Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reasonable Tax Policy

I haven't updated here or on my facebook page for awhile now - life has been a bit nuts. I apologize. I plan on posting this in a lot of places today, because I had a semi-brilliant (or very dumb) idea this morning and I want to share it:

If tax cuts lead to job creation, as the Republicants say, why not officially tie the two together? Here’s the idea: your corporation gets a better tax break based upon the number of jobs created as a percentage of your total operating expenses or size of the company or percentage of your payroll. The higher the percentage, the lower your tax rate. If you are really creating jobs with these tax cuts, then the more jobs you create the better your tax rate will be.

This would be a great boon to small business as new hires as a percentage of their operation is a big deal, while a large corporation would need to hire more people to get the same break. Conversely, the reverse would also be true – if you shed jobs or ship them overseas then you would lose that tax break. There would need to be a corporate minimum so that mom and pop shops aren’t adversely affected when they run into financial straits and there would need to be some fine-tuning, but this policy would have the effect of putting your money where your mouth is. If you really are a job creator, then you would be rewarded. If you are a company that has maximized profits and shed employees in the process your tax rate would go up.

Obviously this is an overly-simplistic approach. There would need to be other factors incorporated into our tax policy for corporations, but this is designed to expose the lie about the Republicant claim that tax cuts create jobs. It should be the other way around – that job creation can create tax cuts.

This could be an effective and job-creating tax policy. Or else it would show the Republican tax policy for what it really is. I handle money for a living, and I know this.

I have two facebook pages, by the way. My friends page is and my Angry Accountant page is

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The boy needs to know his place

Mr. President, I simply don't know what it's going to take. These people that you want to govern with - these people you continually comprise with - they are racist fucks and it pisses me off how they treat you and how much you just accept it. There are times when it feels like you have helped set the civil rights movement back decades.

This latest incident, where you asked to speak before a joint session of Congress and the Speaker telling you to reschedule looks on the surface just like botched communications. It is not. It is about showing power and making you look weak. It is about putting the boy in his place. This is how they think of you, and maybe you can't recognize this but I can. You are the President of the United States. You should take shit from no one.

Never in the history of our country has your office been treated with such disrespect. In the past few years my children have learned more euphemisms for the word "nigger" than I ever did - a point that I will get to in a moment. They question the origin of your birth. They call you by a religion that is currently under suspicion. They call your wife fat. They deliberately change their positions when you take one that they actually want. They want you to fail, Mr. President. They are deliberately hurting the country because if one uppity nigger succeeds at this, then we're going to get another one. They are doing everything they can think of to try to make you a one term President - and that way they never have to worry about having a black man running the country again.

Mr. President - you were raised by a loving mother, and by grandparents who obviously cared for you deeply. You were raised in multiple locations, and much of your experience is about multiculturalism and acceptance. You really didn't start to experience mainstream America until your college years and by that point your own experiences were already formed. Allow me to give you a different one - a much more common one.

I'm white. I look it, I act it, it's what I put on the census forms. My wife is white. My children are white. I grew up in a town that could be called redneck but can also be called upscale suburban. I grew up where there were oil fields, agribusiness, and an army base not too far away. During my own childhood the town expanded from a population of 50,000 to 200,000. There are good things about the place, and there are aspects of my childhood that scare the crap out of me. We can talk about book burnings and religious intolerance another time.

Racism was a big part of that life. Having a confederate flag on your truck or home was a fashion statement. The local Klan recruited actively in my high school, looking for new members. They taught kids how to say things to keep the black kids in their place. While my generation mostly rejected this sort of thing there were some who took to it like breathing air.

I learned as a kid to notice when black kids were being singled out. I noticed that one kid was left alone because his father was a local preacher and that could cause trouble, but his cousins were fair game. I noticed that when a black kid was given the lead role in a high school production of Hamlet that the seats in the auditorium were emptier than when that same talented kid played a comedy. I remember a teacher rejecting Romeo and Juliet because that kid was the obvious choice for the lead and she didn't want the trouble.

By the way, I grew up in California - not the Midwest, and not the South. How much worse do you think it was for people living where racism has an entrenched history?

Mr. President, a lot of racists aren't even aware that they are what they are, but they do want you to know your place. They have done a large amount of little things - things like rescheduling meetings you have called, interrupting speeches you have given, calling you names - things never conceived of before. I have seen the ugly face of racism first hand by those who practice and teach it to others, and this is it. They want you to know that you aren't as good as they are, and will do any belittling thing they can think of to keep it that way.

How much more of this can you take? Enduring is not good enough - you aren't in a position to smile and take it. You are the President of the United States of America. You are a man in a position of immense power and they don't like it - and are doing everything they can to make sure that you know your place.

Well, do you know your place? Are you one of the most powerful men on the planet, or are you going to take being put down again and again by people who think they're better than you are? These aren't people you compromise with - these are people you kick in the groin and when they're down you kick them again in the head. You don't compromise with these people; you resist. They aren't going to compromise with you - they want the boy to know his place.

I have filled this little essay with code words that any person of color should recognize as racist. That's intentional. You should be pissed as hell about this. I am and I'm not a person of color.

What is it going to take before you give these people the ass-kicking they deserve? How long before you resist at a level worthy of those who made the gains you have made possible?

I ask because I can't take much more of this.

Cheap shots:

Just how free do you think you are? We present to you the War on Voting.

They should also extend an invite to Jesus, just to see if he shows. I bet he snubs them.

I think that Craigslist is going to need a whole new category.

Maybe they should raffle off a Taser instead - they're supposedly safe.

No, it's bigotry you dumb fuck.

So you're saying that you're going to skip work?

Bush weighs in on Dick. Sometimes they just write themselves.

And because I love you, Smashing Pumpkins

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


You know, I haven't been blogging lately, and I'm pretty sure then tens of you who come to this site have noticed. It's not for a lack of material - lord knows that people on both sides of the aisle have been making spectacular jackasses out of themselves lately, although the Republicants have certainly held the lead.

It's not that I'm tired of doing this either. You can ask anyone who knows me; I love ranting at the morons of the world and have no fear or shame when it comes to doing so.

I am also a family man, with one child in his last year of living at home and another going through puberty - a spouse with a bad back and a new cat named appropriately after the bad guy from Mordor. All this while launching a new venture and trying my best to keep my musical mojo on track.

In short, I've been busy. Also in short, very little of what I say hasn't been said by other people - some smarter, some wiser, some funnier (although rarely all three). It's just that there isn't a conversation happening about these things. There's shouting on the right, an attempt at reasonableness on the left, and shouting is what is getting broadcast. The talking heads and villagers of Washington are so out of touch with reality that those of us living in the real world cannot even understand them anymore. David Brinkley you felt was one of us - even with his halting speech patterns and sly snobbish chuckle. The David Gregory Muppet? Not so much. The political media has become its own tribe, and like most tribes has become insular - and this is hurting us.

People like me are looked at as fringe, kooks, and somewhat batshit insane. Maybe so, but no less so than those with the 6 and 7-figure incomes attempting to tell us what to think.

There needs to be a new way to do this, and this has been pouring through my brain for weeks now. It needs to be eye-catching, ground-shattering, and something that will get people back and involved in the conversation. I'm pretty sure I know what that is, but I'm not so certain that I'm the right person to do it.

I need to think it through - so there may be gaps in my blogging. Go have a snack. I'll be back soon.

Cheap shots:

I love Bill Nye. This other fucking moron talking with him? Not so much.

Yes, it matters, you dumb bitch.

Especially if he's not smart enough to understand this Venn diagram.

Someone find me that Craigslist ad!

They don't want God in government - they want Christianity in government. given how much they actually distrust government, why aren't they afraid that government will screw it up and imperil their souls

A few days ago a Republicant congress-critter complained that people were shooting at them. Actually, it seems that they're only shooting at Democrats.

Speaking of Beck, when he left TV I sent him a brief e-mail thanking him for his efforts and signed it, "The Caliphate". I'm going to forward the same to this idiot.

Faux "News" learns a lesson about the shit we dump in the sea.

And because I love you, The Kinks

Thursday, August 4, 2011

They used to hang people for this shit

Okay, now that the dust has settled and the Senate Democrats caved on the FAA extension (although it looks like the Transportation secretary is going to play Lone Ranger on this one) and everyone is going home for a month I have a question to ask. What the hell just happened? How the hell did we just let our entire political process be hijacked by people we didn't ever cast a vote for?

Our representative Democracy is supposed to be made up of two governing bodies. At today's date they are made up of a body of 435 Representatives, and another of 100 Senators. Thanks to the resolution that just got passed extending our ability to pay our bills that we didn't even need, that august body of 535 has now been whittled down to 12 for the purposes of financial matters. 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats - 3 of each from each house. Now here's where it gets tricky.

All this Legislative Jury of 12 needs is a simple majority in order to make things happen. If they can come to a simple majority of 7 people then whatever they say goes and it moves to the President. If they can't agree then automatic cuts go into effect that no one has legislated. So these 12 people are going to fun the fucking country.

No let's parse that down a bit: 6 of those people are Republicans, and a certain dickhead named Grover Norquist has been assured by leaders of both houses that the people appointed will be people who have signed his pledge to never raise taxes under any circumstances. Think about that for a moment. 6 of these 12 have put the fiscal whims of this man above the country they swore an oath to. They used to hang people for shit like that and now they're put in charge of everything. They have instead sworn allegiance to a man who believes that government should be drowned in a bathtub.

And now there's the other 6. Leaders of the Democratic Party are already saying that everything is on the table. Well, let's take a look at the past couple of years and parse out what that means. It means giving the Republicans what they mostly want. As proof positive of this, the Senate leadership is considering appointing Max Baccus or someone similar to him - a blue dog - who often votes with Republicans and has been known to flirt with Mr. Norquist as well. All it takes is one vote like this and it's game over.

So, the country is now run by the ideals of Grover Norquist? A man who has never run for elected office and has never held a post in government? Screw the Koch brothers and their money, the real power has been handed over to this dumbshit. People, the reason we only let elected officials run things is so that if they screw up we can get rid of them and replace them with someone hopefully better. How do we dump a dumbshit like Grover Norquist?

And yes, I know what I'm talking about when I call him a dumbshit. He's a fucking moron. He continues to spout ideas that the past 10 years have repeatedly disproven and has taught all of his disciples that spending less is the same thing as smaller government. Does anyone under the age of 30 remember a time when Republicans wanted government to be smaller so that it was more efficient?


Unless people take to the streets and put the safety of the American Governmental experiment ahead of their own lives - unless we have protests like we see in Egypt, France, Greece, Russia and other places - peaceful protest - unless we as a nation get off of our fat asses and do something, it's over.

And until the last few years, it was fun while it lasted.

Cheap Shots:

Can we use the Cheesehead Democrats as a model?

After a while, don't the sheer volume of "Isolated Incidents" turn that phrase into a lie?

Woah. It means nothing at all, but it's still cool.

Write your own headline about Santorum and Jelly.

I despise the current governor of New Jersey. I think he's an awful man. That said, this bit of speech by him is downright awesome and deserves applause.

I wonder if Mike Hucksterabee has been hiring the same animators in Korea that Jon Stewart does when he lampoons the news for the Daily Show. They have the same level of truthiness.

Mr. President, I'm several years younger than you and I've been receiving these e-mails for years.

And because I love you, Randy Newman

Monday, August 1, 2011

Work slow-down

I don't even know what to think anymore. This deal that got worked out regarding the debt ceiling over the weekend is such an insanely bad idea that I can't imagine anyone rational supporting it. The asylum is being run by the inmates - and just the stupidest and craziest ones.

It seems to be the prevailing wisdom on the left hand side of politics of saying, "meh - it could have been worse". Way to go Baby Boomers, you've accepted the slacker generation's motto and incorporated into stuff that's actually important - which even the slacker generation doesn't do (which is the whole goddamned point).

Let me explain something. I manage money for a living. That's my day job. I process billions of dollars worth of pipeline personally and oversee the equivalent of the economy of a small town. I'm not an economist - I actually work for a living. I watch the policies be put in place and I see how the implementation of these policies affect the goals. I'm saying this so that you understand that I'm not just talking out of my ass here.

This plan is like logic took a holiday. I can tell you from having run the economies of various projects that cutting spending NEVER makes sense when you're trying to create jobs and results. Cutting spending slows things down. Period. Simple. If you have a car loan and you start paying $50 per month less on that loan then it's going to take longer to pay it off, and you're going to accumulate finance charges. That's what we're doing here. We're going to wind up spending less thanks to budget cuts and the economy is going to slow down, and it's going to cost us more money in the long run.

Why can't any of the morons in congress understand this? It's simple? A 4th grader can get the concept!

And the idea that tax cuts create jobs is such complete bullshit. I have to ask when does this process start? These fucking tax cuts have been on the books for a decade now. Where are the fucking jobs?

I don't understand this at all. Being so wed to ideology that you accomplish nothing or in this case create further damage is NOT what we are paying these people to do. This is Darwinism on a geopolitical scale and it's going to turn out badly for all of us.

And it's so damned easy to fix. Raise some fucking revenue and the rest will work itself out! I just don't understand these people.

Cheap shots:

Of course, it could be that they're just trying to create an intellectual new class of hooker.

This will probably doom the already doomed Huntsman campaign, but for the record I don’t think she's even slightly hot. I think she's Tammy Fay Baker; the early years.

If you really believe this then you're a fucking idiot.

This has the potential of being good news, but I'm sure there are a dozen ways they can fuck this up so that it is even worse than before.

Pam Geller is a dripping hate cunt. And I use that particular expletive so very rarely. But she and others are fund-raising on the murders of children. Fucking pedophiles.

Tar Baby? Really? Are you fucking kidding me? TAR BABY!!??!!?!!?

I've said it before and I'm saying it again now - no Socialist gives Timothy Geitner a job.

And because I love you, a-ha

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We are racists

Norway this past week suffered a brutal terrorist attack. Whatever your opinions on the man (and I eventually believe his co-conspirators) and his political and religious beliefs, he murdered a lot of people in a country without a lot of people. The event was a shock to their way of life and they reacted with swift vengeance and an increase in security.

No wait - that's what we would do. Kind of. In fact, Norway has reacted with reasonable calmness and resolve - investigating the crimes without any actions that increase security at the cost of personal liberties and freedoms. How un-American of them!

With every terrorist attack since 9/11 the United States of America has increased security and decreased personal liberties for our citizens. Remember when you didn't have to take your shoes or belt off to get on an airplane? remember the days when Miranda had to be read to you every time, with no exceptions? Remember when we used to put all accused criminals on trial?

So what's the difference? Why have we been terrorized when Norway hasn't fallen prey to it, despite a home-grown terrorist attack? Glenn Greenwald at Salon has a good article on it but I don't think he hits hard enough on a key issue. He talks about how Norway has resisted pressure to increase security and until this moment of home-grown terrorism has done so successfully - and appears will continue to do so. He talks about the differences between our country and Norway, and how we have become terrorized while they have not.

It's in an update to his article that I notice something. He talks about how we didn't increase security in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. Well, he accurately points out that in fact we did, but it was nothing on the scale of what we go through today. But there's something else underlying all of this. A man blows up an abortion clinic and sets off a bomb in the Olympic park in Atlanta. A man guns down a doctor in his church. A man places a bomb on the streets of Seattle. None of these terrorist threats warranted an increase in security anywhere in the U.S. But a man attempts to set his feet on fire, and another his undies. A man shoots up an army base, while another attempts to drive a car bomb across the Canadian border. Each of these terrorist threats were responded to with changes and increases in our security.

The difference? Group A weren't Muslims. Group B was. Greenwald didn't want to go to the logical conclusion and went to great pains in his article to talk about differences and make it out to be a difference between our country and Norway. I'm going to go a touch further.

For a melting pot we seem to be really unable to accept differences. We suck at it. Conservatives hate gays and Islamic people and even sometimes Jews. Liberals hate those who are close-minded. I could site you a thousand examples but the point for today is a simple one - these security increases and loss of liberties are the result of perceived Islamic terrorism.

Bill ORLY has nearly popped a vein in his skull over the idea that the Norwegian killer could be called a Christian terrorist. Well, I call bullshit. If you can constantly refer to people using the name of Allah to commit unspeakable acts as Islamic terrorism then this nut job in Norway is certainly a Christian terrorist. And therein lies the heart of the matter - we are racist against Muslims. It's a definitional problem, the same as a white man will lock the doors of his car when he drives through a black neighborhood. You don't want to acknowledge that this is racism, but it most certainly is.

And I don’t see how we're going to get past this without a complete overhaul. Or perhaps by defeating the thing that scares us most - our own fear. I'm not saying it's easy - FDR really nailed it on the head with that one. But until we reach that point the terrorists beat us. Because we are afraid of the people they supposedly represent (even though they don't). It's the same reason that blacks have a suspicion of whites even if they don't dress in sheets. It's the same reason that Native Americans distrust our government and have their own cops - because they were railroaded so often. It's the same reason that Jews, Irish, Italians, and just about every immigrant group has been blamed for the bad crap that happens all throughout the history of the United States.

We are a nation founded on escaping persecution, and while our founding fathers found a way out of that morass for the most part we easily sink back into it. It becomes an us against them mentality, and lately it even permeates the differences between political parties. And even if they all have the same skin color it all boils down to that basic fear - the problems are caused by the NOT US.

Racism. And unless we get past that we're in serious trouble - because we're losing the moral fight.

Cheap shots:

I'll be honest, I never thought there was a fan-fiction category for anything like this.

Painfully thickwitted. I like that phrase.

And again, The Onion nails it.

No Rand, you've misinterpreted the book. The Hobbits weren't the heroes - a small band of them, outcasts from the rest, were the heroes. You and McCain are just assholes.

Speaking of books, I think I just found two more to add to the summer reading lists of my children.

Interesting trailer.

And the jobs bill is where exactly?

Someone castrated the Speaker of Orange!

And because I love you, Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Monday, July 25, 2011

NEVER, you fucking idiot

My mom worries that I've lost my mojo because I didn't rant for nearly a month. Not to worry. Buckle up.

Question for Glenn Beck: Under what circumstances is it acceptable/understandable to shoot a bunch of children? If they are "Hitler Youth" does that make it acceptable? If the camp that they are attending is some sort of "political brainwashing" does that make it acceptable? Under what circumstances is this okay?

Stop thinking about it and answer reflexively. NEVER YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!!

The answer is NEVER. Not ever. Not under any circumstances. Period. No exceptions. Ever. The fact that you've already come up with excusing what the shooter in Norway has done makes you a monster. Evil. Demonic.

I don't give a fuck if they're all going to grow up and become terrorists. I don't give a fuck if they're being indoctrinated in Hitler Youth, Islamic Youth, Christian Youth, 4-H, or even your own 912 project. I'm not saying that these kids were such a thing. I'm not saying they weren't. I'm saying it makes no fucking difference whatsoever under any circumstances.

I don’t give a fuck if they're being taught to burn books in Bible camp in Alabama. I don't give a fuck if they're being taught to say "Allah Akbar" every night before they go to bed in Wisconsin. I don't give a fuck if they have to kiss their 4 mothers to sleep every night in Utah. I don't give a fuck if they're being raised to take over the family moonshine business in West Virginia. I don't give a fuck if they witnessed their gay uncle and his "friend" get married this past weekend in New York. I don't give a fuck if they're being raised on the monies earned in the drug trade in Arizona. I don't give a fuck if they're being raised to become suicide bombers in Florida. I don't give a fuck if they've been raised to fuck goats in Chicago. (All examples based upon real incidents, by the way.)

I don't even give a fuck if they're the children of racist right-wing radio hosts that spew hate with every breath.

I don't give a fuck about any of this because it is NEVER acceptable to kill children or hurt them, under any circumstances. If you think otherwise then you are brain-damaged and should be removed from the gene pool. Yes, I will say it to your fucking face if I ever see it.

You and the people like you who have been back-tracking and stumbling over the most basic of syllables ever since it was discovered that a right-wing "Christian" militant with an anti-Islamic bias killed all those people in Norway this past weekend should all be ashamed of yourselves. The fact that you're not is proof enough that whatever afterlife I find myself sentenced to heaven wouldn't include you fucks.

The man who did all of this is NOT a "serious political thinker" of any kind. He is a murdering pedophile, and to elevate him with anything else makes you his equal. It is NOT about blaming multiculturalism. It is not about blaming Islamic culture for making this murderer  afraid. It is not about misinterpreting a Pamela Geller column - which it seems to me he read correctly. It is not about blaming pro-abortion groups, or euthanasia groups, or Al Gore. All of you who are saying things like this today should be lined up and tased repeatedly. (For the record, I am not advocating violence. These same people keep telling me that tasers are safe).

As for the cocaine-snorting snot-rag pedophile-sympathizer of hate radio I have only one thing to say. Go to hell, you self-aggrandizing hate-filled mistake. God didn't make you; the opposition did.

Cheap shots:

Apparently Comicon in San Diego was the awesome.

Has Donald Trump been right about anything in the past two decades?

Kids, we all know that living in her district must be tough, but hang in there. It gets better. (yeah, doing that joke after my rant? I never claimed to be a nice guy).

And here is a perfect example why some voter ID laws are the moral equivalent of unwelcome sodomy.

I want Obama to come out against extending the debt ceiling - just to see if these assholes will suddenly say they're for it. Groucho was satire you morons. Here is proof:

They've colorized Niagara Falls!

Climate change deniers can swim in this.

Power corrupts, and is apparently an unspeakable fetish as well.

By the way, just who will be hiring Guido to come break Lady Liberty's kneecaps if we default? It's not who you think.

8 at 27.

By the way, did any of you notice that the FAA shut down a couple of days ago? That's 4,000 people laid off already and another 87,000 construction jobs about to disappear.

Are you sure he isn't the Godfather of… Chicken?

Who does the Speaker of Orange represent again?

And because I love you, Eluveitie

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Calling it for what it is

Yeah, I've been gone for a while. What can I say? There was a sale at Border's Books.

I am going to spout off about Rep. Allen West of Florida. Someone please tase this fucker in the junk. He may be the only member of congress to have actually murdered someone (while stationed in Iraq) but let's just talk about his conduct as a member of congress. He yesterday in a letter referred to another member of his state's representation as a vile human being and "not a Lady", and said he will not offer her any measure of respect. Then when he was called out for it he called his attackers racist.

Representative West is black. Let's be upfront about this - the man has experienced racism. I have no doubt of this as every black man in this country has experienced it. And not being one myself it is hard to equivocate his experiences to any of my own, and a black man in general is going to be a better judge of this than I am.

Now to specifics - I am not talking about black men, but a singular black man. A black man kicked out of the army for mistreating a detainee while in Iraq. A black man who hung out with illegal motorcycle gangs. A black man who called the President's children a menace to America. A black man who referred to ME as part of what undermines this nation.  A black man who to date has yet to give his opposition the proper respect of calling them by their actual name instead of a nickname made up by Rush Limbaugh.

Now I could have said all of those things without using the word "black" and still have made my point. The man is a jerk. But being a jerk is color-blind. You don't have to be white, black, mauve, green or orange (although the only orange-Americans I can think of off the top of my head all are). I am not being racist for calling you an asshole when you behave like an asshole, just as I believe that your attack on your fellow representative wasn't sexist - I think you would have attacked anyone who had followed you in this manner.

Oh, except for the "you're not a Lady" part. As if you knew what a Lady actually is - it's not like you are one, after all. Or are you hiding something?

Cheap shots:

You would think that Santorum, of all people, would know better than to try to fuck with Dan Savage.

This is going to mess up properly reading The Chronicles of Narnia.

High-sticking! 5 minute penalty!

To the people that don't believe in global warming - Red means Hot.

And because I love you, The Polecats

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pigs fly

Antonin Scalia, one of the most jack-assed people ever to sit on the Supreme Court, is right about something. There. I said it. He was the lead judge in the 7-2 decision that said you cannot ban video games based upon violent/sexual content. He came down on the side of free speech, along with all the dirty hippie liberals and the Chief Justice. In the process he said something absolutely brilliant and correct, "Reading Dante is unquestionably more cultured and intellectually edifying than playing Mortal Kombat. But these cultural and intellectual differences are not  constitutional ones."

Right on.

Scalia is the man who gave us George W. Bush as President. He has been wrong on so many things. He looks at the constitution as an absolute and if it ain't in there, then fuck you. But I have to give the man credit - he's intellectually consistent with that and here it worked.

There were two dissents, and one of those two thought that if the law could be interpreted narrowly then it would be fine. The other dissent was Clarence Thomas - who came out with an opinion so stupid that Scalia himself wrote a scathing dismissal of the man's intellectual abilities.

Basically, Thomas wrote that there is no constitutional right to speak to a minor without a parent's permission. Give that one some thought. If he's right then every ice cream man in the country should be thrown in jail. Thomas goes on for pages about this. Scalia shot back, "... denies that persons under 18 have any constitutional right to speak or be spoken to without their parents’ consent. He cites no case, state or federal, supporting this view, and to our knowledge there is none."

Scalia goes on to point out that under Thomas' opinion attending church if you're a minor would be unconstitutional. So would attending political rallies. He concludes, "This argument is not, as JUSTICE THOMAS asserts, “circular." It is the absence of any historical warrant or compelling justification for such restrictions, not our ipse dixit, that renders them invalid.

Wow. When one of your closest colleagues on the bench calls you an idiot, perhaps you should bow out before you really embarrass yourself.

Cheap shots:

Now who is overpaid again?

I had never really thought about it before, but it's a good point. Maybe we should be lowering the age requirement for holding federal elected office. It would require a constitutional amendment.

and maybe find a way to get rid of the requirement that to run for office you need to be rich. Again, it needs a constitutional amendment.

The Defeated. Over and over again.

In all fairness, 4 of those 17 counts were actually just for his hair.

This could really change how buildings are built.

I'm not going to pretend I know what the truth is here. But somebody with independent authority better investigate.

Someone please tase Josh Trevino. I'm cool with it.

And because I love you, Big Audio Dynamite

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pity that isn't true: Debate Issue Number 2 - Taxes

Note: This is the second of what will be a regular series of posts that feature myself against a generic Republicant both running for an unnamed federal office. The purpose of this is two-fold; one is to show you that I have no business running for political office (which has been suggested to me more than thrice) as I am unable to curtail my language to television-friendly sound bites and two, to show the Democrats of this nation just how easy it can be to refute the idiocy of the positions these morons take. Please note that this is a Generic Republican candidate I am debating, not any specific person, although the views are consistent with views espoused by candidates we've all seen and heard on television and radio this year.

Republican candidate: Tax cuts are the answer to everything. Business in this country pays a higher tax burden than in almost any other place in the world, and if that burden is reduced it creates the incentives to create more jobs. The government doesn't need more money, it needs to work with less. We have a spending problem in our government, and we need to take the money out of their hands and put it back in the hands of the American public and American business to make this country strong again.

Me: So the idea here is that we have a higher tax burden than elsewhere in the world, coupled with a spending problem in our government.

Republican: That is correct.

Me: Pity that isn't true.

Setting aside for a moment the whole incongruity of the concept that we spend too much money and take too much money in at the same time let's take a look at those two ideas separately and in reverse order. You say we have a spending problem. That's just bullshit. Allow me to break that down into terms of a single family.

A man earns $70,000 per year - who has done so for a couple of years now. Not a huge income, but not bad and certainly a livable wage - enough to keep up with the bills and feed and clothe a family. Then for whatever reason that man loses his job. It could be down-sizing, it could be that the company no longer needed his position. It could be from any number of things. What's important is that he now has no income. Sure, unemployment will kick in shortly, but that's nowhere near enough money to feed and shelter his family. If you disagree with that statement I dare you to try it.

The man goes searching for a new job, but he can't find one at the level he's used to so he takes a job that pays less, say $40,000 per year. It's not a terrible wage, but it's not what he once had. Because he was living at a lifestyle that probably included some debt - car payments, maybe a mortgage, certainly credit cards - while he now has enough money to feed and shelter his family he doesn't have enough to meet every obligation he has already incurred. There's going to be some juggling of expenses and that will work for a while, but ultimately he's going to be getting phone calls at all hours from people looking for him to honor the obligations he's already made.

He has to spend less simply because he has less than he used to, but his obligations are roughly the same. But by your definition he's got a spending problem. Bullshit. He has a revenue problem.

The Republican solution seems to be that this man should be happy with the $40,000 he now earns and adjust his lifestyle to it accordingly. I'm telling him to keep searching for a better paying job - one that pays $70,000 or even more. He must have the skills for it; he kept that last job for a few years. You've offered a solution and I'm saying there's a better one.

The programs you insist upon cutting, the austerity that you embrace, all of that is attempting to not honor obligations we've already made. To our seniors, to our poor, to our health, to the workers who are the backbone of our great nation, and to our future. You don't spend less on them unless you want them calling you at all hours of the day and night demanding that you honor agreements already made. You are setting us up to be a nation of YouTube rants, glitter bombs and out and out protests and strikes.

Republican: The money to do what you suggest simply isn't there.

Me: Sure it is; it's just in the wrong pockets, which brings me to my other point. You claim that we have a higher tax burden than elsewhere in the world - that lower taxes will stimulate growth. Again, pity that isn't true.

Tell me, given that we had huge tax cuts under President Bush the Younger, where are the jobs? Where are the jobs that this was supposed to create? They haven't been made so far by the recipients of these tax cuts, so when are they scheduled to start? Do you have a time table?

You don't. Dude, the way that rich people and rich corporations stay rich is that they don't spend any money.

Our taxes are already lower than they were under President Clinton. They're the lowest they've been since World War II. Somehow, America thrived and grew during those years when taxes were higher. Somehow we kept our schools going, manufacturing going, and innovation that was second to none all the while paying taxes that would seem to make you curl up in a little ball on the floor. Once we started cutting taxes we started having issues with some of these things. Sure, there was some waste and a few bureaucratic nightmares, and things that could be done better, but for the most part it worked well. The system in place promoted everything that makes our country and its people great. Our current tax structure is designed to promote greed, and nothing more.

Republican: You're promoting class warfare!

Me: Maybe so, but the poor and middle class didn't fire the first shots. Hell, they didn't fire the first thousand shots. But you've missed the point - somehow when taxes were higher than they are now we grew and prospered as a nation like we never had before. You seem to be saying that higher taxes or a more fair distribution of them will hinder growth that that's just a lie. American business and innovation is smarter than that; or do you not have enough faith in our abilities?

In regards to the rates themselves picture this - GE paid an effective tax rate of negative 14% in 2010. In my opinion, you're not allowed to complain about your taxes if you don't actually pay any. There is a disconnect between the effective tax rate and the actual, real world taxes paid by many of these corporations and that has to be addressed, but it won't be enough. We need to make taxes reasonable. The rich in our country have benefitted and grown because of the opportunities given them, and it's time they gave back.

Hell, taxes are as close as many of us get to demonstrating patriotism in actual tangible terms without service in either government or the military. Every last one of us has an obligation to making this a better place, and the way most of us do that is through our taxes. Let me restate that in the simplest fashion possible; paying taxes is patriotic. Paying taxes is patriotic.

Here's my thought - if you've served in the military or are currently serving in the military you're already shown your patriotism in a way most of us never will. You put your lives on the line for us and we should do a better job thanking you. So how about for those people who have served honorably and are serving honorably we eliminate the taxes they would pay on the first $100,000 of their income. Make that first $100,000 tax free. The rest of us can pick up the slack as a thank you. It won't be that hard, and I'll bet you good money that you'll see an uptick in recruitment as a result as well. Or are you against rewarding those who have served their country well?

The bottom line is this - we talk about rugged individualism and self-sustainability as good things and we should. But the same is true for the country as well as its citizens and austerity won't get the job done.