Michael Steele Said a Million Dollars is not a lot of Money

Michael Steele RNC Chairman

This is a letter from the Democratic National Committee. It’s written by Governor Tim Kaine and highlights the ever-present detachment the GOP has from working class Americans – the haves versus the have-nots.

“A million dollars is not a lot of money.” That’s what RNC Chairman Michael Steele thinks, anyway.

To most Americans, that’s crazy talk. But it’s no surprise coming from the head of a party that prefers favors for Wall Street to jobs on Main Street.

How long would it take you to earn $1 million? Click here to find out — then write a letter to the editor exposing the GOP’s agenda.

The average American household makes $52,000 per year. Only 2% make more than $250,000 — and millions are out of work in a recovering economy.

But while arguing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy last Thursday at the University of Arkansas, Steele let slip that he thinks a million is “not a lot.” It’s outrageous — but sadly, not surprising.

Greed and excess on Wall Street nearly brought down our economy, health care costs are drowning families, but the GOP is fighting to protect big banks and block health reform while proposing more and more tax cuts for the rich.

What’s worse, the leading Republican on the House Budget Committee just proposed a budget that privatizes Social Security and shreds Medicare — two programs that millions of middle-class Americans rely upon.

Republicans are going all out to be seen as defenders of the “little guy” this election season. But Chairman Steele’s comment last week made it clear they’re not. We need to make sure every American hears about it.

Use our calculator to figure out how long it would take you to earn “not a lot of money” — then use our easy letter-to-the-editor tool, your own story, and our helpful tips to expose the GOP on the widely-read letters page of your local paper:


Governor Tim Kaine

One Comment


Dear Editor:

What is a enough, if a million dollar after taxes is not a lot?
By Karla Paniagua

Michael Steele said that “After taxes, a million dollar is not a lot”. He might be right, a million dollar is never enough for those who make a million or more and/or have a million in the bank. If the average family in America earns $52,000 per year and only 2% earn over 250,000, how can a million not be an unbalanced lump of income in America? If a million is not a lot why is it that my husband, who has 2 careers, speaks 3 languages, worked 3 jobs last year, barely made 28,387 and 11 cents?

If a million is not a lot, why did I have to apply for unemployment? If a million is not a lot why have we been not making that amount? Why have we barely survived in America, the richest country of all? How can a family of 3 survive on less than $50,000 a year? How can a family of 5 make it with the average income?

Mr. Michael Steele, I will tell you what is not enough:

It is not enough to be taxed on $30,000 dollars and have to owe the IRS money. Instead of having money withheld we were using it to buy food, pay for shelter, pay for whatever our son’s insurance did not cover. And that is without counting that in 10 years my husband and I have not been able to afford Health insurance.

It is not enough that we, and many American residents have spent so much money on our education and the companies are failing to provide enough job openings. For a year we have been applying to so many professional jobs not necessarily in our field but jobs we believe we have the skills to perform. After interviewing with the employees, the answer has been: “You are overqualified”, or they ask, “How is it that with so much education you cannot get a job?”

How is it Mr. Michael Steele that some people, perhaps including yourself, are making a million dollars and we are barely surviving? Mr. Steele you can be sure that the answer to the question you ask the audience in Arkansas is “Yes!” Yes, many people in America who are struggling and barely surviving would like to make a million dollars a year. The reality is that with the salary that my husband made this year it would takes us over 30 years to make our first million.

So, if a million is not a lot for you Mr. Michael Steele, I invite you to make a contribution to the thousands of unemployed Americans that are willing and desperate to work, but are not being hired. I invite you to help your nation by helping our country, America, to end unemployment and homelessness. I invite you to speak less and look more; really look around to see that there is a need for a balance of wealth. America cannot be a great Nation if the land where so many immigrants dream of living is giving them worse economic conditions than what they had in their own country. Immigrants from all over the world hear about the American Dream and they are so willing to achieve it that they leave everything to pursue what is not real, what is only that, a Dream. Not only citizens of this country, but very qualified immigrants are not sure, if a million dollars is not a lot, why they are not making even a fourth of it?

As I was preparing my taxes I couldn’t conceive of the idea that middle class people–all of us who are not making the million dollars a year–will have to pay taxes.


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