A Hard Blame’s A-Gonna Fall

(Apologies in advance: this one won’t be very funny.)

Now that it’s here, I want to weep. (Full disclosure: I already have.) It’s unimaginable that this has happened.

I’ve seen (and agree with) many posts saying they’ll “never forgive” America for electing this man. The racists, the misogynists, the fearful, the fools (and, unfathomably, 54 percent of white women and 1/3 of Latino men). And yes, a surge of disaffected working class middle-Americans voted for him—and are going to suffer disproportionately as a result; no tears for them here.

(To those disaffected workers, I still ask why? In all the post-mortems, I’ve seen no reasonable explanation. Yes, those articles talk about the malaise of those left behind in America’s economic recovery, while reminding us of the magnified flaws of his opponent; both facts do nothing to explain the pitiable gullibility of those who thought a billionaire real estate tycoon with a history of self-absorption would rescue them.)

And by all accounts, the hoodwinked and the haters were outnumbered by wealthy white voters protecting their greedy self-interest. As they have for generations, because when the accumulation of wealth is the primary goal “more” is never “enough.” So yes, blame them too, and more harshly.

But I’m angrier at the media that treated this election as some kind of Kabuki theater and not the legitimate concern of world-shaking consequence it was. Jeffrey Zucker recently cried “foul” at the new president’s desire to “de-legitimize” CNN? FUCK. HIM. CNN’s dependence on Trump surrogates—including the post-election hiring of Jeffrey Lord (presumably so he can spar entertainingly with Van Jones for ratings)—did more to de-legitimize CNN than Trump ever could. I wish them a slow, painful slide into obsolescence. (Both sides of the political spectrum should have stopped watching CNN by now.)

And most of the rest of the print and televised media stand equally guilty of devoting billions of dollars in free, breathtaking coverage of Trump’s freak show—without acknowledging the “freak” part—while concurrently giving credence to every flaw—tiny, legitimate, or imagined—of his opponent.

(Ditto the many Bernie supporters who loved their candidate so much, but not enough to do as he asked—support Hillary’s candidacy—choosing instead to contribute to the negative echo chamber of their true adversary, deriding her via social media for being an imperfect candidate. How do you feel now? Berned?)

Blame them. Blame them all. And blame the hypocrisy of the “family values” conservatives who pretended a serial adulterer on his third marriage was the right choice for America; blame the evangelicals who absurdly supported a man with no religious convictions (“Two Corinthians—am I right? That’s the whole ballgame right there…”) married to a former porn model (while they wrung their hands over Michelle Obama’s bare arms) in their singular desperation to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But more than anyone blame the GOP enablers who foisted Trump upon us. Blame the Republican clown car of candidates who ran against him, and derided him, and called him unfit, only to fall in line once he got the nomination solely in the interest of furthering their own careers, with utter disregard for the needs of the vast majority of Americans.

Blame Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly denounced Trump and condemned his statements, and refused to “endorse” him while somehow claiming to “support” his candidacy (WTF???)… then couldn’t embrace him fast enough once he—unfathomably, even to his own campaign—won the election. And once empowered via his ascendency, these party leaders IMMEDIATELY leapt into action to dismantle ethical oversight of Congress (a failed attempt) and gleefully recall the health insurance of millions of Americans—a death sentence for many.

When this goes bad—as it must, let’s face it (our Bloviator-in-Chief knows nothing about governing, or public service, and lacks the most fundamental skills required for the world’s most demanding job), we need to hold them accountable. These are the men who thought Donald Trump should be president—not because they believed for a second he was capable, but in their desperate need to maintain power. They chose their own self-interest over the nation they pledged to serve.

Blame—and hold accountable—the party that gave us Reagan, and Bush II—and risked Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency—serialized proof that they’ll do anything to pander to the lowest common denominator among us and put our democracy at risk, as long as it further empowers them. And now they’ve finally foisted upon America the ultimate insult: a demagogue with no experience in public service but an abundance of unacknowledged ignorance, a bully and misogynist with the impulse control of a toddler.

It seems inevitable that Trump will fail, that he leaves office before the end of his term… via impeachment, scandal, attrition by the overwhelming demands of the work, or his sheer disinterest in the job he never really wanted. He will flee the White House, likely in disgrace, almost certainly humbled were such a thing possible for his Trumpian ego… and the GOP leadership will tell us that we need to “move on” or “come together” or some other platitude of misdirection.

Terrible damage will already have been wreaked, of course, but they won’t care because they’ll still have what they desire above all else—their hold on power… with the added bonus of having jettisoned the no-longer-necessary, disposable nuisance of Trump.

That’s when we all need to remember You did this to us, and hold them accountable, and send them all packing, along with their failed surrogate, into oblivion.

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The Return of the King

It became immediately apparent to senior executives of JP Morgan Chase upon their arrival at work Monday morning that their day would be different, when they were greeted in the boardroom by JP Morgan, who had been dead for the past 101 years.

There was no mistaking him, standing before his portrait: the massive shoulders, piercing eyes, enormous nose (although his was purple with rosacea, clusters of pits and nodules no artist would paint if he expected to get paid).

“Gentlemen,” he grinned. “I must have dozed off. And to awaken in such a wondrous era! This building made of glass! Flying vehicles overhead! Cronuts!” he snapped off a huge bite, dusting his moustache with the flaky pastry.

“Now,” his demeanor changed instantly, “What the hell is going on here?”

“You mean all the legal bullshit?” one of the partners waved dismissively. “Business as usual. We paid a fine, admitted no wrongdoing. Set aside a billion for legal fees. Relax.”

“Here’s how I relax!” Morgan boomed, grabbing the partner in a headlock and gleefully dropping him to his knees. “Who else wants to join me in some manly wrestling?”

The others backed off, sheepishly murmuring “Not me! / I’m cool. / All good here!”

“Besides besmirching my good name,” he glared, “You gentlemen paid thirteen billion dollars to settle the wrongdoing. That doesn’t appear to me to be good business.”

“Things are significantly more complex in today’s financial world,” a senior partner condescended with a sneer that quickly vanished when Morgan punched him in the face.

“Nonsense!” he boomed. “Good business is good business.  Railroads, steel, newspapers—”

“God help us,” one of the partners muttered under his breath, and another chuckled.

“May He help you indeed!” Morgan grinned, grabbing them by the hair and conking their heads together. “Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. What I mean are the fundamentals of investing—capitalizing a well-researched asset with the expectation of appreciation,” he set fire to one of his Havana Hercules Club cigars. “At as little risk as possible, of course.”

The men tried to stifle laughter. “There’s no smoking in here,” one told Morgan, who promptly stubbed out his cigar in his face.

“The goal is always to find undervalued assets,” Morgan argued, “and give them what they need to grow. I funded the purchase of the New York Times when it was floundering—”

“Fucking Krugman,” they moaned, almost in unison.

“I financed Tom Edison’s Electric Illuminating company,” Morgan continued, “and arranged the merger that formed General Electric. Did you know my Madison Avenue mansion was the first electrically lit private residence in New York?”

“We still like energy. We funded Enron.”

“Ix-nay on the nron-ay…”

“I admit, there are things I fail to understand,” Morgan watched one of the executives poke at his smartphone. “So, please, gentlemen. Bring me up to speed on our current investment strategies.” He took his seat at the head of the table as the others slunk to their chairs, grateful to be out of his reach for the moment.

“We love credit default swaps—an agreement by the seller to compensate the buyer in the event of default…”

“No sane businessman would agree to such a thing!” Morgan stuttered, appearing, for the first time, confused. The men around the table laughed condescendingly, and pressed on.

“We made a boatload off mortgage-backed securities,” another added. “Bundling toxic residential and commercial mortgages as financial instruments, and selling them off.”

“Pure crap,” another interjected. “Bad sub-prime loans to borrowers who didn’t have a prayer of paying them off.”

“Why would a banker make a loan they know cannot be repayed?”

“Because we knew we could bundle it into something unrecognizable, sell it, and make it someone else’s problem,” he high-fived the nearest person.

“Our hedge fund unit is one of the biggest in the country.”

“You fund hedges?”

The others guffawed, and Morgan reached for the throat of the man nearest him, just missing. “Don’t forget derivatives,” he taunted, “which actually have no intrinsic value of their own.”

“The world has gone mad while I slumbered!” Morgan declared.

“We must be doing something right. We’re worth 2.5 trillion dollars.”

“And what do you do with all your wealth? I funded hospitals, museums, universities. Collected fine art, and gemstones.”

“Jimmy collects classic cars,” one of them offered, and Jimmy appeared pleased.

“Bob collects ex-wives,” another remarked, and they all laughed, even Bob. The laughter stopped instantly when Morgan produced a vintage handgun, slamming it on the table.

“My name is on this building,” he reminded them.

“Get over yourself,” the man nearest Morgan sneered, and when Morgan reached for the back of Bob’s neck to slam his face into the table, Bob grabbed the gun and shot Morgan in the head.

As Morgan’s blood pooled on the table, the senior executives gathered around him.

“I know a guy who can make this go away.”

“Right, like we all don’t know a guy.”

“Let’s not argue—gentlemen!” They laughed and high-fived, and posed for pictures with JP’s body until one of them declared, “Let’s make some money,” and they went back to their workday.

 

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Putting the “I” in “Capitalism”

This week a consortium of investors, businessmen, baseball executives and a magic giant officially completed their purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers who, unlike the Los Angeles Angels, actually play in Los Angeles. But if these savvy business pros want to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of American capitalism, where apparently the eating of dogs by dogs is a metaphor for behaving like assholes, they should heed the lessons of former owner Frank McCourt, author of the best-selling memoir and presciently-titled, “Angeles Ashes”:

BUY A BRAND-NAME COMPANY. It’s easy! They’re all around you, from names that are synonymous with wholesome goodness, like Kellogg’s, to the opposite, like Trump. But here’s the best part:

DON’T USE YOUR OWN MONEY. This is key! In 2004, McCourt bought the Dodgers for $421 million, all of it borrowed. CONGRATULATIONS! YOU NOW OWN A HEAVILY IN-DEBT BUSINESS! So the first thing you need to do before those scheduled interest payments start bleeding you like a medieval surgeon is:

PAY YOURSELF A HANDSOME SALARY. McCourt took home $5 million annually for overseeing the “overall business” of the Dodgers, and paid his wife $2 million a year for acting as CEO when she wasn’t sleeping with her driver, also on the Dodger payroll. (NOTE: Your actual marital infidelity may vary.)

DON’T NEGLECT THE CHILDREN. It’s as American as shooting an apple pie with a rifle: summer jobs for your kids. They have to learn responsibility somehow and what better way than to pay them $600,000 a year? Despite the fact that one had a full-time job at Goldman Sachs and the other was still attending school at Stanford. With so much cash flowing out of the company and into the family trust, now what else can you do but:

RAISE PRICES, on everything from parking to souvenirs to “Dodger Dogs” made of actual former Dodger players. Next, START CUTTING EXPENSES, like player salaries, because when your team hasn’t been to the World Series since 1988, why waste money on trying? Now you’re ready to:

LOOT THE BUSINESS. As the rapacious owner of a heavily leveraged corporation, you have an obligation to pull as much money out of it as you can before the whole thing collapses like a racehorse on Luck. In most cases, you will pay yourself back your initial investment as soon as possible with first-dollar revenue; now you are “even”—having made back your initial investment…and YOU STILL OWN THE COMPANY. But the McCourts, because they bought entirely on layaway, had no investment to recoup, so the estimated $140 million they pulled out of the Dodgers with all the finesse of a drive-by colonoscopy was pure capitalist gravy. Now you’re playing with “house” money, so it won’t matter if you continue to:

DECIMATE YOUR COMPANY, which now owes more than it’s worth and can be broken up and sold for parts. In the case of the Dodgers, McCourt, having enriched himself while presiding over epic serial failure and driving one of the most famous names in baseball into bankruptcy, still stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the sale of a team he bought using none of his own money. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

What Frank McCourt did to the Dodgers is no anomaly; it’s what Sam Zell did to the Chicago Tribune, private equity firm Wasserstein & Co. did to the 101-year-old Harry & David, and Bain Capital did to nearly one-quarter of the companies they invested in: fire workers, loot pension plans, increase debt, and drive profitable companies into bankruptcy while taking billions for themselves. Then, like a planet eater on Star Trek, move on to the next company to plunder and annihilate, or in the case of the guy who once ran Bain, the presidency, where his plan is more deregulation for better plundering, lower taxes for his friends, and continuing to be “not concerned about the very poor.”

The LIE of American capitalism is that it’s about investment, or hard work, or great ideas, or the sweat equity that goes into building a business from the ground up…when the business model is really the same as a serial killer who preys on hookers: pay for it, ruin it so it’s unrecognizable, take all the money, cut it up and dump it.

But this time the hooker got away! The McCourts are gone, the new owners seem almost lifelike, and the Dodgers are off to their best start since 1981, when they won the World Series. And if you can’t root for underdogs, and hookers…well, that’s just un-American.

Click here to visit EAT THE POOR and plunge face first into the slushy truth of poverty!

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Very Poor Relations

Regular readers of this blog (both of them) know that it’s all about coming to the defense of the underdog—in this case, the guy running for president who comes out and says he’s “not concerned about the very poor”: Mitt Romney.

Mitt has good reasons not to be concerned! First of all the “very poor” don’t vote. That may be because they can’t afford gas to their polling place, or they’re incarcerated for stealing bread or, as sick and elderly poor, they no longer leave their hovels; or they could just be too busy playing Angry Birds on their iPads, but that seems unlikely.

Let’s take a look at the reason for Mitt’s giddy optimism about the non-plight of the extremely poverty stricken: those “safety nets” that are doing such a swell job for the very poor thrashing in them like indigent mackerels:

  • Unemployment Benefits helped keep more than 3 million Americans above the poverty line in 2010! But the GOP both filibustered and voted against extending benefits in 2010, and again refused to pass them in 2011 before being convinced to by Speaker of the House John Boehner, who threatened to cry in public again.
  • Social Security has helped keep more than 20 million seniors and disabled Americans out of poverty! But since some Social Security recipients might not die without the average Social Security benefit of just over $1,000 a month, the GOP proposes to “means test” beneficiaries, just like they do with tax breaks. Wait, no they don’t. Disregard.
  • Medicaid covers nearly 60 million low income Americans, nearly half of them children! The GOP would also like to see this means tested, or at least “block-granted,” which is complicated but just assume it’s like “cock-blocking,” something else assholes do.
  • The Affordable Health Care Act has already helped insure millions of Americans and saved billions on Medicare! But as guardians of the most crucial issue of this election year—protecting Americans’ right to remain uninsured—Romney and the other candidates have promised to repeal “Obamacare” their first day in office, even before jumping up and down in the Lincoln bedroom.

The other tenuous strands in the safety net—Welfare, food stamps, federal subsidies for home heating, funding for health clinics and after school programs—are also targets for elimination, privatization or defunding according to the splintery planks of the GOP platform. After which Romney, presumably, will be “concerned.” Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich has come out against safety nets altogether, saying he’d like to see them “replaced with trampolines”—a perfect metaphor for poverty, because just when the very poor think they might be moving up, they’re back down again.

Here’s the thing about the very poor: they’ve been very poor for generations. For the vast majority of Americans, being born into poverty means staying there; it’s passed, father to son and down again, like a genetic disorder…or the same way the wealthy pass along family jewels, but much less shiny. They probably didn’t lose their jobs under Obama’s lackluster leadership because, since they’re mostly elderly, disabled, or without skills, they haven’t had a job since 1979. Their savings haven’t vanished because they’re not invested in the stock market. Also, they have no savings. Their cars haven’t been repossessed because they’re up on blocks, and their mortgages aren’t “underwater” because they couldn’t afford a mortgage in the first place. Or water. Rising food prices just means they eat less, and let’s face it, they can stand to lose a few pounds; but at least soaring utility bills aren’t a problem because they’re stealing electricity from the streetlamp where Uncle Fred electrocuted himself. 

In other words, it makes perfect sense for Mitt not to be concerned with these people because he can’t scare them into voting for him. They care less about who’s elected president every four years than the rest of us do about Olympic luging. Because they know that no matter who’s in the White House, they are serially and generationally fucked.

Click here to visit EAT THE POOR and plunge face first into the slushy truth of poverty!

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Amazing Fantasy

As evidenced by “Grimm,” “Once Upon a Time,” and GOP talking points on the economy, fantasy is back on TV in a big way! And the lines are blurring like Rick Perry’s vision at a New Hampshire fundraising dinner: “Once Upon A Time” features a beautiful, evil queen vexed by her children, like Sarah Palin; while “Grimm” has a wolf who struggles to repress his true self (Marcus Bachmann), and a crusader for justice who’s the only one capable of seeing evil, which must be how Michael Moore sometimes feels.

Both shows are great fun if you miss the fairy tales you grew up with even as you realized that not all princes are charming and snow is sometimes yellow. But being Republican means never having to let go of your fantasies in the face of reality. They still believe in fairy tale tropes like:

MAGIC BEANS: In their heroic attempt to balance the budget, conservatives are trying to convince desperate Americans to trade everything they have—Social Security, health care, improved infrastructure, affordable education, food, water and kittens—in exchange for continued tax cuts for the wealthy that will make the economy grow like a mighty beanstalk! You can wish upon stars, fairy godmothers, talking fish, or a unicorn’s magic testicles, but this isn’t and never has been true. Despite record debt and a top tax rate of 91%, America’s post-World War II economy boomed for decades; by the 1960s, under a top rate of 70%, we enjoyed the longest uninterrupted economic expansion in our history. More recently, President Clinton raised taxes and the economy surged along with his libido, while a decade later President Bush lowered taxes—twice—and our economy experienced the weakest expansion in a century. In short, hang on to your cow; those beans will just give you gas.

GIANT KILLERS: These are the shining knights appointed to protect the kingdom from the lumbering scourge of giant unemployment—“Job Creators,” if we can only shield them in turn from the dark curses of taxes, regulations, unions, pensions, minimum wages, health insurance, environmental protection and other evil spells. Already benefiting from lower costs, frozen wages, and historically low taxes, U.S. business productivity, growth, and profits are all up. But instead of creating jobs or slaying giants, our most successful corporations continue to eliminate jobs, dodge taxes, and accept government stimulus while hoarding record sums of cash—citing “uncertainty” about the future, although the future seems as clear as “happily ever after” when it comes time to hand out bonuses and exorbitant CEO compensation.

ROYAL BALLS: Okay, this one is real! I’m referring of course to the giant testicles of our ruling plutocracy. King Midas learned a valuable lesson when everyone he loved turned to gold at his touch. If the Koch Brothers could enrich themselves by destroying ordinary people, they would. In fact they have, accumulating a worth of $50 billion dollars (an increase of 800% since 2004), partly by speculating on energy, which drove up the price of oil for everyone else. Huzzah! Collectively, rich conservatives spend hundreds of millions of dollars of their windfall profits to fund and elect conservative candidates to ensure the continuation of legislation that will further enrich them. The don’t-hate-me-because-I’m-rich agenda includes deregulation, low wages, decimating collective bargaining… and let’s not forget lower taxes, because when you make $7 billion dollars in a year, you just can’t afford a return to a pre-Bush tax cuts era where you’d have to pay an additional 4% to support the democracy that made it possible for you to live in a giant magic castle in the sky. Fairy tales are supposed to have happy endings.

So, has the clock struck midnight in America and you’re about to find yourself inside a rotten pumpkin with broken glass in your foot? Maybe not, but here’s a bad omen: when the curse in “Once Upon A Time” sends its fairy tale characters to “some place horrible,” it turns out to be here—America in 2011. On the plus side, it’s a place where bounty hunters are beautiful and kids love books… so maybe some dreams do come true.

Click here to visit EAT THE POOR and plunge face first into the slushy truth of poverty!

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Labor Contractions

Most of us think of Labor Day as nothing more than a fun-filled three-day weekend of barbecues, parades and boating accidents, the unofficial end of summer and our last chance to wear white legally until spring. Of course what it really represents is a day of rest to commemorate the hard labor we’ve put in all year—unless you’re a member of Congress, in which case it means the end of your five-week paid vacation (cost to U.S. taxpayers: $9 million).

We’ve also forgotten that Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 after 12,000 U.S. army troops helped settle the Pullman Strike in Chicago by shooting and killing a bunch of union workers, forcing Congress to unanimously pass a bill declaring a national holiday for those workers left unshot in the hope of quelling further bloodshed, especially of Congressmen.

So for more than a century afterward, workers have been satisfied with their day of barbecue-stained recognition, while U.S. troops have only occasionally had to kill them. Yet even setting aside bloodshed, union ranks have been decimated: in 2010 the number of American union workers was 14.7 million, or less than 12 percent or the workforce, the lowest in seventy years. Many factors have contributed to the decline of unions over the decades, among them automation, globalization, a shift away from manufacturing, and President Reagan’s eureka realization, “Hey, why does air traffic need controlling anyway?” In the past year alone, fifteen states have introduced or passed legislation eliminating collective bargaining rights for municipal workers, ostensibly to head off pension commitments that will bankrupt our municipalities, trigger hurricanes, and result in mandatory gay marriage for all Americans. The more obvious goal: further weakening organized labor so that when U.S. troops some day return home from fighting terror overseas, they’ll be easier to shoot.

So what’s left for union workers? As it turns out, a job in local or federal government: since 2009 more union workers work for the government than the private sector for the first time in our history. The shift began during the Bush administration when only a meager 1.08 million new jobs were created in eight years and, since the private sector lost 650,000 jobs, all those gains were in government jobs… brought to you by the party that serially promises you smaller government.

Which brings us back to Congress, where the GOP mandate-slash-screed continues to be about bloated, inefficient government. You might ask yourself, Why would anyone who believes in smaller government take a job in government? Maybe because it pays $174,000 a year, 3.4 times more than the average full-time American worker, which puts them in the highest paid 5 percent of U.S. workers; but benefits (including free government-sponsored health care that they want to repeal for everyone but Congresspersons) push their compensation closer to $285,000, or way more than they could earn, say, working in the steel industry complaining that it was stupid and bloated and inefficient and hey, where are my Steelers tickets?

So this Labor Day put down that fried butter on a stick and put your hands together for a real American success story: our 535 members of Congress, who get paid an obscene annual salary for a part-time job working for an entity that they think employs too many people and does too much with incredible inefficiency, until they retire on fat, publicly paid pensions. These guys must have an awesome union!

Click here to visit EAT THE POOR and plunge face first into the slushy truth of poverty!

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Cry Uncle

Let’s say you had an uncle (we’ll call him “Sam”) who was rich and powerful and had a way with the ladies but, as inevitably happens to all uncles, eventually became a pathetic, embarrassing shadow of his former self—the Charlie Sheen of uncles. Having fallen on hard times, not only doesn’t he send money on your birthdays any more, he may even ask to borrow a few bucks, which you’d be crazy lend him since he’s in hock up to his turtleneck to the Chinese mafia.

It’s all pretty sad because you remember your uncle at his peak, when he was handsome and popular and taking in enormous sums of money providing “protection” and waste removal services. Flush with success, he even earmarked some of that wealth to send the neighborhood kids to school, pay for grandma’s gall bladder surgery, feed poor folks, build a park and take the elderly on bus trips to the ballgame. What a mensch!

But over the decades your Uncle Sam’s revenue dried up like Gaylord Perry’s spitball. Those same high rollers who used to pay him 70 percent of their income to do business in the neighborhood now pay only 17 percent, and some of those customers have grown so larGE, they pay nothing at all. So your uncle has two choices: increase his revenue, or cut back on his spending. Like any American looking to make a better life for himself, the logical decision would be to take in more money, improve one’s circumstances, rise up – you know, the American Dream! But instead, he’s being talked into tightening his patent leather belt, and the result isn’t pretty.

How did your Uncle Sam go from stud-muffin to muffin-top?

Oh, screw it. Let’s ditch the metaphor and get down to brass tacks (as your uncle would say). America’s economy is still in the toilet, and we seem to have two choices: increase revenue (ask the tight-fisted wealthiest Americans who have enjoyed decades of prosperity to pay the same taxes they did a decade ago), or cut spending (as long as it’s on services for the most vulnerable Americans—the poor, elderly, children, lame, halt, maimed, and puppies with mange).

Just before this most recent showy act of autoerotic belt-tightening around the neck of the American people, the fiscally responsible GOP forced a vote to SPEND nearly $850 billion in BORROWED dollars to extend the Bush tax cuts, which had already added $2.6 trillion to the national debt. Then, they hit the metaphorical ceiling over hitting the debt ceiling, wailing that it would be irresponsible to raise the limit on federal borrowing—something they voted to do seven times in eight years under the Bush administration. In fairness, that was to pay for two unnecessary wars, to the tune of $1.3 trillion so far.

So, after spending nearly $5 trillion on their two shiniest toys—war and tax cuts—now is the time to stop spending! It’s like your uncle went out and bought a Ferrari and a fleet of hookers and then told your aunt to lay off the shoe shopping.

Here’s why revenue is more important than spending, to both uncles and America: the U.S. economy has doubled in size since 1980, but thanks to a tax-cut-happy Congress, tax revenues are the lowest in sixty years. And where did all that prosperity go? Not to the middle class, whose wages have remained stagnant since 1973, which was also the last time we thought “Laugh-In” was funny. Virtually all the economic gains of the past thirty years have gone to the top 1 percent, who are paying historically low tax rates…and since they currently own 40 percent of America’s wealth they could probably afford to pay another 3 percent of their gilded good fortune without missing a yacht payment. Thanks to the GOP they won’t have to, but grandma’s gall bladder is her fucking problem.

Simply put, if you take in revenue, you have money to spend. Everybody knows that, even your loser uncle…which is why as long as the money’s coming in, your aunt tolerates the hookers.

Click here to visit EAT THE POOR and plunge face first into the slushy truth of poverty!

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