"The Daily Show" And Where Entertainment and Mitt Romney Converge
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"The Daily Show" And Where Entertainment and Mitt Romney Converge

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 19, 2012 | Comments ()


Nothing is truly real in politics, to me at least, until "The Daily Show" has made a mockery of it, and Jon Stewart got his first crack at the the leaked tape from a Mitt Romney fundraiser last night. It takes him a few minutes to gain a head of steam, but once he does, the righteous indignation comes out and Stewart sinks his fangs clavicle deep, including a revelation that Mitt Romney's own Dad was on welfare (and therefore would never have voted for Mitt), and then after tackling the video, Stewart goes after Romney's own mishandling of the leaked video.

It's great stuff.

Part I

Part II

Pennybags Hodgeman Gets In On the Fun, Too

It's kind of crazy, during an election season, how much politics and entertainment get conflated. Not just on fake news programs like "The Daily Show," but even Jimmy Fallon got in on the tape, too, revealing his Mitt Romney impression, which sounds a lot like black comedians doing white guy impressions. Also, when Fallon tackles politics, it reminds me of when "SNL" usually tackles politics, which is to say: Kind of lame.

Also, "Live with Kelly and Michael" released the full unedited video of Mitt and Ann Romney's sit down. I lost interest about 45 seconds in after it became apparent that Romney was just going to recite his stump speech.

Finally, if you didn't watch the entire leaked video from the fundraiser, there was some other juicy bits related to the entertainment industry. He refers to Letterman:

"Letterman hates me because I've been on Leno more than him. They're very jealous of one another, as you know."

and why he chose not to do "Saturday Night Live":

"I did not do that in part because you want to show that you are fun and a good person, but you also want to be presidential. Saturday Night Live has the potential of looking slapstick, and not presidential. But 'The View' is fine."

He also mentioned that he thinks he won the respect of Whoopi Goldberg last time he was on "The View." He was very wrong.

Let's not leave President Obama completely out of it. He had some fun at Mitt Romney's expense on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last night, too. Goddamn, he is a charming man.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Greedy

    So now two people have called me a troll. Initial reaction: eat a bag of dicks. Second reaction: what's the opposite of a troll? A fist-pumping fuck-yeah occupy-this lemming? Third reaction: Holding an opposite opinion does not a troll make. Final reaction: ignore me if you can't stand me, but AT LEAST go read BierceAmbrose's thoughtful, well written, supported with research comments (here and elsewhere). He is doing some heavy lifting, and those of you with with any intellectual curiosity whatsoever owe it to yourself to THINK about what it is he is saying, even if you can't agree with it. Fuck Yeah! <pumps fist="">

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Maybe they will stop calling you a troll if you'd make a bit of a similar effort, instead of just raging around here?

  • abell

    This is probably a mistake. Also, Greedy down there looks like a troll, so, maybe give him less food.

    I don't get the uproar about the Romney video. Again, I'm Republican, so maybe I wouldn't get it, but, this entire thing seems manufactured. As far as I can tell, the crux of what he said was, we have two opposing ideas of what the relationship should be between the people and their government and those who believe that the government needs to play a large role in the economy are fundamentally not going to vote for Romney. As such, there's not much of a reason to try to sell himself to them and he should focus on those in the middle, I can see the commentary about being a victim drawing some fire, but, not this much. Isn't that what this election is about? Remember the Obama Julia ads? They were supposed to show how the federal government in Barack Obama's future would be there to support a woman from birth to death. I've seen some class war rhetoric before, and this just isn't that bad.

    What am I missing?

  • Maguita NYC

    Actually, people are up in arms not simply because Mitt Romney sounded like an elitist ignorant twit, but because he had also sounded pretty much dismissive of the many voting blocs that are PART of this country.

    Beyond the 47% that he has ridiculed as victims, leeches, and stay-at-home slobs looking only to live-off governmental handouts, he had also during that same speech dismissed Hispanic, and African American voters.

    What he had stated further on, if you care to listen to the whole shebang:
    "Women are open to supporting me. But, we are having a much harder time with HISPANIC voters. And if the HISPANIC VOTING BLOC becomes as committed to the democrats as the AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTING BLOC has in the past, we’re in trouble as a party, AND AS A NATION.”

    Word for word.

    Even though earlier on he has said "if I were Mexican, I'd have a better chance of winning."

    @c83b676ee56888ac407d51796cd472c1:disqus and @ERM, I don't know if that is true what you are saying, that Mitt Romney has simply repeated what "republicans have been saying publicly for the past 15 years".

    If that is true, well, I have been in absolute ignorance of the Republican party's hate-filled views on us Americans.

    I surely did not know that the Republican party had such arrogant dismissal of American citizens, BECAUSE of the color of their skin and/or ethnicity... I knew though that most were homophobic. Yep, in the name of Allah in English, they have been quite homophobic.

  • abell

    Nothing he said about race was at all controversial and I've heard the exact same things from Democrats on a regular basis. First, the African American vote. In 2008, 95% of African Americans voted for Barack Obama. That's about the average percent of African Americans that vote Democratic. Every election. The actual surprise wasn't that 95% of African Americans voted for Barack Obama, but, that so many more voted in general than they have historically. It is not racist to say that the African American population votes overwhelmingly Democratic And they have for longer than I've been alive. Much of the speech was about how there's about 47% of the population that's just not going to vote for him anyway, so, he should focus on those that are. Historically speaking, that includes about 95% of African Americans, and I really don't think Romney's the guy to heal that divide.

    The Hispanic Vote. There's been a lot of talk about this, and the future of said vote. Hispanics are probably the fastest growing racial demographic in the US. Tending to be Catholic, they tend to have more babies than the US average of 2.3 per couple. Tending here means greater than those same characteristics of the population at large. As such, in two generations, there will,be blahblahblah more Hispanics than there are now comparatively. The current voter breakdown among Hispanics is something like 70D-30R. If that stays the same, or goes further towards the Democrat side, it will, when coupled with proportional population growth will grant Democrats the vaunted "Permanent Majority." How true that is is debatable, but, it's been a talking point for years on both sides. Romney seemed to be saying that the Republicans need to go out of their way to prevent the same thing that's happened with the African American vote happening to the Hispanic vote. That's inclusive not exclusive.

    I repeat, this is not news. These demographic conversations abound within the political sphere on both sides.

    Also, I am not inviting a conversation about why various races vote one way or the other, I'm just providing statistics.

  • ERM

    I don't get it either. What Romney said at the private fundraiser is no different than what republicans have been saying publicly for the past 15 years.

  • ERM

    Did I get downvoted by a democrat who dislikes that I'm not morally outraged or by a republican who thinks I insulted them by saying that their presidential candidate's statements are an accurate reflection of their party's positions?

  • abell

    I always want to know why I get downvoted too. I get that my opinions tend to be unpopular on this site, but, I like to think that they're reasonable and at least moderately well defended. Are downvotes just the equivalent of people shouting, 'boo?'

  • ERM

    I'm just going to assume the troll is downvoting us, because that is what trolls do.

  • Greedy

    You know what happens when you assume... I might up vote from time to time, but can't say I've ever downvoted. If I don't like something enough I'll say so. Down voting is for people too cowardly to anonymously talk shit. Oh, and I have a bag of dicks here for you somewhere.

  • Slash

    (sigh) You're missing the part where he said that people who don't pay income taxes aren't responsible and want everything handed to them by government. Read this: http://andrewsullivan.thedaily...

    Then tell us you don't understand what the big deal is.

    Now, I don't give a fuck what Romney thinks about anything, and he's right, I sure as shit wasn't ever gonna vote for him, but people who actually do care about being called leeches are kinda mad about it.

  • abell

    Look, I understand that the income tax number is misleading, and that there are several other places where people pay taxes. Furthermore, I agree that it sounds like Romney is unsympathetic to people who are struggling to get by, and who appreciate having a check that comes in the mail. But, I don't think that's the point. I maintain that the point was whether or not the government is responsible to provide healthcare, food, and housing. That should be something we can talk about. Yes, I see that it's poorly worded, but this is no worse than the 'you didn't build that' quote or 'the 'bitter clingers' line from 2008. If you're willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt, and read around the poorly worded, why aren't you giving his opponent the same benefit of the doubt?

  • The "You didn't build that" thing was a gross intentional misquote of what the president said and it only takes listening to his full sentence to see it was a misquote.

    What you're talking about here isn't a misquote or a couple second clip intentionally shortened to change the intent. People have problems with 45 minutes of what Romney said. He himself isn't even denying what he said and his own VP choice has said that the message stands as is.

  • abell

    I have listened to the entire sentence, and it doesn't seem misquoted at all. He says that your intelligence and your hard work wasn't what was responsible for your success, after all, there are a lot of smart, hardworking people out there. You had a great teacher... other people built the roads the bridges,... if you've got a business, you didn't build that. Any mistakes I made were out of a disinterest in copy pasting, not an attempt to misrepresent the speech immediately preceding and following the central quote. It seems like a pretty blatant attempt to argue that the luck and support involved in economic success invalidates the individual's hard work and entrepreneurial risk involved in building your own business as a justification to raise taxes, to contribute to others. Right? Maybe, I'm still misinterpreting, what did he actually mean? Furthermore, isn't that what he stands for, the idea that none of us are in this alone, so you need to contribute more?

    Also, do you have anything on the 'bitter clingers' line? I've always been interested in hearing that explained away.

  • Erm

    Obama was talking about infrastructure, and his phrase "you didn't build that" was meant to reference roads specifically. But yes, the sentiment is basically the same, but he wasn't directly saying that people didn't build businesses, he was saying that people didn't build roads.

  • Slash

    As charming as Obama is (and he is), it'd be nice if charm (or a reasonable facsimile) wasn't necessary to become president. But it is. Mostly because of television, it is. And the problem is, people who are "charming" (or who can fake it very well) are often not very good leaders, "good" in this context meaning (to me) "doesn't actively make the country worse than it was when he/she took over." Charm should not be a primary consideration in choosing a chief executive. Competence, intelligence, the ability to be diplomatic are necessary. It's becoming clearer to me that Huntsman should have been the Republican candidate. I don't really give a shit, because the Republican party is determined to ruin this country and specifically, Obama, if it has to take everybody else down with it, but surely Huntsman could have done a better job of at least faking charm and competence than Romney has. I know none of the other assholes who attempted to get the nomination is capable of it. They're all a bunch of idiots. Much like their constituents.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, now, charm is not an indicator of how "good" a president will be.

    But if Huntsman had been a candidate, it would've been a much more interesting race.

  • TheAggroCraig

    I wonder how many people other than David Letterman can truthfully say, "I fist-bumped the President".

  • Sara_Tonin00

    This President? probably in the hundreds.

  • Whit

    That life jacket bit was amazing.

  • Greedy

    This one put me over the top...I've changed my mind and will now vote for Obama. Thanks Dustin for banging the drum for so long and convincing me that goddamn charm is what we need in a president. Did the DOJ call and complain things were getting a little too right of center here or what?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Well, since Dustin posted about the convergence of entertainment and politics, I don't think this post can be construed as straight up electioneering. This was about candidates on non-news programs.

  • BierceAmbrose

    This was about *a* candidate on a particular non-news program. When Dear Overlord posts about the current President's talking tour of non-news media outlets, this might be something like even handed. And by "posts about" I mean "slams, for being a preening dandy, likely violating election laws."

    I went off on President Obama's slow jam on Fallon at the time. That was a negative campaign spot dressed up on free airwaves. He got away with it, so now it's endless.

    *That's* the disturbing story, yet sadly of a piece with doing more of every damn wrong thing Bush did wrong. Bombing countries bad - let's bomb more. Deficits too high - make em bigger. And, I was not a fan of the state media during the last administration. This one has turned it up to 11.

  • Greedy

    Seriously? Is the DOJ sending you emails too? He's not making any kind of critique whatsoever regarding the convergence of entertainment and politics, just reposting the Daily Show and including a couple other anecdotes highlighting how terribly unhip the Mittster is (which to be fair, isn't all that unfair-Romney ain't the coolest cube in the tray, but I'm ok with that), then concluding with how goddamn charming Obama is. keep the narrative rolling, Obama is cool, so cool, so goddamn cool, it doesn't matter that he is an inept administrator with an ideology far to the left of everyone except Paul Krugman and 78% of under-employed Pajiba commenters.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I know you're trolling...you could make some good points, but instead you just tout the "Obama as an extreme leftist" blah blah. If he IS, he's certainly not been a very good or effective leftist. His actions have been very, very moderate (can you put more than one "very" in front of "moderate"?)

  • Ghisent

    I love the misconception that Obama is actually a hard leftist. Do us all a favor and actually come to an understanding of what communism/socialism is, and then do us ANOTHER favor and take a look at actual employment stats, and then do ONE MORE favor and then take an honest, impartial look at his real achievements...

    And then... oh, who gives a crap. You're not going to, because you don't give a damn about facts. Just go turn Fox News on again, have another beer, and go back to hating gays.

  • Greedy

    In his own book, he said he was a Marxist at Occidental. He Was mentored by a Marxist Frank Marshall Davis, he sought out Marxist friends and professors, he hired a Marxist to be his Green Jobs Czar. I have never seen a statement from him to the effect of 'I just flirted with communism in my youth, but I realize now that is a bankrupt ideology that has failed every time it has been tried.' No, instead he talks about the Constitution as a document of negative rights, he advocates for redistribution of wealth, and he pushes through a bill (unread by anyone despite campaign promises to the contrary) giving the government control over 1/6 of the economy. If I can't judge a man by his words and actions, I suppose all I'm left with is his goddamn charm. Go Obama, you charming devil you! For the record, I am pro gay marriage, it's just a little further down the list of national priorities for me. But thanks for making a blanket assumption asshole. Both parties have big tents with lots of room for screaming fucktwits, and both sides would do well to not judge the entirety of their opposition by their most extreme elements.

  • Jen

    There are no words for how pathetic you are supporting someone who thinks you're worthless. Oh unless you're in the 1% that Romney finds worthy and since your trolling gossips sites on a weekday afternoon I'm going to guess youre not.

  • Greedy

    Listen, I'm only supporting Romney because my hedge fund manager says it's the best play. He's not sure he can short the market as effectively as he did last time. That's all for now, the gps is beeping letting me know my yacht is about to run into Grand Cayman. Time to prep the Bentley for disembarkation!

  • Maguita NYC

    You know what, how about you kiss my Pajiban under-employed ass.

    For this fine ass has more than probably paid a higher percentage of taxes last year, than your Mitt-fucking-Romney in the past 10 years.

    And yeah, we love our black communist-socialist Kenyan President who keeps it cool, and does not spew divisive and elitist bullshit that insults 99% of Americans. Be they Hispanic, African American, gay, straight, white, poor, and everything in between.

  • Greedy

    Did I hit a nerve? I'm sorry, when I said under-employed, what I really meant was over-educated. My bad.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Apparently we can add slapstick to the ever-growing list of things that Mitt Romney just doesn't understand, along with irony and karma.

  • BierceAmbrose

    So true.

  • dizzylucy

    I waited eagerly for Stewart's take last night, and he didn't disappoint! Righteous indignation indeed.

    SNL no, but the View yes? Good Lord. Whenever that show is mentioned, all I hear is a bunch of chickens cackling in my head.

  • Lemon_Poundcake

    Like the chickens on the Muppets?

  • dizzylucy

    Yes! I guess that makes Barbara Walters Camilla? Though I think the Muppet Chickens are a bit more tolerable to watch.

  • Rummy

    The number of anti-Romney posts has gone way up the closer we get to the election. Don't worry Dustin. I think Obama is winning the Pajiba vote.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Since he got a byline on other "media" he's had a quota, or the won't let him into the clubhouse.

    If you haven't, look up "journolist."

  • John W

    I'm confused, Romney is critical of people who don't pay their taxes. Isn't that what the Republicans want, for no one to pay taxes?

  • Maguita NYC

    No. They only want for the RICH to keep on paying less taxes.

    Romney's objective is no matter the deficit, the 1% will be getting marginal tax cuts, and in order to get some of that money back, he will hack away, indiscriminately, on anything and all things that in reality make it possible for the majority to join a comfortable middle-class, to lead healthy, prosperous lives, as Americans ought to.


    Because like 95% of Republican Congressmen and women, Willard Mitt Romney had signed Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge".

    A pledge that binds each and every one to oppose increases in marginal income tax rates for individuals and businesses, as well as net reductions or eliminations of deductions and credits, UNLESS, matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

    Republicans have been giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but the reality is, they cannot compromise on Grover Norquist.

    EACH AND EVERYONE WHO SIGNED Grover Norquist's pledge, is held to opposing deficit reduction agreements, that include ANY element of increased tax revenue, thus making the pledge an obstacle to any chance at deficit reduction.

    And because their predecessor, George W. Bush, had already tremendously reduced taxes for the rich, and had bled this country into the ground, by their pledge, they cannot raise taxes, no matter the deficit.

    Norquist's position is NO TAXES, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell.

    That is why we often say that Republicans sign a deal with the devil.

    That is how the Republican party promotes religious fervor, but acts like the spawn of evil.

    We are not a democracy anymore, but a pretend-theocracy run by lobbyists, under the guise of religious beliefs.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Sam Seyborn's Sorkin-rant about the 1% from The West Wing:


    Oh, you were expecting a rant *against* those bastards?

    I don't mind people making a lot of money. I do mind people making a lot of money by lying or cheating, and I especially mind people cashing in by working the impenetrable thicket of tax laws we can't stop adding to, or purchasing patronage from the Politi-critters with a cut of the spoils.

    If we knocked off the patronage in the tax code, we'd raise plenty more revenue, free up hundreds of millions of dollars of effort, currently wasted dealing with forms and rules, and as a bonus make one less way for the swamp-dwellers to pay off their clients.

    There's not much to gain from playing "Your guys suck worse than our guys, so shut up." To start with there's enough suckitude that we'd be arguing how many turds can float on the head of a pin. Besides, none of them are my guys, and they shouldn't be yours or anyone else's.

    What's worth talking about is boring, non-outrage-y stuff like what is the fiscal situation, in fact?

    Here's some infographics on taxes, demographics and revenue, which, being less than a phone book worth(*), can't contain every way to look at the data. As far as they go, I think they're accurate. While The Heritage Foundation put them together, and has an agenda, being slices of publicly available information, they'd be hard to fake.


    There's plenty of ways to respond to those numbers. One would be "Lies. Here's what's true and how you can tell which of us is being truthful." Another response might be: "True but incomplete." Another might be: "True and this is a good thing - exactly what we want."

    Something like this, however, is not an argument: "I heard that what The Heritage Foundation stands for sucks, so these graphics have to be fake, and evil, and besides they raise questions that don't fit what I'd like to have happen so, bad thing. Bad thing."

    The situation as I see it:

    - The US tax code is *already* highly progressive, yet polluted by rake-offs and special exceptions that let particular individuals, segments or activities pay way, way less.

    We ought to fix the patronage, not the rates. This is what the President's own debt commission proposed without saying "patronage".

    - "The rich" who pay little in taxes don't do so because of low rates, but because of exceptions and deductions. Raising rates will only encourage them to work harder at gaming the system.

    We ought to simplify the system, not jigger the rates.

    - This is insane: "The rich don't pay enough (High enough rate, usually - ed.) because they get more of their money from capital gains, so let's raise their income tax rate." No.

    If we want to treat all income as the same, raise the capital gains rate, or lower the income tax rate.

    You don't get two numbers closer together by *increasing* the higher one.

    Two things keep giving me pause. No matter the rates, we've had a hell of a time getting the gross federal tax receipts over about 18% of GDP. I don't know where the tax lever is to have the federal government do more than that, ongoing. If you conscript people, you can direct more than 18% of what people do, but that tends to make them surly. This seems a poor plan.

    Second, in the general fund, and *income tax*, the *fraction who pay* vs. the *fraction who consume* seems headed in one direction pretty steeply. "General fund" excludes Social Security & similar stuff, which I am noting because I'm usually less clumsy than Mitt Romney.

    Calling Republicans feckless and evil won't solve any of this. If you claim that raising rates on "the 1%" will, I'd like to see your numbers.

    (*) A "phone book" was a tome produced in olden days, containing minimal descriptions plus contact digits for everybody with a phone. Back before 411 became cheap, and the internet was everywhere, this was how you figured out how to reach people.

  • Maguita NYC

    First off, let me start by saying that I did not look into your "Heritage Foundation Plan", restriction of time and such...

    However, a few things do stand true: Billionaires in this country DO pay a lower income tax rate than middle-class. Not including those exceptions and deductions, the richest are very far off from the 33% they used to pay.

    Those exceptions and deductions were included gradually, and insidiously, in order to alleviate that tax rate that some billionaires found burdensome. The important point is, even though those perpetrated exceptions and deductions were integrated, they were definitely not adjusted whenever actual income tax rate reductions were voted in, for the richest. The rich got richer, and much greedier.

    So yes, the first step IS to readjust that income tax rate on the richest, and to start looking into those serious exceptions and deductions.

    You said "if we want to treat all income as the same, raise the capital gains rate, or lower the income tax rate. You don't get two numbers closer together by *increasing* the higher one."

    I don't know if you are forgetting that we are operating under extreme deficit duress. Or that Romney's plan, whatever he had shown so far, is to give even BIGGER tax breaks to the richest. His philosophy, or rather his party's, is that when you give a tax break to the richest, they are less fearful of creating jobs and investing locally.


    One thing has stood true, time and time again:

    Romney's solution in order to alleviate the deficit is by cutting back on taxes to the richest, and trying to balance that out by cutting on government spending. Meaning we still haven't dealt seriously with the deficit, it is still the same and getting worst, the difference would be: The rich just got even richer, and the middle-class, the poorest, and small businesses have even less services available.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY here, beyond yet another idiotic and inexplicable tax break to the richest, is WHERE ROMNEY WILL BE CUTTING ON GOVERNMENT spending?

    Seems that his cutting is relied heavily on services that help the middle-class, a very infinite percentage, instead of cutting on the outrageously gynormous allocations such as national security. And those government services he is looking into cutting, seem to rely heavily on extreme-religious agenda: Planned Parenthood for example.

    The idea to cut more on the middle class, to take away every service that could make their life easier, simply to balance out the cuts he will be giving the richest, boggles the mind.

    But understanding why Mitt Romney is trying so hard to stay away from basic arithmetic, you have to look into his pledge to Grover Norquist.

    No matter what deficit hell his country is in, the actions that will allow Mitt, or anyone in his party for that matter, to get the country back on track, is not permissible under the conditions set in "The Tax Payer Protection Pledge".

    There is no quick solution. But I believe that raising taxes back up to a normal level on the richest, while government keeps on investing in our country, like it did to get us out during the depression, makes for a steady, yet a certain, comeback.

    Don't forget, Reagan had raised taxes 13 times during his office, and even Bush Sr, who had run his election under the much repeated "READ MY LIPS, WE WILL NOT RAISE TAXES", under the extreme duress to get the country on the right track, he eventually HAD TO. Would Norquist allow Mitt to do so?

    And does Mitt have what it takes (or does he know how) to balance out a budget, while creating jobs locally, not shipping them overseas, and without cutting on pension plans and services for the middle-class and small businesses?

  • BierceAmbrose

    - I said "infographics" produced using public data. There is no plan at the link, nor did I say so.

    - The link is to "zerohedge", which is not The Heritage Foundation. Zerohedge used graphics from The Heritage Foundation with attribution. I linked there. (Zerohedge is good reading, mostly of the variety: "Why do they think *this*
    piece of economy-wrangling will work?"Their predictions on the Euro debt
    "crisis" have been spot on for pushing two years, now. Also, "crisis" for over two years? I do not think that word means what you think it means.)

    - The data populating the graphics comes from public sources, so can be checked for spin or skew, or sliced in different ways.

    Why look at the data? If we're talking about changing tax rates, we might want to look at revenue, and revenue vs. tax rates and similar over time to see where the money comes from, what changes in rates have done in the past and so on. Tax "the rich" more comes up whenever the debt and deficit get mentioned. We might want to see what works, what hurts and what's noise. In net, raising rates doesn't raise revenue, at least not so far.

    The data I linked, and other sources says that federal tax
    revenues have hovered around 18% regardless of tax rates, especially and
    including rates on "the rich." We're spending about 25% of GDP lately, with no proposal from the administration (or the Senate - hacks) to change that.

    So, explain to me how raising rates on "the rich" helps? When talking about "cutting" the cold fact is, so far we get to spend about 18% of GDP on federal stuff without borrowing. Borrowing gets harder the greater your debt. We can't spend 25% of GDP federally forever.

    Personally, I think this "tax the rich" is purely political. People get to say they tried, and point at scapegoats to distract from their own contribution to the mess, meaning government policy, institutions, and horrible execution. That's a good rule of thumb, BTW. Whenever someone's shouting "Look at those bad guys over there!" take a look at the shouters. They likely did worse.

    Personally, I think demonizing "the 1%" so we can take their stuff has some really, really bad antecedents.

    Meanwhile, from that West Wing clip, I'm taken by how recycled today's rhetoric is, right down to "jet planes" and "fair share." This administration's designated bad guys - scapegoats, really - are *exactly the same* as two administrations ago and they've even recycled the sound bites.

    The only difference is the numbers. These days, "the 1%" of wage earners pays 37% of federal income tax, vs. the 22% Sam quotes. (I'm assuming he's referring to income tax.) Also, this is exactly the kind of thing The West Wing did brilliantly, placing "progressive" preferences in the actual context at the time. They also tended to look up numbers like "22%."

    "Tax the rich" is your proposal (and this administration's.) Explain why it'll work. Why will raising rates produce more revenue this time? Or it isn't about revenue and deficits. If not, what's it about, and why is this unspoken goal so important we should take more of other people's stuff to achieve it?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    You're basically right. However, taking election presents (and that's what tax exemptions are) away is always terribly unpopular, and therefore extremely hard to get favorable votes for. Representatives always think about getting re-elected, and stuff like that will prevent that.

    It's easier to further screw around with the tax code, because that can be done in small steps that do not get much airwaves.

  • BierceAmbrose

    So, we're getting the government we deserve?

    Godtopus help us.

  • ChuggaWasTaken

    I know it's not much of a contribution to the conversation, but ooooooooh SNAP!

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