We know it’s not “free”

Look, when Democrats say things like “health care should be free” we mean like public education is “free.” We all know our taxes pay for it.

Conservative memes that imply that we just want “free” stuff are either stupidly or purposely missing the point. We know it’s not “free”.  We’re saying we want to spend our money — our taxpayer money — on these things instead of wasting it elsewhere.

We’re the richest damn country in the world. If every other major country can do it, we obviously can.

The whole problem is that we instead give billionaires tax breaks that don’t grow the economy as promised, give subsidies to businesses that don’t need them, and spend way too much on military hardware that even the military doesn’t want or need.

It’s not “free” health care any more than it’s “free” aircraft carriers or “free” public roads. It’s our money. We decide how to spend it.

We have the money to do this. We just need politicians who will spend the money wisely.

This is an old cartoon from the 40s from a Russian magazine. Some things never change

No, we’re not trying to take 70% of your income

Why is a graduated income tax — you know, what we’ve had for basically everyone’s life — is so hard for conservatives to understand? I mean, they pay taxes, too, right?

“If I earn $10 million, they want to take 70% of everything I earn!” they scream. No, we want 70% of any amount OVER ten million a year. It’s not that difficult of a concept, whereas the percentage changes with different income levels. If you’ve ever paid taxes before in your life, you should be aware of it.

Here’s how it works:

tax rate

The current proposal raises the rate for the extremely very wealthy, asking for 70% for income above $10 million — which would affect a very small number of Americans. And that’s even less than what the very rich paid in the 50s and 60s. You know, those terrible days when we built interstate highways, provided free college education, and went to the Moon.

Further, Democratic proposals want to reduce the amount paid for those under $50,000 (which is the majority of Americans) which can easily be done if we raise it on the very wealthy. This will help the economy tremendously, because when we non-rich people have money, we spend it on things we need!

Oh, wait. I see now. The Republicans claiming that Democrats want 70% of your income are lying to make people hate this idea. Silly me. Should have used Occam’s Razor to begin with.

My radical, socialist, 75-year old platform

It’s always amazing to me how my crazy, far-left socialist plans would fit perfectly into the 1944 Democratic platform.



Besides reiterating its support for “social security, including old age pensions, unemployment insurance, security for crippled and dependent children and the blind,” it called for (and these are exact quotes): “legislation assuring equal pay for equal work, regardless of sex” as well as “a Constitutional amendment on equal rights for women.” It emphasized “that racial and religious minorities have the right to live, develop and vote equally with all citizens and share the rights that are guaranteed by our Constitution” and stated that “Congress should exert its full constitutional powers to protect those rights.” It dedicated itself to full benefits for veterans, support for small businesses, and the tax structure under President Roosevelt of 94% for income over $200,000 (or slightly more than $2 million in today’s numbers). And then, of course, there was Roosevelt’s plan for a national health care policy…

The GOP has done such a great job of moving everyone to the right that when a Democrat suggests things that were mainstream 75 years ago, they seem radical.


But that’s socialism!

If you’re poor and can’t afford private school, you get free public education through 12th grade.

“Makes sense.”

If you’re poor and can’t afford college, you get free public college for another four years.

“What? Are you crazy? That’s socialism!”

If you’re poor and arrested, you get a free lawyer.

“Makes sense.”

If you’re poor and sick, you get a free doctor.

“What? Are you crazy? That’s socialism!”


Here comes another crash

Back before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, there were practically no controls on the economy. The US averaged a crisis every seventeen years — For example, there was the Panic of 1819, the 1837 Crisis, the Panic of 1873, the Panic of 1893, the 1907 Banker’s Panic, and so on up to the Great Depression. Then Franklin Roosevelt put in controls and restrictions on Wall Street and banking and lo and behold, no depressions and no recessions for fifty years. Reagan comes in and removes those and bang! The S&L crisis, the 2001 recession, the 2007 Mortgage crisis, and the 2008 Bush collapse.44125c1cb5eedd9138900d00712bcaf8_400x400

Capitalism works, but it only works with controls. So after the collapse in 2008, Congress placed controls over the banks to prevent this from happening again.

Guess what the Republicans just removed?

No matter how much they may tell you they do these things to help the economy, the fact is that none of it ever works except for the super rich and the huge corporations.

Years ago, for instance, we were told that trickle down economics will help us all. It of course has done no such thing (although there’s plenty of evidence that trickle-up economics works). When Trump reduced the taxes for the super-rich and corporations a while ago, we were promised that it would stimulate the economy and produce jobs. Ha ha! What a kidder.

The US economy always does better when everyone shares in the wealth, because when people have money they spend it, which increases demand and builds growth. I mean, duh.

So when someone tells you that restrictions on businesses are bad for the economy, just laugh at them, because clearly they have been brainwashed.

What “Make America Great Again” really means

Whenever I hear conservative politicians say things like “Make America great again” I have to wonder. The economy is booming. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in ten years. The deficit has been reduced by 2/3rds. The stock market is at its highest ever and gas prices are at their lowest in years.  Foreign policy-wise, ISIS leaders have been killed, Qadaffi was removed, bin Laden is dead, and we have less troops overseas than we did eight years ago.trump

These are all things that, if a Republican were in office, conservatives would be citing to say how wonderful their President is.

So what do they mean when they say “Make America great again”?

It’s clear that they’re not talking about the standard of living, foreign policy, or the economy. What they want is to go back to the old ways. You know — an America where

  • Minorities know their place and aren’t all uppity and saying “Black lives matter”
  • Gays hide in the closet and don’t demand rights
  • Transgender people are treated like they have mental problems and are shunned from society
  • Women let men decide their personal health issues, especially concerning abortion
  • Non-Christians let Christians force their religious views into the laws
  • Immigrants are kept out so that we can keep a white majority
  • No one questions the rich and powerful or demands that they pay their fair share
  • Health care and other needed necessities are only available to those who can afford it

That’s the America they want back — where rich, white, Christian men run things and everyone else sucks it up.

It’s a definition of “great” that only applies to a small minority of Americans who have managed to convince the simple-minded and gullible that America is not about equality, opportunity, and freedom but instead about allowing those in power to force their views onto the rest of us.




Socialists want to destroy education

As we all are aware, free education to every American from kindergarten up through 12th grade is a worthy expenditure of our tax dollars. Making sure our children are educated provides not only for better citizens but also helps to make them competitive in the world market.College You’ll hardly find a patriotic American who doesn’t support using taxpayer money to fund education for our precious children.

However, extending that education four more years is an abomination that is the worst kind of socialism, and anyone who advocates for such radical views clearly wishes to destroy not only our economy but also the very fabric of the United States of America.

(Have I got it right? I think that’s the argument anyway. I’m new at this “hold two competing ideas simultaneously” thing.)


Right to Work Laws and taxes

Wisconsin’s “Right to Work” laws were recently ruled to be unconstitutional. Known neanderthal and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vowed to appeal, because he knows who is contributing to his campaign — and it ain’t the unions.

These laws are the Republican’s latest attempts to destroy labor unions. The laws hold that unions cannot force workers to join the union or pay union dues.not-rosie

Libertarians often argue that these laws violate their rights in the same way they argue that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes (while still reaping all the benefits that the taxes provide). They scream about welfare moochers living off someone else’s work while they gladly accept the salary and benefits they receive thanks to someone else’s work.

“We demand the well-paying job with all the benefits without having to contribute to the system that gave us the well-paying job with all the benefits!” is their selfish rallying cry.

Well, tough. Don’t like it? I’m sure there’s a non-union job out there somewhere for you where you can earn half as much, get no benefits, and don’t have to contribute to society. You want freedom? You have the freedom to not accept a union job.

Talk about a bunch of moochers.




Stop Making These Stupid Comparisons!

Nobody is saying that!

I am so sick of these kinds of arguments:  “Oh, so you want $15 an hour for flipping burgers when our firefighters get paid less than that?  Who do you think you are, scum?”192816

Stop making those stupid comparisons! No one asking for a decent wage for a crappy job of standing over a boiling vat of fries for eight hours a day is saying that they are the only ones underpaid. Fast food workers are underpaid and our military is underpaid. These concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Why can’t we all admit that a large percentage of our population is underpaid? Until Reagan dismantled our economy, whenever things improved, salaries increased for everyone, upper and lower class. Now an improved economy only benefits the 1% at the top. Can’t we all agree that pretty much everyone needs a salary increase?

After all, the money to pay firefighters doesn’t come from McDonald’s anyway. Raising the wage for hamburger flippers won’t decrease other people’s salaries. Let’s lift everyone up. And even if we only lift some up at first, it doesn’t mean others don’t deserve it, too and should also be lifted as soon as possible.

But this is what they want — they want us fighting over the scraps because then we’re ignoring the huge wealth inequality that really exists in our country, and it’s not about whether someone should get a few extra dollars an hour.

But back to the main point: Stupid comparisons. I’m seeing way too many of these.

“Caitlyn Jenner is brave.” “Yeah, well not as brave as these soldiers!”  Yes, we know. No one said she was. It is possible for more than one person to be brave, you know.

“Black lives matter.” “All lives matter!” Yes, of course all lives matter, but sometimes we need to bring attention to some of them! It doesn’t mean they are the only lives that matter!

I mean, seriously, it’s gotten out of hand. As one comedian said recently, these kinds of arguments are like someone running into a fundraising event to fight cancer and yelling, “There are other diseases, you know!”

That’s not what Karl Marx said

I am constantly amazed at how many people think Karl Marx led the Russian Revolution and was all in favor of suppressing the public and stamping out all that is good in the world. I have seen political views being called “Marxist” that Karl Marx himself would have hated.

Let’s put this in perspective: Marx was observing how terrible life was for working people during the start of the industrial revolution. Children were working for pennies a day in unsafe factories seven days a week without adequate food, shelter or medical care. Europe and America were turning into a sort of feudal system where the rich trampled upon the poor, and it appeared that it would never change.Original_Marx_Brothers

Marx thought that the only solution to this was a revolution, after which would be the establishment of communism. His idea of communism is like the hippies thought in the 60s: We’ll all work together, live in a commune (hence “communism”) and share equally, with no one above anyone else.

His view was that by sharing in this way, everyone could benefit.

Keep in mind that Marx, being an economist, was mostly talking about the economy. Marx was not against democracy. He saw democracy as “the road to socialism” and before he died, he even backed away from the idea that a revolution was needed (having observed the progress that was made in America thanks to unions). Marx was not against freedom of speech or other basic rights. He imagined that the people would still vote for their leaders but that the leaders would not be richer or better off than anyone they represented.

All of this is impossible, impractical, and will never happen.

But his ideas were still appealing to those people on the bottom rungs of society, and so when Lenin and Stalin brought about the Russian Revolution, they claimed they were doing this to bring about communism and thus help everyone. They lied. Obviously, Stalin did not have any intention of installing a democracy or allowing free speech, any more than Mao did in China using the same rhetoric.

And that’s the problem. As wrong-headed as Marx was about society and what solutions were needed to fix the problems he saw, he thought his ideas would benefit people, not enslave them. He was not evil incarnate. He was trying to make things better. His theory was warped by those who used it to accomplish their ends.

Keep in mind that Marx died in 1883, thirty-four years before the Russian Revolution. He had already begun to change his theories about what was needed to solve the vast inequalities in society, and it’s pretty clear that he would not have supported Stalin’s brutal regime which pretended to be communist.

Now, for those of you who skimmed over this and are now calling me a Marxist: No, I clearly am not. (Unless you mean Groucho.)  Communism, which robs humans of individuality and discourages individual thought and incentive, will never work. And neither will capitalism, which rewards the rich and the powerful while enslaving the majority. The solution is what basically every country in the world now has: a socialist system somewhere between those two extremes.

The debate is over where on the scale we should be.