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Mad Tea Party

"Tax Day" has come and gone, leaving behind the lingering sense of violation usually associated with a drive-by colonoscopy. Ever since poor Al Capone found himself unjustly imprisoned for tax evasion, wasting away from syphilis, we as a nation have shared a collective sense of outrage (over taxes, not syphilis).

And the Tea Party movement – named after patriots of the American Revolution angry at tea – isn’t going to take taxing or tea bagging lying down! And who can blame them? The federal tax rate under socialist President Obama has shot up faster than Dick Cheney’s heart rate with his hands on a firearm and a friend’s face in his sites.

Let’s say you’re lucky enough to earn four times the median national household income which, according to the US Census (which needs to know where you live so they can have you killed by wolverines), was $52,000 in 2008. Multiply by four and the federal tax rate under Kenyan-born bastard son President Obama is a whopping 28%, while under his Texas-born scion-of-royal-descent predecessor, the rate on that same $208,000 was… um, 35%. Okay! But that was 2002, before sweeping tax cuts reduced that rate all the way down to… 33%.

Okay! So $208,000 is a lot of money, beyond the reach of most Americans not funding a hedge or financing an instrument. Let’s say you were a typical hard-working middle class household earner bringing home less than one-third of that sum in 2009: $66,000. Under reptilian-alien-in-disguise-“V” Overlord Obama, your tax rate is a choking 15%… while under the final year of President-you’d-most-like-to-vomit-beer-with-Bush, you paid… oh. 25%.

Okay! So even the memory-impaired conservative right no longer considers “W” a great president. What about His Republican Eminence, President Reagan, scourge of communism, tearer down of walls, cowboy politician, Bonzo Bedtimer? In the Orwellian last year of his first term, 1984, an American who earned four times the then-median income, or just under $89,000, was taxed at the inarguably reasonable rate of… 45%. And, under Reagan’s omniscient and all-wise rule, anyone earning more than $162,000 was taxed at 50%! Oddly, even the sketchy historical records of that long ago era don’t show an awful lot of right wing protests, angry tea bagging or outraged salad tossing.

Let’s say you’re not a member of the Tea Party movement and have a firm grasp of both history and basic math. You’d probably notice that under Obama, taxes on an overwhelming percentage of U.S. earners – more than 95% of all households – have gone down like an off-the-clock pole dancer at a RNC after-party. But to anyone who believes dinosaurs and cavemen once roamed the Earth simultaneously (as proved in the documentary, The Flintstones), facts are messy, unnecessary things -- like proper spelling on a protest sign, or writing reminder notes on your hand.

So the Tea Baggers, who named themselves after patriots revolting against "taxation without representation" --  apparently without knowing what that means (while also somehow missing the unfortunate sexual vernacular) -- are once again way off target. And let's face it: there's nothing more embarrassing than a tea bag that misses its mark.

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A Modest Proposal for a film by Kurt Engfehr and Ken Pisani.
2006 Ken Pisani and Kurt Engfehr.  All rights reserved.
All "Blogging Poorly" posts  Ken Pisani.