hospital salary). The couple gave $1,050 to miscellaneous charities.
2001: Joint income totaled $176,965 (no breakdown provided on salary, however this includes $98,158 in “business income” B. Obama reported from side work as an attorney). They gave $1,470 to miscellaneous charities.
2000: Joint income totaled $212,999 (no breakdown provided on salary, however this includes $16,500 in “business income” B. Obama reported from side work as “foundation director/educational speaker”). They gave $2,350 to miscellaneous charities.
I presume at their ages they’ve both been out of law school for roughly 20 years. Yet up until a few years ago they had to take out a second mortgage on their home and had college loan payments that were higher than their mortgage payments. Is it just me, or does it sound like the both of them lived beyond their means for many, many years?
It’s become more and more clear everytime we listen to either Mrs. Obama or the man she claims can “heal this nation” that the both of them think that it’s ok to live beyond your means because Big Government will and should always be there to pay for what you can’t, like your college education, your healthcare, childcare, etc. Personal responsiblity be damned.
Related: Oh no! Has mega-talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s popularity taken a hit as a result of her support for Senator Obama?