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State of the Union Thread

2007 State of the Union Bush

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#21 Captain Jack

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:01 AM

[quote name='Juris Rovvius' post='950050' date='Jan 23 2007, 08:50 PM']I haven't really been in to OT in a long time, but I feel like mixing it up today. Here goes:

[quote]The matters of the country far outweigh a bunch of singer wannabe's and grouchy judge with an accent.[/quote].... which is true, but the state of the union address bears only a passing resemblance to the matters of the country. It's hard to argue counterfactually, but nothing would change if the speech had never happened. I, for one, favor going back to the days where the president did it all in writing. Sadly, that's never coming back. [/quote]

You can thank Woodrow Wilson for that.  He brought it back in 1913 (IIRC) after Benjamin Franklin first did away with SotU and did it in writing, with all other presidents doing the same up until Wilson.

[quote]
Two-faced Hillary was a piece of work. She spares no moment ripping the President apart on anything he says or wants to do, but here you see her beaming and applauding much of what he had to say. If that ain't hypocracy...

Pelosi I am extremely disappointed in. She gave instructions for Democrats to be fair and kind to Bush during his speech, yet she herself did not applaud when her peers did in certain moments.[/quote]Sooooo...... do you want the opposition to applaud or not? Pardon me for being a bit confused.[/qoute]

I know it sounds very contradictory.  Hilary seemed way over the top, while Pelosi seemed like not enough.  It was strange, and I find myself having great difficulty putting to words.

[quote]I don't agree with his healthcare ideas. Nor am I satisfied with his illegal immigrants plans.[/quote]

There was also a bit of an energy plan in there too, and that wasn't satisfactory either.

Clearly, we need a national initiative to turn illegal immigrants into doctors and/or oil.
[/quote]

Hehe, okay, I agree with you.  Most of the speech was just vague reiteration of what we already know, or had a good idea of what he intends to do.  Reality is, he is a lame duck.  Nothing is going to be accomplished since Congress is going to fight him on most issues.  Even Republicans are distancing themselves from he.  The "go it alone" president is more alone now that ever before.
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#22 MuseZack

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:19 AM

View PostScottEVill, on Jan 24 2007, 03:21 AM, said:

Bill ShatnerJim Webb makes George Bush look like a gifted orator.


Hey, he's a screenwriter!  Give him a break... :p


Besides, he articulated the economic populism I've been aching for the Democrats to embrace since forever.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries.  Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.
...
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The erosion of the middle class and the increasing stratification of wealth is the most pressing issue facing America, IMO, and the party that can articulate a coherent plan to reverse those trends will own power for the next generation.  And Webb made a good start at staking out that ground for the Democrats.
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#23 Hibblette

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:57 AM

I loved the way he quoted Andy.   :)

I'm sorry that analogy of the $60,000.00 household is poppycock.

Above minimum wage-no actually I make way above min wage and I come nowhere near that $60,000.00.  

In this day and age when they are doing reports that are stating how women are living on their own and raising children on their own-that was a ludicrous ridiculous thing for him to even say.  He was talking like it was still the 1950's and having the salary that his father had.
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#24 QueenTiye

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 02:04 AM

My first job out of college, many years ago, was a paltry $9/hour - so I grossed about 16k a year.  I was single.  By the time I had my son I was making about 30K, I was married, family of 3 (My son, my husband, myself).  The cost of living was 10 years lower, and I was considered at median income for a family our size, taking into account my then-husband's income.  AND - I was just a supervisor.  

60K median income for a family of 4 is not unheard of, or unreasonable.  Feeding 4 mouths - most likely two of them adults, paying for gas, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc on 60K family income doesn't leave much left over.  Of course, I live on the east coast, near a big metropolis, where cost of living is higher - and my salary reflects cost of living. Were I to take my same job somewhere else in the country, I would have difficulty getting the same salary (which is why so many suburbanites work in the big cities - they move to where the dollar stretches farther, and tolerate the long commute).

Add to the fact the density of high cost of living areas like NYC metropolitan area or Los Angeles Metropolitan area, and you'll see that a median income of 60k for a family of 4 is quite unremarkable.  What that means for their every day lives is a whole other story.  A while back we had a similar exchange in which I was remarking about how strange I thought it was for anyone making 60K to be considered "wealthy" when I make somewhere in that area and am always counting pennies...  I believe it was Delvo who wisecracked about how skewed my pov was, given the fact that I live in an area where $2000 rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is not even unusual.

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 24 January 2007 - 02:04 AM.

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#25 Captain Jack

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 02:35 AM

I dunno, $60K sounds about right.  There are exceptions like in Silicon Valley the average houshold income of both working parents is about twice that ($120,000).  But considering the much higher cost of living in that area, even renting, it feels more like a $60K income.
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#26 Spectacles

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:45 AM

Well, I dozed off in the middle of the speech, woke up at the end, and fell back asleep before Webb started speaking, so it was one of the better SOTUs for me.

I was impressed by the civility and graciousness with which Pelosi and Bush interacted at the beginning and the end. And I was generally pleased with the part of Bush's speech that I heard--and most grateful to hear his tone moderate. I think that without Santorum and assorted other abrasive rightwingers in the Congress, and with his power base on the Republican side decimated, Bush had no one in the audience to preen for, thus no smirks, no swagger. His tone was civil and conciliatory for the most part--what I heard anyway. It was a nice change.

Edited by Spectacles, 24 January 2007 - 06:45 AM.

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#27 Cardie

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 07:56 AM

Spidey said:

You can thank Woodrow Wilson for that. He brought it back in 1913 (IIRC) after Benjamin Franklin first did away with SotU and did it in writing, with all other presidents doing the same up until Wilson.

Since Benjamin Franklin was never president of the United States, when did he have the opportunity to draft a State of the Union Address?

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#28 Bobby

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:02 AM

View PostMuseZack, on Jan 23 2007, 11:19 PM, said:

View PostScottEVill, on Jan 24 2007, 03:21 AM, said:

Bill ShatnerJim Webb makes George Bush look like a gifted orator.


Hey, he's a screenwriter!  Give him a break... :p


Besides, he articulated the economic populism I've been aching for the Democrats to embrace since forever.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries.  Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.
...
In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy - that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.


The erosion of the middle class and the increasing stratification of wealth is the most pressing issue facing America, IMO, and the party that can articulate a coherent plan to reverse those trends will own power for the next generation.  And Webb made a good start at staking out that ground for the Democrats.


That was my favorite part of his speech.  I think Jim Webb did a good job.  I liked this part too:

Quote

These presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight, we are calling on this president to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.


#29 FnlPrblm

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:13 AM

View PostMuseZack, on Jan 23 2007, 11:19 PM, said:

The erosion of the middle class and the increasing stratification of wealth is the most pressing issue facing America, IMO, and the party that can articulate a coherent plan to reverse those trends will own power for the next generation.  And Webb made a good start at staking out that ground for the Democrats.

I agree with you to a point Zack.  Long term, this is definitely top two or three.  Given time, there will be nothing left but the poor and the uber-rich and powerful.  But, I've still questioned, will the American public (as blind/motivated as they are now) remain dormant and allow this to take full affect?  Would anarchy/revolution not set in demanding to rebalance things?

(hilariously cute pic btw, Zack :lol:)

View PostQueenTiye, on Jan 24 2007, 01:04 AM, said:

My first job out of college, many years ago, was a paltry $9/hour - so I grossed about 16k a year.  I was single.  By the time I had my son I was making about 30K, I was married, family of 3 (My son, my husband, myself).  The cost of living was 10 years lower, and I was considered at median income for a family our size, taking into account my then-husband's income.  AND - I was just a supervisor.  

60K median income for a family of 4 is not unheard of, or unreasonable.  Feeding 4 mouths - most likely two of them adults, paying for gas, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc on 60K family income doesn't leave much left over.  Of course, I live on the east coast, near a big metropolis, where cost of living is higher - and my salary reflects cost of living. Were I to take my same job somewhere else in the country, I would have difficulty getting the same salary (which is why so many suburbanites work in the big cities - they move to where the dollar stretches farther, and tolerate the long commute).

Add to the fact the density of high cost of living areas like NYC metropolitan area or Los Angeles Metropolitan area, and you'll see that a median income of 60k for a family of 4 is quite unremarkable.  What that means for their every day lives is a whole other story.  A while back we had a similar exchange in which I was remarking about how strange I thought it was for anyone making 60K to be considered "wealthy" when I make somewhere in that area and am always counting pennies...  I believe it was Delvo who wisecracked about how skewed my pov was, given the fact that I live in an area where $2000 rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is not even unusual.

QT

I'm not entirely sure what I want to say here. (And me quoting QT's post isn't that far off quoting some of the others for my needs.)  You're right about the relativity with the cost of living.  I mean, 60k/year here would go pretty far.  When I was looking to become a screenwriter and reading off the Writer's Guild of America's site about what a standard contract for writing on a show or a movie would be, I got pretty excited at first...at the very first.  Then realizing I'd have to be living in L.A. or N.Y.C., I realized I'd barely be making a little over ends-meat.  (Am I totally off base, Zack?)
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#30 Zwolf

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:42 AM

Quote

I know it sounds very contradictory. Hilary seemed way over the top, while Pelosi seemed like not enough. It was strange, and I find myself having great difficulty putting to words.

Sounds like damned-if-ya-do, damned-if-ya-don't to me.

If somebody claps, ala Hillary, then they're a two-faced hypocrite.

If somebody doesn't clap, ala Pelosi, they're a disrespectful, ungracious disappointment.

Why not just fess up and say "I'm gonna hate those two no matter what they do," 'cuz that really is the situation, ain't it?    

As for me, I didn't bother watching the dog-and-pony show.  I've already seen Mr. 28% give speeches before, and he always gives the same one; passable, but not outstanding rhetoric.  Strong, freedom, strength, brave, goodness, heroic, terrorist, prevail, freedom, god bless 'mur'ka.   It should come in See 'n' Say form already.  

I don't need a SOTU from a man with zero credibility and a proven record of duplicity... all I want from him at this point is a STFU.  I can read the transcript and be spared all his jerky little Pinocchio shoulder-twitches, his patented hand-gestures, and (oh, god, how happy I am when I get to miss this one) the lean-in-on the-podium-with-an-earnest-expression move (that's the one where you're supposed to feel like he means it!).  

So, I skimmed the sales pitch... and that's all it is, a sale's pitch - and not just for him, but for every president.  It's stuff that sounds good... but that never actually gets backed up with action.  He's blown that "alternative fuel" stuff at us before, but where did all the money go for "alternative fuel"?  To find other places to drill for oil.   Bush is an oil-man.  All his buddies are oil-men.  Hearing him talk about the importance of finding alternative fuel is like listening to Wal-Mart discuss the importance of free-enterprise.  Ain't buyin' it.  If you believe anything he said about that, you better get him to kiss you first, 'cuz you're sure gonna end up with him screwin' ya.

So, I looked through the transcript, and it looks like it was a nice enough bunch of talk... but, Orwellian language notwithstanding, it doesn't ring true.  The guy's been in office a long time now, he's worn a pretty distinctive groove, and pretty words aren't going to mean much.  Band-aid on cancer.

Cheers,

Zwolf
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#31 BklnScott

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:17 AM

Quote

Pelosi I am extremely disappointed in.  She gave instructions for Democrats to be fair and kind to Bush during his speech, yet she herself did not applaud when her peers did in certain moments.  She doesn't have to agree to him, but she should at least give the man respect.  He gave her a very warm welcome, and said very kind words about her before everyone in Congress.
In other words, he lied.  The entire speech was misdirection -- It was, "I know y'all are pissed at me for being one of the most incompetent presidents in American history, but -- *hey* -- give it up for someone you actually DO like!"

Quote

She didn't recipricate in kind with her behavior sitting behind him.  As Speaker of the House, she should set high standards, and she failed by letting her personal attitude get in the way.

What should she have done to indicate her approval?  Give him a lap dance?  

Quote

There are a lot of things that I did not agree with, but that doesn't mean I would disrespect the man.  Feel free to disagree, I know you will.  That's fine, I don't care since this board is overwhelmingly liberal.
Personally, I thought the Dems were a little too well behaved.  Compare their persistent and polite applause, and many standing ovations, to the reception Clinton got on numerous occasions: booing and hissing, half the chamber sitting on its hands throughout, etc.  And Clinton was a popular, successful president -- whereas Bush now has a 28% approval rating according to the latest CBS News Poll.

Quote

I did find it a nice touch that Bush mentioned the man who risked his life saving another in the NY subway, and others who are shining examples of how good people can be, and what good things people can do.  That I have to give Bush credit for.

Why?  He didn't do it.  More misdirection.

Quote

As much as I hate the war, Bush did make a good case, and he is right.

He barely mentioned it--which is fine.  Not like Iraq is an important issue facing the country (and the world) or antyhing like that.   Not like he focused on his wars exclusively when he thought they were going well.  

He said nothing--not one word--about New Orleans (and I can't remember--did he mention the Baker-Hamilton Commission or not?)  

And he wants us to believe that he's suddenly discovered global warming (after surrounding himself with people, like Cheney, who believe it's a hoax perpetrated on god-fearing Americans by those dastardly scientists), ethanol and the need to raise CAFE standards (after Cheney famously encouraged us to purchase Hummers).

Yeah--OK.  

If he cared about any of those things, why have his pronouncements and policies until now been diametrically opposed on all points?  The whole speech was about paying lip service to cherished Democratic Party issues while trying to take the heat off him over Iraq.  It was pathetic.  

What the people wanted to hear was Bush charting a bold course to clean up the messes he's created.  What we got was "pay no attention to the catastrophe behind the curtin."  In other words: more of the same.

His approval rating was 28% going in.  It will be really interesting to see if it slips further.

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#32 Themis

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:18 AM

I found an inflation calculator on the Dept. of Labor site that tells me that with my raises (such as they are), I now have $170 a year less buying power than I did in 1998.  Indeed, more attention needs to be paid to the middle and lower classes and the shrub isn't going to do it.

Making employer-provided health insurance premiums tax deductible isn't going to help poor people afford insurance - heck, a lot of people don't make enough money to pay taxes in the first place.  It also won't make insurance available to the "uninsurable."  Health insurance premiums are already deductible if you have enough medical expenses to deduct anyway - if you make enough to use the long form.  

Is there a transcript of Webb's rebuttal on line anywhere??  

I just saw the last part when the shrub was introducing the folk in the gallery.  That was good, but it was all I could take of the shrub.  I only saw that because I caught up on "24" and went to check e-mail before I watched Sunday's Galactica!!  Probably should've watched the rebuttal, but...
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#33 Zwolf

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:32 AM

Quote

Is there a transcript of Webb's rebuttal on line anywhere??

Here ya go.  :)

And here's an article by some people who did some fact-checking.  Surprise!  Bush misrepresented some numbers and things... but only by several million.  I'm shocked!

Cheers,

Zwolf
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But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

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#34 Chipper

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:15 AM

Quote

I don't know which is more bothersome to me: the fact that American Idol is going to be cut short for the SOTU address, or the fact that I'm pretty apathetic about anything the President has to say right now.

Frankly, I'm more disturbed that even with AI as a lead-in, the amount of people watching wasn't that high.

Edited by Chipper, 24 January 2007 - 11:17 AM.

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#35 Palisades

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:20 AM

View PostThemis, on Jan 24 2007, 10:18 AM, said:

Making employer-provided health insurance premiums tax deductible isn't going to help poor people afford insurance - heck, a lot of people don't make enough money to pay taxes in the first place.

Actually, under Bush's plan, employer-provided health insurance premiums would have to be counted as taxable income. Everyone who buys health insurance whether through their employer or independently would get a tax deduction of $7,500 for individual coverage and $15,000 for family coverage. Taxpayers who buy health insurance can claim the full deduction even if their health insurance costs less. They can claim it whether they itemize or take the standard deduction. The $7,500/$15,000 deduction would be indexed to inflation. However, since health insurance costs are rising faster than inflation, as time goes by, more and more Americans would end up paying extra taxes unless the rapidly rising health insurance costs are brought under control or the people who would have to pay extra taxes choose less expensive health insurance plans.

Also, Bush's plan would offer funding to states that provide affordable, basic coverage to the uninsured.

The plan seems to have three main objectives:
1) Remove a tax inequity between people who get employer-provided health insurance and people who do not.
2) Make people aware of the true cost of their employer-provided health care. People with expensive health plans would be hit in their pocketbooks come tax time so hopefully this would get people to choose cheaper plans and put pressure on medical providers and insurance companies to curb the rapidly rising costs of health care.
3) Provide an alternative to universal health care. Republicans worry that rising health care costs may make Democrats' vision of socialized medicine palatable to the American public.

Here's CNN's writeup.

Edited by Solar Wind, 24 January 2007 - 12:00 PM.

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#36 Hibblette

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:36 AM

60,000.00 to me is what use to be known as the upper middle class.

There's a whole lot of us that are not at the $60,000.00 mark.  And I have a good job.

No his health plan is not going to help the poor.
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#37 Palisades

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:39 AM

View PostHibblette, on Jan 24 2007, 11:36 AM, said:

60,000.00 to me is what use to be known as the upper middle class.

There's a whole lot of us that are not at the $60,000.00 mark.  And I have a good job.

You're also only one person. If your household had another wage earner earning your income, would that put your household above the $60,000 mark? (That's a rhetorical question; I won't hold it against you if you don't answer.)

ETA: I wouldn't consider $60,000 per year upper-middle. Where I live, a family that earns that amount can't qualify for a mortgage on a typical house, even with a 20% downpayment.

Edited by Solar Wind, 24 January 2007 - 11:49 AM.

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#38 Hibblette

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

View PostSolar Wind, on Jan 24 2007, 10:39 AM, said:

View PostHibblette, on Jan 24 2007, 11:36 AM, said:

60,000.00 to me is what use to be known as the upper middle class.

There's a whole lot of us that are not at the $60,000.00 mark.  And I have a good job.

You're also only one person. If your household had another wage earner earning your income, would that put your household above the $60,000 mark? (That's a rhetorical question; I won't hold it against you if you don't answer.)

No it wouldn't.

And I'm One of many.

You see-I'm poor.  Earning $60,000.00 a year is not being poor and they [the poor] are who need the healthcare relief.

Edited by Hibblette, 24 January 2007 - 11:45 AM.

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#39 MuseZack

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:44 AM

What's so exciting to me about Webb's rebuttal speech is that by raising the flag of economic fairness and planting it in the mainstream of American historical experience by invoking Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson, he's helping re-brand the Democratic Party by bringing it back to its roots.  I don't want the Democrats to walk away from their committment to social inclusion, but I'd like to see economic fairness front and center as a message.  In my best of all possible worlds, the Democrats can be the party of Drew (evangelical Christian with a committment to social justice) as well as me and ScottEvil.
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We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#40 Nayto

Nayto

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:13 PM

View PostHibblette, on Jan 24 2007, 11:43 AM, said:

View PostSolar Wind, on Jan 24 2007, 10:39 AM, said:

View PostHibblette, on Jan 24 2007, 11:36 AM, said:

60,000.00 to me is what use to be known as the upper middle class.

There's a whole lot of us that are not at the $60,000.00 mark.  And I have a good job.

You're also only one person. If your household had another wage earner earning your income, would that put your household above the $60,000 mark? (That's a rhetorical question; I won't hold it against you if you don't answer.)

No it wouldn't.

And I'm One of many.

You see-I'm poor.  Earning $60,000.00 a year is not being poor and they [the poor] are who need the healthcare relief.

I, too, am mind numbingly poor. Thus, you and I are two of many.

My household income is $29,000.00 per year; just a notch above what would qualify us for Welfare, and simultaneously a notch above what would qualify me for much government aid towards college. . . which I'd have gotten if my annual household income was just a thousand dollars or two less. . . ~_~

Prior to my attendance of college, I lived full time with my father. At the time, he made the income noted above working 40 hours a week as an offset printing press operator. I added about $13,000.00 per year to that for about two years as I began to work a full time job at Wendy's. With two wage earners in the house, we had an average annual income of $42,000.00. That was enough to live comfortably for the two years in which I worked, but that isn't the case anymore. Regardless of current economic standings, we still made much less than $60,000.00 per year, even when the two of us were working ourselves to the point of exhaustion.

Hibblette and I are not the only ones.
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