I just want to remind everybody that the fundraiser at which Romney proudly declared he would not represent 47% of Americans, claimed that if he was brown he’d get elected, and promised that if there was a hostage situation in the middle east during the present election season that he’d find a way to take advantage for political gain, was a $50,000 per plate dinner.

The median income in the US is close to that amount.

If you wait 10 tables at an event like that and get a 15% tip, you make more than the median annual income in one night.


  1. #1 Eric Lund
    September 19, 2012

    That’s actually $50k per person. So if there are eight people per table (most such events have 8 or 10 seats per table) and you split the tip with the busboy (the usual arrangement in restaurants), two such tables at 15% tip would give you $60k, which is more than the median income but less than the average.

    Unfortunately for the waitstaff, most of that $50k is a donation. The actual cost of a rubber chicken dinner will be in the $30-50 range; gourmet food probably about twice that. At this level people will expect good wine; figure $100 per person ballpark. An 18% gratuity will be added, so in reality our waiter and busboy will be splitting more like $36 per person, for a $100-150 per table net. Still nice pay for two or three hours of work, but you’ll need to work 400-500 tables a year to hit the median income.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    September 19, 2012

    Eric, you’re correct, of course. Actually, tips are often not left at catered dinners anyway. The big winners are probably the valet parking staff.

  3. #3 Mike Licht
    September 19, 2012

    The Florida papers put attendence at 150 plutocrats. But forget the parking valets, these guys have limos standing by.

  4. #4 derek
    September 19, 2012

    I assume the waiters don’t get the median annual income from their work even when you add the whole year’s work up. That means they probably don’t pay federal income tax. And that means the people running around, cleaning the tables, taking away the plates and bringing the drinks, were “moochers”; while the people sitting at the tables, eating food, drinking wine, and listening to the entertainment, were “providers”. Somebody show the poor dears the way to Galt’s Gulch.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    September 19, 2012

    I hope there was some food left over for the pions.

  6. #6 MadScientist
    September 19, 2012

    Pfft. Cheap. They must have only been millionaires.

  7. #7 CherryBombSim
    September 19, 2012

    Now his task is to convince some of those people in the 47% that they WOULD be in the other 53%, if it weren’t for the 47% of freeloaders dragging them down. My head hurts.

  8. #8 Kyle Lacy
    September 20, 2012

    Silly Greg it doesn’t matter how much any gratuities were, we’re all the winners here now that this video has come to prominence.