Paul Broun: The Sugar Plum Tea Bagger

The average American’s concept of government workers is that they lounge all day on comfy divans while being fanned by servants who peel grapes in return for fabulous riches and a retirement plan bigger than Bill Gates’. Oh, and they have guaranteed lifetime employment and don’t have to pay taxes either.

In other words, with the taxpayers all snug in their beds, visions of fairy tales dance in their heads.

Government Slackers
Where do the fairy tales come from? Why, from people like Tea Bagging, “Stupidest Member of Congress” nominee Rep. Paul Broun. In his words:

“We’ve got to stop the outrageous spending that’s going on. We hear the CBO says, well if we don’t raise the debt limit, it’s going to put so many people out of work. I don’t remember the number, I think it’s 250,000 or something, are gonna be put out of work. Well, those are gonna be government employees that are put out of work.

There aren’t many people who’d argue cuts are unneeded. Private sector workers – who apparently have “real jobs” -  are losing them, unlike their company’s top executives. It’s only fair that true inefficiencies in government be rooted out and with it, unfortunately, their jobs. Sharing the pain at moments like this can’t be helped.

However, choosing the “250,000 or something” candidates based on the assumption they’re goldbrickers is arrogant as hell. Who exactly are these people and does Broun know one damn thing about them or their jobs? Well, if he can’t remember whether there are 2 or 250,000 lazy government sponges it seems he’s maybe a little fuzzy on the details.

Broun apparently thinks cutting government is easy – as easy as pulling out his trusty chainsaw and going all Paul Bunyan on it. He could come up with the whole deal by simply cutting the military. They have 3 million troops, what could be easier? Hey, needlessly getting your ass shot off to protect some crapulent Afghan thieves and Congressional goobers is about as cushy a federal job there is. Just ask the troops. But, make sure they’re unarmed first.

DIY Flowbeeing
What about the personal Congressional staffers and Capitol police? We can do without them. I don’t have a staff and still have enough time to watch Broun embarrass himself on C-SPAN. Hey, just for good measure lets can the Capitol barbers and lazy ass Congressional Dining Room staff too. I’m sure Broun’s hoi polloi would be more than agreeable to Flowbeeing their own hair, bussing their own tables, and washing their own dishes. They might even have enough time to take calls from lobbyists when they’re done with their effortless tasks.

But perhaps the greatest savings would be to cut just one supremely indolent government employee. I believe his name is Paul Broun. The savings on his perks, free healthcare, and better than private sector pension could finance the Global War of Error for about 6 minutes. His free franking privileges are probably worth a couple thousand, easy. Besides, he and his cronies have control of the purse strings and are clearly honest enough to make these mandatory cuts. I trust ‘em, don’t you?

I know it’s a lot to ask of politicians these days, particularly one bagging so much tea the Lipton Tea Taster would get a hard-on, but could they please understand what they’re saying before they say it? I imagine government employees would really appreciate it.

And, so would the rest of us.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!




How the Rich Conduct Class Warfare

First, let me get this out of the way - I have no problems with the rich. I plan on being rich. I'm an American. I believe. We all believe we can get to the top and enjoy the spoils of wealth. We are Americans.

That's never been the issue. And in my lifetime the poor or middle class have never come close to declaring anything other than envy for the rich. But there is a class war going on. It's being conducted by the rich on the middle class in this country.

Again, let's be clear. It's not by all of the rich or even most of the rich. There are great philanthropists among the rich. In fact, over 40 billionaires just pledged to give away half of their money to charity. Bill Gates earned his money, is giving it away and has no interest on declaring war on the middle class.

I'll even give you the classic line - some of my best friends are rich. So, this isn't about some ridiculous stereotypes or populist demagoguery. This is about stone cold facts.

Some of the wealthiest people in this country have been systematically trying to reduce their own taxes and make sure their companies are not regulated by the government. This makes sense. They want to make more money. But in the process, they have bought our politicians, corrupted our system and ultimately given us enormous income inequality.

This income inequality doesn't seem just, but that isn't my main issue. The real problem is the results of that inequality. It leads to speculative bubbles, crashes, recessions and depressions. It leads to the middle class losing their pensions, having stagnant wages for the last thirty years and lacking opportunity to move up the chain. It kills our economy and ultimately it kills the American Dream.

Here are some numbers on the rich versus the middle class that demonstrate what I'm talking about:


All of the money went to the top. Do you know that between 1979 to 2007 income for the bottom fifth of the country went up by just 16%, but for the top 1% income it went up a staggering 281%?

The rich got much richer. This is not an accident. People like the Walton family and the Koch brothers have been doing this for a long time. The Waltons don't want to pay estate taxes for understandable reasons because they plan to inherit and pass on billions of dollars. It is cost efficient for them to buy our politicians for a couple of thousand dollars in campaign donations. The Koch brothers hate taxes and regulation of their businesses. If you want to know how they have hijacked our system you should read this brilliant articleby Jane Mayer in The New Yorker.

Meanwhile, you know what happened to the poverty rate - it went skyrocketing up. Now, one in seven Americans lives in poverty. That's 45 million people. Last year, we had the highest increase in poverty since the government started keeping these numbers in 1959.

The poor are growing, the middle class is shrinking and the rich are getting even richer. This is how you build a Third World country. So, the next time you hear about class warfare, understand which direction it's going in.

Some of the wealthiest people in this country pulled the wool over your eyes and picked your pockets. I don't have anything against the rich and I understand their motivation. But the rest of us are crazy to keep letting it happen. At some point, you have to fight back. Not with pitchforks, but at the very least with your votes.

Now that you know the game that's being played, it's incumbent on you to make sure you join the battle. Help us save this country and rebuild our once great middle class.

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Something Comes out of Davos 2010

The World Economic Forum is usually just a bunch of rich people gathering in Switzerland to go to dinner and play out their (truly) care free lifestyle while mingling about minor economic issues that might affect them.  Many of these people have little knowledge, due to ignorance, of what is actually going on in the world.  Half of the participants are business leaders who likely DO know what is going on in the world, in the same sense that Bernanke knows what is going on in the Fed and Ban-Ki Moon knows what is going on in the UN Secretariat: they are running the show.  

But the others, government representatives and especially journalists, basically don't.  They think, often unconsciously, that the rest of the world is basically like them, upper class Americans.  Off course they know at least 80% of the world is very poor, but this fact is not in their calculation.  It is from this assumption, that they accept other "party lines" and official dogmas, including the motives of U.S. policy makers, definitions of terms such as "Globalization", "Anti-Globalization", "Free Trade", and the effects of neoliberalism.  

So what are the effects of neoliberalism?  Adam Smith, the cult hero of so-called free market philosophers, said that the "Principle Architects of Policy", in his day merchants and manufacturers, in our day, multinational corporations and their confederates, pursue policies no matter how grievous their effects on others, whether the people of England(or United States) or the people who where subject to the savage injustice of the Europeans.  His depiction of England and the world system in the 1700s is remarkably similar to the geopolitical system today.  

At that time, the United States, which declared independence the same year he wrote those words in his magnum opus, An Inquiry into the Causes and Nature of The Wealth of Nations, had health, social and literacy standards, among other important social indicators, that where better than those of the UPPER CLASS in Britain until the second world war.  Think about that.  This huge advantage, huge gap, as well as huge advantages in GDP, despite not being a world power where maintained until World War II.  After World War II, while the gap began to close, the U.S. dominated these standards more or less until the late seventies/early eighties when neoliberalism arrived.  These economically rational policies took centuries of these amazing advantages and in thirty years drove the U.S. to the bottom of the industrial world in every category except GDP.  Even in GDP, the European Union is by far larger than the United States, without setting world trade policies or having an empire like the United States and without taking an independent path which would increase it.  The individual states are also better in every social indicator, and the EU achieved this GDP working basically 30 hour weeks(not the case in the U.S.), with less damage to the environment and so on.  

So this is a VERY remarkable decline, to say the least.  I would say these are grievous effects on the U.S..  Well, some people got very rich off these policies.  This is the top 1%, which is a pyramid within a pyramid.  The next 19% or so has a cell phone that makes pancakes so nobody complains.  The top 39-1% all think they will be the top 1% within the next year or so.  The bottom 60% are too busy/poor to do anything.  

The effects on people elsewhere are worse.  This is the area known as "the South" or the "Third World".  What happens in the world is not an accident, there is no such thing as an accident.  It is planned.  The people who pursue these policies know what will happen, maybe they don't like Children starving, but they don't care.  

This brings me to Bill Gates, who announced at the World Economic Forum that he is giving 10 billion dollars to help fight disease in the third world, which basically exceeds effective public money delivered by major powers.  This is not what comes out of the World Economic Forum.  What comes out of it is the point that these major world crisis, such as poverty and disease are being tackled with greater aggression by a billionaire philanthropist then by rich countries or even the UN, regardless of whether or not anyone points this out.  

It's Official: Bailout $ Explode; Economy Implodes.

Over the past 48 hours, if you've been paying attention to anything other than the final debate (and the lead-up to it), some even harsher realities regarding what's in store for us with our economy over the next 14+ months have begun to see the light of day in the MSM.

The numbers are, literally, going off the charts.

It's true.

There's more...

Bill Gates Busted - Microsoft Lies to Press/Congress

Cross posted at Dailykos

Bill Gates has been busted in a big fat lie and we've got the statistics to prove it.

Last year, Microsoft founder Bill Gates told Washington Post columnist David Broder that the types of people they were bringing in on H-1B Visas, are:

Highly paid, highly qualified individuals. Salaries for these jobs at Microsoft start at about $100,000 a year.
Their counterparts can be hired more cheaply in China or India, he said, but Microsoft does 85 percent of its research and development work in the United States because it wants its computer scientists interacting directly with its program managers and its marketing people on its own campus.

Gates was pounding the halls of Congress at time of this interview, demanding more H-1B Visas along with the ITAA.

There's more...


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