Today on MSNBC, the world witnessed the crushing humanity of a tea party congressman just scraping by … on the $400,000 left over after his fast food franchises’ $6 million is worn down by those greedy, greedy workers…
It was a surreal experience, listening to Rep. John Fleming, while sitting in the green room waiting to follow his segment on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. Just as surreal: the segment in which I debated S.E. Cupp, who objected to my characterization of Fleming as insensitive.
First, the write-up. From the National Journal:
If you’re a relatively rich Republican congressman, what’s a bad way to frame your opposition to the president’s proposal for a tax increase on millionaires? Maybe going on television and remarking that you have only $400,000 after taxes to reinvest in your interests. ThinkProgress’ Alex Seitz-Wald flagged Monday morning’s MSNBC interview with Rep. John Fleming, where he does exactly that. After being asked about the $6 million profit of his businesses last year, he responded that, “the amount that I have to reinvest in my business and feed my family is more like $600,000 of that $6.3 million, and so by the time I feed my family I have, maybe, $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment…”
Regardless of how much Fleming needs to reinvest in his businesses, he comes off–at best–insensitive. And MSNBC’s interviewer Chris Jansing points this out immediately. For comparison’s sake, we’d file the moment alongside Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy complaining about his $174,000 yearly salary and Michael Steele not knowing what the minimum wage is. In other words, as Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard remarked, “This is much worse than a politician not knowing the price of a gallon of milk…”
Here’s the video:
And here’s my segment right afterward:
Again, a surreal, surreal day. And proof that for Republicans, opposing the president’s tax plan is going to be tricky indeed.