The Ruling Class Tosses Americans Overboard

The saga of Senator John Kerry's  $ 7 million sailing yacht  tied up on the Newport waterfront in the tax haven of Rhode Island proved again how adept Democrats are at spending other people's money. This time the $7 million was presumably spent from his wife's inherited fortune.

But the larger story here isn't about tax havens.  And it isn't about hypocrisy. And it's far less about trophy wives with trust funds.  It's not even about being a lifelong leech working  in government jobs sucking the blood out of beleaguered taxpayers. It's about the increasing distance and disconnects between the governing class and everybody else.  It's about abandoning American workers and deliberately staying out of touch with and out of reach from everyday people.

$7 million is a lot of dough.  Easily more than twice what the vast majority of Americans will earn over their entire lifetimes. And those modest earning prospects are slipping away as two out of ten Americans of working age are now either unemployed or underemployed.

Pay no attention to Sen Kerry's hollow support of US job creation. I wonder why in May he co-sponsored  the vacuous Senate bill "Honoring the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Small Business": . Maybe he was feeling guilty  for having completely dismissed American boatyards and instead taken delivery three months earlier of the 72 foot Isabel, built in New Zealand.

I also wonder how his aiding and abetting outsourcing, shamelessly steering clear of American labor, is going down with his pals at the AFL-CIO who endorsed him for president in 2004. No doubt  at least half of Isabel's $7 million price tag was labor requiring some 70,000 hours of mostly highly skilled work..  That translates into 35 to 50 boatbuilders, carpenters, mechanics, machinists, sailmakers, technicians, varnishers and riggers.  Couldn't this work have been done at a premier custom boat builder in Maine, say Hinckley's in Southwest Harbor or Brooklin Boatyard?

Or if he was stuck on something more upscale, why not Hodgdon's Yachts in East Boothbay? Five generations of Hodgdons have built the finest luxury sailing yachts in the world as the cold molded 124 foot Antonisa and 98 foot Windcrest can attest. Hodgdon's has at least 35 of the finest boatbuilders to be found anywhere on the globe. But not good enough for John Kerry.

How about Goetz Boats in Bristol, Rhode Island, a mere 20 minute Cadillac Escalade SUV ride from Newport?  Goetz has built nine Americas Cup boats.  Goetz's most recent construction is the 83 foot Highland Fling a carbon fiber luxury racing jewel. Not good enough for John Kerry.

All too pedestrian for John Kerry. Anyone can get a boat built in Maine or Rhode Island. But none of that would have the glitter and cachet of built-in-New Zealand.

Look, John Kerry and his wife can spend their tax-free municipal bond income anywhere they please.  But the prospect of a US Senator splurging on a $7 million personal pleasure craft built halfway around the globe while Americans suffer through the worst economic catastrophe since the 1930s is not just unseemly -- it's nauseating. Displays of this kind of elitist condescension and disdain for the everyday people were once upon a time reserved for the likes of the French aristocracy before 1789.

Equally obscene is the reported millions being spent on the Chelsea Clinton wedding. At least the Clintons had the good sense to have Chelsea tie the knot in the US.  And caterers, wedding planners, dress makers, florists, chefs, wait staff and dishwashers, landscape workers and porta-potty contractors all along the NY State Hudson River estates will enjoy good fortune at least  for a couple of days.  Unlike the hopelessly out-of-work boat builders further Downeast who are now resorting to raking blueberries and taking short term stints as deckhands on clean-up barges in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of course it is entirely possible that Kerry had nothing to do with the yacht Isabel, except measuring chocks on the foredeck to store his windsurfing board.

And while the governing class arrogance and alienation from everyday Americans is worsening, the bastions of big government keep ever expanding. The Capitol district in Washington DC is a concrete berm and steel barrier enclave with few hotel vacancies and virtually full employment.  Unsupervised staffers and unbridled regulators daily impose thousands of pages of rules on us. Even presumably free market stalwarts inside American companies are convinced that Washington is the center of the universe.

The American electorate has always been wary of decision makers beyond their existential line of sight. So were the founders declaring in the last amendment in the Bill of Rights, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

If the courts today won't reaffirm the Tenth Amendment, the voters will. And sooner or later, the John Kerrys of the governing class will be the ones cast adrift.