06 March, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Better late than never... I came home much later than expected from one of my rare social outings, and I had to spend the afternoon on moving stuff. Have I mentioned lately I hate moving?

And ye gods, the things I miss when I'm busy at Borders. Here we have Cons scolding Dems for not being Blue Dog enough - we've gone beyond the absurd and surreal and entered the realm of political Dadaism, I swear:
The NRCC just adore their Blue Dog cousins -- so much that they're willing to act as enforcers for their group by attacking Democrats who don't want to be members:

The National Republican Campaign Committee on Thursday went on the attack against 18 freshman Democrats who it said weren’t fiscally conservative enough to earn stripes as “Blue Dog” Democrats.

The only problem was the Blue Dogs said those 18 didn’t ask to be a part of the group, which is the most fiscally conservative coalition within the Democratic caucus.

Sanity really is too much to ask from our national Republicons, isn't it? One wonders where the crazy will end.

Virginia's GOP, at least, seems to have finally had their fill:
Is this the end for Jeff Frederick, the colorful (and bungling) Virginia Republican Party chairman? NBC reports that state GOPers are mobilizing to try to fire him at the next state committee meeting, due to the various misfortunes the state GOP has suffered over the last year.

It will be tough, though, as the rules require a three-quarters vote to oust a chairman in midstream. However, they do appear to have some momentum, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the move has been essentially endorsed by the de facto Republican nominee for governor this year.

You may remember Jeff Frederick. He's the one who dissed Darwin and made a twit of himself on Twitter. I thought he had a bright future in national Con pollyticks. He's certainly batshit insane enough to run with the craziest of them.

Speaking of bright futures, it looks like our tax consulting business will have plenty of customers:

Despite efforts to set them straight:

Slate's Daniel Gross noted last night, "To hear conservatives tell it, you'd think mobs of shiftless welfare moms were marauding through the streets of Greenwich and Palm Springs, lynching bankers and hedge-fund managers, stringing up shopkeepers, and herding lawyers into internment camps. President Obama and his budgeteers, they say, have declared war on the rich."


Gross tackles some of the more nonsensical talking points in his piece, but his point about the practical effects of the Obama agenda bear repeating.

Say you're a CNBC anchor, or a Washington Post columnist with a seat at the Council on Foreign Relations, or a dentist, and you managed to cobble together $350,000 a year in income. You're doing quite well. If you subtract deductions for state and property taxes, mortgage interest and charitable deductions, and other deductions, the amount on which tax rates are calculated might total $300,000. What would happen if the marginal rate on the portion of your income above $250,000 were to rise from 33 percent to 36 percent? Under the old regime, you'd pay $16,500 in federal taxes on that amount. Under the new one, you'd pay $18,000. The difference is $1,500 per year, or $4.10 per day. Obviously, the numbers rise as you make more. But is $4.10 a day bleeding the rich, a war on the wealthy, a killer of innovation and enterprise? That dentist eager to slash her income from $320,000 to $250,000 would avoid the pain of paying an extra $2,100 in federal taxes. But she'd also deprive herself of an additional $70,000 in income!

Can she, or we, really be that stupid?

Why, yes. Yes, they can.

After all, they regularly achieve even greater stupidity:

But while Obama was making the case that health care reform is both “a moral imperative” and “a fiscal imperative,” former Bush chief of staff Andrew Card was arguing on Fox News that reform needs to wait. “We have got a huge crisis in our economy, and I think we have got to solve that problem first,” said Card.

Asked by Neil Cavuto if the health care summit was “a waste of time,” Card responded that instead of working on health care, Obama should “establish a needs commission and fund that which the economy needs, not what everybody wants”:

CAVUTO: What would you do? What would you do? I mean, would you say, Mr. President, I know you are passionate about health care; now is not the time to do it; this thing at the White House now going on now, a waste of time? What?

CARD: I would establish a needs commission and fund that which the economy needs, not what everybody wants.

Let people work hard for their wants, but don’t have the government fund it. Let them fund the needs and restore the economy to a sense of what the appropriate level of risk is.

Yes, my darlings, 'tis true. In Andy Card's world, health care and plasma teevees are on the same level. I guarantee you this pearl of wisdom comes from someone with full health insurance coverage and fistfulls of money to pay for things like deductibles. It also comes from someone who believes suit jackets are a need, not a want, in the White House.

If I had a stupid-o-meter on my desk, it would've vaporized by now. So would the irony-o-meter, but that died a tragic death long ago.


Cujo359 said...

I'm just stunned at the innumeracy people display in this country. A dentist, who had to earn a doctorate, and a lawyer both think that they can take home more money by earning less? Understanding how a graduated income tax works requires only simple algebra. Just how fucking stupid are these people? Please, someone write their names down so I'm never a client of theirs.

Last Hussar said...

I'm with Cujo- there may be an excuse for those workers, who, lets face it, are not Stephen Hawkins, but for people WHO DISCUSS ECONOMICS ON THE IDIOT BOX. Which bit of 'graduated tax system' do they not understand. No doubt these are the same brainiacs who think a 'flat' system is fairer, convieniently forgetting to mention those in the middle and bottom will have to pay more to make up for the loss from the rich.

And that magazine cover- anyone who understands history will know the context- it is a copy of THE ORDINARY WORKERS striding forward- you know Joe the Plumber- against ooh, say, bankers, and those who would suppress the populace. For a country that is proud of its Marxest roots- you know, all that "men are born equal" (as long as you are white, male and a land owner).

Intersting that there is no Soviet symbology in the picture, apart from the pose. Took me a few minutes to realise the symbol on the breast is an acorn. (Did you know in many other Western countries, including here in the UK, registration is automatic for all at a residence)

Cujo359 said...

I hadn't realized that about voter registration, Last Hussar. In America, it has sometimes been used as a way to suppress votes, particularly from portions of the population that were deemed, somehow, less American than the rest.