“Santorum Praises Income Inequality.”
That was the headline at, of all places, Fox News about Rick Santorum’s Thursday speech at the Detroit Economic Club. He said, “I’m not about equality of result when it comes to income inequality. There is income inequality in America. There always has been and, hopefully, and I do say that, there always will be.”
Mr. Santorum is unhinged in his public comments. Last week, he said that the President argued that Catholics would have to “hire women priests to comply with employment discrimination issues.”
He also suggested that liberals were leading religious people into beheadings. He said, “They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine.”
Yet, to champion income inequality in Detroit is still incredibly tone-deaf.
Detroit has the highest poverty rate of any big city in America. Among cities with populations over 250,000, Detroit’s poverty rate topped the list at 37.6%, more than twice the national poverty rate. According to the Census Bureau, median household income in Detroit from 2006-10 was just $28,357, only 55% of the overall U.S. median household income.
This is a city that announced plans to close half its public schools and send layoff notices to every teacher in the system.
This is a city where the mayor’s pledge to demolish 10,000 abandoned structures will only shave the tip of the iceberg because, as The Wall Street Journal reported, “the city has roughly 90,000 abandoned or vacant homes and residential lots.”
Mr. Santorum went on to say this about income inequality on Thursday:
We should celebrate like we do in the small towns all across America — as you do here in Detroit. You celebrate success. You build statues and monuments. Buildings, you name after them. Why? Because in their greatness and innovation, yes, they created wealth, but they created wealth for everybody else. And that’s a good thing, not something to be condemned in America.
Mr. Santorum might want to walk around Detroit to see who’s celebrating and to see how many statues he can find to honor people who invented something and got rich.
Furthermore, he should check out the James J. Brady Memorial, which pays tribute to a federal tax collector who set out to address child poverty in the city by founding the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellows of Detroit Fund. The group provides “warm clothing, toys, books, games and candy” to local children every Christmas in addition to sending poor children to summer camps, the dentist, and to college.
Then again, charitable giving doesn’t appear to be high on Mr. Santorum’s list of priorities. As The Washington Post pointed out, based on his tax return, he has given the least amount to charity of the four presidential candidates who have disclosed their tax returns. His charitable giving was just 1.8% of his adjusted gross income.
The Obamas were the highest, giving 14.2%, even though their income was second lowest.
Via The New York Times.