Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain: Rich, Out of Touch With the Average Joe

At the recent presidential candidates forum held at Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA--one of the wealthiest counties in the nation--John McCain said that "rich" is five million dollars. Obama, citing the top 2-3%, nationally, suggested $250,00.00.

While many struggle to pay bills, myself included, I have witnessed the tragedy from a different perspective; cat and dog rescue.

I now get, every single day, people begging me to take in their animals as they lose their homes. I can practically see the tear stains on the e-mails. It is painful and angering. I cannot possibly help more than I am. All rescues are in this position.

I have a permitted limit--for good reason--and I stick to it. For the first year since I have had my permit, I am running at full capacity ALL the time, and have been for at least ten months. The age of the animals I am getting is at least 50% higher than normal indicating that long time stability is suffering. Dogs and cats are staying longer as the adoption arena is flat, meaning I can take in fewer thus more stay at the shelter and are killed there. Shelters are killing more than ever. More are being abandoned in homes and on streets. You know the saying--Sh*@ runs downhill. And it runs right over the innocent.

People that bought into wild adjustable rate mortgages (I was always too scared of adjustables and stuck with the conventional 30-year, adding a few extra dollars every month above my payment), are finding their incomes--even with two jobs--impossible. The collapse of the housing market and the failure of several key lending institutions underlines the severity of the problem.

For someone literally having to move from their home, McCains recent admission that he really didn't know how many homes he owns, the statement must seem rather pathetic. While people are living in cars, campgrounds, hotels, with relatives and friends, under bridges and in temporary camps, McCain cannot remember what he owns.

There is a huge understanding gap between McCain and the average American. I have changed literally all my habits both for environmental and financial reasons while his wife bought a small plane to travel around Arizona in. McCain's heiress second wife, with an income estimated to be between $36 million and $100 million, cannot possibly know what it is like to struggle, and neither can McCain--a point driven home by his definition of "rich".

But this woman can.

UPDATE: Two more pieces, here.