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The left's one-percent problem

By Frank Salvato
web posted May 21, 2012

In the aftermath of Vice President Joe Biden's "Howard Dean" moment in Ohio last week, I was struck by the sheer magnitude of the Progressive-Democrat Left's hypocrisy when it comes to their political attacks on the so-called "rich." As the unwashed masses of the Occupy Movement – the overwhelming majority of which are anarchists, pseudo-Socialists, Progressive activists and union operatives – take to the streets of Chicago to protest the NATO summit, I really do have to wonder if they – the useful idiots of the new millennium – know that those who they follow are the one-percenters?

Among the leaders of the Progressive Movement and the Democrat Party, it is nearly impossible to identify anyone among them who isn't in the one-percent, and that includes President Obama and, yes, Vice President Biden. Maybe that's why his statement, "They just don't get us," made my head cock like a dog hearing a high-pitched noise. "Who's us," I thought to myself.

Joe BidenTruth be told, Mr. Biden is the least wealthy among the Left's one-percenter elitists. Yes, his roots may have been blue collar, but he benefited from the capitalist system to become quite wealthy, or at least a heck of a lot wealthier than many. His annual salary is $248,754 and he enjoys perks that include free housing, transportation, health insurance, etc. He has listed assets including between nearly $230,000 to $860,000, many of which are in investment accounts and insurance policies. He has disclosed that he receives between $15,000 to $50,000 annually in rental income on a guest house in Wilmington, Delaware. And, of course, his future will see a healthy pension, book deals and, no doubt, invitations from the mainstream media to contribute as a political pundit (now that will be entertaining).

OpenSecrets.org estimates Mr. Biden's net worth at $718,994.

But the Progressive and Democrat elite's one-percenters are many...

President and Mrs. Obama hold family assets estimated in 2010 as up to $8.3 million, including assets of between $500,000 and $1million in a JPMorgan Chase checking account.

According to the Washington Post,

"The president and first lady's asset mix includes Treasury notes valued at between $1 million and $5 million, Treasury bills worth $500,000 and $1 million, along with retirement and checking accounts.

"Royalties from Obama's books, 'Dreams From My Father,' 'The Audacity of Hope' and 'Of Thee I Sing,' totaled between $250,000 and $2.1 million.

"The Obamas have a 30-year mortgage on their Chicago home worth between $500,000 and $1 million..."

OpenSecrets.org estimates the Obama's net worth at $11,830,000.

Then we have the Demo-Progressive leadership in Congress.

In 2010, The Hill reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had an estimated net worth of $35.2 million,

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (P-CA) saw her net worth rise 62 percent last year, cementing her status as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

"Pelosi was worth at least $35.2 million in the 2010 calendar year, according to a financial disclosure report released Wednesday. She reported a minimum of $43.4 million in assets and about $8.2 million in liabilities."

OpenSecrets.org estimates Ms. Pelosi's net worth at $196,299,990. Yes, you read that correctly, $196,299,990.

According to Nevada News & Views, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is work up to $6,307,999,

"According to OpenSecrets, Senator Harry Reid has a minimum net worth of $2,827,056.00, a maximum worth of $6,307,999.00 and an average net worth of $4,567,527.00. Why all the discrepancies?

"Because our leaders, much as they set up campaign finance laws to protect themselves, have set up their disclosure requirements to hide things. They don't really want us to know how much they have and thus the millions of dollars of variance possible in Reid's fortune.

"Still, taking that nearly $4.6 million average for Reid seems fair – if it's really off, then it's up to Reid to correct the record. And that is quite a rise for a man who endlessly reminds us was born poor."

OpenSecrets.org estimates Mr. Reid's net worth in 2012 at $10,309,999.

Among the un-elected of the elitist Progressive and Democrat ranks...

The AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka makes $293,750 annually, all off of union member dues, and according to FrontPage Magazine,

"As he's climbed the ranks of AFL-CIO leadership, Trumka has moved away from his modest roots. His 2011 compensation package at AFL-CIO totaled $293,750, according to LM-2 disclosure forms on file with the U.S. Department of Labor. Trumka apparently lives in a four-bathroom house assessed at $747,650 in Rockville, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC."

According to Answers.com, the former head of the SEIU, Andy Stern was raking in an estimated $249,000 plus all associated perks when he headed up this "blue collar" organization.

Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's Senior advisor, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel,

"...reported a money market fund holding between $1 million and $5 million as part of her assets. Since moving to the White House, Jarrett has resigned her position as chief executive of Habitat Co., one of the Midwest's largest property-management firms.

"Her report shows she earned $550,000 in deferred compensation from Habitat Executive Services, plus a salary of $302,000 in 2008...She also reported $346,687 in income from serving on seven boards, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago."

The Sun-Sentinel continues,

"For Axelrod, the disclosures also made clear the value of a political consulting firm he built from the ground up starting in 1985, an asset that gained value because of Obama's success.

"The senior adviser to the president sold his stake in two firms for $3 million before he moved to the White House in January."

And according to TheirNetWorth.com, Van Jones is worth $1.1 million.

So, again, I have to ask of Mr, Biden who he is talking about when he says, "They just don't get us?" He certainly isn't talking about the Occupy Movement's street dwellers and he certainly isn't talking about the overwhelming majority of middle-class Americans when he says "us."

But, perhaps the most usefully moronic of the bunch are the Progressive faithful who truly believe that these one-percenters actually give a damn about them; who believe that these disingenuous political creatures give a damn about anything else but power and maintaining control over an economic system that has seen them enrich themselves and their friends.

Isn't it time they be forced to realize the truth? I mean, what is it going to take, really?

Democrats have been saying for decades that Republicans are in the pockets of big business, yet US Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposals have always included overhauling the tax code to eliminate tax loopholes and special interest tax breaks. Meanwhile, Progressives and Democrats have been "guaranteeing loans" for pet-project special interest political benefactors, doing so with taxpayer monies, even as Mr. Obama, Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi hob-knob with the hedge fund managers and whale silicon valley types that they routinely demonize in their stump speeches.

Democrats in Congress have violated the law three years running in not advancing a budget, refusing to do so even while they continue to spend at all-time deficit and debt increasing levels. And each year Republicans have offered budget proposals that would reduce the debt, while compiling list after list of wasteful spending in idiotic and redundant programs that should be cast from the books. So, how is it that Democrats and Progressives get away with saying it is Republicans who are dutiful to big business.

Quite frankly, if the unwashed masses of the Occupy Movement can't execute the math needed to see that their political idols are using them; that the ones they put on the pedestals of "hope" and "change" are actually the people they say they detest, how can they expect anyone to hire them? If you can't make change... ESR

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamic jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, "Ezekiel and the MidEast 'Piece' Process: Israel's Neighbor States." He is the author of the series Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam, an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato has been interviewed on Radio Belgrade One. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.comand Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at contact@newmediajournal.us.



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