This Woman is a Piece of Work

One thing is certain, if Kerry wins the election, there’ll be no shortage of things to talk about with the new First Lady.

Last week we learned that, though she earned more than $5 million last year, she paid an effective tax rate at about 12%, less than the majority of Americans. From the Wall Street Journal: The top 50% of all federal filers contributed 96.1% of all federal income taxes in 2001, and they paid an average income-tax rate of 15.9%. That’s 3.5-percentage points more than Mrs. Kerry paid in 2003.” At the “very least, Mrs. Kerry’s tax returns are a screaming illustration of the need for reform to make the tax code simpler and fairer. But they also show that Senator Kerry’s proposed tax increases are much more about a revenue grab than they are about tax justice.” (See the story.)

Then there was news about her recommendation for treating arthritis: “You get some gin and get some white raisins — and only white raisins — and soak them in the gin for two weeks,” she said. “Then eat nine of the raisins a day.” (And this revelation, by the way, was delivered in the midst of a presentation about Kerry’s health care plan.) Looking at her photo from the speech, I’d say she’d already had her daily quota of white raisins and gin. (See the story.)

Yesterday, in an interview with USA Today, Teresa slammed both Laura Bush and all stay-at-home Moms in one swoop: “Well, you know, I don’t know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good,” Heinz Kerry said. “But I don’t know that she’s ever had a real job – I mean, since she’s been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things.” Though she later recanted and apologized to Bush, she left hanging the notion that women who stay home to raise their children aren’t doing “real” work. I would submit that these women are doing some of the most important work available. (See the story.)