In what otherwise ended up being a garden variety political stop in Las Vegas for President Obama this week, there was one light moment in which the president tried to make a pitch for extending Social Security fees on a person's pay over $109,000.
He asked the audience at Green Valley High School how many of them make less than $109,000.
When only a few hands went up, he exclaimed that there were a lot of people who didn't raise their hands. There must be a lot of 'rich' people in the room, he said.
Couple of points.
First, I hope he wasn't serious when he suggested that making over $109,000 a year makes a person "rich".
Second, of the "rich people" in the room making above $109,000, I'd love to know how many were public employees. Wish the president would have asked that follow up question.
And thirdly, this whole exercise on how people pay into Social Security was a disingenuous exercise. Had the president been honest, he would have pointed out that the reason there is a cut-off for Social Security tax is because it's supposed to be a pay-in, pay-out plan. In other words, you pay in throughout your working life, the government holds the funds in trust, and then pays out to you in your old age, each according to how much they paid in. To ask people to pay in far more than they could ever expect to get back would unveil Social Security as a flat-out welfare program, which was absolutely not it's original intent.
Anyhow, other than that strange "I see rich people" moment, the president's trip was pretty much a political junket. You can expect he'll be back many times to help Sen. Harry Reid, if polling shows his presence helped. If polling shows it didn't, then count on this being the last time we see President Carter in Las Vegas until after November.
(Did I say Carter?)