I can only find it funny. There was an old joke about Martin Amis – that his first book was titled My Struggle. That should be a new joke about the Romneys. Our Struggle.
You’re going to need a hanky for this sob story, as told by Ann Romney back in 1994, of just how hard young Mitt and Ann struggled when they were just starting out:
They were not easy years. […]We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time.
The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.
Let’s interrupt this tale of woe for just a minute to reflect on the value of $96-a-share stock back in 1969, when this great triumph over poverty occurred. Andrew Sabl, who dug up this old Boston Globe interview, did some quick calculationsto figure out just how “not easy” it was to live off Mitt’s stock portfolio:
By Ann’s own account, the stock amounted to “a few thousand” dollars when bought, but it had gone up by a factor of sixteen. So let’s conservatively say that they got through five years as students—neither one of them working—only by “chipping away at” assets of $60,000 in 1969 dollars (about $377,000 today).
I shouldn’t find it funny. I won’t find it funny if the Mormon wins the election. But for the moment…I can’t help finding it funny. Disgusting, but funny.