How Bullshit Persists

The intent of this is good, but its details are way off.

The big problem with this meme is it perpetuates in several ways the false RW belief that the working class is paying for helping ‘others’ and the burden falls mostly on them, when they aren’t, not really.

First off it doesn’t fall on them, since they generally pay little in taxes, the top 10% actually pay most of the taxes and the bottom 50% pay almost nothing in. So the “rich” aren’t putting burden on them at all really as the meme claims. But they are screwing them in other ways…

Second, only a tiny percentage of federal spending goes to helping others, an even more minuscule amount goes to the poorest directly.  What the Right likes to call ‘welfare’ or direct payments to the poor, are only made through one remaining program since 1996 when the Newt Gingrich Republicans with Bill Clinton’s full support reformed ‘welfare’ as we knew it basically out of existence.

So if the Republicans wrote the law, why are the Democrats still getting the blame for the (now nearly non-existent) handouts to the lazy?

The program is now called Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF.) There are stiff requirements, work requirements, only parents of children are eligible, and it is block granted to the states who administer it. The Red states are so strict that less than 10% of those eligible receive anything in almost all of them, so most who need it don’t even bother to apply. California and New York are the exceptions, they actively enroll eligible families as they see the benefit to helping people actually adds to the economy.

The total percentage of the Federal Budget for TANF amounts to a whopping .3%, that’s point 3 percent. Food stamps is about 1% and gives no one enough to actually eat well enough on that alone. Most of those getting them also work low wage jobs, or seniors and military who make up most of the recipients.

Medicaid is a big one for expense outlay, at about 9.5% now, but again most are working and are paid so low they still qualify for this publicly funded health insurance. The percentage went up with the ACA as it raised the amount you can earn and still qualify, but all the Republican states refused to enact the expansion. FYI most of the Medicaid expansion, and the subsidies for low income earners (like me) above the cutoff for Medicaid to purchase their own insurance on the exchanges, was funded not by an increase in income tax, but by a .9% increase in the FICA payroll deduction for Medicare, only applied on incomes above $250,000, and an array of other minor taxes, like on medical equipment, hence the outrage by the rich over “Obamacare.” No one ever mentions this but raising the minimum wage to a living wage, would drop millions off of Medicaid. Seems so simple to me, eliminate spending to help the working poor by paying them enough so they aren’t poor.

Finally, listed in the ‘welfare’ category on the budget charts (link below) are the Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit. These are the biggest payouts with about 2% and amount to the biggest ‘handouts’ and most working class people qualify. They can actually qualify as ‘wealth redistribution’ but in reality it’s just spreading out who pays the low wage workers what they should get up front. The money just goes up first before it comes back down. These were implemented by and are strongly supported by Republicans, Reagan was a big fan, I think they were created during his administration. It basically rewards those who work for low pay, so it’s in effect a subsidy to the big minimum wage employers, by spreading out the income the poor workers receive across the entire tax payer base instead of cutting the profits at the source corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s which reap huge profits by paying so low to begin with.

Foodstamps, TANF, Medicaid, and the EIC and CTC are all basically subsidies to the big minimum wage employers allowing them to make and keep much bigger profits while the rest of us help support their workers. Again the tax burden mostly falls on the rich though but it is spread out among them this way. And as we also know their share has been cut significantly, leading to massive deficits, while their loopholes remain, so that many corporations pay 0 in taxes while paying out obscene bonuses and salaries to their top executives and dividends to the stockholders. Hence the money still moves up, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

So the issue is low wages not ‘free stuff for lazy people’ that is the real problem. The latter is a complete myth, a lie, designed to create resentment to get these white working class folks to vote for the Republicans who are keeping them struggling while making them think it’s ‘welfare’ spending and high taxes that is keeping them struggling. It’s the Republicans who refuse to raise wages, while also cutting taxes on themselves, and spending trillions on ‘defense’, allowing them to get richer and making the poor poorer.

So the mystery is why the working class keeps voting for the Republicans. Part of the answer is that they believe the myth that this meme reinforces. And a big reason for that is racism.

So, yes the top is screwing the bottom. That’s why I said the intent is good. But not by putting the tax burden ‘entirely’ on them as the meme falsely claims.

It also falsely infers that the ‘tax burden’ all goes to helping those with even less. That the working poor are totally supporting the non-working poor which is the first lie. And that it’s “the elite’s” fault for putting the burden on them, which is the second lie. Its just simply not true. The first is the standard RW meme. It is pure RW propaganda. Adding the second falsehood it then plays both sides of the issue demonizing both ‘the elites’ and the ‘moochers.’ In the Trumper world, ‘the elites’ are always the Democrats and Liberals making them pay for the lazy. The Republican elites are benevolent job creators who they believe, again falsely, are prevented by high taxes and environmental regulations from paying them more. When the opposite is true.

Reference
https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_budget…

I had some links to data and charts that the wealthiest indeed do pay the majority of the tax dollars collected. I need to dig them up again.

That factoid is thrown out by RWers all the time to counter the ‘rich need to pay their fair share’ liberal talking point.  They think it’s a winner and ends the discussion, but what it really shows is half the country didn’t make enough to owe or pay taxes. That is the real problem. Bernie and all the rest should say ‘pay the workers their fair share!’ instead. Raising taxes on the CEOs high salaries and bonuses is a deterrent to their greed and creates an incentive to put the profits their workers generate for the company back in their pockets, which they will quickly spend on more goods and services, and thus keep the economic engine running smoothly.  Back when America was great, the envy of the world, this is why we had such prosperity and such a strong middle class and the system worked. They used to know this…how their philosophy of selfishness came to dominate the top tier is another story…

Whose Mental Illness?

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/i-knew-brett-kavanaugh-during-his-years-republican-operative-don-ncna907391

The following was my response after reading the above

What is it about Conservatism that seduces otherwise bright and ambitious young minds such as those described by Brock? What is it about whatever it is they think they are fighting against that allows them to justify such obviously evil and unethical actions to win that fight? They are fighting for greed and selfishness, power and money, and against those various people and movements who wish to work for “our better angels.”

I’ve always found it even more confusing and ironic that they targeted the Clintons as their enemy and unleashed at them such unrelenting hatred, basically attacking them for being like them, corrupt, greedy, power hungry, etc. while simultaneously sounding ridiculous alarms about creeping socialism, nanny states, welfare queens, and all the rest of the RW propaganda Big Lies.

The irony of the popular RW meme “Liberalism is a mental illness” tilts the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ meter way past red line. Conservatism, taken to the point that the wealthy privileged young ideologues and operatives that populate its core “intellectual” upper echelons have, is clearly a disease bordering on psychopathy.

Equal time section: What is happening allegedly on college campuses, and now across the media, especially social media, by the political correctness police, the self titled ‘social justice warriors,’ is also a disease, at least in our society, if not an actual mental illness, and borders on totalitarianism. It is decidedly NOT “liberal” or “Liberal” by any means and NOT “leftist” in any way that I can see. But it is the antithesis of “conservatism” and an unfortunate liability for “the Left” as they call anyone who is not “the Right” and therefore for all of the “Resistance” as we call those of us who oppose the aberration known as conservatism, as it is easily and effectively conflated with “the Liberals” (their other demonized term for everyone who is not one of them) by the RW propaganda machine.

It is not a good time to be alive if you have a penchant for trying to make sense of things. LOL.

Unleashed


“The forces unleashed by the presidency of Donald Trump.”

I always knew they were out there. I didn’t think there were so many of them. But I knew their numbers were growing, not shrinking, and I knew they were getting angrier and angrier, and more and more violently inclined—explicitly desirous of venting that anger at those who they blamed and hated so vociferously. Continue reading “Unleashed”

Protectionism

NAFTA didn’t kill jobs. Bush’s tariffs on imported steel did.

My comment on the above link on the Facebook page of The Christian Left:

I live at ground zero of the rust belt. Bethlehem PA. 4 generations worked at “the Steel,” dozens of them, uncles, cousins, aunts, even both my grandmothers. It is no more. Workers here begged Reagan throughout his administration to protect the industry from cheap imported steel being dumped here. He refused to act. There is a lot of speculation as to why, from wanting to bust the unions, seeing the steelworkers as the key to breaking the movement as a whole, to wanting to break the industrial strength of the nation upon which our middle class had risen. The latter is hard to fathom, but conspiracists might believe it was to strengthen the position of Wall St and the 1%, the investor class, the ‘owners’ and shareholders (unless you owned steel stock), who in the end were the ones who benefited while our workers, and thus our general population’s lifestyles diminished as the ripple effect of job losses, excess labor forces, and lower wages spread across the economy. Continue reading “Protectionism”

Profit is Theft

The conservatives of the libertarian persuasion like to claim taxation is theft. And the minuscule % of it spent on helping the destitute, the poor and working poor to remain alive is redistribution of wealth downward, “forced charity at the point of a gun.”

Bull$hit.

Profit is theft. Taxation is the deterrent to greed. Continue reading “Profit is Theft”

The Big Lie

The basic Big Lie from conservatives is that Democrats ‘tax and spend’ — as opposed to ‘borrow and spend’ or ‘steal and spend’ as they perpetually do when in power. They then blame the deficits and skyrocketing debt on Democrats when they return to power and try to clean up the mess. They use that as an excuse to obstruct anything and everything Democrats try to accomplish. Continue reading “The Big Lie”

Conservatism as Moral Philosophy

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

—John Kenneth Galbraith

Boomer Bashing?

The term boomer, or ‘baby boomer’ has been so misused and abused over the years, and we’ve particularly come under fire from the millennials as being to blame for all the ills in the world today. Nothing could be further from the truth, in my humble opinion.

I’ve taken to trying to push back when I see rants against the ‘boomers’ in online comments, particularly when they confuse us with the ‘yuppies’ and their unabashed greed and materialism.

Here’s one of my replies on Facebook attempting to clarify the history: Continue reading “Boomer Bashing?”

Trailer Trash

Ok, it’s not nice to call them that, not politically correct, if you will. But it conjures up an image and a demographic stereotype that is based on real world observation.

This guy, Thomas Gieseke, posted a painting he did of Trump as a red neck trailer park ‘patriot.’ It was pretty on the mark. It was funny, I guess, if you weren’t a trailer park dweller or a Trump supporter. Continue reading “Trailer Trash”