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The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Romney’s riches wind up debate over wealth gap

By Obed Manuel
Opinion & Copy Editor

Yes, it is that time again: election season is now the collective theme of all major news networks. Republican hopefuls are traveling from state to state in search of enough delegates to win their party’s nomination. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama readies himself for a year of Congressional inaction.

As CNN reported Jan. 21, with Newt Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina, this is the first time three Republican candidates have won the first three different Republican primaries. Rick Santorum won Iowa, Mitt Romney won New Hampshire, and Gingrich won South Carolina.

In the days leading up to the South Carolina vote, Romney enjoyed a healthy lead in the polls, but a series of attacks from the Gingrich camp based on Romney’s unwillingness to release his tax returns eroded that lead, CNN reported.

The New York Times reported Jan. 24, after Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, that the Republican hopeful made $45 million in the span of those two years. The same article pointed out Obama made $1.7 million in 2011.

While there is an enormous gap between Romney’s earnings and Obama’s, the gap is larger between both politicians’ income and the average household income.

According to the Census Bureau, the average household income for 2010 was $49, 445. One would think a successful career in the private sector would be a strong selling.point for a person like Romney. Romney will decrease his focus on this career highlight
in upcoming debates. Why?

If fellow Republicans (Gingrich) are willing to attack Romney on his personal success, one can only imagine what Obama, the most prolific speaker in politics, can do by delivering his attacks on Romney’s wealth with a populist tone.

The president’s State of the Union address echoed the rallying cries of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The point is not that the wealth in the U.S. has to be redistributed. No, the point here is that the wealth gap is now a talking point in American politics.

Come November 2012, when either Gingrich or Romney is challenging the president, Obama will have enough ammunition stored to make the average American worker think twice about voting Republican.

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