The New Tone

Found this today posted on the Dixonverse. Brilliant.

Anybody remember how when a paranoid delusional Marx reading nutbag shot Gabby Giffords and immediately the news said it was the Tea Party’s fault for our culture of hate? Or it was Sarah Palin’s fault because she had a map of elections to win with targets on them? Or more recently, when a psycho collectivist, environmental extremist, racist nutbag in Norway murdered a bunch of innocent people, and for the first week all the of news was about he was a Conservative Christian spurred on by our culture of hate? The fact that he wasn’t Christian in any sense of the word, and mainly used Christian as a term for western civillization, and wasn’t conservative (extreme environmentalism coupled with a centralized command economy?) didn’t slow the narrative.

Truth doesn’t matter. It is all about the narrative. And the new narrative is that if people that think the government spends too damn much money are evil terrorists.

Yup.

And now, the stock market taking another dive is somehow the Tea Party’s fault… Okay… Let’s see. Senate wouldn’t even talk about Republican’s plans. Democrats come up with nothing. Republicans fight amongst themselves. Mainstream Republicans cave. Tea Party didn’t get anything they wanted. Debt gets downgraded in places because there aren’t any real spending cuts whatsoever in the bill. Then we rack up something like an additional 290 billion in defecit spending in a single day after the bill passes.

To say that this is because we failed to raise taxes is stupid. Think of it this way. The government is like a bucket with a leaky hole in it. Throwing extra water in the bucket doesn’t fix the problem. You need to plug the hole.

If we throw more money in it, the government will just spend it all on more stupid crap, then we’ll be having this discussion again, only now there will be even less money for them to take.

We didn’t plug the hole. Now we will pay for it.  Do you think that the credit agencies are stupid? Do you think that they don’t get that?

And because these Tea Party reps are doing exactly what their voters sent them to Washington to do (cut spending, don’t raise taxes) they are exactly the same as people who blow up schools and saw people’s heads off… Gotcha.

Truth doesn’t matter. I’ve been a finance guy most of my life. I watch what is happening, and I understand the money/math aspects pretty well. Then I see the news, and the way it is spun has nothing to do with reality. Then I go on Facebook and see the posts from people who have zero understanding of the fiscal realities going on about how the Tea Party wants to starve all the old people to death, because that’s what the news told them.  

I keep getting told some variation of “Why are you complaining about taxes! Taxes are historically low!” That’s another one of those idiotic narratives. First off, you cherry pick one part of taxes, the income tax. And you disregard all of the other ones that have been added since then.  Those of us that are productive get to pay federal income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, state taxes, licenses, fees, sales tax, use taxes, so on and so forth, until the government takes about HALF of what we make.

HALF.

So when I spend hundreds and hundreds of hours writing a book, the first 300 pages of it were written for the government. Yay.

Then, because we no longer live under the disgusting blight on American history that was FDR’s ridiculous tax rates, we’re supposed to be happy?  Yes, because everything is going to be historically low compared to that bullshit.

Oh, and guess what rich folks do when you try to stick them with a 90% tax rate? They simply move their money around. They don’t invest, (which creates jobs) because why bother? They don’t use it for business (which creates jobs), because why bother? Instead they sit on it and live off of their savings. Friggin’ dur. They are rich. They can do that. Guess who gets screwed? You.  

But because people like me get angry about this, we’re the bad guys. We’re the same as Hamas. We’re the same as Al Queda. We’re school shooters. We’re mass murderers. We’re Hitler.

In the meantime, Republicans and Democrats are taking us down a fast road to hell. The only ones in Washington with the fortitude to stand up against the way things have been done for generations are villified. “I don’t think we should raise taxes.” RACIST. “I think the government spends too much money.” TERRORIST.

Man, if only…  If we really were terrorists, then Barack Obama would probably come and apologize to us.

40 Responses

  1. I’m strangely ok with being the monster in the dark to the liberal media. Though if they were actually afraid of us they’d be kissing our behinds instead of demonizing us. We only have to look at how they treat real terrorists to understand that.

    Hopefully Washington gets distracted before they start focusing on jobs or the whole country is going to be unemployed!

  2. I’m hit double by living in New York state. My wife’s entire family is here, so we’re not going anywhere, either. Just so frustrated. I just don’t know what the answer is anymore. I keep voting, but in the 22 years I’ve done so (I’m 40), I haven’t really seen anything good come of it.

    For the first time in my life, I’m looking at owning a gun. We just had our first child 7 weeks ago today and my eyes are opening up to the dangers of the world around me. Not that I really expect anything to happen, but I certainly feel responsible to be prepared. But New York has wrapped up pistol ownership in a mountain of red tape to avoid 2nd amendment issues, but still prevent its populace as much as it can from legally owning guns. I feel like pistols are buried under Mordor with New York playing Sauron. While I could buy a shotgun or long rifle, we live in a small house, so I’m worried that they would be too unwieldy.

    Sorry, that’s just a random thought extending from my overall frustration about the way this country is currently being run. Taxes. Guns. ATF. EPA. Dept of Education. Federal Laws that number in the thousands and no one is really sure how to follow them all. Over regulation. Crappy job market. An insane attitude about not exploiting our own oil and natural gas resources. Wars in what, 6 different countries? Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and I think Syria. Who the eff knows what other countries, but I’m damned sure the list is longer than the ones I know of. All while our so called “protectors from government” the Media have chosen sides and it’s not the one I’m on. Instead of calling actual terrorists by name, they label them whatever buzz word they can make up while using the correct term for fellow Americans who just want their liberty and freedom back.

    FFS… I’d bang my head repeatedly against the wall until all my problems went away, but I have a boy to raise and want to keep my wits about me.

    • Aaron, if you think a shotgun would be too unwieldy, look very seriously at the Kel-Tec KSG. It is a bullpup 12-gauge shotgun that is 26.1″ long overall with a legal-length 18.5″ barrel and *two* 7-round tubular magazines.

      • Larry, thank you for saying SO well what I feel as well! And better than I would probably ever be able to say it.

        Much agree with Phil. Pistols are great, and feel like their own art form after a while with one, but they do take a good amount of practice. The learning curve with a 12 gauge like the Kel-Tec KSG is quite a bit shorter. Less steep? However you want to say it, “its easier to learn shotguns, than pistols.” At least that’s always been my experience with teaching novice shooters.

        Over penetration is probably not an issue for an in house gun like that and as an old saying goes. “Nothing is better than a shotgun at close range, other than a flame thrower.”

      • And the Kel-Tec shotgun should be available by the time his kid is 10 years old…..

  3. “And the new narrative is that if people that think the government spends …”

    I believe that ‘if’ is unwanted.

  4. These days, this sort of thing is all that matters. It doesn’t matter who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s smarter or dumber or purer or more corrupt… it’s just about who provides the most entertaining spectacle as they try to shout down everyone else.

    It’s human nature. Everyone can’t help but say “Well, Beck/O’Reilly Olbermann/Matthews might be a nutjob, but once in awhile he makes some damn good points…” We shouldn’t allow the broken clocks the dignity of claiming they’re right twice a day just because it’s funny to watch them go cuckoo the rest of the time. But the blowhards are just a symptom of the problem: We’re all just stupid primitive tribal beasts at heart, and we’d rather get whipped into a good us/them frenzy like it’s the goddamn homecoming game than engage our brains.

    Meanwhile, the politicians and their buyers are laughing all the way to the bank.

  5. I realize that I mostly talked of pundits here, but the rhetoric used by politicians is virtually identical at this point.

  6. All the Gun Grabbers seem to have missed the Real Meaning, of the word “arms”, in the 2nd Amendment! At the time, “arms” meant everything from rocks; thru clubs, knives and swords; to firearms, which covered everything from handgonnes, to muskets and rifles, past Punt Guns, to actual cannons. Which anyone could own, who could afford the costs of acquisition and of _feeding_ the weapons. Now, rocks are pretty low on the acquisition and maintainnances scale, while cannons are expensive to buy, expensive to haul around (try hauling a tonne or three of muzzle-loading cannon across muddy, hilly ground, eh?): they are all “arms”. When you look at it that way, the Gun Control folks could be driven nuts, by applying a requirement for the users of rocks and gravel to be Licensed, and for their Trucks, Concrete Mixing and Asphalt Paving Machines, to be Licensed because they use Rocks and Gravel, which are historically _weapons_ {Remember David, and his little stone-launcher?}….

  7. Little Johnny needs more candy, and although both Mommy and Daddy are scraping by, just barely, there is always a credit card, so little Johnny can have more candy!

    Larry, as an Accountant with a lot more training in that thing called Economics than I have, am I just oversimplifying by saying that we shouldn’t spend more than we know we either have or can pay back readily? (And I mean readily! I use the heck out of my credit cards, but I pay them off every month. I do NOT pay interest, service fees or penalties. No brag, just an example of ‘pay back readily’. It allows us to ‘float’ money for free.)

  8. I’m okay with it. Let the Eloi have their day… I’ve read this book before, us Morlocks win in the end. *evil Emperor Palpatine cackle*

  9. Did I forget to say “Reelect NOBODY”.

    You may have seen this Larry, but it deserves a second look – and if you haven’t seen it, it will boggle your mind. Great graphic representation of the debt…

    http://usdebt.kleptocracy.us/

  10. Here’s a quote from that kleptocracy site…

    “If you spent $1 million a day since Jesus was born, you would have not spent $1 trillion by now…but ~$700 billion- same amount the banks got during bailout.”

  11. What’s a few billion… err trillion dollars among friends?
    :-( The real terrorists are the ones spending us into oblivion.

  12. When our heroes are trapped in the garbage bin and the sludge is flowing in the solution is not “raise the ceiling.”

    How about we eliminate a tax loophole primarily benefiting millionaires and billionaires: stop allowing deduction of state income and property taxes! That deduction forces citizens of low-tax states to subsidized the tax policies of their high-tax brethren. Protect the deduction for small-businesses, Chapter S corps and the like or don’t — if states want to penalize job creators with high taxes there is no reason the rest of America should help them.

  13. You don’t pay state taxes, RES?

    And I’ve figured out who I’m voting AGAINST. My compelling argument…

    http://tinyurl.com/3m6gxnf

    • Yeah, I pay state taxes – but I don’t pay enough to itemize. Nor do I think folk in Texas, Tennessee and Florida should pay more federal taxes because MY state charges ME an income tax.

  14. Great post, and dead on the ‘money’ or lack thereof… I’m ‘investing’ in ammo…

  15. Amen, Larry. Amen.

  16. Mmmmm’yep.

  17. RES:

    Only if the income tax is replaced with a flat income tax, say 10% of income for everyone, regardless of income.

  18. Larry, I only really started following your site after I interviewed you during CONduit. I feel bad I missed out on your posts for so long, I love what you say. Me, I just invest in martial arts training until someone figures out what I’m doing and starts taxing/tying that in red tape.

  19. Can we start by taxing every dollar donated to political campaigns and or politicians before Jan 1 of an election year as “windfall profit?” And institute an automatic $100,000 cash fine, payable in 5 business days, on any politician who uses “terrorist” unless he/she/it is referring to a member of a known terrorist organization or the person or people who commit acts of actual terror (car bombs, suicide bombs, Mumbai, Beslan, Aun Shinrikyo).

  20. Tea Party groups are our only hope…i can respectfully have conversations with people who have different political views but this goes a bit too far calling Tea Party groups “full blown terrorists and dictators”! The administration that has been in power for the last 2 1/2 yrs has created more debt than all of the presidents combined & the stock market is tanking. Which party has controlled Congress since 2006?

  21. Okay, there’s really some need for balance. A donation to a political campaign is a donation- it’s someone’s income and has (theoretically) already been taxed. Fair is fair. Tax paid, tax done.

    The governments- Federal, State, and local- DO have purposes and responsibilities. As you beomce a richer and more technologically advanced civilization, it would be reasonable for the capabilities to grow.

    So I fully support infrastructure projects. Bitch and moan until sundown about FDR, but I’ve hiked a lot of those trails, and that’s some worthwhile infrastructure.

    Bitch and moan about reserved land- military bases, national parks, BLM, or whatever. I’ve seen areas where there wasn’t any and it can get pretty ugly.

    “Bring all the military everywhere home now!” WTF? Make no mistake, we are at war in some sense with several nations at all times. A defensive war is a losing war. Power projection is key. Want to be honest about it? EMPIRE. Somalis will learn democracy if we make them a territory, you betcha. Mexico, too.

    That being said, controlling and restricting rights is NOT the purview of the fed. I’m all for airports and road and maybe a sane and *truly* competitive wireless infrastructure. Keep the corporations tied way the hell down with regards to

    profiteering (medicare. free money. prices skyrocket…… do the math)

    anti-competitive collusion (cell phones anyone? auto manufacturers?)

    lobbying. (Okay, look, EVERYONE who writes a congresscritter is a special interest. you can’t band special interests or lobbying, but you CAN make it be citizens speaking on behalf of groups of citizens and not industries, corporations, or conglomerates.)

    taxes. (Fair is fair, low taxes grow economies to some extent- don’t hammer corporations on taxes. But fair is FAIR. flat tax, no deductions, on corporate profits. if a corporation has a reason for special money, they can apply for a grant.)

    The budget crisis as a whole was cooked and served cold by people who want to grab more power with every increase in abundance. Only way they know how to be. Not a lot of answers for that except keeping them out of power.

    The tone- the rhetoric- is extreme. I am criminalized or dehumanized by every one of those jerks. I own guns, I carry guns (I have goats. Coyotes like goats. wtf, I should throw rocks?). I vote more often independent or Republican. I’m obviously a terrorist.

    So, I ask you this- where are the lawsuits for hate speech? Sure, they made hate speech an issue, but bite them in the arse with it.

    • Christof, I am all in favor of supporting candidates and causes that you feel strongly about. But I’d like to see a cap on campaign season length. The current 22 month campaign season is too long by far. I can see perhaps a year before the next election. I’d prefer three months before the primaries and three months before the major but that’s not going to happen in the US. And a fine for misuse of terms would (maybe) get politicos and pundits to think for a nanosecond before shooting their mouths off or hitting “send all.” I red-pen student papers for incorrect usage, so why can’t we red-ink politicians?

      • I have no problems with limiting campaign seasons or access or capping funding- or making ALL funding go into a common pool.

        Any number of answers would work better than what we have now.

        But it bites me a bit when people who want to lower taxes overall want to soak taxation onto pet peeves.

  22. I keep getting told some variation of “Why are you complaining about taxes! Taxes are historically low!” That’s another one of those idiotic narratives. First off, you cherry pick one part of taxes, the income tax. And you disregard all of the other ones that have been added since then.

    In FY2011, the Federal Revenue was 2,174 billion, of which 1,155 was income taves. The GDP for 2011 was 14,772 billion, meaning the US federal government took in as revenue from all sources less than 15% of the nations GDP.

    State taxes were 1,235 billion, local taxes were 1,078 billion. All up, government took in about $4.5 trillion, or 30.4% of the nations GDP.

    Those of us that are productive get to pay federal income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, state taxes, licenses, fees, sales tax, use taxes, so on and so forth, until the government takes about HALF of what we make.

    HALF.

    According to Forbes, in 2009/2010, GE got $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing in income taxes. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion. In 2007, Warren Buffett pointed out he was paying a 17.7% income tax rate on his $46 million earnings. Structure your affairs correctly, and you can wind up paying a 35% marginal rate on income – and only 15% on capital gains and dividends. Capital gains and dividends, of course, are how the oligarchy receive their money.

    So, if “the productive” such as yourself are paying half their incomes, as you claim. then this would imply that at a worse case, 40% of the population are not working or paying anything. This would be difficult to imagine, given that the labor force participation rate is usually between 66 and 67% (and now, in the recession, still around 64%).

    Or if you’re complaining that other pay less than you, you are correct – the rich, those who get their income from capital gains and dividends, are indeed paying less than you.

    • IIRC, the percentage of Americans that owe no income tax is actually closer to 50 percent (may even be higher), although I’ll admit that I wouldn’t swear to it. At any rate, though, it’s not a secret that the U.S. has a very narrow tax base which is considered far from ideal by both left and right leaning economists, which is why all the buzz in tax reform circles these days (again, on both sides, not just among tax-hating right-wingers) is “broaden the base, cut the rates, get more revenue all around”, not “must increase taxes higher, HIGHER, HIGHERRRRRRR!!!”

      As far as the rich paying less, stuff like the GE situation says more about the bizarre convolutions of the federal tax system than anything about relative tax burdens. Yeah, rich folks and mega-corporations can pay lower rates or even claim a refund…if they employ an army of cyborg ninja accountants tasked with preparing hundreds of variations of a 10,000 page tax return because you need an extra return to account for every single “temporary” tax credit, deduction, or exemption that Congress might or might not extend annually. All in all, the compliance cost burden in the U.S. is ludicrous and a serious reform effort is WAY overdue (nevermind that a middle-class shlub like me needing to buy TurboTax every year to do my return is also ample evidence of this).

    • There’s this really handy site: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

      It updates in real time. And, if you look at the right sidebar, it shows that there’s roughly 111.9 million income taxpayers out of a population of 311.9 million. So your worst case guess is significantly off. 35.87% of the population pays income tax. That’s 64.13% that doesn’t.

      Also there, you can see the labor force– including government and civilian employees, you’ve got a total of about 159.4 million workers. So the labor force participation rate (if you mean that as the number of people working vs those not working, whether they’re unemployed, retired, kids, etc.) is 51.1%, not the 64% you claim.

      You are pretty close on your 30.4% of GDP number for all tax revenues, and on your <15% of GDP for federal tax revenues (that number's harder to do accurate math on as the numbers change so quickly, but my quick calculation got me 14.85%.).

      Still, your other numbers are way off; I find if one wants to have people buy into one's argument, having one's data correct is generally a good idea.

  23. After the last idiot attack on the Palin family- the one from Wonkslut or whatever that made fun of her son?- I posted something about it on Facebook; ‘friend'(used to think so) immediately spun this as ‘Palin getting her feelings hurt’. I jumped on that with “Like her or not, this attack on and through her kid is disgusting.” THEN she started “A Democrat gets shot and you think this is bad?” And on.

    It’s the damndest “WE have to be a victim, no matter what, of you evil right-wingers” crap I could ever have imagined. With some peopple, I just flat gave up.

  24. Oh, I suspect that Sarah Palin just ignores that kind of sniping, considering the source… After all, the lady who used “Lipstick on the Pig” as a way of illustrating really risible attitudes, is not gonna get excited by minor snipings.
    You are right, in spotting the “My folks were more hurt than _your_ folks, Strawmen. Just ignore that kind of side-issue, and continue with your main argument.

  25. Sarah Palin is the reason that Obama is in office. Believe me, the only thing that extremists like you can do is to make things worse. Every Republican and moderate Democrat discards Obamas Healthcare plan, his ideas on raising taxes, and his anti business climate. The banks are over regulated, doctors are quitting, and there in no money being invested at all. That can be fixed. But if you want to live in America, then you need to contribute. If you hate it here, thats easy. Leave. Why don’t you worry less about being “blamed”, and work to get someone elected that might change things. Probably not quite to what you want, because many of us would rather die then allow bullies to walk around with guns. I have read your books, I enjoyed them, but you are a bully, and you have no sympathy for anyone or anything except people who think exactly like you.
    As for Palin, maybe she should spend some time teaching her kids some decent morals. Like how not to get knocked up in high school. Obviously she can only preach family values, not follow them.

    • Good old Martine. Doing more to illustrate the stupidity of the other side than anything I could ever possibly write.

      To respond:

      1. I do not understand what your first few sentences are trying to convey. Palin, the VP candidate, who was more popular than the Republican presidential candidate, is why extremists like me make things worse, but Obama sucks on business and healthcare, and he’s totally wrecked the economy, but I should like it and pay more taxes… Gotcha. (you really shouldn’t huff paint and post at the same time)
      2. On taxes, I do contribute. Probably a lot more than you do.
      3. I would prefer not to leave. How about this? You have socialism in like 100 other countries. There is only one America. How about I stay here, and we keep having things like individual liberty, capitalism, and the Constitution, and you can pack your shit, move to Belgium, and leave the rest of us alone?
      4. You would rather die than let bullies walk around with guns… Okay… That makes sense, because typically when one side has guns, and the other side doesn’t, the side without the guns usually does most of the dying.
      5. Sympathy? Let me check… Nope. You are correct, ma’am. I am fresh out of sympathy for whining imbeciles who want me to pay for their good time.
      6. Yep, Bristol Palin. Average teenager, tried to be good, and had never drank alchohol before. Then she went on a camping trip, screwed up, gave into peer pressure and drank for the first time in her life, and ended up getting wasted. Then she woke up in the morning in a tent, pregnant. A sad and all too common story, and one that I’m sure the left would spin as a tragedy, if her mom hadn’t been a Republican, because then game on.

      Nothing shows how fair, kind, sympatheic, and balanced your side is more than ruthlessly tearing apart a teenage girl that made a mistake. Yet, you come here and lecture me on compassion, you ignorant, deranged bitch?

  26. Also, its really funny how you don’t want to be blamed for being a culture of hate, but you hate everything and everyone except people in the Tea Party. And even though you are a mouthy minority, you ARE a minority. Thank God. I don’t know, I hate what is happening in many ways. i agree that people deserve to keep what they worked hard for. Rich or poor. Taxes should go to help everyone, not be taken from one group and given to another. But a lot of what you people want is simply wrong. And you are worse then Dems or Republicans at pointing fingers.

    • What pray tell, in your vast wisdom is it that the Tea Party wants that is so “simply wrong” the part where the government spends too much money, or the part where the government spends too much money? Since that is basically the only real platform of a really diverse group making up about a third of the country, I’m curious which part of that is so simply wrong.

      And thank God I’m in the minority? Why Martine, I didn’t know you hated Latinos. So in addition to being a whiny, know it all, emotionally damaged, liberal you are also a racist?

      He he he… Annoying, isn’t it? :)

  27. There is a word for people who assume they know everything about another person — such as whether or not they are bullies or full of hate — based upon only a small amount of data. Bigot.

    I’ve met Larry and can attest he is genial, open, cordial, polite, deferential, humorous and generous, at least so far as one can observe such characteristics based upon short acquaintance.

    Oh, and if you think it was Sarah Palin who is responsible for Obama’s election there is another word which applies to you: idiot. For that to be true you would have to believe John McCain would have won with a different vice-presidential candidate and there is NO evidence to support THAT.

  28. Lol… Laugh. Out. Loud. Bullies with Guns? You really have no understanding of the country you live in. Without those “bullies with guns” who would welcome you to any gun range in the nation and teach you how to shoot regardless of your moronic comments, you wouldn’t live in anything that even remotely resembles our nation.

    Old quote, possibly George Orwell… “Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    And you sleep soundly, ignorantly as well, due to those men and women.

  29. I almost never say anything on these things, but I realy have to say that I agree with Larry. Also I feel kinda sorry for the people that seem unable to think past the retoric of either side and just look at the actual facts. I would also like to say thank you to those that carry the guns and keep the bullies off.

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