The gift that keeps on giving

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING…. Just this week, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was asked by a reporter whether he might put some effort into avoiding humiliating gaffes. He replied, “Oh, no. Accidents happen, baby.”

They sure do.

RNC chairman Michael Steele has yet another gaffe to live down after arguing in a debate yesterday that $1 million isn’t a lot of money.

Steele made the comments while debating former Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) at the University of Arkansas. The topic turned to taxes, and Steele criticized President Obama’s plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire for wealthy Americans.

“Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money,” Steele said, according to the Associated Press.

Alex Koppelman noted, “[I]f there’s a specific part of the brain that keeps most of us from saying every stupid thing that pops into our heads, it just doesn’t seem to be working for Steele.”

For the record, the median American household income is about $50,000. For the chairman of the Republican National Committee, 20 times that number is “not a lot of money.”

In the midst of a recession, when literally 99.6% of the country aren’t millionaires, it’s probably fair to say this is another one of Steele’s “accidents.”

Indeed, it wasn’t long before DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse noted just how out of touch Michael Steele really is, mocking his “caviar dreams.”

“While millions of Americans are unemployed, while millions can’t afford to send their kids to college, can’t afford to purchase health insurance, can’t afford to stay in their homes, Michael Steele — a man who moonlights from his RNC gig by getting paid up to 20k to give a speech — has the audacity to tell the American people, ‘a million dollars is not a lot of money.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.