Friday, April 13, 2012

Obamas Out of Touch with Working Americans

Last Friday, President Obama gave a speech during “The White House Forum on Women and the Economy” during which he explained the reason that Michelle did not stay home with their daughters, but went back to work. Their reason? “We didn't have the luxury for her not to work.”

Hold on a second…didn’t have the luxury for her not to work?! According to this news article, in 2005, when their daughters were 7 and 4, Mr. Obama was making $162,100 a year (in the U.S. Senate) and Michelle made $316,962. Their combined income at that time was more than the Presidential salary of $400,000.

But they just couldn’t afford to live on a meager $162,100. There was no help for it. Michelle wanted to stay home, but they just couldn’t make ends meet that way.

Well, now we know – there’s no reasonable way for a family of 4 to survive on $162k per year. Our most brilliant President thinks so. Those of us who have somehow managed to do this must be truly incredible people. No doubt we have horribly scarred our families by not being able to afford multiple Hawaii vacations and country club memberships. How do we ever make it without such basic necessities as caviar and designer clothing? We surely must be living below the poverty level.

Now the sad story Obama tells of how terribly they struggled and Michelle’s difficult time in balancing work and family is meant to show how they can empathize with working class Americans. See, the Obamas are just like us. They know how hard it is to struggle financially, to wonder how they will ever afford the things they truly need. They want us to know they have felt our pain. Nice try, Mr. President.

To those of us who have been able to live on one income (often less than $40,000), who really do sacrifice to have a mom who stays at home, this is laughable. The Obamas don’t understand that it’s not a matter of how much you make. It’s not a question of luxury at all. It’s a priority we make for the sake of our kids. And we also know that there is a big difference between luxuries and necessities. The number of real necessities is far smaller than the Obamas can grasp, apparently.

To those who really do lack the option to stay home, this is an insult. The Obamas may have had their reasons for Michelle to work, but lack of money wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t that they lacked the luxury for her to stay home so much as that they wouldn’t have had enough luxury for their highbrow lifestyle and tastes without Michelle’s considerable income.

This is just another example of how out of touch the first family is with working class Americans. Now, it’s fine to make money and there’s nothing wrong with being wealthy. I don’t have any problem with people having well-paying jobs. If they can make 6-figure incomes, good for them. We need them in the economy and that’s part of the American Dream – to be able to better yourself and make more money through hard work. I don’t even argue if they want to work instead of staying home with their kids. That’s their choice. But when you make that kind of money, don’t try to tell me that you understand my financial struggles or that staying home wasn’t an option for you. Don’t belittle the sacrifices my family makes by pretending to have the same problems.

President Obama tries to curry the favor (and votes) of the working class with his stories, but instead shows his total lack of understanding of how ordinary people live. It’s no wonder his administration has taken government spending to new levels of irresponsibility and given our country the greatest debt it has ever seen. No wonder they so easily mortgage our children’s future so that they can keep spending like there’s no tomorrow. No wonder they can’t seem to get a balanced budget passed (or any budget at all, for that matter). We have a man who doesn’t know how a family can possibly survive on $162k in the White House.


  1. Excellent! You're a terrific writer, and you captured thoughts shared by others. Blog on!

  2. I sent this to Sean Hannity so if you get a call to go on the show don't be surprised. You are a amazing daughter....well you have always been that. Never a dull moment around you. Keep up the blogging. I am following your posts on my Kindle and RSS reader.

  3. Most politicians use this type of line to relate to the American people. It's not just Obama. And in reality, most members of Congress are much wealthier than Obama.

    1. I haven't heard any wealthy politicians pretending to be poor. Yes, they do try to "relate" to the American people (sometimes well, and other times not so well). But I haven't heard them saying they can't afford things. Mitt Romney, for example, has never said that his wife staying home with their kids was a financial hardship for them. I'm not a big fan of Romney, but at least he doesn't pretend to be what he isn't.

      My beef with Obama in this instance is not that he's wealthy. I really don't mind him (or anyone else) being wealthy. What I mind is outright lying and pretending that he's poor when he isn't. I also dislike his use of this pretension to further his political aims. The reason Obama doesn't just admit that he's wealthy is that he's made a career out of class warfare. He wants the poor to feel like he is one of them and will fight for them against the wealthy "fat cats." So he makes up just-so stories to prop up that image when, in reality, he has plenty of money and lives well. There's nothing wrong with having money and living well - except when you pretend all rich people are the enemy to get votes while living the good life.