A law professor at the University of Chicago, where President Barack Obama once taught, is sorry he ever complained about the president’s tax policies.
Todd Henderson last week wrote on a blog about the effect the expiring Bush tax cuts would have on his family. He said his family, whose household income is north of $250,000, could not afford higher taxes. His wife is a doctor at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
“A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t,” Henderson wrote on the blog “Truth on the Market.”
He then went on to disclose some personal details about his family’s finances. He paid $100,000 in federal and state taxes last year and $15,000 property taxes. He has a big mortgage, more than $250,000 in student loans, two cars, a nanny and a lawn service.
He concluded by inviting the president to his house, which is two blocks from the Obamas, and to “judge for himself whether the Hendersons are as rich as he thinks.”
His complaints caused quite a stir in the blogosphere, as commenters attacked Henderson as whiny rich guy who doesn’t know how he good he has it in today’s economy. His blog post went viral, inviting commentary from a California professor who called Henderson’s position on taxes an “amazing pasticcio of mendacity, ignorance, and small-minded cupidity.”
The subject of the rich angry about the expiring tax cuts even spurred an essay by Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winner and New York Times columnist, published on Sunday.
But the hostility came as a shock to Henderson, who on Monday deleted his original post. In apologizing for removing the post, he wrote, “The electronic lynch mob that has attacked and harassed me — you should see the emails sent to me personally! — has made my family feel threatened and insecure.” He revealed that his wife did not approve of his post and disagrees “vehemently” with his opinion.
His original post still lives on the Internet. Other bloggers quickly found a Google cache of Henderson’s original post and wrote up their own items about it. On Tuesday, Henderson wrote that he will no longer be posting on the blog.
Henderson declined to talk to the Tribune about the controversy.
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