Eating Out of House and Home: Republican Opposes New Taxes By Noting That He Needs $200,000 a Year for Food

There may be need for an intervention in Congress after Rep. John Fleming, a Louisiana Republican, admitted to what appears an eating disorder. Fleming went on television to denounce Obama’s plans to tax the wealthy and explained how he really does not have a lot of income left over from earning $6.3 million a year from his string of Subway and UPS businesses. He insists that after paying taxes, salaries, and support for his businesses, he only takes home $600,000 — of which $200,000 goes to food for his family. Fleming is the father of four adult children and lives alone with his wife.

That is a lot of food. $547.95 a day. That would allow $182.65 for breakfast, $182.65 for lunch, and $182.65 for dinner. A shrimp po-boy at Copelands of New Orleans is $9.99. That would mean that Fleming could consume over 18 po-boys every night. At 414 calories a po-boy, that comes to 7452 calories just for dinner. No wonder he is the chair of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. His rate of consumption alone threatens the sea and forest stock of available consumable creatures.

In fairness to Fleming, he could have meant all of his expenses in “feeding his family” given his svelte image on the House website.

Source: Business Insider

124 thoughts on “Eating Out of House and Home: Republican Opposes New Taxes By Noting That He Needs $200,000 a Year for Food

  1. But what if he is a big tipper?

    Actually when I skimmed the story yesterday I read it as $200k for all his expenses so that he only had $400,000 left over at the end of the year. See that is so much worse for him – poor man only had 10 times in surplus income what the average American makes every year.

  2. it should be $547.95/day.

    If he goes out a lot, that might not be unreasonable. And think of those poor restaurants who will not be getting his business. Then think of those poor waiters [the ones who are middle class] being denied good tips and the busboys and the bartenders and the dishwashers and the cooks losing their jobs because this guy isnt going to eat out as much.

    And then think about all of the people the busboys, waiters, cooks and bartenders do business with that arent going to have as much business if this rich guy cuts back on his yearly meal plan.

    The rich guy isnt going to be hurt at all, he will just eat steak and lobster and drink champagne at home. It will be the workers who are the ones getting the shaft from an increase in the tax on the wealthy. The wealthy will just change their habits, maybe hire a personal chef. So one person will benefit while hundreds will suffer. That doesnt seem like a very good plan to me.

  3. I can only assume he eats lots of caviar and scrambled bald eagle eggs for breakfast. I wonder what’s for lunch and dinner?

  4. I wonder if he can use the Employee discount at Subway…But then again, I wonder if more folks are employed or the ones that are in his area were paid better if his income would increase….Hmmmmm…..

  5. The Administration continues to permit the Republican Party to frame the debate over income tax rates. In reality, Republicans are opposed to the very notion of a progressive income tax. They simply do not believe that tax rates should climb with income levels. My view is that a majority of Americans believe that income tax rates should be progressive. Therefore, Democrats ought to drive home that point in these arguments.

  6. I believe that income tax rates should be lowered for everyone and that people making under say $50,000 per year should pay neither payroll tax nor income tax.

    The payroll tax is especially hard on those just starting out. And we are long past the point where anyone believes that SS is a viable retirement plan.

  7. Roco,

    If the way Corporations are allowed to not pay SS Payroll tax…Guess what…it will be a self fulfilling prophesy…So you all may just get your way….

    But if…all things being equal…and things were/are paid like they were proposed to be….in 3 years it was estimated that there would be 1.5 trillion in the SS reserve….But leave it to someone that wants to destroy it to do this….

    If you have not read…one of the issues with the Post Office Retirement….I seem to recall that it is over funded….where is Michael Milliken when you need him…

  8. I do not quite understand why this guy and his wife have a 200K food budget. Certainly, if Feed the Children can feed third world children for 80 cents a day, then this guy should change the way he eats.

  9. The Congressman claims a mere $600K of spendable income. If the Bush tax cuts were gone and assuming no qualifying deductions, he’d pay 3% on the amount above $250K which amounts to $350K. His additional tax burden would be about $10.5K. I’m having a very difficult time giving a rip about this guy’s misfortune of requiring the unfathomable belt tightening to adjust his food budget down to $189.5K per year.

  10. Mike A.,
    You hit the nail on the head. This Teapublican is just protecting his own. I would not even believe his figures. The idea that it cost over $200,000 to “feed” his family is nonsense.

  11. We must be kind remember he is who the Repubs are talking about a “job creator”.

    He keeps his accounts busy squeezing every green drop of ink out the bills that come through his “job creating”hands.

  12. AY:

    if SS had been left alone and not spent and not used to buy whatever type of bonds they buy, I would be all for it. SS should not be a debt item but an asset that is making money. That would be a real retirement account for people. But it has been corrupted and needs to go or be completely overhauled.

    The 15% that people dont get should be given to them to do with what they want and if they choose not to invest it for their retirement? Well why is that my concern? If they dont make enough to save enough for retirement maybe we as a society could pitch in and help.

    SS should be means tested anyway and only the neediest should get it.

  13. Roco,

    There is some meat (thought provoking ideals) in your statement about…. I recall an Aunt that got about 70K a year in Trust dividends…this was in the 60’s…She was always waiting for her SS Check….

    I think the SS fund should be repaid in total….but what does it matter if it is bonds or cash or its equivalents….The value should be the same including the ROI….

    I think that most people are consumption oriented and they wait til the last minute to realize they have nothing saved…So, if your thought on this is voluntary contributions…Not for it….

    Please define who is we should pitch in and help…..

  14. Roco, I think if everyone is not invested in Social Security they will eventually get rid of it. If it is means tested, then it will be viewed as welfare and we know how people in this country are viewed who are on welfare. Means testing would mean the end to Social Security as we know it.

  15. Poor, poor Mr. Fleming. Aside from his mere 400,000 he is also a practicing medical doctor and a Congressman. I know freshmen in DC earn $174,000 plus that sweet medical plan. Don’t know how much his practice brings in but this struggling, small businessman is bringing home much more than the 400 grand he is whining about (his “take home” before expenses was 600 grand, more than 10 times the average salary before taxes). I think the dear Rep from “out of touchland” could manage to fork over a couple hundred more per year without feeling any pain. He SHOULD, in a fair world, be taxed enough to feel the same pain his policies have forced upon the neediest in America but I’ll settle for ALL of the wealthy to begin paying a few percentage points more.

  16. if SS had been left alone and not spent and not used to buy whatever type of bonds they buy, I would be all for it. SS should not be a debt item but an asset that is making money. That would be a real retirement account for people. But it has been corrupted and needs to go or be completely overhauled.~Roco
    ——————————–
    This reminds me of when GeeDblya suggested we all put our retirments and S.S. into the Stock Market. Just IMAGINE if we did!

    Money isn’t corrupt. No more than Speed kills….it is the people involved that do the damage….

  17. “It will be the workers who are the ones getting the shaft from an increase in the tax on the wealthy.”

    Roco,

    In your quest to defend your political philosophy have you no shame?
    Seriously.

  18. Blouise-anon nurse:

    Should that come to pass,watch him he seems like the guy who sees the waiter coming with the bill and all of a sudden he needs to go to the mens room :=)

  19. eniobob,

    Come along with us … I have an ancient and I suspect, illegal, blowgun somewhere up in the attic … it’s about six feet long so should reach over or under all bathroom stalls … you can be our armed escort … discouraging him from disappearing.

    Gotta get some poison for the darts though.

  20. Blouise,

    Hearty laughter on this end… Love the idea of eniobob with the blowgun… He should aim for the rusty-colored rug… Let’s eat first, though.

  21. I am not going though. I am not sitting with a tea party republican from northwest Louisiana no matter who is paying

  22. I’ll start taking a collection up for bail money. ;)

    I’ll take my entree to go.

    One whole fried chicken and a Coke. 473 shrimp cocktails. One of those rum drinks served in a pineapple with little umbrellas or perhaps on fire. 14 tins of caviar. 4 orders of fugu. 1 cheese cake. And a belly rub from actress Rashida Jones.

  23. Mike Spindell:

    The wealthy are going to be wealthy unless you confiscate all of their money and then where will you be? Out of money since they pay around 40-50% of the taxes.

    I think you remember the luxury boat tax a few years ago, they had to do away with it because it killed the building of new yachts, the rich just bought used ones. Well the rich didnt suffer but the poor souls who built yachts did.

    I should ask if you have no concern for the average working man in your effort to further your misguided ideology. People like you keep the rest of us working stiffs having to work harder to pay for all the taxes you want to take from us. Have you no shame?

    When will enough be enough?

  24. SwM,

    You’ll be with us … we aren’t going to talk to him, just eat up his tax savings. You can carry the poison darts and be eniobob’s “spotter”.

  25. Woosty:

    I was thinking a large amount of entertaining. 5 people at a good steakhouse is easily 500 bucks including tip. I just figured if he is spending that kind of money, he must be spending a good deal on taking people out to eat. Which was why I commented about waiters, cooks and busboys and how they would be effected.

  26. Gene, I don’t think Ms.Jones will share the table with the congressman either. She was dating an Obama speechwriter.

  27. Gene,

    Got it … how do we get the belly rubber on the plane?

    Bail will not be needed ’cause we’ll run like the wind.

  28. Blouise,

    You’re in charge. Woosty and I are in. Swarthmore mom and Gene are co-conspirators…

    ————

    Swarthmore mom and Gene,

    More hearty laughs on this end… I’ll fall back to my “Blouise is in charge” position, regarding the menu, or we could let you choose…

    ———–

    Swarthmore mom,

    Regarding, “I am not sitting with a tea party republican from northwest Louisiana no matter who is paying.”:

    You’re a good woman, SM. Honorable, too…

    (I hope you’re feeling a little better… One never gets over it… Anyway, you’ve been in my thoughts…)

    ———

    Gene,

    We’ll make sure that you get the good fugu… (wink, wink) …any number of ways to do the deed… blowguns, blowfish… Love your “to go” order… I’m still laughing about the 473 shrimp cocktails…

  29. Swarthmore mom 1, September 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    The shrimp must be wild shrimp not farm raised.

    Of course… it goes without saying… (I’m gonna love this meal…)

    (For the record, I’m “a non-violent progressive”, as well…)

  30. I have to sympathize with the poor fellow. I, too, enjoy my nightly snack of a delicious bowl of crunchy honey roasted diamonds. But, unlike the Congressman, I don’t wash mine down with a crystal goblet of constituent tears.

  31. Roco 1, September 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    anon nurse:

    thank you for the catch. I will affect change.

    Roco,

    Keep trying… You’ll get it right eventually… ;-)

  32. SwM,

    First time I ate sushi was in D.C at the Georgetown Park Mall … second level, I think, right off the stairs … long, narrow place that was all counter … back in the early 90’s or late 80’s. My brother was a big fan of the stuff.

  33. This is shaping up nicely … a blow gun, bobcats, and a belly rubber in restraints … we should fit right in with the regular D.C. crowd.

  34. Roco1, September 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Woosty:

    I was thinking a large amount of entertaining. 5 people at a good steakhouse is easily 500 bucks including tip. I just figured if he is spending that kind of money, he must be spending a good deal on taking people out to eat. Which was why I commented about waiters, cooks and busboys and how they would be effected.
    ———————————————
    yes, I know….365 days a year.

    again I ask….are you single?

  35. blouise 1, September 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    This is shaping up nicely … a blow gun, bobcats, and a belly rubber in restraints … we should fit right in with the regular D.C. crowd.

    Hey… don’t forget the blowfish… plenty in DC… easy to confuse… blowfish, blowhards… no matter… DC has both…

    Cafe Milano sounds very good, Swarthmore mom…

  36. SwM,

    I remember Cafe Milano in the mid 90’s but my favorite place was just down from the Hill … a steak house … can’t remember the name … saw everybody in there and visiting between tables was a big no-no … some of the best food I ever ate.

    My second favorite was a seafood place by the wharf … we used to sit at the bar and play pig … fantastic food.

    I haven’t been back since all the cows came to town (Bush’s first inauguration) … honest to god, there was a herd of cows in Union Station and absolutely no one in the stands along the parade route. It was a hoot.

  37. There is only one reason I’m not eating sushi right now.

    I don’t have any.

    But fresh is the key. And a sushi chef with a really, really good relationship with his fish monger. I won’t eat sushi just anywhere. I suspect that in a previous life I may have been a Japanese fisherman. Maybe some form of shark.

    I guess Texican will have to do tonight. I’m going to make beef tacos and bean tostadas with homemade pico de gallo (from home grown tomatoes). The only pre-made stuff will be the Old El Paso Stand n’ Stuff taco shells (which are not my favorite for taste, but the design is hard to beat), the La Victoria red and green taco sauces (which I think may have crack in it) with some Cholula Hot Sauce for zip (it’s very nice), and the queso blanco (cheese making is a lonely business – largely because of the smell). I even make my own seasoning mix for the beef and my own low fat refried beans (although I haven’t decided if I’m going to use pintos or black beans yet). It will taste great, be mostly good for me and cost far less than $100 per plate. So if I don’t post tonight, it’s because I’m passed out on the couch, post-feast, dreaming of Ms. Jones’ gentle touch . . . and for some odd reason, bobcats.

  38. Gene,

    Damn … tonight is one of my fasting nights … we have an excellent Mexican restaurant in our little town … willpower, willpower …

  39. Blouise-

    Bobcats make for bad company in a restaurant. Their table manners are atrocious. The last time I took Treacherous Bob and Bob the Ripper to a restaurant for sushi, they embarrassed me no end. Here’s a sample:

    T.B.- “Where the hell are the scales?”

    B.T.R.- “Scales, hell! Where are the stinking fish heads?”

    T.B.- “Yah, and they don’t even thrash around in your fangs.”

    B.T.R.- “I think I’m going to have a few fingers off that snooty waiter. The bastard sneered at me.”

    I ask you, would you bring such heathens to a nice restaurant?

  40. Blouise, i was in DC for a couple of weeks in 2007. My son was working there. Ate at so many places. Can’t believe that was four years ago.

  41. HenMan,

    “I ask you, would you bring such heathens to a nice restaurant?”

    But it’s D.C. man … they’d feel right at home and besides … somebody has to keep an eye on Gene’s belly rubber … you know she’s going to try and escape.

  42. Smom,

    I do that for tostada shells. It’s too quick and easy and tastes 1000% better than pre-made ones. I would for taco shells too, but I’m just too lazy to build a form to my specifications (I really do like a flat bottomed shell).

  43. Blouise,

    Are you suggesting that Ms. Jones won’t succumb to the warm, slightly furry, charms of my shrimp cocktail stuffed belly? ;)

  44. Gene,

    Heaven forbid … the problem will be in that she won’t want to sit down with Fleming.

    The bobcats will probably have to watch SwM too, in case she bolts and leaves eniobob ammunitionless.

  45. Gotta go … time to get in on the Town Hall Meeting Call with Sherrod Brown … subject Planned Parenthood and the republican war on women.

    He’s talking right now but questions are encouraged.

    It’s live and so cool.

  46. 20,000 people registered for this Town Hall Telephone Meeting

    gotta push “0” to ask a question.

    John Boehner walked into the Oval Office during March near shutdown and said they’d remove all obstacles if he’d defund Planned Parenthood. Obama said no.

    They’re taking polls during the conversation … using telephone keypad press 1 for yes, 2 for no, 3 for unsure. Just announced results of 1st poll.

    SwM … this is too cool!

  47. anon nurse:

    af·fect 2 (-fkt)
    tr.v. af·fect·ed, af·fect·ing, af·fects
    1. To put on a false show of: affected a British accent.
    2.
    a. To have or show a liking for: affects dramatic clothes.
    b. Archaic To fancy; love.
    3. To tend to by nature; tend to assume: a substance that affects crystalline form.
    4. To imitate; copy: “Spenser, in affecting the ancients, writ no language” (Ben Jonson).

    see 1. above. :)

  48. “People like you keep the rest of us working stiffs having to work harder to pay for all the taxes you want to take from us.”

    Typical Republican obfuscation! When anybody suggests a progressive income tax, Republican politicians turn to their ballot fodder (middle-class voters who don’t want to register their guns, fear communists in the woodpile, and want to take attendance at church), and they shout “The liberal bleeding heart communist pussies are coming for more of YOUR taxes!” And these rednecks, who don’t earn anywhere near $250,000, scream no and run to their keyboards and type “People like you keep the rest of us working stiffs having to work harder to pay for all the taxes you want to take from us.”

  49. Noah V:

    If 40% plus of the people in this country do not pay taxes and the rich pay between 40 and 50% of the tax burden and by “rich” I mean those making $250,000 or more, whom do you think picks up the other 50 to 60% of the tax burden? People who have a job making less than $250,000.

    Furthermore taxes taken from private citizens and industry is money which is unavailable for capital investment. Capital is needed to grow your business to hire more people.

    I dont shoot, I dont go to church and I dont think communist are pussies. I do however think they are murdering thugs as history has shown. The right to bear arms is a Constitutional right as is free speech. I see you are against both.

  50. If by eating disorder he means “compulsive liar” then its totally understandable why he needs so much money for food. The story just proves U.S & U.K polititions are the same, they would rather fill their own pockets than do their job properly. I say gather up a load of polititions and put them in a house, big brother style and have them live on a meagre budget of just a few $’s/£’s a day, then see how they cope.

  51. My boss is in the next room explaining how everyone he knows says they are going to get 3 deer this year, because meat is expensive.

  52. //”…earning $6.3 million a year from his string of Subway and UPS businesses. He insists that after paying taxes, salaries, and support for his businesses, he only takes home $600,000…”//

    And how, exactly, does this logic fit in? If it’s your “income”, then all the business expenses come out FIRST, BEFORE you claim it as “income”. Either this guy doesn’t know how to manage his own finances and really DOES have $6.3 mil in income, but hasn’t taken out all those deductible things like overhead, or he’s lying through his teeth, and since he expects me to believe that he needs $200,000 a year to feed 6 people, I’m willing to believe the latter.

    Between my wife and I, we make around $75,000 total, and pay rent, utility bills, nousehold expenses, and the cost of children. We have 3 kids, and my brother in law is living with us while he goes to school(Putting $200/month toward total costs), and we live on that $75k, including food. Obviously we are way under-spending on fod if 3 adults, 2 tenage boys and a toddler only cost us about $7 or $8,000 a year.

  53. Roco, your math still doesn’t equate to YOUR taxes going up. As for diverting from capital, I’d argue that tax breaks have done that. Incredibly rich people who got a 10% rate reduction during the George W Bush years, don’t appear to have created any jobs. They seem to have just gotten 10% wealthier.

    You said, “the right to bear arms is a Constitutional right as is free speech. I see you are against both.”

    You are creating two paper tigers, here.

    First, I own more than one gun. I’m just not afraid of losing them.

    Second, my arguing with you doesn’t abrogate your right to free speech, nor has anybody else’s arguing with you.

  54. Is this “gentleman” a veteran?
    Has he ever served his country in a war zone?
    If not, strip him of everything he has or ever
    will have.
    Also why is he feeding his “adult” children?

  55. Have you people ever heard of the Alternative Minimum Tax? My husband and I made $350,000 last year and paid $81,000 in Income Tax alone, in addition to Social Security Taxes, Medicare Taxes, State & Local Taxes, Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, etc. Is this what is meant by “Taxing the Rich?” After paying my taxes, I don’t feel “rich!” We work long, hard hours to earn our money only to have a large percentage of it taken away. Why bother.

  56. “Why bother.” -servalmom

    For the roughly $269,000 that remained.

    There are many in this country who work “long, hard hours” and end up with much less at the end of the year. Many people with the “problem” that you describe would consider themselves quite fortunate.

  57. For most of my working life I either worked two jobs, or 70 to 80 hour weeks. Before taxes the most I ever made was $100,000 and I busted my ass working, sometimes having to go in to work at 3:00am, in bad neighborhoods. I’ll take the $350,000, pay $150,000 in taxes and live oh so “frugally” on the rest. Poor servalmom, your life is so, so hard. Why I bet you’d love to not have to work and live like a “Welfare Queen”. The trouble is it wouldn’t be a life lived in your accustomed lifestyle, which on $200,000 net is a pretty good one compared to the rest of us.

  58. Has anyone done ALL of the math? I’ve read his 500 employees must average about $12,000 per year. The man is disgusting.

  59. it takes quite a lot of work to make $350,000 and to have over $115,000 taken from you is a big hit. People making that kind of money work at least 16 hour days especially if they have their own business.

    Why is it OK to take over a third of their income? Most of it is wasted on stupid government crap like $16 muffins and bridges to nowhere.

    Why should this woman and her husband have part of their lives taken from them?

    I say if you make a million dollars a year or more you shouldnt pay any taxes at all. You probably already employ a bunch of people and spend a bunch of money and invest a bunch of money so other people can use it to make a bunch money. Those people do enough. They should keep it all.

  60. Maybe Roco and others are right “Why should this woman and her husband have part of their lives taken from them?” I don’t like paying taxes either. I don’t wanna do it anymore. I wanna pay the same percentage as the big cats. I wanna pay the same percentage as the big corps. I wanna pay the same percentage as, lets say, GE. Hey who’s with me. How bout we all pay the same percentage as GE. Of course there goes the budget. No more army, no more government employees such as senators and other congresscritters.

    I can only quote a man of such good sense he once said, “Roco,

    You are, once again, completely and staggeringly full of shit.”

  61. Do you know another tactic beside “I know you are but what am I”, Roco?

    Because it still doesn’t work if you’re older than six.

  62. servalmom-

    Boo Hoo!

    Last year I made $25,336 (Social Security and a puny pension) and paid no taxes, State or Federal. Would you like to trade places? As my Dad used to say when I complained about something trivial, “My heart bleeds for you!”

  63. “it takes quite a lot of work to make $350,000 and to have over $115,000 taken from you is a big hit.”

    Roco,

    It also takes a lot of work to work 16 hours a day, commute for another two hours, save my employer $140 million and only get $75,000 a year, of which 1/3rd was taxes. I did it so I know. The truth is though that I and your couple didn’t work any near as hard as most American working people who earn far less, working up to 3 jobs and also paying more in taxes than your couple. However, for you in the spell of the vile Ms. Rand, the wealthier couple is more deserving of our approval and shouldn’t have to pay the more taxes than a working slob. Sadly, I’m sure you don’t have a clue as to what’s wrong with your outlook, since you are so enthralled with a philosophy that says your personal greed is good.

  64. “Why is it OK to take over a third of their income? Most of it is wasted on stupid government crap like $16 muffins and bridges to nowhere.”

    It’s also spent on educating their employees, paying the Police that protect them, building the roads and streets they use for their shipments, staffing a Fire Department in case their business needs one, connecting water to their business site. Nobody gets rich in a vacuum. (Astronauts, maybe?)

  65. Gene H:

    Do you know another tactic beside “I know you are but what am I”, Gene?

    Because it still doesn’t work if you’re older than six.

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