11 January 2003

Also much thanks to BuzzFlash for their pointing the way, as usual, to the latest and greatest - The Drinky McDumbAss Tax Cut-O-Matic! The one tool pResident Drunken Cokehead knows how to use! Benefits only one percent, at the expense of all the others! Are you one of the Three Million?TM*

Thanks to CNNThanks to CNNThanks to CNN

* Current US population: approximately 300 million. Richest 1% = 3 million
Are you one of the Three Million?TM

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ted Rall:

Thanks to Ucomics for this pic

09 January 2003

The Wit and Wisdom of Amazon.com

This shameless plug was seen at the bottom of a page on Amazon I got to when looking at a book review:

Customers who wear clothes also shop for:
- Clean Underwear from Amazon's Target Store
- Ladybug Rain Boots from Amazon's Nordstrom Store
- Pet Socks from Amazon's Urban Outfitters Store
- Puppy Footed One-Pieces for Newborns from Amazon's Old Navy Store

For a limited time get $25 to spend at Amazon when you spend $75 in Amazon's new Apparel Store! Valid on first Apparel purchase only. Limit one per household.

Explore more in Amazon's new Apparel Store

Hmmmmm… who might be wearing clothes in today’s society?

Piling on to The Virgin Ben

This poor schmuck has been ripped on lately for many things, among them his hypocrisy, his shameless fawning all over Drinky McDumbAss, and his rigid conservative bush-wah (pun intended). Oh yeah, and his sanctimonious contempt for All Things Non-Repugnicant. Which makes him the Poster Boy for the New Gestapo Citizen Corps. Kinda sad to see someone who professes to represent the Hebrew people following in the footsteps of Hitler…

Anyways,… this twip has been going on about how some idiot has offered the princely sum of $125K to ’any woman who can kill him with sex’. His claim is that:
1. This is a new idea; and
2. This shows us all ‘the decline of modern womanhood’.

Please excuse the gender specific generalities over the rest of this post. I am well aware that they do not apply to all women, and most especially not to the vast majority of women I have had the pleasure of dealing with for the last 25 years or so. But I think they were valid at one point in our history, and still are to an unhealthy degree in some areas of the world (yes, that means you too, Promise Keepers!).

I got some news for ya, Benjy Boy. Women have killed men with sex for a long time. In particular, (young) women have killed (old) men in many ways to get their money. Only the ones who liked the old guys killed them with sex. Mind you, only 50 years ago, women were mostly considered a commodity to be bought and sold. In many places, they still are. What do you think dowries are all about? The difference between then and now, you putz, is that people actually admit that is what is going on in today’s world. They don’t try and hide the ugly truths the way society used to do. Plus, we hear about things outside of our own neck of the woods to a greater degree today than in days gone by. If somebody had made that offer in Europe 100 years ago, and you were living here in North America, chances are you wouldn’t have even known about it!

Before women’s lib, there was one accepted and morally sanctioned role for women: get a husband and raise a family. And, if they picked (or were forced to marry) the wrong one, well, that was just too bad. Divorce was not socially acceptable – but beating the crap out of your wife sure as hell was. Marriages were often arranged without the consent of the women. They were brokered by the woman’s father and the husband-to-be, or the two families. How freely could a woman find enjoyment in life, if she didn’t like the one and only role she could play? What if she couldn’t have children? Of course, women found a way to get some of the things they wanted. And ways to get out of a bad marriage. And, for some strange reason, they valued money and security in a relationship a lot. They still do - which is the only reason you'll even be considered as a potential mate. Many would have jumped at the chance to have sex for much less money than $125K, and if they got to kill a man in the process - bonus!

Now they are able to make more of their own choices. Who to try to make a relationship work with. When and how many children to have. What to do with their lives. And how to find a sense of personal worth, among many other newly allowed options in their lives. And they are free to make some silly old man happy in the last moments of his life if they want. It’s too bad there are still arrogant a$$holes like you to preach on their ‘downfall’. What was Anna Nicole Smith all about? Not that I think she is a good example of modern womanhood. I just think that, until pResident Drunken Cokehead finishes installing the Fourth Reich, she should be allowed to marry some old fart who doesn’t know any better. It’s the old fart you should be pillorying, not any women willing to take him up on the offer.

As to the money involved… well, let’s just say that $125K, while it is a nice chunk of coin, doesn’t go all that far nowadays. Unless, of course, you get it in corporate dividends…

The Disadvantaged Elite - NOT!

A graph from CalPundit shows us some interesting things:

Thanks to CalPundit for this graph

According to him:

The bottom line is that when people talk about how high earners pay the lion's share of federal income taxes, you're not getting the whole story. The whole story is this:
- The rich pay the bulk of taxes because they have the bulk of the money.
- Federal income tax is progressive, but this only barely makes up for the regressive nature of state and local taxes.
- When you add up all the taxes people pay (state, local, and federal), the tax system is progressive, but not as much as you'd think.

Maybe I'm missing something here... I beleive progressive means that the numbers go up as you go from left to right. But the numbers here go down steadily as you go to the right, which means that this is a regressive tax system. Coincidentaly, the right makes the most money in this picture - just like in real life! As an added bonus, look at the Total w/ Federal Offset. Maybe it's just me, but isn't that purple bar going down further the more money you make? In other words, the Federal Offset is almost nonexistant for the people who make the least money, and almost 2% of the total for the wealthiest 1% of the population! What a country!

The bottom line is this:
- The rich pay the bulk of taxes because they have the bulk of the money. But they also get to keep much more in actual money, and they keep a larger percentage of their money, too.
- Federal income tax is progressive, and this is not offset by the regressive nature of state and local taxes.
- When you add up all the taxes people pay (state, local, and federal), the tax system is regressive, but not as much as you'd think.
- The top 1% pay about 5% of their income in tax. The bottom 20% pay 11% of their income in tax. Besides the fact that this should be reversed, the difference in actual dollars is sickening.

Somehow I have very little sympathy for those unfortunates who pay more in taxes then most people earn in a year.

08 January 2003

Stock Goes Up – Stock Goes Down

On Monday, you could hear the Ditto Monkeys screaming all the way over here at The Funny Farm (we have a strict No Ditto Monkey policy, and are also heavily soundproofed from their screams) because Drinky McDumbAss was about to announce a bold new ‘economic stimulus plan’ the next day. They were particularly loud on Monday because the NYSE went up almost 200 points – and they were crowing that it was all due to our Fearless Leader.

Guess what? It’s now Wednesday, the day after Smirky McWarhardon made his big announcement – and the NYSE has lost all those gains from before pResident Drunken Cokehead’s big news flash, and then some.

Must be all Clinton’s zipper’s fault.
(if there’s any Freepertrash reading this, that last line is called sarcasm. You’ll probably be hearing a lot of it in the next couple of years…)

The Drinky McDumbAss Modus Operandi, Take Three: Same Nominees, Different Committee

What a surprise! pResident Moron gets to shuffle the judicial nominations committee due to the Repugnicants controlling every aspect of our lives. So, what does Mr. Never Worked a Day in His Life do? Why, he re-nominates all of the people that were rejected last year! Including Charles Pickering (R-Cracker) and Priscilla Owen (R-Hammer of God). In an unusual show of arrogance – even for the Boy Usurper, Smirk declared that the nomination process does not work as it should, and this endangers the amount the BFEE has to pay to have legal decisions made in their favor.

Then, he wants to give himself another nice bonus in tax refunds (he wouldn’t actually want to have to earn it like the rest of us do, now would he?). That’s tax money that you and I will have to put in the kitty instead, you know - somebody’s got to pay for those smart bombs. But this ‘economic stimulus plan’ is not biased in favor of any particular segment of the population, now is it? BabyDoc GeeDubYa would pay $16.5K less under the ‘economic stimulus’ he just proposed. And Pencil Dick would pay almost $105K less! Merry Christmas, Unka Dick!

I’d like to riff on this and oh so many more Junta Hijinks – but I have to go to my day job and make my pound of flesh. Go forth, my minions, and look for yourselves at this sorry mess we are stuck with until at least 2004…

Weekend at Joey’s

Before I pile on to Drinky McDumbAss and the Junta once more, I’d like to write a bit about the wonderful weekend I just finished. So, bear with me – and take a ride to the Other Side…

It all started with a visit from my Sweetie, Allyson. She braved some Weekend Warriors driving with their usual maniacal glee to get to my shoebox humble abode on Saturday, after a difficult 12 hour stint as an ER nurse. Then it was off to the Great White North for a visit with my youngest brother Joe, his wife Sandy, and their two younglings, Maddie and Evan. Both are under three years old. As an added bonus, his friend Pat (a longtime family acquaintance), Pat’s wife Tina, and their younglings Autumn and Eden (also both under three years old) were present as well. Ah, the joys of child-rearing… At I least I had more evidence that children are a joy to behold. As long as you can walk out the door and behold them staying on the other side…

In a particularly ironic turn of events, after a time Brother Joe had to put on his Fun Police uniform, and escort Maddie to the local Dissidents Zone. Shortly thereafter we were en route to visit Stu and Mary. Amazingly enough, they seem to have developed some animosity towards Smirky McWarhardon and the rest of the Konservative Khristian Khorus currently driving AmeriKKKa into ruin. We had some interesting discussions on the subject that lasted until the wee hours of the morning.

Upon arising in the Dominion of Soviet Canuckistan we proceeded to drink copious amounts of coffee (well, I did, anyway) before going out for breakfast. After breakfast it was time to go off to the local bingo hall for a fascinating slice of local color. Ally and I were a minor sensation, both at the restaurant and the bingo hall. The owners of the restaurant were quite vocal in their dislike for pResident Cokehead. But they were, sadly, also propagandized by the Conservative News Network and Faux News, and seemed utterly amazed to run into Americans who weren't Screaming Ditto Monkeys. And relatively polite and intelligent to boot!

The bingo hall provided the best entertainment value of the day. One of Mary’s acquaintances there started up a conversation with us. At first, we thought she was a religious zealot. She sure did mention the Great Cloud Being a lot. But, after a few minutes, it became clear that she was an unbeliever. It kind of sounded as though she had been very religious, but had experienced something so disturbing and (in her world view) inexplicable that it caused her to lose faith. She was trying to express her disbelief using only religious terms. It reminded me of a NewSpeak speech from the book 1984 – where it is impossible to articulate an inappropriate thought using the official language. Being an ex-Catholic, I could understand and empathize with this lady. I then tried to direct the conversation towards safer topics, and got a quick education on in house cliques, superstition and personality conflicts encountered when the same people meet in the same place and do the same thing regularly. Thank goodness my friends weren’t locked in some sort of power struggle within that little world… At the end of it all, Stu had won enough to pay for hid and Mary's sessions, and I got some R&R and a different perspective on things…

After all the excitement, it was but a short time until we had safely returned to the Homeland in time to watch the second half of the last playoff game of the weekend. Then it was off to Dreamsville for Ally and I. And back to the working world for me Monday morning. So ends the tale of our weekend adventure.

07 January 2003

Thanks to South Knox Bubba for this pic!

The Proposed Elite Cash Grab Tax Cut Plan

The elimination of taxes on dividends is expected to be the foundation of the Drinky McDumbAss elite welfare economic stimulus plan, which will be unveiled in his scripted performance in Chicago later this week (is it today? Or does he still need some time to recuperate from that two week vacation he took over Christmas?). As The Funny Farm has already noted, this means less than nothing to us. In fact, it’s a net loss, because now I’m paying more while that fat cats are paying less. So more of my taxes have to pay for more of their excess.

Let’s hear what SpinMeister Ari Fleischer has to say on this topic (from yesterday’s press briefing):

“Specifically, under the President's proposal to provide tax relief, 92 million taxpayers will receive, on average, a tax cut of $1,083 in 2003; 46 million married couples would receive average tax cuts of $1,716; 34 million families with children would benefit from an average tax cut of $1,473; and 13 million elderly taxpayers would receive an average tax cut of $1,384. The final statistic I'm happy to give you is a typical family of four with two earners making $39,000 in income will receive a total of $1,100 in tax relief under the plan.”

Hmmmmmm… let’s do a little math here, okay? The fact of the matter is that the numbers above are not the average, but rather the median amounts. In other words, those amounts in the paragraph above are the halfway point for the tax relief, not the (total tax dollars saved)/(total taxpayers paying taxes), but instead the middle of the distribution. Half the (total tax dollars saved) by(taxpayers getting tax relief) are above the median and half are below the median. If you make lass than $25,000, you get no tax relief from Smirky McWarhardon’s proposed legalized thievery tax cuts.

Let’s demonstrate that a little bit clearer with an example. Let's say that there are 5 taxpayers who get some tax relief from this plan. They get less tax in these amounts (from lowest to highest): $500, $600, $700, $20,000, and $1,500,000. The median tax relief is $700. The average tax relief is actually $304,360 in my little example. This dirty little secret is what pResident Moron and the Junta don’t want you to figure out. And, it’s not the first time they have spun this web.

Finally: why do I have a strong sense of Déjà vu about this stuff? See my previous post, The Drinky McDumbAss Modus Operandi, Take Two: The New Tax-Ass Two-Step.