Mitt Romney’s surreal disconnection from reality–a disconnectedness he shares with the rest of the .o1%–continues to offer surprises. (Those missing income tax returns would no doubt offer a lot more. ) First he bragged that he put his dog on the roof of the car on a family vacation. That’s weird and stupid, even if you aren’t rich. Imagine the trauma his children might have suffered if the dog had gone flying off the car, tumbling down the freeway to its death. It’s a near sadistic risk for a father to take.
It resonates, too, with the image of Mitt the Vulture capitalist, pursuing profit by, among other things, stripping companies and sending the jobs overseas. (“All the G.O.P.’s Gekkos” by Paul Krugman, nicely summarizes the nature of the sort of sadism-tinged (“let them fail“) capitalism Romney practiced and would bring to the White House.) The newest entry in the Romney menagerie is his Olympic horse, which is better fed and taken care of than most families. That’s the income divide in a nutshell.
It’s helpful for educators and parents– as a gauge of Romney out-of-touchiness– to compare the cost of this single horse–Rafalca–to the average student loan debt, which is $25,250 . Romney may not be able to deduct the cost of his horse yet, but his tax returns suggest that he spent $77,000 on it last year. It’s very difficult to imagine that a man who spends 3 times the average student loan debt on his horse racing hobby would be all that concerned that the debt load has grown too large and college too expensive.