Monday, August 22, 2011

Tax the Poor

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the Taxman
Yeah I'm the Taxman....

George Harrison

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I would have thought it to be a work of darkly twisted, comical fiction. But it wasn't fiction. In fact it was all-too-real. During a Friday morning appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, a pathetic shill-boy from the Heritage Foundation named Robert Rector (Photo left) was being interviewed by a moderator who miraculously manged to keep a straight face throughout. He really should be called "Robert Rectal". The guy is that much of an asshole. I almost spit out my coffee, sitting there listening to this fool vomiting out the latest right wing talking point which was this: Impoverished people in America have got a really sweet deal. According to this loathsome jackass, a high percentage of poor people in this country are in the possession of "luxury items" that poor people just shouldn't posses. I'll give you two examples of what what he was referring to. Are you ready for this???

Refrigerators and air conditioners

How the hell is a family expected to store food (which we all need in order to live as you know) without a freakin' refrigerator? And air-conditioning? A luxury??? In a lethally hot summer - not unlike the one we're experiencing at this moment - an air-conditioner is all that stands between life and death-by-dehydration for a lot of people - the elderly in particular. Maybe the poor can compromise. Maybe they can spend those long, hot summer nights taking turns sitting inside the fridge. Then again, maybe not.

Here's another statistic Mr. Rector is whining about: Sixty-three percent of the "poor" (Fox Noise now puts that word in quotation marks) have cable television. Didn't this guy get the memo? You can't get television reception with an antenna anymore. T
hey no longer work. They've become as obsolete as 8-Track tapes and CB radios! Cable TV is no longer an option if you want reception, it's mandatory. Poor people are like most of us. They rely on television - not only for their entertainment - but for their news and information as well. They really shouldn't (No one should) but they do.

Television also keeps the kids indoors. While that may not be such a healthy thing if you live in Bel Air or Palm Beach, in high crime neighborhoods (where poor people tend to dwell for some silly reason) it's a lot more preferable to bei
ng outside, getting some "fresh air" while dodging a stray bullet or two. I wonder what the Poverty/Cable percentages were before the airwaves went digital? Much lower, no doubt. Obviously none of these factors were given a great deal of thought by Rector or any of the geniuses over there at the Heritage Foundation.

And it's not just Robert Rector who is mouthing this kind of nonsense. In recent weeks Republican politicians and conservative talking heads have been dropping ominous hints as to what's in store for this diseased country if the American people are stupid enough to ever again hand over all three branches of their government to that disgusting party. You see, the poor (or "the moocher class" as some reprehensible piece-of-shit on Fox Noise referred to them last week) don't pay any taxes. Therefore, instead of extracting badly-needed revenue from a class of people who already have more money than they'll ever be able to spend in a lifetime, the party of the plutocracy plans on taking from that other class of people; most of whom barely get by: The poor. Not just the working class - not just the vanishing middle class, mind you - the poor. Was this a great country or what?

According to these plutocratic handmaidens, the tax code simply isn't fair. People who live at or below the poverty level have to start chipping in! A family of four making $22,000 a year (or less) will have to shell out to the feds. Can you believe that? Think about it: That single mother who barely scratches out a living assembling Big Macs at the McDonald's down
the street? If these hideous bastards and bitches have their way, she will now have to send a check (assuming she has a checking account) to the IRS every April 15. Of course that will mean she and others in her income bracket will have a lot less money to pump back into this already-feeble economy - a fact that apparently has not been taken into consideration by the knuckleheads who govern us.

And they call us "elitists"!

First of all, let me dispel the myth they just love to propagate as fact: that the poor pay no taxes. Everybody pays taxes. The eight-year-old kid who walks down to the corner store to purchase an Almond Joy candy bar pays taxes. Remember that the next time you pay $4.31 for a $3.99 pint of Nicolai Vodka. Do you wonder why cigarettes are now over ten dollars a pack in certain states? It isn't really that difficult to figure out. The wealthy in this country are not contributing their share to the maintenance of society. Certain corporations are not contributing at all! Revenue is badly needed. Most smokers are not rich, and the ones who are can afford to pay ten bucks a pack. Cigarettes are so addictive that they know the smoker - no matter how poor - has a serious nicotine jones and will pay whatever needs to be paid to get his or her fix. It really is a no-brainer if you think about it.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

Jesus of Nazareth
Matthew 25:45

Let's not let scripture's inconvenient truth get in the way of the agendas of these hypocrites.

We are now living in a plutocratic dictatorship.

Oh, what the hell. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em as the old adage goes. Besides, it's about time those obnoxious poor people start paying their fair share of the tax burden. Screw those people. They've had it far too damned easy for far too damned long. They've got it made in the shade! What with not having to worry about monthly mortgages, health insurance payments, country club dues and where to invest their quarterly dividends. It's about time those wretched freaks learn a thing or two about t
he real world, baby! The day of reckoning is upon them. The lazy and irresponsible "moocher class" has to tighten their cardboard belts. Fuck 'em all.

They say that they can't afford to be taxed? They say that they have utility bills to pay and children to feed? They say the rent and automobile insurance is overdue? No problemo, amigo! Back in the golden age of Charles Dickens and human bondage they had a place for worthless, deadbeat shit like that: Debtors Prison! It's high time we bring that institution back into being. Of course, it goes without saying that those prisons will be privately owned by corporations - corporations that will be able to anonymously donate untold sums to corrupt politicians who will then pass even more harshly punitive laws - laws that will make goddamned sure that those prisons are filled to utter capacity forever and ever. They will then build more prisons - and more and more and more - to keep up with the growing demand. Until finally there will be only two classes left in this sick country: The ruling class and the prison class.

That dripping noise you hear off in the distance is the sound of the Koch brothers drooling. Oh, and speaking of the Koch brothers:

"Much of what the government spends money on does more harm than good. This is particularly true over the past several years with the massive uncontrolled increase in
government spending. I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington."

Charles Koch
as quoted only this morning on the exquisitely subversive website AlterNet

Brothers Charles and Da
vid Koch are billionaires many times over. Unlike most multi-billionaires, who have more money than they possibly know what to do with, the Kochs know damned well what to do with their fortune. They're working overtime to ensure that America's middle class is destroyed. They don't merely want most of America's wealth and treasure - THEY WANT IT ALL! Would you like them to have it? Then vote for the Republican party next year. You'll deserve everything that happens to you.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Here is Jon Stewart's take on this situation:

The Poor's Free Ride Is Over

Too weird for words.


The Crime of Out Time
a film by Danny Schechter

In this film Schechter exposes what really was behind the collapse of the Housing Market. Here's a link to order it off

Plunder: t
he Crime of Our Time

Here is what impressed me the most about this important film: In slightly over an hour-and-a-half, he does not mention once the administration of Ronald Reagan. That would have been too easy. This is a man of immense talent. This is a film that must be seen.


At 8:08 AM, OpenID snoringdogstudio said...

These heartless fools got a start with Glenn Beck's rant and claim that there aren't any poor people in the U.S. Logic as stupid as: If you can own a TV or stereo, you can't possibly be poor.

The "excess population" have become the poor and if some of these crazy people had their way, they'd just exterminate them or deport them to some island.

Why does the Republican party just keep getting crazier and more vicious? Are we allowing this to happen?

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

What an ignorant cold-hearted POS. And these goons call liberals "elitist?"

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love and look forward to reading your take on America. You reinforce with each column why I am and will remain a Prgressive Liberal.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Gypsy Bob said...

The new epitaph of "The Poor": "Too Poor to Consume; Do Not Exhume."

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

I suspect you, like Warren Bullshit, believe that other should pay more taxes. Hypocrite.

The policies of the left are all about taxing the poor. When the government borrows beyond its ability to pay off its debt, guess what happens. Today, the issue is subdued because of low interest rates. Fast forward to a period of higher rates and the government will need to print money to honor its debts. Such printing leads to inflation. Inflation hits the poor disproportionately.

Just imagine that all you do is live a trust and surf for a living. Lets say inflation get high for an extended period. You and everyone else will have diminished buyting power. What is the difference between being taxed and losing buying power? You will find out unless the trust has inflation hedges.

Harvey Golub's resonse to Buffet.

Everyone who makes a living in this country should pay taxes at some level. Your picture of the homeless is misleading because that individual will have no basis to be taxed. Unless the IRS starts tracking his cup.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

We are living in such sick and twisted times that democracy is now the radical solution. If just ten percent more American voters understood the Republican class war waged against them on behalf of the economic elites, we could be a free democracy.

This is why the radical Right undermines democracy in every way they can, from purging rolls of eligible voters to voter suppression, rigged voting machines, or placing inadequate numbers of machines in Dem precincts. They've used every dirty trick to disenfranchise voters and strangle democracy.

Those people are sociopaths who never had a conscience. The working poor pay taxes, despite the radical Rightists' lies to the contrary.

Their Amerika, under a tyranny of the elite minority, would have a different motto and pledge:

"In Greed We Trust"

"I pledge allegiance to the wealthy elite, and to the wealth they must amass, ever more at my expense, and to the nation's decline, in war after endless war".

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Good one, Brother Dubya!

You've hit the nail right on the head. The Republicans have been handing out Stupid Pills to the American people for as long as I've been alive - and the people have been lining up en masse. I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to catch on to the three card monty act any time soon.


At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Race to Succeed Weiner, a Surprising Anger at Obama

August 21, 2011

Of all the places to hear fulminations against President Obama, one of the least expected is the corner of 71st Avenue and Queens Boulevard, in the heart of a Congressional district that propelled Democrats like Geraldine A. Ferraro, Charles E. Schumer and Anthony D. Weiner to Washington.

But it was there that Dale Weiss, a 64-year-old Democrat, approached the Republican running for Congress in a special election and, without provocation, blasted the president for failing to tame runaway federal spending. “We need to cut Medicaid,” she declared, “but he won’t do that.” She shook her head in disgust. “He is a moron.”

After nodding approvingly for a time, the Republican candidate, Bob Turner, signaled for an assistant to cut off Ms. Weiss. Frustration with Mr. Obama is so widespread, he explained later, that he tries to limit such rants to about 30 seconds, or else they will consume most of his day.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

The arguments of the Lunatic Conservative Right gets increasingly toxic - One ponders how much worse can it get before the country realizes how badly most of us will be screwed if these zealots ever get control of our government. The way these snake oil salesmen are able to pursuade working americans to vote in direct opposition to their own interests is nothing short of bizarre. Somebody with an ounce of human compassion and sanity needs to stage a coup in the Republican party.

The poor do not seem to be sufficiently poor to satisfy the Right while they still have some "conveniences" - I guess the Right might be satisfied when the poor are living like the poor in many third world countries - in shacks made of cardboard and sticks - while their children are stunted physically and intellectually because of chronic malnutrition.... I personally nominate evil rabid Right wing talking head Ann Coulter be sent to scratch out a living in the garbage dumps of Guatemala - hell, I'll even buy her a one-way ticket.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

So now the only distinction between the Democrats and the Republicans is the latter's overt hatred of the poor ?? Yeah right, vote for a Democrat. After all they only want to screw the middle class, they draw the line at screwing the poor !!! Vote Woodstock Nation Party ( WNP ) in 2012 !!! Our platform is based on Peace, Love and SANITY in stark contrast to the establishment's War, Hate and Insanity they relish so dearly. We'll give the poor a fair deal......the goal of the WNP is a nation with no poor in the population. This will be achieved by eliminating the wealthy folks control of the government and then eliminating their wealth. Everyone will have all they need for a comfortable existence. No one will have excess for that would violate the Sanity provision of our platform as well as jeopardizing Peace and Love. See it's not the poor who need to be eliminated, it's the rich who need their wealth to be eliminated. We don't need prisons for debtors, we need prisons for the GREEDY.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Laneman said...

When the government borrows beyond its ability to pay off its debt, guess what happens.

Like when it spends for two bullshit wars? Tax cuts for the wealthy? Subsidies for oil corporations? Drug company friendly drug benefit? Bailouts for corrupt banks?

Of course we don't dare cut those costly expenditures! Since the debt and deficit are sooooo important we don't dare consider increasing revenues like any sane policy would consider.

No country in history has ever cut it's way to prosperity, ever.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Jon Stewart really nails it. The poor pay sales taxes, transportation taxes, utility taxes, et al. I know because I am poor. And most of us paid the Internal Revenue Service mega bucks when we were working. There is no free lunch; even for the poor. Ronnie Regan's infamous 'welfare queen' never existed.

It's disgusting how the Heritage Foundation, Cato Foundation, the Koch brothers and their ilk turn logic on its head to justify their greedy and inhumane practices.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

We need to tax the poor, when did we start. Want to stop spending money on endless wars, stop running up our debt with our endless war on poverty!

I have asked in the past to define rich, now I want to ask for the definition of poor. As 48% of American pay no federal income tax, are they the poor and if so what is their average income?

Continue the class warfare cause it's the last bullet the left has.

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, in 1996, President Clinton signed landmark welfare reform into law. Millions of Americans were freed from the chains of government dependency. Oh happy day, would it happen again soon!

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

The reason that 48% of Amerikans pay no Federal income tax is that those folks do not have sufficient income to reach the poverty level. After the allowable deductions and credits their tax liability is wiped out ( as well it should be !! ). Do you know what those folks do with this windfall ?? They buy BMWs and eat caviar with their Dom Perignon !! Actually they can barely afford food, have no health insurance and live in run down project housing tenements. Of course the rebuttal to that is they live like Kings compared to folks in Haiti or Somalia. Well guess what ?? Amerika is not supposed to be a third world country though it is trying its damnedest to become one. I believe Amerika ranks about 60th in the world regarding wealth disparity between the rich and poor. That is totally fucking pathetic and the greedy wealthy ruling class is to blame. EAT THE RICH !! Vote Woodstock Nation Party in 2012 !!!!

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Mack Lyons said...

Rector's the type of asshole who thinks a cardboard box is a luxury for poor people. Some people have that Dickensian thing going on in their head when they think about the poor.

For penitence, this guy should spend a few 95-degree days in a house without air conditioning. Get rid of the fridge, while you're at it.

The socioeconomic elite aren't gonna cut this crap out as long as they think they have control of this runaway Xanatos Gambit.

"Today, in 1996, President Clinton signed landmark welfare reform into law. Millions of Americans were freed from the chains of government dependency. Oh happy day, would it happen again soon!"

Helping people from being completely consumed by poverty is called "government dependency." Because the poor are impoverished by choice and poverty is merely a failure of personal character. People aren't supposed to ask for help, and if they do, only the proper sources of alms as dictated by Calvinist/Puritan precepts -- churches and the benevolent wealthy.

Would it be too much to tell these people to "Eat shit"?

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Wavy Gravy said...

Ellis D.

We did some really good drugs together at Woodstock and I have been flying high ever since! Count me on the Woodstock Nation Party!

Peace out brother!

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Facts!, I believe you are distorting the facts when you say...

"As 48% of American pay no federal income tax, are they the poor and if so what is their average income?"

{{citation needed}}

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Taxing the poor is the Right's latest propaganda line. It's a smokescreen to get everybody on board with a flat tax, which although seemingly appealing at first glance, would be devastating to the majority of Americans. It would greatly reduce the tax burden on the wealthy (which is why it's being pushed), while shifting the burden to those falling below the medium income level.

Don't be influenced by this nonsense.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger Suzan said...

Thanks for a very thoughtful essay, Tom.

I saw this before and thought to myself, "a Democrat?" I doubt it. It sounds like classic Rethug disinformation to make the ignorant believe that Dems want to cut safety net programs like Medicaid which couldn't be further from the truth.

Great misleading PR for 'thugs though. One more Koch Bros. triumph! Bring them on. It's time everyone understood the exact positions of these 'thugs.

Love ya,


But it was there that Dale Weiss, a 64-year-old Democrat, approached the Republican running for Congress in a special election and, without provocation, blasted the president for failing to tame runaway federal spending. “We need to cut Medicaid,” she declared, “but he won’t do that.” She shook her head in disgust. “He is a moron.”

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Catharine said...

Yes, please cut Medicaid. Please do away with Social Security. Please end Medicare. And by all means, tax the poor. If someone pretty and blond like Dana Perino can think it's a good idea every night on Fox Noise, than it must be.

Hateful country. A hateful, ugly, petty, mean little country we've become. Every day we become more and more of a cultural, economic and spiritual anachronism. With every passing day of unkindness and viciousness, we render ourselves more insignificant.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I think our misguided immigration policy is largely to blame for the deterioration Catharine mentions. We have too many non-assimilating immigrants who take jobs that should go to the people who actually belong here. No one should be allowed to stay here who doesn't possess a unique needed skill that our own people don't have. Jobs folks claim that spoiled lazy Amerikans just won't do ( I've been told working in a chicken slaughterhouse is such a job ) can be filled by immigrants AS NEEDED, not by opening floodgates and taking jobs our own people should have. Additionally by having no intention of assimilating these immigrants dilute our society and make organizing our citizens to fight the oppressive establishment nearly impossible. As Bob Dylan said " your old road is rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand....." So the way I see it until Amerikans are unified in the interest of taking back our country from the scumbags who stole it things will never get better for WE THE PEOPLE. That's why the establishment loves illegal immigrants, they get in the way of progressive change !! Vote Woodstock Nation Party in 2012 !! We'll propose a sane immigration policy that benefits OUR citizens not illegal immigrants.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Hester Prynne said...

Another great rant! Excellent quote from Matthew who, by the way, was a tax collector before joining Jesus. I am poor now too, even though I have a college degree. They cut my hours at work this past christmas. I have teaching certification, but no one is hiring art teachers. My husband died before he was 40 ten years ago, and you don't get survivors benefits after your child turns 16. Thanks Ronnie Raygun! I wonder if these assholes remember the story of Robin Hood? Unfortunately, until we are turned into serfs and are literally starving and dying in the streets, no one is going to noticed that we are being raped. I really have lost hope that things will get better.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

"Just the Facts" wanted someone to define the poor.

For starters, one person living alone is considered to be at the poverty level if their total annual income is $10,890 or less. To see how very little it is increased for more than one person living in the family follow this link.

Do you really think they should pay taxes? Give me a break.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Earthquake destroys Washington, markets rally. How's that for an economic indicator?

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok.....they shouldn't pay you for comments that lame !! Can't you cons find smarter trolls ??

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trickle down economics equals trickle up poverty!

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Ellis, I agree. Boltok's a paid troll, funded through some wacko libertarian enterprise. They sure are not getting their money's worth, are they? ;-)

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing I like about being poor is not having a TV and not being forced to pay for Fox noise in the basic package. (Do you think Fox will eventually put two and two together here?)

Now I just need to keep scraping enough money together to keep my Internet connection.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JG.....I guess they must have so much damn money they can throw it away on these trolls. Maybe they can spare some change for the Woodstock Nation Party ?? After all, we support drug legalization too !!

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Gypsy Bob said...

Reggie and Buffy discuss the plight of the poor at The Club:

Reggie is it true those Poor People pay no taxes and live in poverty on the streets? Don’t they work? They are becoming such a blight, what can be done to keep them out of sight or make them go away?

Buffy it seems they say there are no jobs or the jobs they quality for don’t pay enough. They don’t make enough money to qualify to pay income taxes; imagine.

Reggie I understand that Julio, Jesus, Raoul, Maria and Juanita and the rest of the help here at WASP Woods are off the books so we don’t have to dole out monies for their benefits as such but on the books workers shouldn’t be able to dodge taxes…such slackers!

Buffy it’s true; why last year we paid almost 15% taxes on the 25.5 million we earned while Leroy, the barber’s helper, paid only 10% on his income of 14,500 dollars.

Reggie that’s sickening.

Buffy we can decrease there numbers by mandatory sterilization.

Reggie perhaps our researchers can design a Poverty Pill that we can market to the Poor as a panacea that in actuality does nothing but compromise their immune system whilst purporting to enhance the ability to earn more money.

Great idea Buffy; more money for us!

Benito be a good boy and fetch the Bently…

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Now if Leroy could have afforded a good financial planner he could have learned how to finagle his income to fall below the $10,890 and paid no income tax at all !! I bet the honest fool declared all his tips too !! Oh wait...only rich people are ALLOWED to cheat !! My bad !!

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Gypsy Bob said...

Possible Perry Jobs for The Poor Plan:

All those at/below The Poverty Level will be required to register for a Job Draft Program.

Anytime a Volcano in the USA or it's Territories becomes active Draftees will be called up and placed on the front lines to stem/reverse the flow of molten lava. These are non paying jobs but transportation and funeral expenses will be covered assuming human remains are recovered.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Well shit Gypsy...they at least better buy them lunch !!!

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -26 (see trends).

This is the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama. The previous low was -24 reached yesterday and also in September 2010. Additionally, the level of Strong Approval matches the lowest yet recorded. By way of comparison, President Bush had ratings near the end of his second term in the minus 30s.

Way to go Obama!

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Gypsy Bob said...

Ellis, unfortunately that falls under the category of Barbeque and as such is considered an unnecessary Luxury item for The Poor.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 20% Think Government Anti-Poverty Programs Really Work
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Americans increasingly believe government anti-poverty programs cause more poverty in this country.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 49% of American Adults now think government programs increase the level of poverty in the United States, while just 20% say they decrease the problem. Nearly as many (19%) say the programs have no impact. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

This marks a steady increase in the number of those who think the programs cause more of the problem they’re supposed to solve – from 43% last September to 45% in April to 49% now.

Its good to see that more and more people are waking up to the fact that the liberals "War on Poverty" is an endless war perptetuated by them with RESULTS GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Telephone survey? They're not talking to poor people about poverty because poor people don't have telephones! Yeah, that's me. No cell phone, no landline... and no TV cable with crap Fox Noise.

Think Fox (or Rasmussen for that matter) will ever put two and two together?

Bye now!

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Peter Fegan said...

The historic Tax Reform Act of 1986, though it achieved the supply side goal of lowering individual income tax rates, was a startlingly progressive reform. The plan imposed the largest corporate tax increase in history--an act utterly unimaginable for any conservative to support today.

Just two years after declaring, "there is no justification" for taxing corporate income, Reagan raised corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years and closed corporate tax loopholes worth about $300 billion over that same period. In addition to broadening the tax base, the plan increased standard deductions and personal exemptions to the point that no family with an income below the poverty line would have to pay federal income tax.

Wow that Reagan guy must've been some kind of Commie Pinko subversive!

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Ellis, JG,
You are correct as always.
I am my own grounded, genius, libertarian enterprise. I put $1 in a jar every day that I don't voyeur to subnormally reasoned progressive blogs(to supplement the social security I won't receive when I retire).

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Did anyone catch that Gallup poll? President Sand Wedge has a 38% approval rating. Bush territory.


At 9:09 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok.....The Woodstock Nation Party will preserve Social Security and all the other vested obligations the government owes to WE THE PEOPLE. Only establishment assholes think it okay to breach social contracts and back out of their part of the deal. That's what happens when a country is run by psychopaths.....all bets are off. Elect SANE WNP in 2012 !!!!!

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Gypsy Bob said...

Right On Ellis! The WNP believes your word is your bond.

A Contract with the American People is a Sacred Obligation... not a Conveyance of Convenience to be enforced until so abused or mismanaged so as to be deemed now unworkable and becomes fodder for the scrapheap.That is Neo Conservative Business Law 101.

Numbers do not make the sole determination; Truth and Honesty are equal partners.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, you said...

"You are correct as always."

Thank you. You stick around here, and maybe one day you'll be as smart as us. Maybe.

...and you continued with...

"I put $1 in a jar every day that I don't voyeur to subnormally reasoned progressive blogs(to supplement the social security I won't receive when I retire)."

No, you're right, as long as you, and millions of others just like you, position yourself with the moneyed elite and powerful, and work hard to dismantle the social safety nets original put into place because of similar circumstances brought on by the robber barons after the turn of the last century. Yeah, keep voting against your own economic self-interests, and you'll likely get your wish.

That's one thing I've never understood about conservatives and right-wingers; you fanatically cling to a power structure that has absolutely no interest in your welfare or well-being. They only covet and court you for your vote. Beyond that, you're just another tool in their predatory arsenal, and are fair game like everybody else. But, you'll figure that out soon enough.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JG maybe boltok is an illegitimate son of Ron Paul ?? I think to answer your question these conservatives were so successfully brainwashed during the so called socialization process that they can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to identifying their enemies. The Woodstock Nation Party knows full well that the establishment is made up of evil psychopaths who have no problem stealing the commons from WE THE PEOPLE and destroying the lives of innocent people who are unfortunate enough to be stuck living in the big lie called Amerika. The WNP values individual rights of PEOPLE. We outright reject corporate person-hood which we believe is a capitalist scam to legitimize the corporate pillaging of WE THE PEOPLES' wealth. So if you conservatives really care about your future vote WNP in 2012 and begin a new reality brought to you by caring sane leaders, not INSANE psychopathic criminals !!

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Why they fanatically cling to a power structure that has absolutely no interest in your welfare or well-being has been a subject of interest to me as well.

We know many radical Rightists have authoritarian personalities and naturally follow their authoritarian leaders. Many more are socially and culturally nurtured from within isolated geographical locations with limited exposure to the rest of the country. Then there are the deluded souls who hold to the belief that they too will become rich, so they'd better start supporting the agenda of the elites.

It is no mystery that our media and culture embeds into our consciousness a deep reverence for wealth and the wealthy. Add the vast network of propaganda from FOX(R) and extremist talk radio to this culture and we have all the characteristics of a cult.

I call it the Cult of Conservatism. We're not talking real conservative lifestyle like the Amish, but Republican Right Wing “conservatism”.

They take the propaganda as absolute truth to hold against the onslaught of the frightening "others" framed as the evil America-hating liberals, socialists, communists, or fascists. The labels don't need to make sense, they just needs to be frightening.

It's a small step to indoctrinate the cult into blindly accepting the dogma. Tax cuts for the rich will bring jobs. Reagan's great "trickle down" will shower us with prosperity, etc.

As long as we let the economic elites have everything their way we will be a great country.

This is the Cult of Conservatism. They are true believers. They are fanatics.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Those are great points you make Dave and it all goes back to what I have said many times in this blog....people fall for the first lie they are told as children which is " we don't lie to you." After that it is following the garden path and blindly believing that the establishment is looking out for their best interests etc. The only way wealthy people could ever impress me is by sharing their wealth with those who lack wealth either through charity or the creation of living wage paying jobs. Let's close the gap between CEO and employee compensation so the actual workers get a fair share of profits, strong retirement pensions and good health care coverage. The CEOs will just have to live with fewer millions of dollars in their overseas bank accounts. I say we cut their wealth down to a maximum of 2 times the wealth they or their progeny will ever need in their lifetime. That should still provide sufficient excess to keep their penchant for greed alive. Then we can use them as an example of how one should not act. They can be relics from a hopefully bygone era.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


I believe that Jefferson's Guard a paid troll, funded through some wacko liberal Geo. Soro's backed enterprise.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Ellis, will the Woodstock Nation Party have a website? ;-)

...and will we be able to buy cool stuff, like t-shirts and bumper-stickers, and coffee cups...?

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Do you think that Harrison's song was saying that the man in the photo was in his condition because he paid too much in taxes? Or was his condition due to others not paying more in taxes?
How would others paying more taxes prevent the man in the photo, from being in his condition?

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn those rich liberal corporations!

(ABC News) — Employees of media giant Comcast have contributed more money to President Obama’s reelection bid than employees from any other organization, according to a new analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Comcast employees contributed nearly $80,000 directly to Obama for America and roughly $200,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account benefitting both the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee, through the first half of 2011 records show.

Comcast, the nation’s largest video and internet services provider, is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo among other assets.

President Obama has recently spent time with top Comcast executives, attending an intimate fundraiser at the home of Comcast executive vice president David Cohen in Philadelphia in June and a private “social reception” at the Martha’s Vineyard estate of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts earlier this week.

Roberts, who serves on the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, has not yet personally contributed to Obama’s campaign, according to FEC records.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Let's thank Anonymous for showing us what we've been saying all along; Obama is a corporatist.

Murdoch of FOX(R) even donated to Hillary Clinton, another corporatist.

Ya'd think the Right would learn...Nah, they need someone to hate, so they hate the junior corporatists and call them socialists.

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Define "junior corporatists" and name some as examples.
I do not recognize the term nor how it applies as this is the 1st place I've ever seen it used.

At 3:48 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave, I agree. Just like free0352 who frequents your blog, Anonymous (aka Just the Facts! and others) inadvertently took the bait and succumbed to what you and I have been saying all along: Obama is a corporatist. But, interestingly, once it was pointed out, both also backpedaled and tried to take it back.

This is too funny!

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Nice try for a comeback JD, nice try, but as usual, another FAIL.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
George Washington

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts said...

What follows is an another example of why our economy is not growing. This is a case of over govt regulations strangling BIG business.

"Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.

It isn't the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian's ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."

The question in the first raid seemed to be whether Gibson had been buying illegally harvested hardwoods from protected forests, such as the Madagascar ebony that makes for such lovely fretboards. And if Gibson did knowingly import illegally harvested ebony from Madagascar, that wouldn't be a negligible offense. Peter Lowry, ebony and rosewood expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden, calls the Madagascar wood trade the "equivalent of Africa's blood diamonds." But with the new raid, the government seems to be questioning whether some wood sourced from India met every regulatory jot and tittle.

It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next.

If you are the lucky owner of a 1920s Martin guitar, it may well be made, in part, of Brazilian rosewood. Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument. Otherwise, you could lose it to a zealous customs agent—not to mention face fines and prosecution."

Sorry for the long cut and paste, but I hope you see the effects of just one government regulation. How does it benefit AMERICAN workers for the federal govt to do this, that should be your first question.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts said...

Part TWO from the WALL STREET JOURNAL of 8/24/11.

"The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.

It's not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What's the bridge made of? If it's ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar's headstock bone, or could it be ivory? "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," Prof. Thomas has written. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration."

Government does not create wealth, it's that simple.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Just the Murdoch(R),
Now that is some hysterical fear mongering. Look out! Obama is coming after your mean, your guitars. Yes, that's it!

Obama wants to take our guitars...from Ted Nugent's cold dead hands.

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Wow Dave, is that the best you can come up with?

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

It was not intended for the humor-impaired.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guitars now, Just the Facts? Seriously? You're worried about freaking guitars? Tom's rant was about the poor.

My screen name is Ysmene. Yaz for short and I've read this blog for sometime though I don't usually comment. You see I have Multiple Sclerosis. It hit me around 40 and took me down hard. Medical bills wiped out the last of my savings even though I once had free-market insurance. I live off Social Security Disability, Medicare and SNAP now. Without them, I would be just like the man in Tom's picture. I might even be dead.

I have no cell phone, no landline, no cable TV and no... not even a microwave. Even by the Heritage Foundation's standards, I'm probably considered poor. The last thing I have left is this Internet connection which I'm desperately trying to hold on to so I can scream I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT FREAKING GUITARS! They're a luxury item for rich people!

I want to know why my food stamps have been cut. I want to know why my medication costs have just suddenly doubled. Why are food prices so high? Why is it so hard for me to eat healthy? Why is my landlord looking at possible foreclosure? No subprime here. Why? What is going on?

Trust my limited future to you free market freaks? No! I'm not that stupid. I know you hate me. I'm disabled and I'm poor and you just want me to die and get off your back. Man... I'd tell you exactly where to stuff that guitar if Tom hadn't requested us to be nice.

Sincerely with utter contempt,

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Wow, Yaz! That one knocked me senseless. You're exempt from niceness. Tell him exactly where to stuff that guitar.

I hope you're okay, friend.


Tom Degan

At 6:50 PM, Blogger 1000myths said...

You're the guy I've been looking for. Everybody else is still spewing the most absurd crap but you, my friend, and I hope you are my friend, ('cause I wouldn't want you for an enemy) you're telling it like it is and it is music to my ancient ears. Just last night, I heard the latest entrant in the Republican Chief Wingnut contest, spew some absolutely insane crap about his propsed tax program wherein he strongly suggest that we "broaden the tax base" so: "everybody pays their fair share and the rich aren't unfairly penalized just because they've got all the money

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Gee Yaz maybe the poor wouldn't be poor if they could get a job at one of the coal mines our GOVT has closed or at Gibson? Did ya ever think about that?

"Why are food prices so high?" Cause in part, the cost of fuel is up due to liberals screaming to stop the drilling for the shit and to convert to "Green" energy which is what happened to the coal mine jobs. Cost of food is UP for all of us not just those on food stamps.

"have no cell phone, no landline, no cable TV and no... not even a microwave"..
How do you get to a place to send emails or go on the internet? Or did someone else post this for you?

"Why is my landlord looking at possible foreclosure?" I find that very hard to believe with all the money the Feds give out for rent assistance, tell us more about the "possible foreclosure".

And finally, you make a lot assumptions that because I hate big govt that I hate the poor and sick and those who CAN not work, and you assume that I am healthy, wealthy and got it all.
Surprise, I don't have wealth, I don't have health, and I don't got it all! So stop with the guilt trip, your gonna fog up Tom's glasses.

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Rita said...

Technology lesson. You do not have to have cable to have access to televised broadcasts. You DO have to have a digital TV.

Currently hh gregg sells 154 digital TV's under $199. Considering that a digital TV probably cost less than three months of the most basic cable, which is the better choice? And did anyone take a poll to see if those poor people have an analog tv? Twist the facts to suit your agenda.

I spent my entire childhood without air conditioning, cable (since it didn't exist) watching a black and white 13 inch TV.

We not only survived, we THRIVED. We played outside because it was too hot in the house. We watched little TV because there were only 3 channels.

I guess we should have complained how the heartless bastards were denying us our "rights" under the Constitution. Well, except we were too busy shovelling the coal into the furnace in the winter.

Don't remember either of my parents crying how unfair life was.

What I hear now is how it's a "right" to own a cell phone and have cable and internet access.

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Just the Facts, I made a lot of assumptions about you. I made them because you're here basically talking about guitars and free markets and I'm an accountant. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps from working class poor. (Had to quit high school to work. Got my G.E.D.) I clawed my way up and eventually became an accountant for two multi-million dollar corporations (Dav-El Limousine was one) and then finally an Assistant Controller for a multimillion dollar non-profit foundation. (Hunt Alternatives.) I was somewhat wealthy before I got sick. (Lower tier middle class.) All it took was one good hard swing from our free market health care system to swat me down into poor.

As an accountant, let me tell you that unregulated capitalism spelled out = E.N.R.O.N. Enron was a company where a whole lot of creative accountants with fancy titles got together and just made shit up for their books. In doing so, they wrecked their company, cheated their investors, and screwed their employees. Free Market. Yee-haw!

And I'd hate to tell you about Wall Street. CDOs, CDSs, derivatives. I'll keep it short and translate for you. A toxic asset=a fraudulent activity... and our taxpayer money went to bail them out and give them multi-million dollar bonuses. They're still at it, mind you. The very first thing we need to do is tax those bastards, stop the “outsourcing” of money to places like the Caymens and close a whole lot of corporate loopholes.

Then there's the Pentagon. I already know there's missing millions, maybe even billions by now. If I ever had to audit the Pentagon's books, I'd probably just end up screaming but we can start with... Bin Laden is dead. Get out of Afghanistan. Iraq never even had to happen at all so get the hell out of there too. We'll save big bucks if we do that.

As for coal and oil and nuclear power, they are dirty industries. Fracking, BP oil spill, Fukushima Daiichi. Just as there is no such thing as free market “infinite growth,” there is such a thing as a finite resource. Oil is one, coal is another and I guess we're all going to have to get use to the long term rise in prices. We should have been going green 40 years ago but most CEOs, COOs, and CFOs can't see past their quarterly revenue projection charts, let alone come up with a sane energy plan for us all. And I can already tell you that if they do start building wind turbine assembly plants, they won't be putting one in your town right now because you are nothing to these people. You are an expendable resource to them. All they see are payroll expenditures and they cry, “Cut! Cut! Cut!” I know this for sure. I've heard them whine with my own ears. I've seen them use illegal aliens to cut payroll. I've seen them misuse the H1B visa system to lower wages of even mid level employees. And as the former Executive Chief Steward and Treasurer of I.U.E. Local 298, I've also watched from below as they tried to bust unions. The free market, deregulating Ronnie Raygun 1980ies! Oh what joy. They started by targeting Union officers. The Chief Steward I took over for shot himself in the head in our company parking lot! He was the first Union related suicide for me but unfortunately not the last. Almost eight years I watched as deregulation and trade agreements bled our manufacturing base dry nation wide. Sad news. Those jobs are gone. I don't ever see them coming back with the system we've got now.

Continued Next Post...

At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Continuation from Previous Post...

For-profit corporations exist for one thing and one thing only; to make money, and if they are unregulated, they will do any abhorrent thing to achieve that singular goal. It's one of the reasons I moved into non- profit accounting even though the salary was lower. You can not ever trust that a for-profit corporation will look out for you. They are too busy find wage slaves in China to exploit.

No, with all the delusional and fraudulent behavior that is going on out there, there is no need for cutting Social Service programs right now. Not one more penny should I pay for this pathetic mess. So now you know why I am too angry to talk about guitars. Is the government sometimes stupid? Yes. But by law, it is suppose to protect you. Remember... “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” And we haven't even got to the Bill of Rights yet.

No corporate charter has such words. Unregulated, they will eat you alive for-profit if you let them. Drowning the big, bad government in a bathtub will only hurt you worse in the long run.

Most of my “Why?” questions were rhetorical; including the one about the foreclosure. I know why it's happening and the story is complicated. Since this post is already a mini-book, I won't detail it here. Maybe later in another post if you're really that curious.

A hint that may save you money: Telephone, Cable TV and Internet are really separate products. You can get one without paying fees for any of the others. Some companies tell you that you save money by “bundling.” This is BS if you’re going for cheap, cheap. You only have to pay for one. I pay for the Internet and I have what I call “the irate customer” discount rate. It's as dirt cheap as you're going to get from a for-profit behemoth like Comcast but you've got to really make them believe your finances are dry and you're going to drop them permanently before you get switched to the manager who can give you the special “irate customer” discount rate.

Sincerely hoping you will understand,

At 5:46 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Damn! Please keep those cards and letters coming in, Yaz, You speak wondrous.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Yes, Yaz, I agree with Tom -- if possible, please continue commenting. It's critical, during these times, that the voices of sanity and rightfulness bombard the blog boards.

And, to everyone else who follows this wonderful blog, please voice your opinions and thoughts. It's important. Don't be a member of the "silent majority". Speak your peace now...make your voice heard. Otherwise, there may not be ample opportunity to do so in the future.

Thanks, again, Yaz!

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Well Yaz,
One simple question, why does government need/allow private business if private for profit business is so rotten?

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


RE: bad book keeping.

Can you find for me, the books showing where our stimulus dollars have been spent?

Can I have a copy of the White House guest book?

Can I please have an audit performed on Fannie Mae/Freddy Mack's books?

Is there any way I can review the book keeping for Senator Dodd and Representative Frank's income sources and investments?

Where can I find the books that would explain the purchase arrangements behind Obama's home in Chicago?

Show me who was watching the books before the GOP took control of the House under Clinton and the check cashing/House post office scam was uncovered?

And finally, remember, just because you disagree with a person does not mean they have a better life than yours. Life is taking what you got and making the best of it with out thinking of your self as a victim. Better to be remembered as one who crawled to the top of the heap as opposed as someone who thought the heap was against them and gave up trying.
Hope your life turns itself around, due to your own actions, not by the actions of others. What ever the out come, I can tell you from my own personal experience, what ever gains you make on your own, far out weight in satisfaction the gains given to you.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Tom, I have had this conversation with some of the idiocracy that posts at my local Patch site. I have actually gotten people to say the following:

a) That they would trade places with someone making $22,000 a year if it meant paying no taxes; or

b) That those people making $22,000 a year could make more if they just worked harder and showed some initiative.

I don't know how you can possibly change the minds of such morons, other than to let them have the country they think they want. The question is, where do the rest of us go?

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Adam Cohen said...

Tom, You have once again given voice to the frustration and anger I feel. I know several folks who bolted the country in 2000 when Bush stole the election. in 1980 I thought it impossible for Reagan to get elected, so dumb and so radical. Well I tols my wife months ago if Rick Perry gets in the race, he will probably win and then she will have to make a decision. I am leaving, are u coming?


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