Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Voters can’t relate to clothing allowances bigger than 4 years salary: the Palin Purse

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Originally published on on Thu, 10/23/2008 – 2:21pm

Imagine that the typical Sarah Palin fan has a household income of $37,500. I’d be willing to bet a lot of them who show up at rallies make under that amount. But let’s pretend that is the average amount.

By that measure, the Sarah Palin clan has received in clothes, hair, and makeup FOUR YEARS worth in salary in September alone.

I suppose in the spirit of wanting your president and vice president to know more than you do, you should want them to spend more on clothes than you do. And it’s fair to say everyone who ran for president, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden, spend more on clothes than I do. Even Dennis Kucinich spends more than me.

It can be seen as more hypocritical because she is running as a “hockey mom.” And there are legitimate cries that men undervalue what women spend to look beautiful, and women are subject to harsher criticism on their appearance.

But $150,000?? There was a picture of young Piper, in the second grade, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, just like all the other 7-year-olds on the playground in Alaska. Trig got a $92 jumper out of the deal.

And Todd got $4,902.08 worth of clothes in the deal. Why? Why did the children get clothes? Sarah Palin is the candidate, not them.

The Republican National Committee spent $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

There was a TV show before my time called “Queen for a Day.” The idea behind the show was that four ordinary housewives (this was the 1950s) told sob stories, and the best (or worst) won lovely prizes.

Palin has been “Queen for Two Months” and has received much more than a refrigerator or a washer/dryer set (regardless of whether the clothes are “donated” to charity).

But “Queen for a Day” was set up for people who were struggling, where they had to sacrifice dignity for a major household appliance. And these were people making a lot less than the 1956 equivalent of $37,500.

The federal budget is a lot bigger than the budgets of the voters. But a typical housewife, househusband, or multiple full-time worker setup knows tricks to get everyday needs met for less. Wait for store sales, hit resale shops, garage sales, or estate sales, shop at discount retail places, go to outlet stores (especially before gas prices shot up), and of course, hand-me-downs.

Perhaps the Palin family jumper had worn out by the time Piper wore it, and it needed to be replaced by the RNC.

I would like to see a politician take a “coupon queen” or some equivalent, and use that person to attack the budget. True, presidents don’t have line-item veto power. But perhaps shame can rain down on Congress.

Conservatives and liberals can agree that our deficits and debts are mind-numbingly out of control, and that we don’t spend money well as a country.

Conservatives who love complaining about their taxes (but love paying for wars) should consider that interest on the debt is the THIRD LARGEST chunk of the federal budget. And liberals who want more money spent on domestic programs should scream when that large amount of money goes to interest on the debt.

So, the Republicans can say the expenses are justified, Obama and McCain can justify their suits and shoes, and even Cindy McCain can justify her outlandish outfit expense. But whichever one gets elected needs to take that scalpel to the federal budget. Average Americans already know how to do this.

Americans have to spend money wisely, making decisions on a daily or weekly basis on how to spend their paycheck. A presidential candidate in a $500 pair of shoes or a $1,500 suit, a vice presidential candidate in a $2,500 jacket, or a wife of a presidential candidate in a $300,000 outfit isn’t likely to understand where most Americans come from.

It’s difficult for most politicians to truly put themselves in our Payless shoes bought on a BOGO sale. And $150,000 clothing allowances — a larger sum of money than what 95% of Americans make in a year — really don’t help.

Piper Palin, 7, with a Louis Vuitton bag, value approx. $650, on September 11. Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

Written by democracysoup

October 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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