Sunday, January 06, 2008

The problem of American politics in microcosm

It's not just the politicians. It's the pundits. ABC's Charlie Gibson (who is almost certainly on an upper 6 figure if not 7 figure salary) -- moderating the Democratic debate on the campus of St Anselm's college -- thinks that professors at a small college in New Hampshire, or public school teachers in New York City, make $100,000 a year and are among the people who gain the most from George Bush's tax cuts.

UPDATE: Commenters at Atrios point out that Gibson went to Princeton and is on its Board of Trustees, which explains, if not justifies, his assumption about the earnings of college professors.

FINAL UPDATE: The exact quote --

SEN. CLINTON: Yeah, but Charlie, the tax cuts on the wealthiest of Americans, not the middle-class tax cuts. One of the problems with George Bush's tax policy has been the way he has tilted it toward the wealthy and the well-connected.
GIBSON: If you take a family of -- if you take a family of two professors here at Saint Anselm, they're going to be in the $200,000 category that you're talking about lifting the taxes on. And -- (laughter).
EDWARDS: I don't think they agree with you.
SEN. OBAMA: I'm not sure that that's -- (laughter) --
SEN. CLINTON: That may be NYU, Charlie.
I don't think it's -- (laughter) -- Saint Anselm.
GIBSON: Two public school teachers in New York? (Laughter.)
But that is -- you're in a situation where you're taking money out of the economy is what I'm saying.

It's important to note that much of the laughter was coming from the audience.

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