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.
"You should thank God [for bank bailouts]. Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies. There’s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, ‘My life is a little harder than it used to be,’ […] At a certain place you’ve got to say to [those] people, ‘Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’"
— Charles Munger, billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in a discussion at the University of Michigan on Sept. 14.
Would be breathtaking if the view weren’t so pervasive. The rest are just smart enough not to say it. We can all rest easy in the knowledge that Charlie will never, ever have to suck it up and cope about anything. Such a thing just wouldn’t be moral.
[Embattled WI governor Scott] Walker has hired Texan Dr. James Kroll to serve as Wisconsin’s “deer czar,” a position that gives Kroll considerable power over Wisconsin’s deer management policy. Kroll is an outspoken proponent of game farms, and an opponent of public lands and public game management, which he is on record as describing as “the last bastion of communism.”
I think it’s pretty obvious that Walker’s master plan here is to first take away the hunting, then take away the guns. And he’s hired some kind of unelected Russian political figure to do the dirty work for him. It’s the only rational plan that explains this set of facts. After all, it will be easy to take your deer rifle once he’s taken your God given right to kill deer, and he’s specifically stated that he wants to take your right to kill deer. So the other is not and can not be far behind. And, once he’s got the deer rifle, he’ll be after the rest of your guns as well. Best get the word out on that point.
Reaching across the aisle, it’s clear that we can all agree that any land not in currently the rightful hands of the local Lords and/or people of High Birth is indeed one of the many examples of communism and/or creeping sharia law at work in this country. Best to turn over any land still foolishly held in the public trust to monied interests as soon as possible.
Now, obviously, if Ayn Rand has taught us anything it’s that we can’t expect them to take these lands for nothing. So, in exchange for their bonhomie and patriotism (as expressed by so generously taking the land off the state’s hands), I feel any ceded land should, at a minimum, be handed over free of charge or (better still), gifted along with an ongoing, state funded honorarium; payable in perpetuity. It’s the only reasonable and, by God: let’s face it, American solution to this issue.
“What’s the effective rate I’ve been paying? It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,” Romney, a GOP presidential candidate, said. “My last 10 years, I’ve — my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income or rather than earned annual income. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. And then I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much.”
According to his most recent financial disclosure statement, he earned nearly $375,000 for nine speaking engagements in 2010 and early 2011.
Well, now, this would seem to be a rather rich potential political line of attack. In one simple, straightforward stroke you have a narrative that both weakens Romney and advances important information in the broader sense relative to what’s really been going wrong in America these past ~40 years. Not only does Mitt (unsurprisingly) pay the preposterously low 15% rate on his largely-investment-based income, a rate dramatically lower than most Americans pay on far less income and but also Mitt reveals that this is aside from the entirely trivial, “not very much” money he made doing speaking engagements, itself a value fully 10 times the median income in these United States.
At least one top Obama surrogate is pushing for the party to shift the balance of its attacks on Mitt Romney away from his days in private equity and on to his time in the public sector. […] “Bain is a little complicated for people to follow.”
Of course, of course. Who among us can possibly understand that Mitt pays a fraction of the taxes you do on wealth so fucking inexhaustibly vast that he considers income in excess of 10 times what you probably make in a year to be “not very much.” There’s just no way to play that information such that people can follow it.
"Fox wants to cut our salaries in half because it says it can’t afford to continue making [The Simpsons] under what it calls the existing business model. Fox hasn’t explained what kind of new business model it has formulated to keep the show on the air, but clearly the less money they have to pay us in salary, the more they’re able to afford to continue broadcasting the show. And to this I say, fine — if pay cuts are what it will take to keep the show on the air, then cut my pay. In fact, to make it as easy as possible for Fox to keep new episodes of “The Simpsons” coming, I’m willing to let them cut my salary not just 45% but more than 70% — down to half of what they said they would be willing to pay us. All I would ask in return is that I be allowed a small share of the eventual profits.
My representatives broached this idea to Fox yesterday, asking the network how low a salary number I would have to accept to make a profit participation feasible. My representatives were told there was no such number. There were, the Fox people said, simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show’s success."
— Harry Shearermakes a fantastic point in his statement about the ongoing negotiations around the 24th (sigh) season of The Simpsons.
I post this because it fairly precisely captures one of the core issues that’s grown quite pervasive in the country at the moment and is a key fact of current US society that the MSM categorically refuses to admit about the dirty fucking hippies, er, Occupy Wall Street folks.
The voice talent on this show self-admittedly make good money under the current contract terms; however, it’s a fraction of what the folks “upstairs” make off the back end of the show, a back end to which they, the folks upstairs, have contributed nothing (or at most: vanishingly little).
Faced with an entirely reasonable request that would a) keep the gravy train going —and— b) dramatically cut current salaries in exchange for a vanishingly small sliver of the real profits of the enterprise, they respond: “Nooo, I’d still prefer not.”
I guess it’s very hard to hear anyone when you’re wearing a jacuzzi suit…
Elliot Spitzer (4/6/11): Congressman, thank you so much for joining us tonight….Look, I want to begin with the question that goes to a simple notion of fairness. And here's how I want to frame it for you. The top one percent of income earners in our nation get 25 percent of the income and control 40 percent of the wealth. Those numbers have gone through the roof over the last decade or two. And yet Paul Ryan's budget plan imposes two-thirds of its burdens on the poor. Two-thirds! Right after we gave a big tax cut to the rich. Does that violate your sense of fairness in a very basic sense?
Ryan’s view of an ideal America on the Path to Prosperity really is a winning combination; aside from the top line items of eliminating Medicare, Medicaid, and (ultimately) Social Security, the GOP Vision of an America they want to live in includes:
…lurking in the plan is a giant giveaway to Wall Street […]. Specifically, Ryan wants to repeal two key provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill that allow regulators to identify systemically important financial institutions and unwind them if they go bankrupt. This means that in a future financial crisis, regulators will face a Hobson’s choice between letting the financial system collapse and replaying the ad hoc and unjust bailouts of 2008.
[Ryan’s plan also] promises to raise the same quantity of tax revenue as the government got during the George W Bush years, but he wants to push marginal tax rates on the rich even lower than they were at that time. He doesn’t spell out how, exactly, he plans to make up the lost revenue and that’s because he wants to obscure the fact that it’ll have to come from the middle class.
Who can possibly argue with that entirely sensible approach? Why, unemployment will be almost certainly be at negative eleventy percent by 2014 under policies like those.
Or: Why most of Congress could give a shit about unions, jobs, and generally thinks Social Security needs to be discontinued as soon as possible because who even needs that kind of small-potatoes stuff unless they totally screwed up or chose a bad accountant?
From the supplemental graphs section (seriously) of Kevin Drum’s excellent piece on Our Plutocracy and ever growing inequality.