Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sarah Palin, Working Class Hero?

I've been hearing this meme in the media, and from Sarah Palin's own mouth. She appeals to working class voters because she's one of them! Really? Not so much. The AP has finally noticed that the Palins aren't exactly hurting financially, something that should have come up before now.

Birmingham News alum Brett Blackedge continues to build on the investigative piece that my co-blogger Del highlighted on Sunday, in which he pointed out that the Palins sold their house on Lake Wasilla in 2002 for $327,000 because they were building a new lakefront house a couple of miles away. From today's story:


Sarah Palin and her husband have pieced together a uniquely Alaskan income that reached comfortably into six figures even before she became governor, capitalizing on valuable fishing rights, a series of land deals and a patchwork of other ventures to build an above-average lifestyle. Add up the couple's 2007 income and the estimated value of their property and investments and they appear to be worth at least $1.2 million...

...One measure of financial health: While there is a home loan, Palin reported no personal credit card debt on her most recent financial report as Alaska governor. That compares to average household credit card debt among Americans of $9,840 last year....

...The Palins' assets seem enviable: a half-million-dollar home on a lake with a float-plane at the dock, two vacation retreats, commercial-fishing rights worth an estimated $50,000 or more and an income last year of at least $230,000. That compares to a median income of $64,333 for Alaskans and $50,740 for Americans in 2007, according to the Census Bureau.

According to Palin's official biography, both of her parents taught school. A 2004-2005 national survey showed the average teacher salary in Alaska was $52,467, 110% of the national average. Assuming the pay scale was anywhere near comparable in 1964, when Palin's family moved to Alaska and her parents took teaching jobs there, they certainly weren't living paycheck to paycheck.

Palin and her family have a comfortable, upper middle class lifestyle. And there's nothing wrong with that!

There is something wrong with pretending to be working class when you're not.