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Rep. Alan Grayson Headshot

Dumb Rich People

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A few weeks ago, it was reported that some right-wing rich guys' club had pledged $100 million to defeat President Obama. The Koch Brothers led the way, pledging $60 million, which is pocket change, when your net worth is $50,000,000,000.00.

Leaving aside the obvious issue -- the estate tax -- I'm puzzled as to why all those right-wing rich folks feel that way. The foundation of their wealth -- the stock market -- has performed vastly better when Democrats have been in charge.

In 2008, the New York Times reported that since 1929, $10,000 invested in the stock market under Democratic Presidents (over 40 years) had become $300,671. Meanwhile, $10,000 invested in the stock market under Republican Presidents (over 35 years) had become only $11,733.

Well, at least the affluent caste didn't lose money during Republican regimes, right? Wrong. The value of the dollar dropped by 92 percent during that period. So in real value, $10,000 invested in the stock market under Republican presidents actually became just $955. And 46 cents. In economic terms, roughly the same effect as some foreign enemy blowing up 90 percent of our factories, warehouses, farms, malls, office buildings, apartment buildings, and every other productive asset.

Poor rich people. All the money gone. Those darned Republicans.

And under President Obama, the difference actually has increased, dramatically. On the day that President Obama was sworn into office, the S&P 500 index closed at 805. Today, it's at 1,321. Under President Obama, the stock market is up 64 percent, in less than four years.

That brings the Democratic average annual stock market performance up to 10 percent. The Republican figure is 0.4 percent. No wonder Republicans hate government -- they're so bad at it. Particularly when it comes to preserving national wealth.

And despite the incessant whining of the corporate rich, by no stretch of the imagination are they suffering under the Obama administration. Just today, it was reported that pay for CEOs has reached an all-time high, just short of $10 million a year. Or roughly $5,000 an hour. Good work, if you can get it.

So why are all these right-wing deep pockets going after Obama and the Democrats? Even if you're some selfish rich guy, that's just dumb. That's cutting your wallet to spite your pants. Maybe the rich need to develop a little class consciousness.

Honestly, when you look at the facts, these robber barons spending huge wads of cash to get rid of the Democrats are like lemmings. They're all jumping off the money cliff, and they're taking everyone else with them.

Most of us have heard the question, "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" But a better question would be, "If you're so rich, why aren't you smart?"

Courage,

Alan Grayson