The Real Difference with 2004

While there was a lot of blather about “values voters” swinging the 2004 Presidential election to the man who had none, the real story has always been that the HENRYs went for W’s policies.

That changed in 2008:

Guess who won Joe the Plumber’s vote…real people who make about $42,000 a year, the median income for plumbers and pipefitters. Barack Obama carried hard-working Americans of that income stripe by 10 points, according to exit polls.

And the only voters who were told directly that their taxes would go up under a new Democratic president? Obama took the rich as well, winning by six points that small sliver of the electorate that makes more than $200,000 [per] year.

The HENRYs can do basic probability calculations, it seems. “Saving” 5% on your taxes while losing 15% on your non-deductible investments is not a great long-term strategy, no matter what Greg Mankiw may have decided to hear from his self-selected group.