Atrios makes a point about wingnut mythology that’s along the lines of what I’ve been thinking for a while:
I’ve written before that I think part of the problem that conservatives/Republicans face is that their mythology has become a bit too complex for mere mortals (people who don’t listen to Limbaugh and read The Corner obsessively) to comprehend. They reference rogues’ gallery of enemies and various “bad things” that most people have never heard of. Simply trying to navigate through the various wingnutty minefields while throwing out the appropriate red meat has become difficult to do, and the result is incomprehensible to most of the country.
I believe that one of the big reasons Obama consistently did better in polls than on pundits’ scorecards in the debates is that not many Americans had any idea what John McCain was talking about most of the time. Sure, pundits did because they knew what he was going to say before he even said it. If he said “paygo, that one”, they nodded along and said it was a powerful evocation of conservative principles. But certainly most voters thought “what the hell does that mean”? When he said “bear DNA” over and over, I’m sure most Americans just thought he was having a senior moment. But Halperin et al. thought it was brilliant.
Field mice and volcano monitoring are just never going to work as well as “welfare queens” and “young bucks buying T-bones” did. They’re too complicated. Since Republicans make most of their stories up anyway, why not at least make up stories that are easy for people to follow and might potentially scare voters?
My guess is that they think that because pundits eat their convoluted mythology up, voters will too. But voters just don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to make themselves understand these stories in the first place.
Update:Scarily enough, J-Pod agrees about McCain (via):
The problem, in my view, is that the shorthand in which McCain spoke about these matters made them comprehensible only to those of us who are already schooled in them. In almost every case, Obama answered McCain’s shorthand with longhand — with detailed, even long-winded answers that gave the distinct impression he was more in command of the details of these charges than the man who was trying to go after him on them.
Then the fact that some many dittoheads simply nod in agreement can only mean that they are agreeing to things they don’t understand. I’m too cynical to be surprised.
Shorter DougJ "Republicans are so tired."
And they really are. Time for them to crawl back under their rocks.
Yup, their ‘message’ has become so garbled that their pols can’t get it across to their simple minds. They lose interest before soaking up all of the ‘detail’ shit. They are used to the simple stuff, the sloganeering, to direct them.
There are too many people shouting orders and directions to the party faithful and whatever message they are trying to get across is being drowned out in the din.
More cowbell! Please!!
jake 4 that 1
Oh come on DougJ. A political party that stupid would run a stunningly dim-witted woman as Veep in an attempt to capture the millions of Hillary Clinton supporters who are so unhappy they’ll vote for anything with two X chromosomes.
Next you’ll tell us the RNC is going hip-hop to appeal to younger minorities.
Also: “young bucks buying T-bones” did.
I’ve noticed that– every now and then I hear an argument and say to myself "There’s an inference in there, but no premise", and it turns out that the premise is "You listen to Rush Limbaugh".
Suggested and more interesting rumors for the GOP:
Yes, we spent 6 trillion in 8 years, but if we spend one more dime, Yellowstone will explode.
If you enact Obama’s housing plan, the Black Panthers will show up to evict you from your house and give it to an irresponsible minority person.
Obama’s stimulus plan will allocate 50 billion dollars toward raising an unstoppable army of zombie hordes led by Franklin "Wheels" Roosevelt and Zombie Master LBJ.
What on Earth do you mean? When Sean Hannity screams about Sandy Berger putting papers in his pants and about Obama being a Saul Alinsky radical, why, everyone knows what he means, right?
Obama is a tax raising Muslim communist non-citizen. How hard is that to understand? People just don’t believe anymore.
"Tire gauges" was one of the first signs that this phenomenon had spread from the Republican base to Republican politicians.
@El Cid: Yep, it means he’s a lying idiot. He was frothing at the mouth yesterday about Obama’s massive helicopter boondoggle and how Honest John called him on it. Surely, I thought, he must know that Bush ordered those helicopters and oversaw the massive cost overrun. But no, not a peep, it was all Obama. Sean Vannity is a lying prick.
The dog-whistle rhetoric the business side of the party used to bullshit the snake-handling base has, over time, become the core philosophy.
@Zifnab25: The Reps are now the Party that Cried Commie. Once you call it too many times people stop paying attention. Except in this tale the Villagers are still running to hear what the sheepherder has to say.
A college sports fan site that I visit has a "politics" board among its offerings. You can see exactly the kind of echo chamber effect Doug’s talking about there-someone will post a link to a WorldNutDaily bit about "Barry" and the Fairness Doctrine and 10 doofuses will pile in to exchange terrorist fist jabs. Point out that Obama has repeatedly said he’s against the FD, and they scatter like cockroaches, leaving behind a few rear guard to drop some homophobic insults ("once you’re done wiping Barry’s spunk off your chin"-classy stuff like that).
Its like they watched Idiocracy and wondered why that asshole ruined Utopia.
Love the "Burkean Bells" tag, btw.
Just Some Fuckhead
Nothing has changed since the Republican idealogy of Reagan. The difference now is that they got in charge of all branches of Gov’t and exploded the debt from five trillion to ten trillion dollars, lost an American city and two wars, (one of which they lied us into) and then capped it off by presiding over a worldwide financial meltdown, the effects of which only giant government intervention can ammeliorate.
Savvy folks like us might say all that was an understandable result of Republican idealogy. But the majority of voters just need a compliant media for ten or so years to help them forget who was responsible.
In the meantime Republicans will look stupid and out of touch. But in the not-too-distant future, there will be a whole new set of Republican faces along with an arrogant Democratic majority that needs to be brought to heel and voila! – Republican renaissance.
It’s not enough to discredit Republicans. There will be new and different ones. The conservative idealogy has to be discredited. "Conservative" has to be made into a dirty word. Then when we get a Republican majority again, and we will, maybe they’ll be the moderate sane types of yesteryear.
Republicans are turning into a clique of failed geeks.
Usually geeks will also devlop a wierd lexicon of "clubspeak" but most of the time the activly realize this and either activly attempt to disambiguate (online FAQs for example) or they intentionally play it up to "freak the numdanes".
The Rublicans have failed in that they have so entrenched themselves in thier fantasy world they really can’t tell it’s fantasy anymore.
When the dog-whistles were barely hidden racist slurs this business worked great. Not that such crypto-racism is rejected by the media and by the majority of the voters this approach just does not work.
Too many racists are dying off, and failing to replace themselves. It is the end of the Greatest Generation, who came of age at a time of officially sanctioned racism, that is doing it.
All I got from Jindal is that monitoring volcanoes is a waste of money and that he thinks we’re building a train from Disneyland to Las Vegas. Again, no offer of an alternative vision beyond "no taxes." It’s just gotten tired and the American public has finally had their fill.
Someone, please explain to me: how is volcano monitoring *not* a good idea? I mean, on what basis can you possibly, even in WingNutWorld, say that "there’s nothing wrong with unexpected volcano eruptions!" Do the words "Mount St Helens" mean nothing to them? What does "volcano monitoring" evoke, that it should clearly be a waste of money?
In a nutshell, the GOP is treating politics (or at least legislating) as if it was an adversarial process, and not a collaborative one.
@Abidemi: yeah, wtf was up with that? Did they really decide they don’t need the demographic that checks its own tire pressure and likes saving money on gas? I mean, talk about an end to the Southern Strategy, every Bubba in ‘Bama works on his own car…
You joke, but this is pretty much literally what my conservative colleagues believe is the Obama plan to deal with the housing plan.
They are outraged that other Americans are morally inferior to them, failed in their supremely honored obligation to the promise they made with their mortgage, and bitching about the undeserving louts that Obama-Pelosi are going to ruin the economy handing money to allows them to forget that their own parents made the downpayment on their house, or how they paid their housepayments with unemployment a few years’ back.
I believe it’s because ACORN secretly plans on registering millions of fraudulent, fictional volcanos.
Mt. Mickey Mouse FTW!
Dogwhistle politics do that to you. But this is merely a symptom of their problem. They use dog whistles as a shorthand on a policy position so that the underlying idiocy of the policy position can be whitewashed.
…something called "Volcano Monitorin’!" Pshaw! I mean, whass next? "Missile Defense"? "Hurricane Tracking"? "Economic Forecasts?" Golllll-eeeee!
America, y’all get a gold star! Y’all can do anythin’! Y’all get to go to recess 5 minutes early! Yippe ki yi yay!
@Doctor Science: Bobby JIndal wants to run for President and Sarah Palin stands in his way. Mt. Redoubt in Anchorage could blow!
To which I ask, what is the alternative? Keep letting people get foreclosed on, the banks eat the losses and then because everything is TOO BIG TO FAIL these days, the banks get their tax dollars.
Plus a lot of people now have screwed up credit and are looking to rent, which will put upward pressure on rent prices. And you have a lot of empty houses sitting around your neighborhood getting sold at low prices or not sold at all which depresses property values (and now a days leaves your neighborhood vulnerable to ‘blight’ designations and eminent domain action).
Both choices really blow, but it seems if I have a choice between handing money to soulless corporations to keep them afloat or giving money to my neighbor Bob to keep him in his house (which will keep the bank Bob borrowed from solvent), then I’ll take Bob.
@Doctor Science: If I had to guess, I would guess that it’s not that the average right wing dumbass is opposed to monitoring volcanoes; it’s that they imagine that monitoring volcanoes is fundamentally cheap and easy. You know, if you live near a volcano and it starts rumbling a lot, there you go.
I think it’s the equivalent of complaints about why ‘they’ got to study the weather so much when all you need to know you can know by just looking out your window.
Therefore, a serious science program committed to worldwide volcano (and seismic, but let’s put that aside) monitoring is really just another excuse for Nancy Pelosi to give a few hundred million dollars for San Francisco gay scientists to wear pink lab coats and hand-feed organic grains and fruits to pagan field mice.
I’ll warn that it works the other way, too. I ranted at my dad something about Grover Norquist’s famous "drown the government in a bathtub" quote a few years ago, and he asked, "Who’s Grover Norquist?"
And my dad reads National Review, Human Events, and most of the other standard conservative magazines.
(I had no answer for him. "How can you not know who he is? He’s, uh, head of some Taxpayer Institute and a big name in Republican politics. How can you not ever have heard of him? Really?")
@Comrade Dread: Well, this…
…is what I directly ask them and they just don’t care. If the whole economy has to collapse, then so be it. Collapse to them is better than this fantasy of Obama-Pelosi giving these fantasy slackers free money.
Am I being naive in thinking that the easy to follow stories are also the ones that are easy to debunk in the Internet Era? "Welfare Queens" was powerful, but it was eventually debunked. It just took long enough that it had already made it into the cultural lexicon. More complex lies take longer to expose, giving them more time to germinate in the fertile wingnut soil.
@Doctor Science: All of the volcanos are on the Left Coast.
Er, the above was not to say that it was a convoluted mythology, necessarily, just that it was a quote that every liberal knows and fumes over but many Republicans & independents have never heard of. So they’re not going to share my outrage. :-)
Every time they mention their god ronnie regan how many young people go who? That old man?
Yeah, the wingnut mythology has gotten more complicated – almost impenetrable, sometimes – and it’s gonna make it hard for anyone on the fence to buy into what they’re selling.
I remember thinking about that last fall when the Corner was going on about things like the "Obama-Ayers-Khalidi connection," and Stanley Kurtz had an outraged but unintelligible post about Obama, the New Party, and a website called "Fight the Smears."
As I said at the link, "Does anybody really know what he’s talking about? Does anybody really care? If so, I can’t imagine why…" Just a pile of densely complicated conspiracy theories, and outrage over stuff that nobody outside the hardcore 20% is going to give a flying f*** about.
I’m perfectly happy if they spend the next eight years trying to peddle crap like that.
The Euro-weenies liberals of the U.N. are trying to turn us all into vegitarian lesbians.
Its not hard to understand.
Could it be that the core problem for both pundits and Republicans is that they remain convinced that the odor emanating from Reagan’s tomb is still a breath of fresh air?
Every time they mention their god ronnie regan how many young people go who? That old man? Also, their whole commie socialist thing- who knows what that is anymore? That’s regan era as well. I wish just once someone would ask joe the plumber to define socialism.
It’s true. Remember during one of the debates, McCain scoffed at the "health of the mother." Even John Podhoretz saw the wingnut shorthand as a problem for Republicans:
I remember surfing a bunch of right wing blogs during the election and marveling at how people could be so self-absorbed. In particular I thought it was hilarious that pretty much every time Obama or Biden committed some gaffe (for instance, his "57 states" comment), this happened:
Wingnuts: ZOMG this will singlehandedly cost Obama the election!
Rest of America: Huh? What? Don’t care.
I seem to remember the commenters at Right Wing News being especially annoying here. Maybe they still haven’t gotten over what happened to George Allen. But that’s the wonderful thing about the Internet; everything is archived, and any little bad thing can be referenced endlessly.
Even though Jindal’s entire speech sent starbursts ricocheting around my living room, it was "why are we monitoring volcanos?!1" that really sent a thrill up my leg, also. With that one statement, Peak Wingnut receded beyond the event horizon.
It’s not just that these stories are too complicated, but that they don’t make any sense. Worse, they tend to cause anyone other than the most deranged true believers pause and say, "WTF?"
They also make Bobby Jindal look like a religious nut and anti-science fool. Or maybe Bobby J is trying to make an anti-global warming point, since volcano monitoring might check for emissions that affect the atmosphere. Or maybe he’s trying to imply that Obama is slicing off some pork, since, after all, there are volcanoes in Obama’s beloved Hawaii.
No matter. Let’s play their game. If monitoring volcanoes is a waste of federal dollars, then why should the gummint launch satellites to track the course of hurricanes headed for … Louisiana? Shouldn’t the GOP insist that states pay for their own satellites if they want them, or leave it to the private sector?
As Bugs Bunny might say, "What a bunch of maroons!!"
I’ve tried to encourage them and let them know that the reason we’re all not buying their Tax Cuts solution is that they haven’t gone far enough.
They need to propose negative taxation for the top 5%, taking money from irresponsible dirty f***ing hippies and the ungrateful poor and give it to real Americans who have contributed so much to our country that we should all be happy to work for free just for the chance to bask in their presence.
I know, it’s what I expect from the modern GOP these days. They’ve pretty much branded anyone who thinks things through to be a heretic or a librul, so all they’ve got left are the folks incapable of extrapolating consequences from policy proposals.
@libarbarian: I’m a lesbian, just ask my wife.
Gads, I got a double post, good thing I can edit it by noting that I can edit it.
Apparently there is a point at which you can’t keep adding degrees of separation to Lee Atwater’s strategy, and "tire gauges" is that point.
Great points. I believe a lot of people have (very) gradually learned to exercise the rudiments of critical thinking. They may not fully understand why the spotted owl is important, but now when they hear a "spotted owl" equivalent they think, "Wait a sec – there must be more to this than they’re telling me."
The shorthand itself isn’t the problem – or it’s not the only problem – the problem is that the process of developing shorthand to describe the policy is only half of a cycle, and the other half is adjusting the policy to be more in line with the shorthand. Scoffing at the "health of the mother" wouldn’t be so revolting if it really meant what the original argument meant – that a loophole protecting "health" is too general to make the law enforceable – and hadn’t come to mean the viewpoint that the shorthand conveys respectability unto – that there’s no need or benefit in protecting a woman whose health is threatened by her pregnancy.
The Grand Panjandrum
What the R’s have failed to understand is that Americans WANT SERVICES. They want them and they want them to work as efficiently as possible. The President is simply taking advantage of the fact that many of us want the government to provide some basic services, and by speaking to us as adults he gets the public support necessary to push his agenda forward.
He is also taking ownership of his agenda without the Clintonian triangulation, or the Bush subterfuge, and I think most of us appreciate that. We can’t be certain in what form, or how much of this agenda will be passed as legislation, but he certainly was able to communicate the outline of his plan to the public last night.
You see, when your fucking financial house is on fire, you don’t want to be the numb nuts standing around bitching about HOW the fire department is putting the fire out when your ONLY solution is to let the motherfucker burn out on its own. That is not a plan. That is just stupid and that’s how the Republicans roll these days.
It’s like that old saying goes: Lead. Follow. Or, get the fuck out of the way.
Just Some Fuckhead
Or from 10 years ago..
Wingnuts: ZOMG Clinton Blowjob!
Rest of America: Huh? What? Don’t care.
Nothing has changed but the situation on the ground.
how shocking is it that the party of anti-intellectualism keeps coming out against basic research ?
Only if you are facing north. Face to the south and all of the volcanos are on the right coast.
Did anyone else notice that this was the first SOTU in 8 years that did not mention 9/11?
Where are there volcanoes to monitor? Hawaii.
Where do vast quantities of wingnuts tend not to live? Hawaii.
Who gets hurt if a volcano explodes unexpectedly? Not a vast quantity of wingnuts.
Therefore, what is volcano monitoring? A vast government handout of government pork to people who should be smart enough not to live near a volcano.
It all comes back to the truism that one man’s government pork is another man’s essential government spending. And I’ll bet if there are wingnuts in Hawaii they probably don’t see a problem with volcano monitoring but are probably pissed that the government wastes so much money funding interstate highway systems. Hell I’ve argued with wingnuts who said the people of New Orleans deserved what they got because they shouldn’t have been so stupid as to live in a place where a hurricane could hit them. Pointing out that these same wingnuts live in a tornado zone doesn’t get you anything but a "so what’s your point?" in response.
To be a wingnut is to have a narrow mind. The wingiest of wingnuts not only can’t put themselves into someone else’s shoes, they can’t even imagine what those shoes might look like.
What is this "young bucks buying T-bones" thing? I’m familiar with the old "welfare queen in a cadillac", but I don’t remember that one.
Since I can see one active volcano from where I’m sitting RIGHT NOW (well, partly, it’s obscured by clouds), I have to say I too am baffled at why "volcano monitoring" should be a frightening example of gummint waste.
There are at least three volcanoes within 100 miles of my comfy office chair. I don’t really see how monitoring them could be a bad thing. And if that means hiring people as well as using cameras, well so much the better.
It was a comment Reagan made in a 1976 speech in Florida. I can’t find the original on Google, but this Time article from the 1980 campaign makes a reference to it.
I’d modify Atrios’ point by saying that the wingnuts have become so abstract and model-bound that even they don’t understand what they’re saying. Thus, they end up saying stupid things like the stimulus bill is a "spending" bill (duh) or citing Katrina in the way Jindal did last night. They’re like the Yangs in that old Star Trek episode "The Omega Glory" — reduced to tribal incantations. They’re incomprehensible to the public because they’ve lost all sense of the meaning of their liturgy and therefore make no fucking sense at all.
The "strapping young bucks" is an old Reagan quote.
From Time Magazine, Sept. 1, 1980:
"Republicans regard the Carter-Mondale tactic as dirty politics." Heh.
(Edit: Crap. Beat to the punch.)
this was all cleared up for me when i popped open some cheetos. out popped my wingnut translator, and in a flash "monitoring volcanoes" changed to "Hawaii" and then, in a puff of pony smoke, to "where’s that birth certificate!"
y’all need to git zome, if only for that translator.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
Yes, and the Cons fear that it will make people dependent on the government and unable to do for themselves. Or at least that is their fantasy end-game. I started to read a book in the "apocalyptic fiction" genre (a favorite of mine) and after the catastrophe people were just standing around waiting for the government to come help them and there they died, starved to death because their was no government to help them. I realized about a chapter into it that this was a common theme in the book, over and over and over, so I looked up the author and lo, the author is a Wingnut god. I never finished the book it was so bad.
1) Most apocalyptic fiction is designed to examine our base human instincts when the social order breaks down and the really good stuff shows the best and the worst of the human condition. Which is why I like the stuff. Before this particular book I’d never read any, other than the Turner Diaries, that had a political message. But apparently there is quite a bit of it with this conservative bent that I just never ran across (the Left Behind series is another example).
2) When faced with crisis it seems to me that more progressive people rise to the challenge better than me-first conservatives. Case in point, when a gunman walked into a Unitarian fellowship and started shooting the people didn’t scream and run for the door, instead this VERY liberal congregation jumped the shooter while one guy put himself in front of the kids and took a bullet. Also, at Virginia Tech, some commie liberal terrorist-loving professor did the same thing while the ROTC folks ducked and covered.
Yes, Americans want some basic services and they want it done well. It does not follow, however, that it will lead to a nanny state. That is just a conservative fantasy.
@spudvol: I thought Obama did go into a bit about not letting radical extremists work from safe havens in foreign countries to attack America, or some such. Wasn’t sure if that explicitly referenced the Towers.
Re volcano minitoring — how fucking tone deaf is it for the Governor of Louisiana to be bitching about keeping an eye out for potential natural disasters?
Cameras, specialized monitoring equipment, network communication to get that data to somewhere and all sorts of neat, high tech stuff…
@TR: @stickler: Thanks, I should have figured it was a Reganism. It’s basically a minor variation on the "welfare queen" thing, then.
Real Americans live in the heartland where it’s flat. Purple mountain majesty is for effete coastal liberals; real Americans are all about the amber waves of grain.
Hmmm, buying that stuff and paying people to monitor it sounds downright stimulating.
Only Heathens in Northern California, Oregon and Washington have to worry about Volcano’s. Real America worries about uhm, Welfare Queens. We should start up a Welfare Queen monitoring system.
*yes, as a Geo nerd I know a lot other states need to worry too…. but its the heathens in the granola belt.
@bootlegger: Check out "Alas, Babylon". I liked it quite a bit. A book about a small town in Florida that’s right between three major cities (Tallahassee, Orlando, and Miami, I think) that get hit by nukes. And how everyone tries to survive in the irradiated aftermath.
I disagree. Take away our refrigerators. Take away our cell phones. Take away our gas stations. Civilization would grind to a halt. We’re a society standing on the shoulders of Titans. Knock away the technological pillars and we’ll crater inside a month.
We already live in a "nanny state". Now we’re just arguing over who gets to be the nanny. AT&T? Halliburton? Google? The states? The Feds? Republicans? Democrats? Rich People? White People? Christians? Commie-muslim-terrornators?
But the notion that everyone can just run off and live in the woods was insane twenty years ago. It hasn’t gotten any better today. I’ve lived my whole life in the "nanny state". It’s nice here. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I know that stuff stimulates me…
Heh. Comes from a mis-spent youth as a geologist…
(Though we have to remember not to lose the thread ourselves. "Stimulus" is shorthand as well…)
Heh. Comes from a mis-spent youth as a geologist…
(Though we have to remember not to lose the thread ourselves. "Stimulus" is shorthand as well…)
What’s amusing about the omnipresent Kenneth The Page comparisons is that, once again, the GOP has tripped itself within Tina Fey’s orbit.
Not directly this time, but still on her show.
They’re not against basic research.
Provided the conclusions have been drawn already and the data is created out of thin air.
and if the Yellowstone volcano erupts without adequate warning, many of them will be buried under many feet of ash.
Do take away those cell phones, I never could see the point of them.
More public phones, B!tches!
The first third of Jindal’s speech resembled a kindergarten teacher’s earnest recitation of "Dick and Jane Chase a Ball". The stench of condescension was overpowering.
@Zifnab: Thanks, I’ll check that out.
I wasn’t saying that we couldn’t do without all our tech, obviously we aren’t trained to live off the land nor could the land support such a large population without our current division of labor. By "nanny state" the Cons mean one where nobody wants to work, everything is done for them by the government, and no one has any personal initiative any more.
So I agree that we couldn’t just run off and live in the woods, I think that is clear, but the Cons definition of the nanny state is simply overwrought.
And yes, I like nanny tech too.
Versus when Limbaugh erupts without warning, then they’re buried under many layers of wet ass.
This is a truly great thread. I wanted to blog this point but really the thread comments are better and hit all the right points. The "Yang" point up above by Georgia Pig, though it dates both of us, is right on target. At this point a lot of the wingnut mythology is like a ritual incantation in a dead language–even (or especially) their invocations of Reagan are seeming increasingly bizarre in a world where most voters don’t have any memory of him at all. FDR was in power for 12 years and absolutely adored and *still* has intense fans but he won his actual wars, and he pulled us out of a Depression. Reagan was never that popular in real life–he was deeply hated by lots of people (me, me) and although they got started right away on the hagiography Reagan outlived his own myth by several years. Now its like they are worshipping at the tomb of a forgotten saint, parading fake finger joints and speaking in tongues.
Well the Republicans are lecturing us about fiscal discipline and reigning in executive authority. It just doesn’t get any deafer then that.
And you’d be mostly wrong.
Our wingnuts love them some highway spending here.
They hates them some gay civil uninions though.
And anyone who calls screening out snakes and foreign pests from Hawaii, pork, needs to DIAF twice.
The only thing about last night’s speech that bothered me was the continued promise that those households with less than $250K in income will see "not one dime" in tax increases. Given the objectives the President laid out last night, this is just not possible from a fiscal standpoint. Yes, the public wants services, as Grand Pajandrum said, but far too many think that they shouldn’t have to pay for them, because the "rich" have the ability to pay for it all. At some point, everybody will have to to kick in for things that will benefit everyone, or eventually there will be no "rich" left to shoulder the majority of the burden. If you want universal heathcare, if you want what amount to free education through college, if you want green energy, you will have to pay for it at some point. We all will, because services cost money.
Particularly where the funds he’s complaining about are also intended for streamgages which are used to monitor and track flood conditions.
I always appreciate the conservative ability to simply portray every situation and every statistic as no more than a slippery slope to complete tyranny.
We did pretty well all those decades at a 90% top marginal tax rate, and we still seemed to have a plague of the super-rich, but back then, the rich were a lot more decent and patriotic Americans than today’s Southern-Strategy trained cowardly whiners.
We do that already. It’s called the Payroll tax.
That’s why the rich will pay more, or eventually we start chopping off heads.
There is nothing "savvy" about such an observation.
With the exception of "everything is done for them by the government", what you’re describing is the attitude of a good chunk of the third and fourth generations of wealth. Not working is a privilege earned for you by your grandparents. It wouldn’t be a privilege if just anyone could do it.
I love how aristocrats in this country have managed to convince the working classes that hard work is "good for them" and that everyone should do it and that we should feel scorn for the poor heirs and heiresses of wealth and privilege who don’t work for a living and spend all of their time attending lavish parties and buying outrageous things. In other countries it would be a rallying cry for class warfare. Here people mock "poor Paris Hilton" and wonder why her parents couldn’t have raised her better. Truly amazing.
Ah so they like the highway funding.
How do they feel about volcano monitoring then? Wasteful pork or necessary early warning system to save their own asses?
You’re probably right, even more so than El Cid @27. But it’s certainly a great example of the inbred thread-losing that DougJ and Atrios are talking about. The point of a dog-whistle, after all, is supposed to be that the humans can’t hear it — but all these guys are doing is barking, and barking mad is what we hear.
I wish that’s what they meant. But when you have GOoPers going after EITC – a program specifically created to encourage employment as an alternative to welfare – children’s health care, and disaster relief / prevention, then going on a massive "privatization" kick for thirty years, it doesn’t feel like they want to combat nanny statism at all.
For instance, Republicans have repeatedly targeted the gas tax, but they openly embrace toll roads. What’s the difference between paying by toll and paying by tax? A private corporation owns the roads in a toll system.
This isn’t about the slacker majority getting "free roads" off the backs of the hard working few. It’s not about encouraging employment or creating wealth and initiative. Republicans are (often rabidly) anti-public education. And nothing turns you into a social parasite faster than tossing you onto the street with zero education. It’s not about encouraging economic growth, because Republicans reject the proven stimulus efforts in favor of proven-to-fail tax cuts.
The Republican Party opposes minimum wages and affordable health care. Two major motivators for employment – good salary and good health – are major opposition points in the GOP platform. How does that make sense? This has never been about the "nanny state".
@NonyNony: Damned fucking straight. I was listening to S. Vannity spraying spittle into his microphone that everyone has wealth earned it. The data on this is unequivocal, the US has the lowest rate of class mobility of in the industrialized world. The "socialist" Europeans have more class mobility, i.e. people moving up based on their efforts and falling down based on their lethargy, than we do. The Cons are simply defending America’s aristocratic system.
@TenguPhule – Payroll taxes pay for only two things – Social Security and Medicare. Every other government program is funded by federal income taxes. There is no way to pay for everything everyone wants without having everyone pay some more. Promising 95% of the country that they won’t have to pay "one more dime" for the additional government services that they want doesn’t wash. At some point, in the near future, that 95% will have to pay more.
@Zifnab: There’s another thorn in their masturbation ointment, they don’t mind us being nannied by the Corporations, just the mean old government, which at least has to be accountable to the voters unlike Corporations.
The Reagan point is particularly apt. Notice how some of the big media types can’t resist calling Obama "Reaganesque"? WTF? Reagan was not much more than a chamber of commerce pitchman and, as you point out, really didn’t do much of anything. Sometimes, I have a hard time understanding how the Reagan myth got so strong. Remember when he was the asshole governor of California, not Mr. Sunshine? Maybe a lot of our current Reagan worshippers simply came of age when Reagan was president and have developed some type of pleasure-giving autonomic reaction to the thought of Reagan, sorta like the smells from my grandparents’ basement I can remember when I hear an old Beatles song.
@El Cid – I would strongly suggest that you go back in time and look at the amount of income it took to reach that 90% bracket and then use an inflation calculator to equate those dollars to current dollars. The five percent so many qualify as "rich" will quickly shrink. You also might take a gander at the cost and scope of government services provided at that time and compare it to now.
Many of the "rich" are not, in fact, rich. Their income is derived from labor, i.e. wages. The truly "rich" have very little wage derived income. Most of it comes from investments, on which they are paying little in the form of taxes. To truly make taxation fair, investment income (capital gains) should be taxed at the same rate as wage income. The sad thing is that you won’t hear many in Washington willing to float that one, on either side of the aisle. Look what happened when the effort was made to eliminate the advantage hedge fund traders enjoy by paying the capital gains rate on their income, rather than the tax rates applied to wage income. Many Democrats fought that one – Charles Schumer comes to mind first – and it went nowhere.
The episode of Star Trek the Next Generation ("Darmok") in which Captain Picard is stuck on a planet with an alien whose species cannot communicate in standard sentence / grammar structures, but only by repeating phrases from well-known (to them) stories.
This to me is like communicating with right wingers, only the depicted alien was a highly rational creature given the communication barriers, whereas wingnuts simply don’t exist outside the loony phrase language.
You can see how this might work:
@Church Lady: I recommend you stop pretending to be more knowledgeable about things you are not. I know damn well what I’m talking about when I use the terms ‘rich’ and ‘super-rich’, and I don’t give the slightest damn whether or not you like the same terms. I’m not meaning the typical punk-ass loudmouth small business owner who thinks that a million dollars makes them the heart of the U.S. economic engine. They’re punks and losers compared to the real rich and super-rich. This isn’t about insta-mansions and Jaguars — I’m talking real money. And yes, adjusted for inflation, the super-rich were richer then than they are now.
You do know that Obama has legislation on the table (or has proposed it) to change that.
The cap gains rate is based on an abstract notion of reducing "deadweight cost" but it never made political sense to me either. I think Obama is actually proposing to reduce or eliminate the special tax treatment for cap gains and dividends and eliminating the hedge fund loophole. Per your arguments on the 95%, you rob banks because that’s where they keep the money. Your argument is based on an assumption that the wealth and/or income distribution in the US conforms to some axiom on one of Moses’ lost tablets (obscure Mel Brooks reference). It’s really a byproduct of certain legal and cultural arrangements, such as the tax treatment you mention. If you could significantly flatten income distribution in the US in some fair way, I might buy your argument. Maybe treating cap gains as you suggest would be a move in that direction.
@El Cid – Yes, there is a difference between the "rich" and the "super rich". Just out of curiousity, do you really consider $250,000 in wage income (the seeming current classification for "rich" and therefore seemingly able to shoulder more of a burden that $249,999) to be "rich"? Many do. Are you one of them?
It’s a good point that the Left can suffer from the same lack of perspective; I suspect it’s a good part of the reason why we lost in 2004.
I can see Obama as seeming ‘Reaganesque’ to people– he has the same ability to deflect criticism with his sheer likability and perceived approachability. Obama’s got the same ability as Reagan has to not seem Scary and Radical. They’re radically different in other ways, but the comparison’s not entirely out of nowhere.
@Napoleon – My guess it that it will get just about as far as it did the last time.
Mike in NC
Allen/Jindal 2012 ! Oh, wait, Allen just called Bobby a macaca. Damn.
@TenguPhule: You live in Ha-va-ee?
It’s a really narrow way of thinking, the "budget debate", on the right.
It assumes (incredibly) that investments in infrastructure or education or better health don’t pay returns. But they do, and it’s not just quality of life, it’s cash money, and that’s not even up for debate.
If Obama’s investing in a better-educated work force, we’re going to get a return on that. Health care? Investment/return. Better infrastructure doesn’t just benefit individuals, it benefits the broader economy. We already know this. The country doesn’t remain static. Investments eventually pay off. He talked about it last night: we set up a public high school system. Had current conservative leaders been in power they would have screamed bloody murder about the initial outlay. But it’s paid returns.
It’s pretty amazing how short-sighted we’ve become. We only see the up-front cost. No one even talks about the real and tangible return on the investment. Is it because it doesn’t happen in one quarter?
@Church Lady: FTW!
Obama with his hand extended, Obama with his hand slapped, Republicans in the wilderness.
Translation: R’s are screwed!
Volcanic eruptions are Cataclysmic Acts of God.
Cataclysmic Acts of God are punishments aimed at non-Christians.
Spying on volcanos is a bit too much like saying you don’t trust God’s judgement.
Also, volcanos are notoriously paranoid, and can go off if you stare at them for too long. I would be able to provide evidence of this truism if it wasn’t for the fact that the person doing the staring tends to get combusted before they can talk to the Press.
You wouldn’t be talking about Dies The Fire, would you? By S. M. Stirling? It’s true enough that far too many of the core readership appear to be raving wingnuts (so much so that political debate on anything after WW2 is more or less banned from the Yahoo site discussing his works, and the bulk of the crazies have a site to themselves called Lidless Eye – which I avoid) but if that is the book you meant, I didn’t find the mass die-off from starvation too much to swallow, since all technology not powered by wind, water or human muscle power had been rendered inoperable by The Change.
The basic premise is that only those lucky enough to be close to food-growing areas – or smart enough to head out immediately for one on the chance that The Change in how technology works might actually be permanent – would stand the best chance of survival. If you live in a city or any densely populated area, you’re as good as dead. The best government in the world can’t magic-up food out of nothing, and once the tens of millions who – do – flood out of the cities eat up everything in the areas they can reach by foot, on bikes, or on horseback, it’s pretty much game-over for 90% of the human race.
If it wasn’t Dies The Fire you were refering to , uh, sorry. Carry on.
@georgia pig – I absolutely favor the elimination of the capital gains tax advantage. No source of investment should be favored over another. If I invest my savings in a CD and earn $500 in interest on it over the course of a year, I have to pay taxes on that interest at whatever my marginal tax rate is. However, if instead I invest my savings in stocks or bonds and sell it at the end of that year, earning that same $500 in profit, I only pay 15% in taxes on that profit. Income tax rates should apply to all forms of income and not favor certain types of investment. That would certainly level the playing field.
A volcano is unlikely to occur in their backyard or affect their immediate family or show up as a reduction on this quarter’s tax payment, now is it?
These people would never, ever have built the interstate highway system. It was a theory! Abstract! They HAD roads. Why build new ones? They’d be putting up charts with the cost. No immediate return!
@Church Lady: I think that $250K is a reasonable income level at which higher tax rates may begin. Yes, it’s odd that financial categories are based on dollar amounts and not fuzzy cloud clusters of income.
It’s also odd that an entire election can hinge on 1 mere vote, or 10 votes, in a district or state or nation where thousands to tens of millions of people voted. It may seem unfair, but, gosh, them’s the breaks.
I’m really tired of these whining, pathetic traitors who hate paying for this country to be a better country. Particular the country and economy that allowed them to achieve this moderate degree of wealth in the first place.
I pay a pretty serious percentage of my income in taxes, actually pay, not just rates, and I don’t make anywhere near $250K, and yet my major concern isn’t some bullshit whining about what an awful burden I face.
Please someone make these people either grow up, or get the f*@% out of the country so that someone else more committed to our nation’s success and well being can take their place.
Mike in NC
Jindal is too wet behind the ears to comprehend that people are fed up with the Dubya act, where every speech needs to sound like you’re a ten year old addressing a classroom of five year olds. Apparently Rove and Card taught him that.
@El Cid – So why do you think that only "whiners" with taxable incomes over $250K per year should be the only ones to shoulder any additional burden for programs that will benefit all? What about the family with taxable income of only $240K per year? What makes them so special that they shouldn’t have to kick in a few dollars more. Or the family that earns $200K? I could go on and on. Every one of them earns many multiples over the median income, so please explain why they get should be entitled to the additional benefits the programs would provide and yet not have to pay for them. Of course you’re not "whining" – you are not being asked to pay any more, now are you?
Maybe you can help me.
I heard some right-wing talk radio blather about "not blinking" again the other day. What’s that one about?
I think the larger problem is that they seriously think there’s something to have been “schooled in.” The problem is not that not enough people are attuned to the crazy. The problem is that it’s fucking crazy.
Mike in NC
Because Jebus was removed from the classroom. That’s why.
Lock ’em up and throw away the key. Ask people in California how that’s working out.
Tax cuts cure everything, including the common cold. Joe the Plumber sez so.
It doesn’t, but again you’re dealing with the GOP.
Which is why civilisations that – did – understand the importance of being able to send what they needed to where they needed it as quickly and efficiently as possible tended to be the ones that prospered from the effort.
And things haven’t changed that much since. The core GOP voter is someone who hasn’t even come to terms with the English Civil War, never mind the Civil Rights struggle that ended up putting a damned negro in the White House. Civilisation moves too quickly for them to keep up with.
The choice of $250K isn’t about fairness or any such. It’s firstly about politics, and secondly about economics.
To politics, right wingers have so filled peoples’ minds with sh*t about taxation being a chryme against feedumb that such progressive increases are the only way to get such increased funding through.
In fact, you freaks are now blaming liberalism for letting lower income workers pay no taxes when it was Ronald Reagan’s 1986 EITC that did so. That was your doing, conservatard, and Clinton only built on it.
To economics, it’s obvious — we need more economic participation from consumer demand. You find that at the lower end of the economic spectrum, not among the parasitic investor class, who contribute so little to that dynamic.
This is all grade-school simple, but because we’re finally just coming out of a 30 year Crusade by rightards to unmake this society, it’s going to take a while to rebuild common sense.
Priceless twittering by Newt. Go Jindal! The next 4 years are going to be fun….
Here is a little bit of apocalyptic, nuclear explosion in your neighborhood type of fun you can have with volcanoes…
@El Cid: Well, that and you can’t get blood from a turnip. Asking a guy barely breaking the poverty line to shoulder the $500 billion a year we shell out in military spending is somewhat insane.
You’ve got guy A making $20 million a year selling leopard skin yachts to failed bank CEOs and a guy making minimum wage who just got laid off from flipping burgers at McDonalds to the tune of $14k / year. So it just makes sense they should both drop 25% of their incomes in the pot because that’s fair. Then when it comes time to make the budget, preserve the yacht sales tax loophole, but cut back on unemployment.
This church lady bint is really confused. We have a pyramidal income structure in this country that tapers to a point very rapidly. 250,000 dollars a year in real, declared, income is a pretty good breaking point between people who have too much of every kind of income to need actual wages and people who actually work for a living and rely on their paycheck. The real wealth in this country is above that and merely, as others have pointed out, taxing hedge fund managers like ordinary folks would put 6 billion (with a b) dollars back into play for the rest of us.
But in any event its a false choice–pay for "services" or pay for "services"? What does that even mean? If we need stuff we have to pay for it–either in taxes or some other way. The only question is how we choose to pay for stuff and whether we pool our resources as a country to get stuff we want and to maintain an even flow of goods and services to all of us in hard times.
We can either pay for universal health care by paying taxes towards it when we are employed and reaping the benefits when our family, friends, neighbors and ourselves are given medical treatment *even when we are unemployed* or we can pay for it, when we can get it, when our employers graciously allow us to pay very high premiums for some coverage during the time of our employment. Its not like "health care" is ever free, whether you pay taxes for it or pay your employer for it. And ditto all other government "services." Of course, you could decide you don’t want goverment to collect your garbage, or pave your roads–but then you simply end up paying "fees" or other cash down to non governmental agencies.
Oh, and I have to come to SM stirling’s defence even if some of his fans are nuts. The point of dies the fire et al is that mere libertarianism or authoritarianism leads to fairly disgusting social outcomes. The villains of the piece are gang bangers, authoritarian poseurs, toothless white supremacist militia types, and insane anti technology culties. The heroes are, among others, a liberal single mom "witch queen" with extreme social organizing talents. Hell, he even refers to selfish cats as "little furry republicans."
Yes. Land of Chocolate and shave ice.
They don’t really give a shit one way or another. Our volcano just oozes lava, it doesn’t blow its top.
All we care about, wingnuts and regular lefties alike, is that brown tree snakes stay the hell out of our islands.
Quoth Church Lady:
Nice spoof repub, there. First, only taxing the rich (making over $250K) can’t raise enough money for all these programs [clutch pearls here]; and one comment later, Oh noes!! These people aren’t rich!! How can we tax them so harshly!!!
You have a nice touch with the thoughtless fundamentalism part, but the "logic"–ur doin it rong. Let me guess–you’re trying to do a stupider Andrew Sullivan?
And by the way–we’re returning to the tax regime of St. Reagan–be careful how hard you bash it.
The man is a legend in geology and volcanology. The explosion of St Helens was the last thing he saw, as the superheated gas and ash came at him at about the speed of sound. He got off the radio transmission just before he literally became part of the planets atmosphere.
There’s a more obvious reason than "too complicated". Try "devoid of coded references to minorities". Although – and perhaps this wasn’t the case in 1976 – "young bucks buying T-bones" isn’t really coded. Or if it is, it sure doesn’t take any Navajo Code Talkers to crack it.
FWIW, I’m in a household with an income of over $250K. We’re hardly stinking rich, but we live fairly well, can afford a nice house in Los Angeles, have a nanny for our kids, and get to travel. All in all, we get a lot out of this society. It seems reasonable that we should be paying for some it. If marginal tax rates on income were raised a modest amount, it would be a fair way to help pay for society. After all, taxes are the cost to live in a society where one can get to be prosperous. Without the government paying for roads and schools, it would be hard for the rich to get that way. There aren’t that many millionaires in Somalia.
Also, treating investment gains favorably over wages is truly twisted.
@ El Cid – For your information, calling me a "conservatard" or accuse me of being a Republican is a little odd, considering I have voted Democrat in every election since 1980. I prefer to think of myself as an Independent that leans Democrat.
I don’t think that anyone who manages to earn $250K in WAGE income, and whose income in comprised entirely from WAGES, can be classified as a member of the "parasitic investor class". You and I both acknowledge that there is a large difference between a small business owner clearing $250K per year and Warren Buffet and his ilk. However, taxwise, they are treated almost the same. Please explain to me the "fairness" in that. And also, please answer the question I actually posed to you – what is the difference between the family that makes $250K per year and the family that makes $240K per year, a difference that demands that the family making $250K per year contribute towards government programs that benefit all, while the family that makes $240K per year is not expected to make any additional contribution?
@les: My point is that all the proposed new programs (which I support), added to the stimulus bill, added to bailouts, cannot all be paid for by relying on only 5% of taxpayers. That 5% may account for a lot of income, but it cannot be taxed enough to pay for all of this. I think that almost everyone is going to have to pay higher taxes to pay for these programs and saying that anyone with household incomes less than $250K won’t have to pay any more just doesn’t add up.
Except that the other 5% has all the cash.
@Scoby – I’m not arguing that those making over $250K per year shouldn’t pay more. Hell, they already do. My arguement is that this raising taxes on only this one group of people can pay for all that is being proposed. I think almost everyone will have to pay more, and that Obama is not being realistic when he continuously pledges that no one making less than $250K per year will have to pay "not one more dime" in income taxes. The programs would be impossible to sustain if that pledge is kept.
I think anyone in an executive position earning more then $250K is more likely then not being paid to goof off.
Not many positions paying $250K+ for honest work anymore.
Church lady your points don’t make any sense. Granted people making "up to" 250,000 in wage income aren’t truly rich rich, as it used to be called. That has nothing to do with your other argument that "95%" will need to pay higher taxes to pay for Obama’s programs. You’d have to know whether 250,000 incomers were in the 95% of the country, or in the "top five percent" of the country in terms of earnings. If they aren’t, if they are below the top five percent, its unclear why you think that raising taxes, and capital gains and etc… on the top 5 percent, or even just the top one percent, won’t pay for all Obama’s shit. Plus, there used to be that thing we called the "peace dividend." We are already paying taxes, and will continue to pay taxes, for the Iraq war. Whatever those taxes are, even if we pay them on Obama’s watch, they can’t really be blamed on his "big eyes"–they are simply what we have to do to pay off the debts bush wished on us. At least under Obama’s imaginary future tax hikes we are planning on paying for shit we actually want.
PS. If you don’t want to be taken for a republican troll don’t make their arguments.
@aimia- As a country, we already spend more than we take in in revenues, hence our deficit. The proposed tax increases are on the top two brackets only and those top two brackets combined copromise the top 5% of all income earners. The proposed programs for universal or near universal healthcare, education, energy independence, etc. will cost hundreds of billions, if not some trillions, of dollars. Does anyone realistically think that all this can be paid for, plus reducing the deficits that not only already exist, but have been increased from the stimulus and TARP, can be done on the backs of only a select few taxpayers. If you do, then you have to believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy as well. I don’t, and I fully expect that taxes on all brackets will have to be increased to meet the demand for increased services and programs.
@Tenguphule – Obviously, not true. And that $250K isn’t just for an individual, it applies to joint filings as well. Or don’t you think that there aren’t quite a few couples out there that, between the two, earn over $250K per year?
@aima – Yes, over $250 K in adjusted gross income puts you in the top two brackets (33% and 35%). For 2008, $164,550 in AGI for a single filer puts one in the 33% bracket. $200,300 AGI for a married couple filing jointly puts them in the 33% bracket. $100,150 AGI for married filing separately puts one in the 33% bracket. All are less than the famous $250K that is bandied about with such ease. What I find particurly interesting is that for both single filers and married filing joint, the AGI to push into the 35% bracket is the same – $357,700. I’d definitely call that a marriage penalty.
Ah. I have never been there. But I have at least one parent who graduated from Punahou.
So I have heard, you know, a lot of stories and stuff that could be called music, I guess.
Wile E. Quixote
That is an utterly brilliant summation of how the wingnuts communicate.
What did I say? How much clearer can I make it?
There is no substantial difference between $240K and $250K; it’s reality that tax brackets are based on dollar amounts and if you don’t like that, too f***ing bad.
It’s just a political reality. $250K is the cutoff. If you don’t like it, that’s tough. Grow up. Jeesh, more whining too — these are marginal tax rates — i.e., they apply to the part of the income that is above $250K.
Why are you even pretending to be this stupid? Do you think this is funny?
When Bush Jr. was giving away free 6500+ lb vehicles to small businesses, why was it $100K? Why wasn’t it $101K? Why wasn’t it 6500.5lbs? Why wasn’t it $99.785K?
I’d be perfectly satisfied with some better taxation calculation than simple brackets. But the notion that people are supposed to weep at the injustice that people making over $250K will make a greater percentage contribution to federal taxes for the amount that’s over $250K is just silly.
You’re assuming zero sum over the out years, which might be true of the programs don’t work. But let’s say that Obama’s programs do work — that is the point BTW — and they are able to lift up the incomes of those folks under 250K by, for example, improved education attainment, fewer dropouts, better quality jobs, better health, better energy efficiency, etc. Even at their reduced tax brackets, they will pay more taxes and/or demand fewer government services, causing government revenues to rise and/or costs to fall. For all we know, you may eventually be able to lower tax rates for everyone. The point is, again, you have to tax where the money is, not where it’s not. If you tax the lower incomes more aggressively, you risk of undermining the purpose of the programs and undercutting your ability to generate more revenue or lower costs. Granted, if the programs are ill-conceived or poorly managed, then it probably won’t work, and you should hold Obama accountable for that. That’s Obama’s big risk, not so much a problem of who has to pay for the initial investment that gets the country out of a hole. There really is a very limited amount of choice on that. Your argument about who pays is somewhat akin the Santelli rant about mortgage relief, the sense of inequity is understandable, but it’s a bit myopic. Look, Obama is talking about restoring rates to essentially what they were under Clinton. And BTW, I’m one of those +250K guys who makes it from salary, not capital.
Lady, you couldn’t be more FOS if you claimed the moon is made of green cheese. Maybe you need to look at tax loads before you shoot. The rich have a fraction of the tax load a carpenter does and you want to start this crap up? WTF is the matter with you if it isn’t ignorance? By the time the state and fed get done with my guys they’ve removed over 40% of all income from people making $25K, one tenth of Obama’s cut off. I don’t give a damn if you want to live in Republican fantasy land, but there’s no reason I have to put up with your shit.
After you whack that bunch for that 40% on everything they make (no outs) you come to me about fairness and killing the goose.
@Tony J: No, actually I’ve really enjoyed Stirling’s books, I’ve read 1-4 and am waiting for my library to get #5. In fact, Stirling is an example of non-Wingnuttia since many of the survivors ban together without the help of the government and find ways to survive. Of course I’m partial to the Corvalis faculty becoming their own city-state.
@Chuck Butcher – Before you spout off absolute nonsense about the percentage of taxes your guys pay, you might have actually examined what I said. Once again, to repeat for the cognitively slow, my supposition is that raising taxes on only the top two brackets won’t begin to pay for all that Obama wants to do, which are programs that I support. I think that tax increases will have to fall into lower brackets in order to actually pay for everything that Obama wants to do. Are those two statements simple enough for you to comprehend? No one here has, yet, said "No, Church Lady, you are wrong. Raising taxes on only to two top brackets will pay for all of this, and reduce the deficit as well, and this is why….." I welcome the opportunity to be enlightened.
Also, Chuck, I’d love to know where you came up with that 40% figure. As near as I can tell, you pulled that one straight out of your ass. A very quick calculation, using the 2007 tax guide, shows that a single filer, taking only the personal exemption and the standard deduction, would owe $2,043 in federal income tax on taxable income of $16,250. This is 8.17% of the $25K gross you referred to. The employee would also have paid 7.65% in federal employment taxes on the full $25K, now putting him up to a total of 15.82% in total federal taxes. To get to the 40% you assert these poor guys pay, they have to live in a state/municipality combination that levies taxes in excess of 24%. A quick perusal of state income tax rates reveals no such onerous rate. The highest I could quickly find was California, and the highest marginal rate on income at this level (25K) was 6%.
As a personal aside, if you are only paying your employees $25K per year, you are one cheap bastard. Our lowest paid employee (an entry level unskilled warehouse worker) starts at $13 an hour, which would bring him in over your $25K skilled carpenter. To top it off, that $13 an hour does not include overtime, fully funded health insurance, the semi-annual bonuses we pay, two weeks paid vacation, or the match we make to retirement plan contributions. Perhaps you should consider paying your employees a little more.
Look, that one wasn’t our fault! Honest!
Obviously missing your evidence.
Off the top of my head, honest labor that could make $250K *wages*: Specialized Doctors, Specialized Scientists, Specialized Engineers.