Friday, December 23, 2011

40 Bellyachers and a Mule

In a powerful updating of the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol," Barack Obama went before the cameras yesterday to claim that the poor, lame little ragamuffin Tiny Tim would soon die if Ebenezer Boehner didn't give the Cratchit family an extra $40 in each paycheck.

Specifically, the president and the House Republicans have been arguing over a two month extension of the "payroll tax cut," which isn't actually a tax cut at all. It's simply a short "financial holiday" during which workers won't be contributing money to their own social security plans... meaning the critically underfunded program will have even less money to work with in the future.

But Obama and his Democrat cronies have successfully positioned this as a tax cut which will magically give working Americans an extra $40 in each and every paycheck...for two whole months.

And to really seal the deal, the president asked Americans to send him sob stories about what they could do with that precious $40. Unsurprisingly, he reports that with all that money, they won't have to "choose between insulin and paying the water bill," or cancel the "family pizza night" which keeps the kids from joining gangs or contracting interesting sexually-transmitted diseases.

$40 will allow a child in Honolulu to have hot lunches at school (presumably the only low income child in America who has had to pay for a school lunch in a generation), or make an unspecified and frankly unimaginable difference to a man with inoperable cancer and (surprise!) no health insurance.

Seriously, even Tiny Tim would be gagging at all this. But as of Hope n' Change's press deadline (before the really serious drinking starts), Boehner has just caved under these maudlin arguments (and a testicular deficit amongst his Republican House members nearly as significant as the fiscal deficit) and will allow yet another flood of red ink to be added to the books.

Frankly, we're appalled at hearing Obama pretend to care about the buying power of $40 when he trivializes the loss of $1 trillion in "stimulus" spending that did nothing. With that amount of money, we could have paid $40 for insulin, "pizza night," utilities, or hot lunches 25 billion times. But instead we've gotten a shrug, a goofy grin, and an admission that there was no such thing as a shovel-ready job after all. Oopsy!

When Barack Obama then hypocritically claims that $40 is a miraculous, life-changing amount of money, we're reminded of an old story...

A group of poor kids in the inner city were bored out of their minds, had nothing to do, nowhere to go, no toys to play with, and almost no money to spend. They pooled their pocket change and came up with $3, and gave it to one boy to go into a drugstore and buy something they could have fun with.

After 5 minutes, he returns with only a box of Kotex.

"What can we do with that?!" the angry kids demand.
"Well, according to the box," the boy answers, "you can go horseback riding, you can go swimming, you can play tennis..."

Three guesses who that boy grew up to be.

- With $40, you could go to the president's web store and buy this pitcher
with his logo on the outside and, appropriately, nothing on the inside.

Actually, it's $50 - but we're pretty sure he'll lower the price if you tell him you
also need to pay your utility bills, buy insulin, and get new tips for your crutches.



drjim said...

If they would have taken all that "stimulus" money and just GAVE it to us in cash, toy would have seen this economy skyrocket!

Emmentaler Limburger said...

Golly! I'm gonna spend the first $40 on "Impeach Øbama" bumper stickers, then I'm gonna spend the next $40 on "Anybody but Øbama in 2012" buttons! God bless us, every one!

Likely, the Loser Inc Chief hasn't paid a water bill for a family in a while, but $40 isn't even 10% of what the Detroit Water Boarding Department charges us outlanders every quarter for our water. To his math teacher's credit, $40 bucks would buy about 7 Hot-n-Ready pizzas - but won't that offend the First Wookiee? I mean, PIZZA, for goodness sake?? Shouldn't he have stated that it would provide a "nutritious, low-fat, high-fiber" food night? Of course, that would probably incite kids to join gangs and contract STDs.

Frankly, I'm disgusted more with the supposed conservatives in the house. I expect this from Øbama and his ilk. All those who we swept into office in 2010 were supposed to stand against such crap. Pheh. Screw the lot of 'em. As I've said again and again, we need to vote every damned one of them out of office, no matter who they are; whether actually conservative or not. Only then will they understand that we're mad as hell and not going to take in anymore.

alan markus said...

...meaning the critically underfunded program will have even less money to work with in the future.

As some future generation of Social Security recipients suffer pangs of hunger, maybe their discomfort will go away when they daydream about the pizza they used to eat when Obama was President.

"Dear, just think of those nights when we ordered in the triple pepperoni double-cheese stuffed-crust free breadsticks 3 for 1 deal with free delivery. Only one of us had to get off the couch when it came. Imagine how stuffed we felt -imagine that now and you won't feel so hungry. If only them damn OWS kids would have settled down and gotten some real jobs so that there would be more money coming into Social Security now."

Conjures up the image of a scene from Grapes of Wrath.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Emmentaller -
We sure as hell need to stiff Boehner - that lifeless limp loser rolls over for the prez and his dimmicrat buddies EVERY goddam TIME! Time to find someone w/ the stones to stand up and say "No, HELL No, No Camned WAY!" and make it stick. AND be able to explain to the public wtf they're doing and WHY.
Ditch this loser of a tool. Yeesh
As someone commented last night on a call - in show, "How long are you going to stick w/ a quarterback who has a habit of punting on 2nd down?

Pete(Detroit) said...

Dr. Jim - the case was made at the time that they could have just cancelled all income taxes for the year for about the same cost. Would not THAT have been fun?!?!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Drjim- Indeed, there are plenty of ways that a much smaller amount of money could have made the economy skyrocket...if that's what the president's team wanted. But instead, they got exactly what they did want: a trillion dollars passed out to their friends, a narrative of despair, and more people forced onto government support.

@Emmentaler- Obama clearly has no idea what $40 could actually pay for and, with his money-wasting ways, no interest in what working Americans have to go without every time he goes on another unfunded spending spree. I swear, it's enough to drive me to drink a shot of rich and complex Woodford Reserve while it's still as cold as the interior of a UPS truck in December.

@Alan Markus- Perhaps when reflecting on Obama, those old people will lose their appetites and not need food.

And by the way, how weird is this election cycle that we've had the CEO of Godfather's Pizza running for president, while the current president tries to solicit votes by selling the virtues of pizza?

@Pete(Detroit)- Politically speaking, Boehner let this situation get way out of hand, and his cardinal sin was tacitly agreeing to the two month deal without getting buy-in from the new Tea Party Republicans who were elected to prevent this sort of mischief. Instead, he has to cave, he gives Obama a significant win, he allows the same damn issue to be used early next year, and all we got in return is a promise that the Dems would help man a new supercommittee to consider making the next Social Security Tax Holiday actually funded. And we all know how well bipartisan supercommittees work.

Earl said...

Sadly, my beloved WSJ had a long editorial the other day outlining why the Republicans needed to just cave on this one and learn which fights were worth fighting for. I read it several times, but never saw their point. I'm stuck in a "but the truth is the truth" rut. My guess is that the WSJ has a long history of knowing how the media (of which they are part) shapes the story for the masses and they recognize the ways this gives Obama support among the "feelers" of this nation. Where's our Vaclav Havel?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Earl- The WSJ was right, and at this point the Republicans did need to cave on the two month deal. Not because it was "right" in any sense of the word, but because it had turned into a media nightmare which could have metastasized in next year's critical elections. But it should never have come to this point, and it's Boehner's fault (and McConnell's for that matter) that it did. The Tea Party's message isn't complicated: all government expenditures should be paid for, which means that if you don't want to raise taxes then you've got to find cuts elsewhere. And the Republican "leaders" deliberately tried to avoid doing so.

I heard an interesting analysis suggesting that Boehner may actually have wanted this "loss" to teach the Tea Party contingent that they're not in charge of the Republican party and can't singlehandedly make policy. If true, that's a very dangerous and wrongheaded game.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

The problem with the Tea Party Republicans is that they still remember the definition of "cut". The establishment Republicans and Democrats alike cannot conceive of cuts in anything other than promised reductions in the future rate of growth that won't happen because the voters will have forgotten by then. We are going over a cliff but too many Americans believe there's always another ledge to arrest our fall. There ain't.

John the Econ said...

I can tell you what I'll be doing with my $40: Investing it in my own savings, because I am pretty sure that had it gone into the Social Security "lock box", I never would have seen it again. My only fear is that at some future date, I'll be made to pay $80 or more in taxes to pay for that crappy $40 "payday loan" that Obama & a spineless Congress forced on me without my consent.

@Pete(Detroit) said "...the case was made at the time that they could have just cancelled all income taxes for the year for about the same cost..."

Likely true, and the economy would have been better off for it. Alas, when you're a Progressive politician promising "income tax cuts" to the half-of-Americans who already pay little to no income taxes, that simply isn't any good. That pretty much means raiding Social Security.

What will be fun is when the time comes again to debate the financial stability and future of Social Security, where will the boobs who voted for this fraud stand?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- Simple words like "cut" have lost any semblance of meaning in Washington. Although I'm pretty sure that everyone will eventually understand the simple word "crash."

@John the Econ- I also put away money for my own retirement (since the lockbox turns out to have been a shredder), but consider it just a matter of time before the government has fully exhausted the "evil rich" and sets their sites on the "evil solvent" who greedily hoard savings accounts.

And I'm worried about the next leg of the Social Security funding debate. Now that Obama has established what else people could do with their contributions, he can press his case that this should become permanent with the evil rich paying the difference (which is, in fact, the deal that Democrats tried to ram through this time with their "millionaire surtax.")

John the Econ said...

"Teaching the Tea Party a lesson" is a very, very risky strategy. There would be no GOP revolution without the Tea Party, and certainly no mandate. If the GOP wishes to play that game, along with nominating another "squishy", (which will just condemn us all to another 4 years of depression the same as another Obama term would) I would just as likely go ahead and vote for another Obama term. At least we know what were getting with him, and can plan accordingly.

The establishment GOP for the last 40 years has been content to play "get along" with the Progressives. They might resist Progressive socialism, but with the exception of Reagan and for a short time the '94 Congress, (both "outsiders") they have not seriously pushed back against it. If they want us to vote to "take back America", then they actually have to make us believe that they're interested in taking back America. Otherwise, we're just treading water for the sake of treading water.

Pete(Detroit) said...

John, one of the documented 'benefits' of a Gingrich candidacy is that he DID push back, offer up REAL cuts, (and welfare reform) and produce a balanced budget. He's been there, done that.
Now, if he can just convince us he's willing to do it again...

Anonymous said...

I Christmas wished for a "paid for" by cutting spending tax relief for all of 2012 and all I got was a lousy 2 month tax relief funded by my retirement investment.

Jack said...

WOW THE BEST COMMENTS ─ ALL OF THEM We are in a battle against democrat Cronies !

Bolivar said...

What's $40 to Obama ? That is what he spent on dog toys on his highly covered Christmas shopping trip. Thanks to his expert handling of the economy, $40 won't even buy him and his wife a decent lobster.

Jim Hlavac said...

'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the White House, not a creature was stirring, 'cept the brains of a louse. Meanwhile the nation was hanging by a thread quite bare, as we hoped that deliverance would come with nary a care.

The politicians were nestled all smug on their meds, while visions of prosperity danced in our heads. And momma with a pittance, and I with a night cap, we had all settled down for some Congressional crap.

When out in the Senate there arose such a clatter, I went to the internet to see what was the matter. I flew to my wallet to save my small stash, I tore open my ballot, so my teeth wouldn't gnash.

On Boehner, and Cantor, and Pelosi and Reid, I became like St. Nicholas and steadied my steed. And to the top of the rooftops, and from the top of the wall, I said: go away, go away, go away all.

And a Merry Christmas to each and every one, I'm sure.

Mike Porter said...

Now we can buy several boxes of decent quality ammunition and pay the water bill. Thanks for the gumball, Mickey.

Oswald Bastable said...

Thats 10 more bottles of Mad Dog! Hot damn!!!!

TheOldMan said...

Mike P,

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- And the problem with just "treading water" is that it doesn't do you much good when the big toilet flushes.

And analogies aside, the Republican party wouldn't even have a freakin' pulse right now if not for the Tea Party. At this point, I have no use for any Republican who isn't solidly Tea Party - and that's way too many of them.

@Pete (Detroit)- That's the hypnotic fascination of Newt. He has bold ideas and has actually implemented them in the past. Love him or hate him, very few people would expect Newt to just tread water as President.

@Anonymous (seven above)- Great point. Why is the media cheering the idea that the Democrats "gave" working people lower taxes for two months instead of pointing out that the Democrats actually took away ten more months of tax relief that the Republicans wanted them to have?

@Jack- The comments here are always a pleasure.

@Bolivar- You ask "what's $40 to Obama," and the answer is simple: it's 1/100,000th of what his Hawaiian vacation is going to cost taxpayers.

@Jim Hlavac- Well done, sir! Of course, this means I can't write a parody of "The Night Before Christmas" for the blog now (for which I thank you!) And while it's on my mind, MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone!

@Mike Porter- See? $40 really can buy something useful!

@Oswald Bastable- What better way to spend $40 than on forty-fied wine? (Ouch, that pun sounded better in my head than it looks on the page!)

@TheOldMan- Looks like we know where to shop for your stocking stuffers this year!

Suzy said...

$40 buys a few packs of diapers...for those, at least, who can't afford to put their kids in daycare OR aren't poor enough to get FREE daycare....because in daycare, they give them out free, these days. Its one of those small "human rights" fine print things in the Constitution, I think.

Earl said...

@Suzy. Profound.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Suzy- Diapers?! Don't people realize that they could be enjoying a "pizza night" courtesy of the Democrats if they just didn't let their inconvenient fetuses go full term?

Cookie said...

Jim Hlavac--Great poetry!
The Obama vase...every conservative should have one for a urinal.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Cookie- Nice idea, though it might look a little too much like it was full of beer. On the other hand, if there are liberals coming over... (grin)

Pete(Detroit) said...

Yes, Liberals get the 'special' pitcher, and the frosty mugs!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pete(Detroit)- "Hey, you've got to try this! It's Obama's Hawaiian Lager!"

Stan da Man said...

Mmmmm, Mmmmmm, MM!

Anonymous said...

It just hit me. If you had that pitcher and filled it with water you would literally be carrying obama's water.

Bad, I know.