Yesterday, Ezra Klein pointed out that while soon-to-be-Speaker of the House John Boehner intends to to fight tooth and nail to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000, they account for only about one percent of the constituents in his district.
There are 238,781 households in John Boehner’s district. There are 2,824 of them with an income above $200,000. That’s 1.1 percent. And that 1.1 percent is too large, as many of those people make between $200,000 and $250,000, and so every dollar of their income will be eligible for the tax cuts the Democrats are pushing.
While almost none of Boehner’s constituents fall in that lofty category, a group of people that are often way more important to Boehner do.
For one, there is the future John Boehner. When he retirees, as a former Speaker of the House, Boehner will have ample lucrative career options open to him. There is little doubt he will command a future income well in excess of $250,000 a year.
Also likely important to Boehner is his many colleagues. After all, half of his fellow representatives are worth over a million dollars.
Probably most important of all, though, is that nearly every donor and lobbyist that give his campaign and/or the RNC the maximum allowed donation by law earns over $250,000 a year. These are the individuals Boehner spends most of his time talking to.
Boehner knock-down-drag-out fight to keep taxes low on the rich doesn’t make sense if you think our members of Congress represent their geographic constituents, but, given the broken design of our campaign finance system, that is not who most members of Congress know they actually need to please.