Gone To Since 1984

And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.

George Carlin

  • August 18, 2011 2:43 pm

    Pity the Poor Corporations


    “Romney is absolutely right. And this means that taxes on corporations are taxes on people. I’m not getting at the subtle point—and I don’t think Romney was either—that if capital is highly mobile internationally, a national government can’t make capital bear much of the burden of taxes and so the incidence is on laborers and consumers. No, I’m making the simple point that a tax on corporations is a tax on people. I remember that in addressing the issue in the 1980s, the late Herb Stein said that it’s as if people think that if the government imposed a tax on cows, the tax would be paid by the cows. Romney’s passion and clarity on this are admirable. And until now, I’ve found little to admire in Romney. Now, the next step for him—which a patient in a wheel chair tried to help him see but he couldn’t see—is to see that just as taxes on corporations are taxes on people, the war on drugs is not really a war on drugs: it’s a war on people.”

    Are Taxes on Corporations Taxes on People?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

    Wonderful and so very thoughtful. But, by all means, let’s make corporations full citizens. It’s high time they were subject to the full tax burden of an individual; they should therefore be subject and required to pay an individual’s tax rates, which, let’s face it, will almost always be the top marginal rates: 35%. Good news there! They should have no problem with this change, as they are now American citizens and because it’s just exactly what they claim they are paying right now. Win/win for Our New Corporate Citizens.

    Likewise, any time a person dies or is injured at the hands of a corporation, it can be tried for murder or assault and, if found guilty, this personification of the corporation can be executed or incarcerated (barred from doing business in these United States) for a period of years. Or, if they prefer, the corporate board can stand for the sentence. It all makes perfect sense. After all, corporations are people too! I’m sure they’ll welcome these changes.

  • June 22, 2011 3:42 pm

    No One Could Have Predicted

    After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.


    Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

    Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

    The results of that investigation have now been released. According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.

    Apparently the market-based solution involves pressing 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers into service. That ought to do it.
    Next solution: Children ought to be allowed to “help out” and we can just let the market will decide if such labors are safe enough.

  • June 3, 2011 1:05 pm

    In a Decent World


    There’s a lot I simply don’t understand here, but let’s talk for a second about the thing in bold.  Forget all of the problems with the chart and sustained unemployment and people dropping out of the job market and people accepting lower pay or benefits and everything else that your red and blue chart doesn’t address.  That “steepest climb” you’re talking about … that climb doesn’t show job growth.  Every one of those months shows continued job losses.   And the time when the stimulus end?—that’s the time where there is actual job growth.  The chart, in other words, can tell a story that’s exactly the opposite of what you’re saying in bold.  

    Now, you can argue that the stimulus resulted in smaller job losses than there would have otherwise have been, or that the job growth at the tail end of the chart was sparked by the stimulus that preceded it—you can argue these things, but the chart doesn’t prove these things.  The chart is just data, with its flaws and limitations.

    Seriously? Leaving aside the bit about your troubles with pesky “data”, your expectation is that one month: catastrophic job loss. Next month: spectacular, robust return to full employment of the go-go days of old. In the history of the world, I challenge you to show me a recession that ended abruptly. The one you might point out is the one you also wouldn’t want to mention, as it ended as a direct result of massive and sustained government spending (see: World War II, in which basically everyone in the country had a fake “government” job. How’d that work out for us?). They all end more or less like what we’re seeing now, a gradual improvement in “bad” numbers, then progressive and building improvement on “good” numbers. Businesses don’t simply rehire x-million workers overnight; in fact, they only hire when they absolutely have to, and are thus not typically leading indicators of a recovery. You’ll recall that this recession was declared “over” in September of 2010.

    Likewise, you can see the same trending in the diminishing output gap. I know, I know, more dread data. The Democrat and his empirical reality crap again. But it’s a fact: the economy is improving, if slowly. It improved more quickly during the time of the stimulus. Were said stimulus still unspooling, we’d be seeing faster improvement now. The sooner we close said output gap, the sooner revenues improve and the sooner the deficit “crisis” is at an end.

    The GOP, of course, knows this too. That’s why they’re riding this particular hobby horse so hard right now. It’s the opportunity to jam their view of society down our throats while the public is scared and feeling serious economic pain. Once things noticeably improve there will be even less stomach for “shared sacrifice” at the hands of eviscerating the social safety net coupled to deep tax cuts for the rich. So, from their perspective it’s now or never. That fact, as much as anything, is why they all voted for the Ryan plan. They see this moment as their last, best chance to end Medicare this decade.

    (Source: lemkin)

  • June 3, 2011 11:49 am

    In a Decent World


    Let me see if understand this:  You originally posted a quote that suggested we’re living in a conservative dream-world in which government has shrunk over the past two years, and that this has caused economic stagnation.  Now you’re arguing that things have gotten better these last two years because of Democrat policies.  I don’t think there’s a consistency here, but I have to tip my hat to the partisan dexterity.  

    In, as Yglesias likes to say, a “decent world,” we’d all agree that (1) a job loss chart can’t tell the whole story of the economy, (2) the job loss chart doesn’t reflect the number of people who have given up and dropped out of the labor market, and (3) throwing red and blue colors on a chart doesn’t mean you’ve shown causation. 

    Nope. I’m pretty clearly pining for a world in which the media questions conservative desires and their likely outcomes based on real world observations. How’s austerity working out in the UK? How’s government-based job loss affecting our larger economy, re: the jobs chart? Why do you think more job loss at the hands of state and local cutbacks will magically create jobs when, in fact, more people will be out of work and have no money to spend in the broader economy? That sort of thing.

    I’m also saying that in a world with larger implementation of “Democrat policies” that the jobs graph would look better than it does. That’s not “partisan dexterity,” it’s cold reality. Government funded jobs are jobs. Period. People are employed to do something and receive a paycheck. That money feeds back into the larger economy. As the private economic situation improves, those government backed jobs can begin to taper. It’s no coincidence that the steepest climb in that chart is also the period of highest government stimulus and the graph flattens as the stimulus ends.
    Predictably, we’re also seeing exactly this model play out in the auto industry. Government directly funds US auto companies. Those companies and their suppliers remain in business. People are employed. Conditions improve. Companies repay government and go their merry way. And but also: no Serious People seem to notice. Ever.

    Far from it. The conservatives and their media enablers act as if none of this has transpired. Cuts today, cuts tomorrow, cuts forever! Couple that with some high income tax breaks and a ban on abortions and the country would start to grow again! Huzzah!

    (Source: lemkin)

  • June 3, 2011 10:49 am

    "…in a decent world, conservatives would be forced to acknowledge that these are the [employment] results they claim to want. The private sector’s not being held back by the grasping arm of big government. Government is shrinking. And the shrinking of the government sector isn’t leading to any kind of private sector explosion. It’s simply offsetting meager private sector growth. Indeed, I’d say it’s holding it back. Fewer state and local government layoffs would mean more customers for private businesses and even stronger growth on the private side."

    Matt Yglesias, pining for a decent world. That sort of attention to detail would require the media to leave critical questions about Weiner’s penis on the cutting room floor. I don’t think anyone wants to live in an America that’s like that.

  • June 2, 2011 10:52 am

    "The governor does not reimburse for security and travel. The use of air travel has been extremely limited and appropriate."

    Kevin Roberts, spokesman for Chris Christie, responding to this clear misuse of a federally funded helicopter to fly Christie to his son’s little league game.
    Again: we’re supposed to be happy that he didn’t take the car to another, smaller helicopter that could then deposit him directly adjacent to his seat. Really, the only sensible way I see for him to claw his way out of this kerfuffle is through deep cuts to Medicaid and infrastructure investments concomitant with a hefty tax cut for the super-rich. It’s the Serious Thing to do.

  • June 1, 2011 11:58 am

    To the ChristieChopper!

    Turns out getting Chris Christie to little league games is a National Security Issue:

    Gov. Chris Christie arrived at his son’s baseball game this afternoon aboard a State Police helicopter […] the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field.

    I guess we should be happy the car didn’t take him to another, smaller chopper that could land on the dugout or somesuch.

    As for the chopper, it’s one of two $12.5 million helicopters purchased for the state police. The intention was to use them for “homeland security duties and transporting critically injured patients.”

    GOP: trusted on the economy and National Security. Who among us doesn’t rest assured that the GOP is always taking the common sense line on spending and the appropriate limits of government. Thank FSM that folks like Christie are out there on the ramparts, Defending Freedom with Our Tax Dollars.

    Keep in mind, this is the guy the GOP Commentariat are begging to get into 2012. Need more helicopter fuel? Chris Christie suggests we cut Medicaid or dump infrastructure projects. These are, after all, the only reasonable, Serious Person approaches to funding the truly important things in life.

  • June 1, 2011 10:24 am

    "I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison."

    Rand Paul, detailing the long-held libertarian philosophy of arbitrarily limiting speech by jailing those who might have paid attention to such forbidden speech or otherwise come into contact with any kind of inconvenient political speech.

    (Source: thinkprogress.org)

  • May 31, 2011 11:20 am

    "I’ve been on welfare and food stamps…did anyone help me?"

    — Craig T. Nelson, Actor and tea partyist, May 29, 2009 (via politicalprof)

  • May 27, 2011 4:56 pm

    Suck it, Granny

      Brian Buetler, TPM:  If the Biden group comes up with big cuts, trillions of dollars worth of cuts, but without substantially [cutting] Medicare, it won't get your vote?
      Mitch McConnell (R, KY), Senate minority leader:  Correct
      Lemkin:  I mean, what's the point of governing if you can't tell a few old people who've finally run out of money to kindly go die in the streets? They should have thought of this before they agreed to take part in Medicare and/or get sick. It's all about personal choices. Also: Death panels. Real ones. Run by Mitch McConnell and his cronies. Trillions in cuts aren't the point of any "deficit reduction" talk by the GOP. All they want, all they have ever wanted is an excuse to foist the same old laundry list of punitive attacks on the social safety net coupled to lavish giveaways to their chosen few at the very top. That is all this is, was, or ever will be about. Time for the Democrats to start messaging accordingly. Well past time, in fact. After all, Mitch McConnell stands a pretty good chance of being Senate majority leader in 2013.