The following 1 percent wonders are doing just fine under Obama, but since their worldview is largely restricted to an obsession with their marginal tax rate, they can't refrain from denouncing the president and thinking of new ways to thwart his re-election bid. The Romney men desperately want to see the first financier president, a man after their own cold hearts.
1. David Siegel, the Bitching Billionaire
Thanks to folks over at Gawker, we've gotten a look at the noxious activities of David Siegel, founder and CEO of national timeshare giant Westgate Resorts. Siegel is filthy rich and wants you to know it, building himself the largest (and possibly the tackiest) house in America. The documentary The Queen of Versailles follows Siegel and his wife Jackie in pursuit of obscene excess in the form of a 90,000-square-foot homage to bad taste, complete with a 20-car garage, a two-story wine cellar, and a 30-foot stained glass dome.
Though he brags that his company is more profitable than ever, Siegel, an avid Republican, recently sent an email to his thousands of employees suggesting that they would lose their jobs if Barack Obama is re-elected. In addition to dispensing voting advice, Siegel wallows in 1 percent self-pity:
"They want you to believe that we live in a class system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. They label us the '1%' and imply that we are somehow immune to the challenges that face our country. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, you may have heard about the big home that I'm building. I'm sure many people think that I live a privileged life."
Three swimming pools? Privileged? Perish the thought.
In high narcissistic style, Siegel goes on to praise himself for the "hard work, discipline, and sacrifice" that built a company "which by the way, would eventually employ you." He laments the sacrifices he has endured since the Recession for the good of his workers: "Over the past four years I have had to stop building my dream house, cut back on all of my expenses, and take my kids out of private schools simply to keep this company strong and to keep you employed." Siegel spends most of the rest of the letter bitching that shiftless Americans expecting a "bailout" in the form of higher taxes on fatcats will drive him to the Caribbean, where he will ensconce himself under a palm tree and cease to worry about the little people.
Edward Ericson Jr., formerly a reporter for the Orlando Weekly, has a different takeon how the slimy Siegel made his money, a tale of running scams and ripping off customers.
2. "Neutron" Jack Welch
The former head of General Electric and big-time Romney fan has been making quite a spectacle of himself since last Friday. Incensed by the favorable jobs report, he went on a conspiracy theory rampage, accusing the Obama administration of manipulating the report in order to secure the election. After receiving a barrage of criticism, he told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that he had no evidence to prove such claims. Then he went on to make them anyway. Why should a gazillionaire bother with evidence?
He has since left Fortune magazine in a huff -- the very publication that once named him Manager of the Century -- after managing editor Andy Serwer suggested that his claims were absurd.
Ironically, the man levying charges of cooking the books is the one who wrote the cookbook. Barry Ritholtz of the Big Picture reminds us that Welch had a nasty habit of manipulating GE's earnings while he was CEO of the company. In his article "You Don't Know Jack," Jonathan R. Laing describes how Welch committed epic misdeeds at GE while enjoying such perks as an $80,000-a-month New York pad, a corporate jet, payment for country-club fees, and a host of other luxuries.
A funny one to be going on about jobs, Jack Welch is a key architect of the business style focused on short-run profits, overspeculation, and obsession with stock prices, which, in addition to killing innovation and helping to blow up the world economy in 2008, has caused untold hardship for workers. Welch is a long-time champion of increasing profits by laying off employees, destroying so many jobs at GE that he earned the nickname "Neutron Jack." When he wasn't thinking of new ways to deliver pink slips, he was busy denying the health threats of PCBs that GE was dumping into New York's Hudson River.
"You can't just call me old and senile," complained Welch in the wake of the jobs report flap. Okay, that would be mean. How about crooked and despicable?