A response to the Tax Day response

A few days ago I posted a rant about Tax Day. Like a very large chunk of America, I think that the government takes too much of my money, and then squanders it stupidly. So I wrote my opinions on the matter.  http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/happy-tax-day/ Apparently somebody found it entertaining because it went viral and the traffic started coming in. I was linked on Pajamas Media and Instapundit, and from there it was linked to several other conservative blogs. I had 3,000 hits before breakfast yesterday, but then I inevitably started getting linked to liberal blogs and the real fun began.

The interesting thing was that the vast majority of the liberal responses followed the same basic formula, over and over and over again.

  1. Find something to attack about the messenger.
  2. Ignore or cherry pick whatever parts of the argument you feel like. (heck, you don’t need to have read it at all!)
  3. Use step 1 and 2 to prove your intellectual superiority over the messenger.
  4. Dismiss the argument.
  5. Repeat until nobody dares to deviate from the group think.

 

It was fascinating. Here, on the small scale of just one dude’s minor little blog, was a perfect microcosm of what passes for political discourse in our country. This isn’t just how I’m responded to, this is how anybody who disagrees is responded to. Many of you have probably experienced the same thing.

So I’m going to go through the liberal responses to point out the pattern. This doesn’t apply to all of them obviously, because I’ve got several very regular liberal posters here on this blog. We disagree constantly. In fact, Nick, my token idealistic college student, was arguing in favor of social programs in those same comments before the assault nuts swooped in. But that’s the thing, he was debating a point, not following the attack dog pattern. Several other liberal posters had also joined in, and it was all good intelligent discussion, but scroll down, and you can see when the alert was given to the attack dogs.

So, to break down the response pattern, I’ve tried to categorize these. It would be too much work to respond to all of them individually. (not that they would read them anyway!)  They are in italics.  And of course, since they decided to be mean, so did I. (you know, that whole culture of hate thing. Us right wingers just thrive on it.)

To start off, I wanted to see where all these comments were coming from. I’d been linked on a website that I’d never heard of called Pandagon. (wait, a liberal website named after an animal that’s going extinct because it’s too lazy to reproduce… snort) I was linked under “Batshit crazy” and “economy”.

Larry Correia, who is an alleged New York Times bestselling author, (apparently, he made #27 in mass market paperbacks once, which I can’t knock… well, actually, I can), is PISSED about taxes.

So first line we’re hitting point #1.  Let’s attack the messenger. Because I was #27 instead of #1, I’m not a real novelist… Uhmm… No. Actually, that’s not how it works.  Just making that list at all puts me in the top couple  of percentiles of  writers. Period. Oh, and to break it down further for you, I did that on my second book, from the smallest of the major publishing houses, with no big national marketing push, in a genre that does not typically break into the NYT until later in the series from gradual fan base growth or with a large advertising push. I’m friends with writers from Baen, Tor, Harper Collins, Pyr, McMillian, Penguin, Daw, and some others, and trust me, none of them sneer at hitting #27.

So that intro is kind of like a fat couch potato saying that a sprinter isn’t an Olympian, because he only won the bronze.

Also, the NYT is calculated in a strange manner, being weighted toward indy stores and certain regions, so to make you feel better I’ve also been on the Locus bestseller list multiple times, I was #4 in Entertainment Weekly, and as high as #4 in fantasy on the Nielsen Bookscan (which is like the Nielsen TV ratings, only for books).

Oh, silly Correia, but you’ve never won or been nominated for any prestigious literary awards! So I’m not a real writer. He he he… Tune back in next month when I can officially announce something that is going to blow your little mind.

So, I’m “allegedly” a bestselling novelist the same way you are a “allegedly” a nitwit. As in… Yes.

Larry, who works for a defense contractor, is angry about how much money the government spends, on things like defense contractors. He is also publishing four (yes, four) novels this year, which one hopes is edited for the sake of the English language.

Here we see where the lib blogger has set up the attack strategy. Almost all of the resulting posts I got were based around these themes. I’m a terrible writer and I’m part of the evil military industrial complex.

Yes, I am publishing 4 novels this year, because that’s what happens when you are popular and your books sell well. My first novel is in its 4th printing. (for all you PJM and Instapundit readers, buy my books and piss off a liberal today!) And don’t worry, they will also be professionally edited. (because, you know, writing a blog post over breakfast is exactly the same as writing a 150,000 word novel over several months)

The man is Moebius strip of loathing.

Wait, I’m so angry that I went in a circle and rolled over once? Oh, ha! I see what you did there. It’s because defense contracts are paid by the government, and I said the government spends too much money, thus I’m a hypocrite, and thus everything I say can be readily dismissed.  (the author never pointed out that the very first thing I listed as needing to be cut was… drum roll please… the military budget!  In fact, I spent more time on it than anything else.)

I read through all the comments there, and they were basically all about what an awful person I am, how I’m the worst author since John Ringo (Sweet! We are actually writing a series together), and so on and so forth.

So there’s the script.  Hypocrite. Angry. Bad writer. Cry havoc and unleash the dogs of spam!

Everything I said can be safely dismissed because I work in defense contracting:

I believe your “defense contractor” job should absolutely be one of the first cuts we make. Then maybe you’ll have a point. Because after all, what is defense spending but wingnut welfare, patronage, and pork

Well, I’m certainly sorry that my taxes pay your salary. Does that count?

Let me address this point that came up repeatedly. I work for the a private company that is paid to provide services to the military. We compete against other companies, and the winner is usually the lowest bidder, and it is rather cut throat. Not only that, it is fairly common in this industry for a contract employee to get more work done, cheaper, than a government employee. The reason being is that it is far easier to fire a contract employee, we don’t have a union, we don’t have government level fringe benefits, the government doesn’t have to take care of us for the rest of our working career, or do anything for our retirement. If they don’t like us, they can simply not renew the contract, and if we suck, they can fire us.  The military uses contractors to save money.

On the military, even if you cut it in half, there would still be a defense industry. You know those big grey boats the Navy has? Those fancy jets the Air Force flies around in? Guess who builds those… And it isn’t an E-4 that went to tech school. So saying that the entire industry is all corporate welfare is just one big strawman argument.

That said, (and once again, the first thing I listed as needing a cut was the military) if the things that I do weren’t valuable and came up as some of the unnecessary things that could be cut, then cool… So be it. My contracts would get cut. Then, like all private sector professionals, I’d go find something else to do. I’ve also been an accountant in the music and gun industries. That’s life, because nobody, especially the government, owes me anything.

So, I can’t have an opinion on taxes because my company performs services for the government… Do you allow soldiers to have an opinion? (well, obviously not, because we know how they usually vote!) Police? Firemen? Teachers? Remember that bit (well, obviously not, since none of you read the blog post you’re commenting on) about how more people work for the government now than for construction, manufacturing, mining, farming, fishing, and utilities combined?  When the government gets that big, it is involved in literally everything. So by your logic, nobody should be allowed to speak out.

I notice there’s no response to any of the other things I brought up… Just about what I do for a living, and I’m okay with that getting cut. You guys are just looking for the easiest way to dismiss somebody, and since we’re coming up on a third of the people in this country working for the government somehow, that’s a mighty nifty way to shut down potential opposition.

Dude, you’re a middle manager for a company that wouldn’t even exist without no-bid government contracts. Please go Galt. You’d be doing us all a huge favor. You’re not contributing in a positive way to our society by any objective measure. You’re just a pencil pusher for a company that lives 100% off the government teat. Somalia has a low rate of taxation and low regulations. Why don’t you live there instead of the USA? Or, you know, try working for private industry instead of at a no-bid defense contractor? If you’re this great Randian superman, why are you just sitting here whining instead of starting your own company, moving to a country with lower taxes, or something like that? Oh, right. You’re just another sheep who thinks he’s a wolf. Hilarious

As for moving to another country, socialism has wrecked most of the ones that have indoor plumbing, so maybe the better question is why can’t you leave this one alone and move to Sweden? 

I already owned my own business. I was a machinegun dealer for three years. (SOT Title 7) Sold it. Was unemployed for several months in 2008-09 (did not collect any unemployment either) then found my current job. 

Defense Contract Worker Demands Cuts for Everything But Defense! Story on page 4

From somebody who obviously didn’t read it, since once again, the first thing I said to cut was the military, but don’t let facts cloud the narrative.

Mr. Correia, if corporate welfare were eliminated, then the bloated, useless industry you work in would be eliminated with it. If that were to happen, you would need to fall back on your own talents to survive. If this is a representative sample of your writing, then I doubt you would be much in demand; I certainly wouldn’t pay money for this stuff. So it’s likely you would either become someone’s dependent or you’d starve.

I tried to engage that guy by explaining how contracting works and we ended up having this enlightening exchange:

How is paying me to perform a service welfare?

Obviously, paying you to perform a service is welfare because it is a service the country doesn’t need, and is part of an industry which would not even exist if politicians did not need to pay off lobbyists. The only thing that keeps your industry alive is the taxes paid, willingly or unwillingly, by people like yourself. Outside of the power of the government, your labor would return to it natural value of almost zero.

Or, do you just think that we shouldn’t have a military at all?

No, I don’t think that.

Did you catch the part where we have more government employees than construction, manufacturing, fishing, farming, and utilities combined, and you’re okay with that?

It’s not even useful to attempt to have that conversation with someone as deeply deluded about their true place in the world as yourself.

That was his response. I can’t answer that question, because you’re stupid… Well, that’s certainly a display of moral courage. If I’m too dumb to grasp it, how about trying to sway the 7,000 other people that read this blog post yesterday?  Chicken.

Or, I’m just a hypocrite:

Can you post a link for your rants during the Bush administration. You know when we started running huge deficits while having two wars without the tax increase needed to fund them. I’m truly interested in seeing your analysis of that outrage.

You mean the ones under a Democrat congress? No problem. I also went off against Bush’s prescription drug benefit, steel industry protection, and the corporate bailouts. Also I’ve got gigantic blog posts about how much I dislike the big government ideals of McCain, Romney, Rudy, and many other Republicans. Drat! Foiled again.

My points are invalid because I’m angry:

Take two mogadon, get a good night’s sleep and make an appointment with a therapist. Such anger about something as unimportant as money is a sign of a very serious psychiatric disorder.

There’s an old saying, that if you aren’t angry, then you aren’t paying attention.  I love the whole anger angle, though. Interesting thought… if they can automatically dismiss anybody who gets money from the government (which since they keep on expanding is an ever widening chunk of the population) and they can automatically dismiss anybody that is angry (the folks footing the bill) they’ve just dismissed everybody who could ever disagree with them.

Neat trick.

Plus I’m obviously a terrible writer:

First, it’s “whose,” not “who’s.” One would think that a professional novelist would know this. Second, I am fascinated to see someone whose day job at a defense contractor is paid for with MY TAX DOLLARS is bitching about paying taxes. I guess they didn’t teach you about “irony” in Best Selling Shitty Novel School, eh?

Man, she’s hitting all the points!

You know, if I’d been an English major instead of an Accounting major, I’d probably think that socialism was awesome too, but sadly, I learned math instead of grammar… And this has to really tick her off, but no matter how good her grades were in English class, her post right there will be the most widely read thing she’s ever written, and that’s only because I bothered to post it on my blog.  That’s got to sting. :)

As usual, I deleted all the comments that were just incoherent swearing, threats, and name calling.

The reason I posted this was because I think everybody needs to realize how some folks operate. They’re bullies. They don’t like what you have to say, so they insult you until you fall into line. The more people listen to you, the more they’ll mock you. They’ll pick a couple of things, harp and them, and when that doesn’t work, they’ll twist your words into something absurd. I said the government is too big and needs to be cut, so obviously I want all old people to starve to death in big piles.  

If Sarah Palin says anything, you can immediately ignore it because she’s an illiterate moron. Glenn Beck cries a lot. If any Republican says anything, ever, you can safely dismiss it without rational thought because they’re probably racist. Bobby Jindal gave a stilted speech once. Chris Christie is fat. The Titanic just hit an iceberg and is about to sink? Well, icebergs are lame and boring. Nobody wants to listen to you whine about icebergs. Quit being a fear monger!

To my liberal friends that actually have an opinion and beliefs and that are willing to stand up for them. Good for you. Awesome. I think you are wrong, but don’t let any bunch of random attack dogs from my side tear you down either. You have a right to say what you want just as much as anybody else. To their credit, a few of these new posters have stuck around to argue with my fans. More power to you.

To the majority, be proud of your beliefs. Stand up. Have an opinion. Whether it is online, or around the water cooler at work, don’t give in to the mockers. They’re the hypocrites, not you. These are the same people that will scream racism at the drop of the hat and give a pass to Harry Reid for still using the word negro in casual conversation. (and to save the posters from panda-whatever’s time as they’re trying to figure out if it is safe to call me a racist, according to the Department of Labor, I am a minority. However, Harry Reid would probably consider me “light-skinned”, and though my dad is bilingual, I’m not. So you’re safe. Go for it. You can totally play that race card now.)

Speak up. Let them insult you. Let them try to embarrass you until you submit to the group think. Wear those insults with pride.  If you aren’t offending the stupid, then you’re doing something wrong.

112 Responses

  1. Larry, I am absolutely on your side on this issue, but I can’t help but point out that this post follows all 5 steps of your own formula. I particularly marvel that you spend so much time addressing the fact that people attack you personally by personally attacking them back. Irony at it’s best.

    • Jared, they didn’t really have much in the way of points, other than I was not a real novelist, which I took the time to rebuke… Then I went over the fallacy of what they said about my military affiliation, because I’m more than willing to have the military cut. Irony would have been me posting that they were a bunch of big mean doody-heads, not expounding why, and then running away.

      I attacked them, because they attacked me. It was rather enjoyable. :) As for “so much time”, that was written in about 30 minutes while watching an episode of Samurai Champloo in the background. I’m a professional writer. We tend to type fast.

      And?

      • Okay slight drift here Larry. Samurai Champloo? It’s okay I guess. I prefer Bleach..or that one that Samuel L. Jackson did the voice work for Afro Samurai I think it’s called? It’s been a while since I watched it.

        Back on topic..I agree if they attack, feel free to rip their testicles off and use them in a game of marbles.

      • Somehow, Larry watching Samurai Champloo seems suitable.

        Jin is win.

      • Joe- truth be told my favorite of the Samurai/Ninja stuff is Ninja Scroll. the original and the follow ups. afterwords. I’m STILL exceedingly pissed that they only finished two, of what I think was probably going to be 5-6 the set of the follow on tapes. The company that did them went tits up..after they released the 2nd one.

  2. Note to Liberal Attack Puppies: Never attack a blogger that 1) Makes sense, 2) can type 3,000 words between mouthfuls of Lucky Charms.

  3. With this statement; “The reason I posted this was because I think everybody needs to realize how some folks operate. They’re bullies.” , you hit the nail on the head.

  4. I don’t know if you ment this to be a “pep” talk, but that’s how I took it. It’s difficult trying to argue with the Socialists, but you just recharged my batteries. Thank you for that.

  5. OOH-RAH!

  6. I’m still fuzzy on what the critics were defending. It seems that they really weren’t defending any actual position.

    “Look here my fellow Utopians, there are people who think they pay too much taxes, BURN THEM!”

    That is gonna be one hell of a bonfire.

  7. Thanks for your expostion on Lefty tactics, Larry. I’ve received much of the same from a FOAFF (friend of a Facebook friend), and I’ll glad rub his nose in your post the next time he spouts off.

  8. There were some that started out as somewhat coherent debates, but after a few well said statements, they would seem to devolve into “You’re ugly! Nah nah ne nah nah.” My 11 yr old can argue more convincingly.

  9. you know the easiest ways cut the government spending IMO? you know all those bureaucrats who do nothing but take reports file them and review them? yeah cut them by about 75%, spend the money you would be spending on their salaries and benefits build a data center and database program, then take about half that remaining 25% and make them data entry clerks to put that shit into the aforementioned DB. i work of a company that is contracted to a small local government (we do IT, and BTW for what they pay my company, they’d be able hire 3/4’s of a guy to manage their network… they’d need 2-3 of their own people to do what my company does. We just won the contract so yeah, not a 0 bid deal) i know how how much time gets spent dicking with parperwork that gets sent to the Feds… which means that has to go to a person who sorts it… someone who reviews it, then someone who files it. with a properly designed report management system, i shudder to think how many fedaral jobs could be cut… that being said, there are certain places that i dont think need to be cut… Fire, Police and EMS dont need to be cut… well, let me rephrase, their personnel and equipment dont need to be cut (how’d you like a half staffed firetruck with a broken pump to show up to put out your house fire) dont get me wrong, i know they have plenty of places in those departments that can be cut, or at least made more fiscally efficent. wow, i really went off topic with that…

  10. As a lurker/fan of about a year, mil-SF nut, gun nut, and former US Army medic with an otherwise mixed bag of conservative, libertarian, and liberal political views, I agreed with about half of your original rant. What I disagreed with was, like Nick, specific points. I’m embarrassed for everyone with a brain who disagrees. . .Thanks to all the morons out there who are incapable of generating a thoughtful argument and instead resort to personal (factually inaccurate) attacks. Larry, thanks for eviscerating em–I’ll never agree with everything you say but almost always enjoy a good slice-and-dice. Keep it up–and get back to writing your books!

  11. I think an E-4 could build a jet given enough time. Sort of like an infinite number of monkeys seated at an infinite number of typewriters.

    • Good luck finding pilots for that program. :D

    • Except they basically do, all the time. Sure, they don’t construct the airframe, but the phrase “cann rebuild” immediately comes to mind.

  12. Bravo Larry. I’m very grateful you take the time to blog about this stuff.

  13. I’m glad you took a few minutes to point out the hypocrisy and lack of content from the attack dog posters. It’s draining just trying to read their nonsensical arguments.

    Now back to reading Detroit Christmas for the second time!

  14. if I’d been an English major instead of an Accounting major, I’d probably think that socialism was awesome too

    Hey, my wife is an English major and she thinks socialism sucks!

    Seriously, though, great post. I’ve noticed those patterns of attack from the lefties as well.

  15. Larry, when I first saw that you mentioned Sweden, I thought “Sweet!”
    Then after a few seconds it hit me…

    Your are mean! You know that?
    Although in a funny way

    • Agreed. Insisting that our socialist retards should move to Sweden is mean. What has Sweden done to deserve this?

      They have enough problems with their own socialist retards ruining their economy. The last thing they need is more of them.

  16. Larry, I’d like to point out that this Pandagon author is not exactly the model of good grammar herself, so I think her glass house has several more holes than she thinks just from that.

    In addition, I assure you that the English majors I went to school with — a few of whom now submit things to me for editing — are some of the more notoriously bad spellers and grammarians I’ve ever run into who have even attended, much less graduated, college.

  17. You still suck, you short, skinny desert-dwelling liberal.

    (Since everyone was calling you things you aren’t, I figured I’d cover all the rest of the bases. Also, you are a woman.)

    tweaker

  18. Full.
    Of.
    Win.

    “That’s got to sting.” LOL! Funniest part of the whole rebuttal!

  19. Larry,

    I know exactly how you feel sometimes. I have given up on arguing with people who are clueless on Facebook. To seriously get a picture of how uninformed a huge swath of the populace is, try asking them who they are voting for and why the next time you are in a voting line. Many won’t tell you, but others are more than happy to share their incorrect views about what politician X stands for and they will vote for people “because they are for less abortions” when that politician is pro-choice. Even on key issues they are completely clueless.

    I know it would be called racist but can’t we at least require a super simple poll test of “who is the current President? The Current Vice-President? Name one member of congress” type test before you can vote?!?!

    • Nathan while it can be amusing..it’s exceedingly depressing how uneducated and incompetent the ‘sheeple’ are. ForEX: Don’t know if you watch Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly etc. Hannity during the 08 election went out on the streets of NYC and did exactly that, asked people who they were voting for and why. He then went even further. He would say “obama said this, what’s your reaction” attributing statements made by McCain or Palin to Obama..and he also did the reverse.. He took statements made by Obama and attributed them to Palin or McCain. I think you can probably guess what the reaction was of the ‘people on the street’ who were asked their opinions of those various statements. Sigh..The STupid..it burrrnnnns! I don’t just keep my head shaved this short for ease of care. It’s also so I have nothing to grab hold of when I want to rip it out in frustration over the stupidity of sheeple.

  20. The amazing thing is how they stick “on message”. No mater how many times certain posters were informed that you mentioned cutting Defense first, that you were good with having to find another job, and that being #27 on the NYT is actually a feat…they never deviated a single time from the meme.

    Pandagon’s Myrmidons!

    • Their message is always the same.

      “You are racist”, “You are a hypocrite”, “You are stupid”, “You are a hater”, and when all else fails: “Shut up!”, he explained.

      They root around until they can bang something into one of those four square pegs with their approved dialectic sledgehammer, regardless of whether or not it fits.

      It’s no coincidence that all of them sound like broken records, as their hivemind allows no dissent.

      • Kristopher..I’ll go you one better. I’ve been called a Genocidal Maniac by some liberals. that really hurts my feelings don’t you know? LOL

      • That ‘tard decided to to use numbers 1 and 4 on you.

        They only have those five “arguments”. Nothing else.

  21. “If you aren’t offending the stupid, then you’re doing something wrong.”

    I want this on a t-shirt, preferably with the MHI graphic. Or maybe something from Grimnoir. Please?

    • I second this, I was going to ask for it it he didn’t get to it first. Even if it doesn’t end up on a shirt, it’s an awesome saying nonetheless.

      • Mason I’d like one having to do with Larry being “the worst author since John Ringo” For that matter I think Larry should get himself a one off shirt done that say “I’m the worst author since John Ringo? AWESOME!”

    • I think it would be cooler in latin. Let people look it up.

      Si non offenderet stultus vos facitis quispiam nefas

      maybe it will offend them

  22. Larry,
    Hats off for a well worded, well thought out response to the attacks. What you wrote enthralled me as much as your books. Part of the issue with a huge majority of the attackers, is a knee-jerk response to success. It comes from self esteem issues. You could not be successful since you disagree with them unless it is a joke, a scam, or comes from a degenerate source. Makes them feel better to explain away another persons success. Keep at it. God bless America.

  23. By the way, Correia, since you’re so hot about facing up to reality, I’m wondering if you can tell us why you don’t seem to get that the US is a low-tax country
    :

    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/top-ten-tax-charts/

    and why the results of the type of austerity budget you’re applauding on other countries have been so bad

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980CE3DE1131F936A15750C0A9679D8B63

    If it’s any help, I bought MHI at shelf price last year, and found it moderately amusing. However, I’ll avoid adding to your tax burden in the future.

    • I l;ove that first chart on the off the charts blog sight. It fails to take into account several thoughts and facts. they are all by and large left leaning socialist governments which means government is mother government is father. IOW none of them are Constitutional Federal Republics. They all by and large have higher debt percentage to GDP ratio’s than we do, Japan is one of the higher ones they’re debt is 170% of their GDP Oh and they all by and large owe us large sums of money..which of course we’ll never see.

      Lastly..you site Mother Jones in a further response? REally? That bunch of American Greatness haters? That bunch of neolithic incompetents who would rather us be more like say..Russia was? and still frankly is
      The only chart on there I like is the ones with the 10 Richest members of congress. notice that 7 out of the 10 are all Democrats with only 3 republicans on that list? And most of them Even the top republican on that chart..from highly liberal states?
      now let us look at their career choices
      Issa-successful business man/entrepreneur.
      Harman-Lawyer
      Buchanan- successful businessman/entrepreneur
      Kerry-Lawyer
      Polis-businessman
      Warner-Lawyer
      Kohl-businessman
      McCaul-Lawyer
      Rockefeller-spoiled rich boy and philanthropist community organizer
      Feinstein-professional politician. As to how she got her wealth….she married it.

    • So your guy at the Times is arguing that reducing spending will kill our economic recovery, but raising taxes won’t? It’s a bit… problematic.

      • Mike..no it’s stupid and the reverse is actually true. *shrug* OTOH what else does anyone expect from a liberal rag like that. I’ve said it repeatedly[although it's a first for here on Larry's blog] Most media outlets, especially the Mainly Sewage Media, leans so far left I’m surprised the buildings that house them don’t fall over

  24. Larry, send her a case of toilet paper for her mouth, and hand sanitizer.
    To quote Robert A Heinlein ” writing is best done in private and you should always wash your hands after wards.”

  25. And here’s little me thinking that sacrifice was the thing the Left wanted us to do these days. Larry says he’s more than willing to make a sacrifice, and they just can’t get that.

    Never forget that, to a leftist, “sacrifice” is when you make someone else give things up for the greater good.
    In other words, “…WE pledge to each other YOUR Lives, YOUR Fortunes and YOUR sacred Honor. So you, you give up your paycheck and SUV. Me, well, that’s different!”

  26. Speaking of taxes…I saw a little online video that explained a whole lot about soaking the rich by taxing them more. By the end, the money garnered by taking all of Walmart and Exxon’s money, Bill Gates and the top money makers making over $250,000 (Yes! That means we take every penny they have!), and used that to pay for the current budget (Not touching the deficit.), we barely cover the needs of the federal government for one year. But then what? There is nothing left? It’s all gone! Amazing what reality does for that stupid adage of “Tax the rich!”
    How about we put the money back and get everyone to cut the entire budget by 50% across the board? A 1.5 trillion dollar budget beats 100% tax rate any day!

    • Nice strawman, since no-one is claiming the rich should have all their wealth confiscated.

      However, from 1992 to 2007, the average income of the top 400 taxpayers went up 392% – and their tax rate went down 37%.

      Why don’t we start off by eliminating the Bush tax cuts – going back to those bad old days under Clinton, and see what that does to the budget?

      • Here’s something to consider about those numbers you just dropped… if you take 3.92 (I’m assuming that you meant that their income in 2007 was 392% of the 1992 income. If it is a 392% increase then the numbers just get better) and multiply by 0.63 (100% – 37%) you find that those top 400 were paying close to two and a half times more in taxes at the end of the period. Granted, that doesn’t take into account inflation effects or various deduction mechanisms. What are the relevant numbers for the median income household during the same period?

      • The Hell they aren’t. Take some time to do some research and you’ll find that a 99% tax rate on any earnings over $250,000 is accepted liberal dogma. Please don’t try to tell me your not in favor of taking all the money from the rich.
        BTW that means for you who are bad at math that if I made $250,001 dollars I would be able to retain 250,000.99 of that. One penny doesn’t go so far any more.

      • “Nice strawman, since no-one is claiming the rich should have all their wealth confiscated.”

        Really? what do you call..all the calls by the left to raise the tax bracket on the “rich” back to 90%? That IS confiscation as far as I’m concerned…or as the communist playbook calls it..”wealth redistribution” though the middle class would never see a dime of that money. It would go to buy the votes of those already on the government dole.

      • For those interested in the video…

        Bill Whittle – Eat The Rich.

        The premise is that you’d need to confiscate pretty much everything from the ‘rich’ to cover the deficit for one year. And afterwards? You’ve already eaten your seed corn – you’re looking at famine next year.

        FWIW, my income went up about 400% since 1992, and my wife’s went up the same. It’s caused by (a) getting good at what you do, so you’re worth more and (b) moving up the food chain in the business you’re in.

        Some places have pretty much no food chain – McD’s and B. Dalton, for example, unless you get into management.

        But we’re well under the ‘rich’ category, so I guess we’re safe… at least, for now.

      • Sorry ’bout that – didn’t realize the link would embed the video…

  27. “Such anger about something as unimportant as money is a sign of a very serious psychiatric disorder”
    Someone thinks money is unimportant?
    While I grant it’s less important than family and such, it’s pretty darn important when it comes to buying food, or a house, or clothes, guns, fuel, etc.
    If money is so unimportant, why do they object to spending cuts?

    Also, on a more important issue… I need more books, so I can make you pay more taxes!

    A series with John Ringo? What? When?
    It must be mine!

  28. Good post–although for the sake of accuracy, I’m no longer a token idealistic college student, I’m a token idealistic recent college graduate with a useless liberal arts degree.

    Anyway, I hate idiots on my side more than I hate idiots in the opposition. Idiots in the opposition are easily mocked and/or dismissed; idiots on my side make me look bad (and feed into idiots on the other side–once an idiot on the left says “Well, screw the rich! We should just give everyone a bunch of money!” it allows an idiot on the right to say “See? I told you they were just a bunch of gol-durned Communists!”).

    Oh, and to jump on the “liberal arts don’t make you a better writer” bandwagon, while doing reviews of classmates’ term papers in my poli sci senior seminar I discovered that some people still apparently didn’t know the difference between you’re and your, or how to fix a run on sentence. How they managed to get to the point of graduation is beyond me.

  29. The Hell they aren’t. Take some time to do some research and you’ll find that a 99% tax rate on any earnings over $250,000 is accepted liberal dogma.

    Cite?

    I could make the comment

    “Take some time to do some research and you’ll find that processing the poor into Soylent green is accepted conservative dogma”

    I assume that you would expect me to back it up if I did?

    So where’s your cite, Derrick?

  30. What are the relevant numbers for the median income household during the same period?

    The analysis was by Dave Gilson and Carolyn Perot in Mother Jones, from IRS figures (thus the 1992 and 2007 comparisons). As regards your question, see

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

    Take a look at the third graph down – it should answer your question.

    • No, that doesn’t really answer my question. The scale is such that estimation of the growth of the middle 20% in constant year dollars isn’t practical and the second half is *not* labeled as being in constant year dollars. It also does not state what the tax rate is, just the post tax income is as a percentage. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t cut it.

      You also appear to have dodged noticing that the top 400 payed more in taxes.

  31. And lastly, I notice that Larry made vague complaints about the absolute size of his tax bill. Would he like to give us an indication of the total proportion of his bill that went to taxes this year?

    • You mean like the hit piece in Media Matters by Bernie Sanders where he chastised some companies for getting a rebate…never mind how much they pre-paid.? Yup, that’s exactly the type of rhetoric that will get any people to talk to you.

      • You seem to bve evading. The point of questioning if taxes are too high is not how much he paid in absolute terms, but how much he paid as a proportion.

        he hasn’t given us any indication of this.

        I wonder why?…

      • I wonder why? Gee whiz, anonymous guy that doesn’t even list his own e-mail… What was your adjusted gross income? What did you pay in taxes? Oh, and while we’re at it, what’s your real name, what do you do for a living, and where do you live?

        You want to know my percentage? Too damn high.
        You want to know what I make? Probably more than you.

        But go ahead and concentrate on dismissing me for whatever reason possible, (Let me help. I’m a selfish, hypocritical, fat, ugly, bald, religious, right-wing, heavily-armed, nut-job, who is also a terrible, though surprisingly successful, novelist…), and ignore the gigantic, bloated, out-of-control state of our federal government.

        I bring up the sacred cow of spending… Shoot the messenger. Who cares? Social Security will implode soon and hurt everybody, but we’ll just print more money. There’s always more to take where that came from.

    • How is it really any of our business what the total proportion of his tax bill was in relation to his total income. Indeed, it’s his money, he earned it doing something most of us would like to be able to do but lack sufficient talent to do. He should be allowed to keep what he earned.

  32. As usual, I’m late to the game. I just posted in your first Tax Day post but I share the same last name, which unless you live in New England or Portugal is not all that common. I would be proud to call you “cuz” if we were related. I especially like your last paragraph in the above post. I need to be reminded sometimes that I’m right, they are wrong. Thanks!

    • Yep, considering how many Corrieas there are, we are probably related somehow. My family came from Terceira in the Azores.

  33. [...] Not only have I been pondering this attempt to crush dissent, so has Larry Corriea. As I was typing this a new post from Larry, basically exploring the same territory, came up. [...]

  34. “Such anger about something as unimportant as money is a sign of a very serious psychiatric disorder” I mean, its only money! If the government needs more they can just print more, right? In fact, they should just run the presses all day long and freely distribute 100$ bills to anyone who wants them! Then everyone can be rich! Yay!!

    • Money = time.

      Not being concerned about others stealing parts of your lifespan is a sign of a serious mental disorder.

  35. “Such anger about something as unimportant as money is a sign of a very serious psychiatric disorder.”

    Money, for those of us that work for it, is a representation of your work. We could go on the dole and suck up some welfare for nothing, but we’re not that type of person.

    Having it taken and wasted sure as hell is something worth getting angry over.

  36. *Waring: What follows is pure pop-psyche. I do not have a degree in Psychology, Psychiatry, or any related field.*

    The Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives absolutely MUST shut down debate, or some day some mannerless barbarian will bring up their complicity on the 100,000,000 murders committed by Socialist and Communist regimes during the Twentieth Century. Naturally they do not consciously admit this to themselves; they are intellectual and moral lightweights and could not possibly withstand the psychic damage that such an admission would generate. But on a subconscious level, they know that they have so much blood on their hands that if they ever relinquish any of the high ground, they will never get it back again.

    *hock-ptui*

  37. Larry, You have managed to generate almost as much hate and discontent as John Ringo did with his Option Zero posts following 9/11.
    Well Done !

    and I enjoyed Detroit Christmas too.

  38. I wonder why? Gee whiz, anonymous guy that doesn’t even list his own e-mail… What was your adjusted gross income? What did you pay in taxes

    I’m not the one making a fool of himself ranting on the Internet about paying “too many” taxes.

    You claim to be paying too many taxes, making vague assertions about absolute numbers. I bet Bill Gates and Warren Buffet pay more taxes than you, and yet you don’t seem to be apologising to them for being such a pussy about the miniscule amount you pay by comparison.

    It’s the proportion that counts, Larry. I’d have to check, but I pay around 35% all up, with sales taxes, income tax, and deductions.

    What do you pay?

    • 35%? Sure you did, Anonymous Guy… Sure you did. :)

      Personally I paid a bit more than that, mostly because of the self-employment tax. But hey, if you’re totally cool with giving away over a third of your working life (everything you work for January through April is for the government), goody for you.

      Though, what you’re attempting here is still just irrelevant hand-wavium. 1. Find something to insult. 2. Mock. 3. Dismiss. You’re saying I have no right to an opinion for reason X. If I refute X, you’ll say I have no right to an opinon for reason Y. Should I refute Y. I should have no opinion because of W, so on and so forth… Next I’m sure you’ll need to see notorized copies of my returns, and even if I were to do so, my opinion would be invalid because I’m bald or right handed. We’ve all seen this before. So please, do carry on.

      • But hey, if you’re totally cool with giving away over a third of your working life (everything you work for January through April is for the government), goody for you.

        I’m a patriot, and I’m profoundly grateful to live where I do. I don’t “pay” anything as a fee to the government; it’s living in the nation my taxes support that enable me to make the money and live the life I do.

        Though, what you’re attempting here is still just irrelevant hand-wavium.

        Not at all. You’re whining about vague assertions of absolute numbers, but failing to provide a proportion to show context. As I have pointed out to you before, Gates and Buffett undoubtably have larger absolute tax bills than you, yet you’re not worried about their pain…

      • Fascinating. So if I follow your argument of “context” then only the rich in the top brackets get to have any say about taxation or how the government is run. Any other diverging opinions are just “whines”.

        And out of control spending is now patriotic. Gotcha.

      • Personally I paid a bit more than that, mostly because of the self-employment tax.

        This would be the 15.3% rate?

      • Self employed folks get to pay double what you get withheld for SS & Medicare, and that’s well before the other taxes. Don’t forget your property, licensing, fees, gas taxes, and sales taxes too.

      • Hippie dumbass. The feds withhold that from the employee, and tax about the same from the employer.

        The self employed get to pay both taxes at once.

  39. But go ahead and concentrate on dismissing me for whatever reason possible, (Let me help. I’m a selfish, hypocritical, fat, ugly, bald, religious, right-wing, heavily-armed, nut-job, who is also a terrible, though surprisingly successful, novelist…), and ignore the gigantic, bloated, out-of-control state of our federal government.

    Project much? I just think you’re a whiner.

    • Yep. Check a box aaaaand dismiss. Your work here is done.

      • Larry, don’t forget that authors who write for a living have to pay taxes quarterly. For some reason, the government doesn’t trust us to pay taxes at the end of the year (something about being able to itemize the hell out of every single expense known to man).

  40. and ignore the gigantic, bloated, out-of-control state of our federal government.

    I’m wondering, Larry, whethere you’ve ever seen this graph:

    You might find “Cornered” by Barry Lynn to be worth reading.

    • Phoenecian, so that graph shows that govt debt, state plus local, is now around 70-75% of GDP, and that’s not a problem? And that huosehold and business debt is much bigger, so govt debt is no big deal? Except that household and business debt gets paid off, of course. And that since govt has no money of its own, we taxpayers get to pay off the govt debt too. Big problem, if you ask me.

      • Phoenecian, so that graph shows that govt debt, state plus local, is now around 70-75% of GDP, and that’s not a problem?

        Not if you look at the trends – the real problem is the FIRE sector.

        You might find this interesting:

        Except that household and business debt gets paid off, of course.

        By that definition, government debt gets regularly paid off too – Treasury redeems bonds.

        Of course, it issues other bonds to cover those, rolling over debt – oh, wait, but household and business debt never disappears either… More importantly, it never seems to shrink, and it is rising faster than government debt.

        And then there’s MMT which points out that, as an accounting identity and absent any trade surplus, the only way for the private sector to save is for the public sector to run a debt. Which means that if you run an austerity budget, you fubar the private economy – as shown in Britain.

      • Government debt used to get regularly paid off. No longer, dumbass hippie.

        Now no one in their right mind wants t-bonds. They get paid now by printing more currency. The last set of bonds the treasury tried to float had to be “bought” by our own government.

        “Past performance is no guarantee of future returns”.

  41. Larry…you’re the man. I’m glad someone is willing to stand up to both sides and say, metaphorically, suck it.

  42. Larry, you were so mean to those intelligent, articulate liberals. What a bully! You, sir, are a poopy face war-monger and I would never be caught dead reading one of your crappy books!

    Uh, when is Hard Magic coming out, again?

  43. As to the self employment tax part: don’t forget that no matter how much a self employed person pays them selves in salary, they are taxed at the rate of their company’s income, at least for partnerships, LLC and Chapter S. So, let’s say someone like, oh, me has a chapter S that is fortunate enough to bring in $125K, but only pays themselves 25K or so to keep the company solvent, guess what? That person gets hit with a higher percentage. Add that to the FICA and SS both doubled, and the rate jumps pretty high for money that I’ll never see again (SS/FUTA) or used irresponsibly (FICA). So, the ‘official’ business tax rate may be ‘low’, but the hidden taxes involved will bite you.

  44. Great post and follow up Larry.

    If I had one idea I’d like to pass along to those on the left who engage in this kind of sophistry it’s this. You keep trying to convince people that the problems and solutions are complex when really they’re quite simple. The current debate on the budget deficit is a prime example. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that no one, be it individual, family or nation, can live beyond their means. We can argue about where the cuts need to be made and how deeply but the basic idea of the value of a balanced budget is pretty simple. You’re like the mystics of old or modern day cult leaders saying,

    “This is all too complex and hard for you to understand. I will interpret the signs and wonders for you and tell you what they mean. All you need do is follow me and I will lead you to paradise. True salvation only comes in doing as I say. Anyone who disagrees is evil and must be burned at the stake. Dissension will not be tolerated.”

    Anyone who sees things differently is a heretic and any and all means of silencing them is justified. Just as the cult leader cannot tolerate opposition neither can the left. Logic, facts and appeals for rational thought fall upon deaf ears. Marching orders and formulaic responses the weapons of choice. Is it any wonder why so many of us refuse to be drawn into argument and debate?

    Screeching at me that I’m too stupid to get it or too evil to be trusted with an opinion and a voice isn’t a position, it’s an invitation to a fight.

    The debate about the deficit and the budget isn’t really a debate at all. It’s an attempt at indoctrination and sleight of hand. You didn’t really see what you thought you saw. Pay no attention to the repo man behind the curtain. Give us your checkbook and Trust Us. We know best.

    The left in this country has become a cult with no room for rational thought or innovative ideas. No place for an honest exchange of views and opinions. Just line up, shave your head and hand out the leaflets while chanting “Hate Speech Leads To Thought Crime”.

    • If I had one idea I’d like to pass along to those on the left who engage in this kind of sophistry it’s this. You keep trying to convince people that the problems and solutions are complex when really they’re quite simple.

      “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” ~ H.L. Mencken

      Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that no one, be it individual, family or nation, can live beyond their means.

      True – but, alas, irrelevant. The problem the US faces at present is that it’s not even living up to its means – every person unemployed, every factory left idle represents a deadweight loss far greater than any debt.

      When that goes down, then you start worrying about debt.

      And you seem to forget the simple fact that the government creates money..An individual or family take what they get as revenue; the government can always get the “revenue” it needs. The problem is dealing with the results of that on the larger economy.

      • >”For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” ~ H.L. Mencken

        “The simplest solution is often the best one” ~Occam’s Razor

        “There is no problem which cannot be solved through the suitable application of high explosives.”
        ~Scott Adams

        A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. ~Alexander Tytler

        “Taxes suck” ~The Founding Fathers

        Just because you can quote someone famous doesn’t mean that they are automatically correct, or that what they said applies, or that the person even said the words you’re attributing to them.

        >The problem the US faces at present is that it’s not even living up to its means – every person unemployed, every factory left idle represents a deadweight loss far greater than any debt.

        I’d just like to point out that the reason American jobs are being outsourced is because its cheaper to do it elsewhere, due to the comparatively high salaries of American workers, our higher than average corporate tax rate, and all the regulations we put on them (nothing wrong with that, as long as its within reason. Don’t get me started on Cap and Trade)

        >”the government creates money”

        Shirley, you can’t be serious!
        If the government prints more money, all the money becomes worth less, this is what we call inflation. Now I want you all to write an essay about it and turn it in at the end of class.

        Now before you go off on me, let me tell you that I’m just as patriotic as you are about paying taxes. However, like a responsible citizen, I’d like to seem my darling little country grow up to be a fiscally responsible adult. That way, they won’t need to tax us as much to get all the necessary stuff done. That way, everyone’s a winner.

      • You are quoting H.L. Mencken on a thread about government overspending to support big government? Wow… Would you like to quote any of the hundreds of his negative editorials about FDR’s spending? Your knowledge of history is rivaled only by your knowledge of economics.

        And your knowledge of economics can pretty much be summed up by your last few lines about the government “creating” money. If by create, you mean print the medium of exchange, sure… but the government certainly doesn’t create wealth. (econ 101)

        And you don’t worry about creating debt… while unemployement is high? LOL. “I’m out of work. Time to whip out the credit cards!” :D

        See, this is an example of why you guys just do the hit & run, attack & dismiss. Attempting to stick around and argue certainly doesn’t help you score points with the undecided, when you come off sounding ingnorant.

      • “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” ~ H.L. Mencken

        The problems with using the quote as an argument are:
        1) It presupposes the problem IS complex; what is complex about “we’re spending more than we make”?

        2) It does not mean that there is not also an answer that is clear, simple and correct, most real world problems can have more than one solution

  45. You know what I’d like to see? An itemized break down of how your money was spent sent to all taxpayers. Like if you pay 10,000$ you get a letter that says:
    Roads and Infrastructure: $1000
    Social Security: $500
    Medicaid: $500
    Military Defense:$1000
    Government Employees: $1000
    Police/Fire Dept./EMS: $1000
    Politicians: $5000
    (Yes, this is a drastically oversimplified version)
    I mean, shouldn’t we at least be able to tell where OUR money is being spent? This would also allow us to hold various parts of the Govt. responsible
    (“You spent HOW much on hammers?!??”)

  46. [I]Those fancy jets the Air Force flies around in? Guess who builds those… And it isn’t an E-4 that went to tech school.[/I]

    Nope, it’s just the guy who left the Air Force as an E-4 that went to tech school to get a Union-protected job for Boeing that basically makes him do the exact same work he did in the Air Force, just for a hell of a lot more money. :P

  47. “for all you PJM and Instapundit readers, buy my books and piss off a liberal today!”

    I actually came here from bayourenaissanceman, but you make a persuasive argument.

  48. Managed to get over here from a gun forum, somehow, and now you’ve pissed me off. I’ve never bookmarked a blog before in my life, and find myself clicking the appropriate dropdown in Firefox. I’ve also never read one of your books, and am opening a second tab to Amazon.com (and a third to Baen’s free library, to hopefully peruse your style before coughing up the hard-earned cash to buy the paperback….which I definitely will, if I enjoy what I find! Brilliant concept, that library!) Therefore, sir, you have officially pissed me off for today. And the next post you make….and the one following that….etc etc ad infinitum.

    And for the record, I finished out 6 years enlistment as an E-5 (US Navy, submarines, nuclear electrician). Gotta love those E-whatevers!!!

    • Well… Thanks. I’m glad I made you angry. I think. :)

      Amen on the E-whatevers. I’m sharing office space with two retired Master Sergeants. (also a Navy Commander and an Air Force Colonel, but it’s cool. I vouch for them)

      • LOL Yeah, itz a good thing. Remember, the officers may look pretty and point the Big Green Machine in whatever direction, but its the grunts with dirt under their fingernails that keep the pointy end of the stick sharp. And moving. Now, if they’d just teach that wisdom at any of the O-ganger schools, the military would be a much better place….

        Oh, and you should consider the Baen Library. Great way to introduce yourself to new readers.

      • Nevermind, I just found your sample chapter page (skulking around at work doesn’t leave much time for open perusing and innocent clicking of tabs labeled “Sample Chapters and Short Stories” and the subsequent links to Baen’s site). Keepin’ it covert!

  49. Shirley, you can’t be serious!
    If the government prints more money, all the money becomes worth less, this is what we call inflation. Now I want you all to write an essay about it and turn it in at the end of class.

    That’s what happens when you know only a little bit of theory. The “inflation” idea is predicated on a demand-supply model which rests on the assumption that supply is fixed. In the current circumstances, it is not – you may have noticed a recession going on.

    Further, the Federal Reserves flow of funds data shows a huge decrease in bank lending last quarter. America would be in the throes of a serious deflationary crisis right now except for… government borrowing and spending.

    Let me stress that again:

    i, Empirical data shows no sign of inflationary worries.

    ii, Empirical data shows that government borrowing and spending is keeping teh US economy out of a deflationary spiral due to bank contraction.

    And your knowledge of economics can pretty much be summed up by your last few lines about the government “creating” money. If by create, you mean print the medium of exchange, sure… but the government certainly doesn’t create wealth. (econ 101)

    That’s right, Larry. Now, be a good little boy and show where I said the government creates wealth.

    I said the government created money and you agreed with me.

    Further, I am stating that at present, the economy is not producing the wealth it can produce (people unemployed, factories closed down, that sort of thing), and putting more money into it can stimulate this wealth creation by the economy.

    And lastly, I am stating that the data shows that the crisis to avoid is deflation, that at present government borrowing and spending is the only thing preventing this due to contraction in banking circulation, and that an austerity budget is something the US really really doesn’t need right now.

    • “Empirical data shows no sign of inflationary worries”
      Maybe not, but my weekly bills and bank account sure do. Does my grocery bill or gas bill count as “empirical”?

      What empirical data are you using for your statement?

      While I agree you did say “money” not “wealth” the contect of your statement implied equivilency of the two terms.
      Being able to create money is not inherently useful. I can write an IOU as easily as the government (which when you get down to it is what money is- it has no inherent value, other than as paper)
      Money is only of use because it is agreed to represent a certain value (of time or goods). Creating more money does not create the time or goods that “underwrite” the moneys represented value, making the money less valued.

      • What empirical data are you using for your statement?

        Treasury Bill yields.

        While I agree you did say “money” not “wealth” the contect of your statement implied equivilency of the two terms.

        Then you are reading it wrong. try dealing with what I say rather than the voices in your head telling you what a “Liberal” must be saying.

        Being able to create money is not inherently useful. I can write an IOU as easily as the government (which when you get down to it is what money is- it has no inherent value, other than as paper)

        Nope. You are not capable of issuing legal tender, nor do you have the responsibility of playing a major role in a national economy, nor do you have to deal with a private sector which is attempting to reduce debt.

        Note that accounting identity again – for the private sector to reduce debt, the government must run up debt, or the country must run a trading surplus.

  50. Do Phoenician’s arguments remind anyone else of the hard sell given by folks that are part of a Get-Rich-Quick Pyramid scheme?

  51. […] Hilarity ensued. In fact, it got me so much hate mail that it spawned a response a few days later. http://monsterhunternation.com/2011/04/18/a-response-to-the-tax-day-response/ Which is what helped me come up with the Arguing […]

  52. Reblogged this on muellerj1969 and commented:
    I want to put “If you aren’t offending the stupid, then you’re doing something wrong.” on a t-shirt… but you wrote it first, and might own it, or something, so I’m going to steal it. Just a heads up!! :)

  53. I want to put “If you aren’t offending the stupid, then you’re doing something wrong.” on a t-shirt… I don’t know if you own that saying since you wrote it first, but if you do then I’m stealing it…. just a head’s up because I like you books and you blogs are fun to read, too.

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