Monday, January 07, 2008

In what universe?

What the transcript doesn't show is that the "laughter" was derisive. Others are talking about this, as well, although I've found no commentary on Gibson's little question about two college professors bringing home $200,000 a year. He then, at a later point, refers to teachers in the public schools. With whom does he associate? I suppose he thinks of "middle class" as being those who bring home a million or so a year. Following are excerpts:
MR. GIBSON: We have an energy problem in the cost of energy. And we now have a jobs problem. We have, when we are -- and you raised the "R" word, "recession" -- when we are approaching recession, it is consumers who have spent us out of recession in most cases. You're all talking about letting some of the Bush tax cuts lapse.
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.
MR. 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).
MR. 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.
MR. GIBSON: Two public school teachers in New York? (Laughter.)
Here's more:
MR. EDWARDS: Thank you.
What you see happening in America today, if you're president of the United States and you're looking at this from altitude is you see a very few Americans getting wealthier and wealthier, you see the biggest corporations in America's profits through the roof -- ExxonMobil just made $40 billion, record profits -- all of that happening at the same time that we have 47 million people with no health care, 37 million who will wake up in this country tomorrow worried about feeding and clothing their children. Tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore the uniform of the United States of America and served this country honorably will go to sleep under bridges and on grates.
It's time for us to say and it's time for the president to say enough is enough. This is a battle for the future of our children. This is a battle for the middle class.
Let's take jobs, which we haven't talked about. We've touched on a lot of other things, but we haven't talked about jobs. We've had a trade and tax policy that is bleeding American jobs, and all it has done is pad the profits of the biggest multinational corporations in America. You talk about professors here at this college. Let me say a word about --
MR. GIBSON: Well, I shouldn't have done that, apparently.
MR. EDWARDS: Yeah -- (laughter).
This is a person asking questions who has no idea of what life is like for most people and no idea of the pittances paid to those not among the select few.


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