Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Millionaire Golfer: "Higher Taxes Don't Make Me Work Harder"

Poor* guy:

In an interview with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo from The Barclay's golf tournament that aired on Friday, Mickelson was asked how it felt to pay over 60% of his British and Scottish Open winnings in taxes.

"It's not making me want to go out and work harder," Mickelson said.
*Figuratively, of course.

Okay, a few things. First off, Mickelson gets $36 million a year in endorsements. The only way to make sure you keep getting endorsements is to continue being a good golfer. If Mickelson doesn't "work as hard", and his golfing becomes worse, those endorsements start going away. In other words, it's in Mickelson's best interest to keep working harder, regardless of what the tax rates might be.

Furthermore, despite the extremely high tax rates in Great Britain, Mickelson STILL decided to go ahead and do it. After all these taxes were taken into account, Mickelson got to keep $842,700, for two weeks of work, from his pre-tax income of $2,167,500. We can have a spirited debate about whether that's too much taxation or not, but the point remains: Mickelson isn't stupid enough to quit doing what he's doing because he knows that $842,700, while quite a bit less than $2,167,500, is still shockingly enough, still a helluva lot more money than $0!

This is something that teabaggers are incapable of grasping. If you take a quick glance at the comments section on that page (and this is something you should NEVER do), you'll notice that countless Breitbrats are jizzing at the idea of Mickelson and his ilk getting too fed up at Obama's oppressive government, and the filthy masses, and finally "going Galt". But of course, that will NEVER, EVER happen. Remember, even Sean Hannity, who is ostensibly a hundred times more freedom-loving than Mickelson, has admittedly (albeit inadvertently) that his own supposed 60% tax rates haven't been enough to make him flee from the liberal cesspool of NYC, and move to Somalia.

The threat of high taxes isn't as much of a deterrent for working as the wealthy would have everyone believe. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More Republicans Sign Up For Obamacare Provision Than Democrats

Via NBC News:

“One of the most popular provisions of the law lets people age 26 and younger stay on their parents’ health insurance… They found that by last March, 63 percent of young adults identifying as Republicans had enrolled in a parent’s health plan in the last 12 months, compared to 45 percent of those who considered themselves Democrats.”

It's almost as if the Republican stereotype of Republicans being proud, self-reliant, he-men isn't remotely close to reality...

In any case, I won't complain too much. Any help that Obamacare gets to become successful is good help. But I can't help but note how deliciously ironic it would be if, in the end, Obamacare turned out to be saved thanks mostly to Republicans.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Grover Norquist Says Just Because Obama Was Re-elected Doesn't Mean The American People Want Obamacare

Anti-tax crusader, Grover Norquist, was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, earlier this week to talk about taxes and Obamacare. The host took a question from some random person on the Twitters, asking Norquist why the GOP keeps saying the American people don't want Obamacare, considering that Obama ran on that platform during the last election and, you know, won. Here was his response:

Well, because polling on the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, says people don't like it. Obama beat Romney, and there are a whole series of issues on the table there. If it had been a referendum on Obamacare, Romney would have been president. But he didn't make it one, largely because he had passed something largely kinda similar to this in Massachusetts, that also also has many, any challenges and problems, and despite his other assets and virtues, it made him a flawed candidate for the presidency at a time when it should have been as the tweetor [...] suggests that would have been a more powerful issue.

Let me just get the argument in the first sentence out of the way. As we have seen many times before, Obamcare isn't very popular because a good chunk of people who disapprove of it, do so because it doesn't go far enough. They don't want to completely shred the law like Republicans in congress want.

Now for the second part of Grover's argument. I imagine many people were as puzzled as I was at the rationale. If people hated Obamacare as much as Grover claims, and wanted it repealed, wouldn't it make sense to vote for the guy who said he would do just that?

The argument seems to be, if I'm understanding it correctly, that Romney couldn't appeal to those people who wanted to get rid of Obamacare, because he himself passed the blueprint for Obamacare in Massachusetts.

Yeah...can't say I buy that excuse.

Sure, from the Republican side, if you're of the opinion that Obamacare is the greatest threat to freedom in the history of civilization, then yeah, picking the guy who basically created it as your ultimate weapon to eventually destroy it, might not have been the best strategy.

Still, from a purely pragmatic perspective (yay alliteration!), who gives a shit? I know teabaggers always hated Romney or anyone remotely to the left of Genghis Khan, for being insufficiently pure. But let us not forget that the whole point of Romney getting the nomination was precisely because he was insufficiently pure. It was the establishment's way of trying to put the minds of the non-teabagger portion of the electorate at ease. If a random voter who was on the fence felt slightly terrified at the sight of Michelle Bachmann biting off a live chicken's head, people like Jennifer Rubin could alleviate their concern by reminding said voter that Romney was a moderate, which is why he politely declined to participate in that portion of the Republican debate.

Anyway, whatever flaws Romney may have had, to my knowledge, he has never wavered on his promise to repeal Obamacare. Sure, there is the distinct possibility that he may not have approved of the idea of mandatory Bible study at NASA or allowing BP to annex the EPA, but the number one priority, that united ALL Republicans was the complete and utter destruction of Obamacare, which, again, Romney agreed to do. So it makes no sense that the American people wouldn't have voted Romney in to save them from this socialized monstrosity. What would they say? "Well, this sure is a horrible, awful destructive program that'll bankrupt the country and cause countless people to die on the streets....but hey, what the hell! Let's vote for the guy who wants to implement it, anyway!"

Grover and all his Republican buddies can keep believing most of America doesn't want universal health care if it helps them sleep better at night, but constantly repeating it won't make it come true.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

GOP Congressman: Minimum Wage Hike to $10/Hr = $20 Hamburgers

Just when you thought the GOP's arguments couldn't get any more insane:


That's right, a roughly $3/hr increase in the minimum wage will cause your McDonald's hamburger to rise to $20.  Boy, McDonald's sure has some unique cost curves!

The GOP has been pushing an argument that raising the minimum wage would cause prices to soar, but of course there is no actual evidence of this.  Many studies seem to estimate that at worst, a 10% rise in the minimum wage is correlated with a 4% rise in fast food prices and a 1% rise overall.  Reality is probably much less than that.

Then again, the GOP doesn't deal in reality, as evidenced above.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jim DeMint Says Forcing People To Buy Private Insurance Will "Destroy" The Private Insurance Market

Former senator, and current head of the Heritage Foundation, Jim Demint went to the Wall Street Journal editorial page to make the case for shutting down the government if Obamacare isn't defunded. As typical with op-ed pieces from right-wingers, you could expect to find a lot of fun comments crammed inside. For example:
ObamaCare will destroy the private-insurance market, incentivize businesses to cancel current health coverage for their employees, create physician shortages, and force Americans and states into total dependency on the federal government. After all that, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the free market to resurrect a private health-care system built on doctor/patient decision-making.

So…DeMint is arguing that a system where the government forces people to buy private health insurance, will somehow actually destroy the private insurance market. How this will occur exactly, I'm not exactly sure (maybe filling up on so many customers will cause Blue Cross to explode?). Maybe DeMint still thinks that Obamacare is actually a single payer system? Would make a lot more sense. Or maybe he's just a douche.

Furthermore, DeMint seems to think that it would be virtually impossible for the free market to turn things around after an Obamapocalypse? And here I thought there was nothing the free market couldn't magically fix.

Oh, and other thing. DeMint would also like everyone to know that while he wants the Republicans in congress to shutdown the government, that doesn't mean that a hypothetical government shutdown will be the fault of those same Republicans:

So why is President Obama threatening to shut down the government if Congress sends him a year-end spending bill to fully support government operations but without funding for his (unfair, unworkable and unaffordable) health-care law?
This must be the teabagger equivalent of a jedi mind-trick.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Irony Can Be A Cruel Mistress

From a diarist by the name of Semdem at Dailykos:

Erick Erickson calls Caleb Howe his “right-hand man”. He is currently in critical condition at a hospital in North Carolina: 
"A fund has been set up to help Caleb Howe’s family. Most of you know Caleb. For several years he was my right hand here at RedState. He has been badly missed. Right now, Caleb is in a hospital bed with a failing liver. His children, ages 11 and 14, are getting ready to go back to school. The family needs help." 
What he doesn’t mention, for obvious reasons, is that Caleb Howe has no insurance. You have to select the fund link to see that: \ 
"It would lift an incredible burden for Caleb & Donna if they could get even the smallest amount of help with these upcoming expenses. If you’re not in a position to give, your prayers are always welcome in lieu of a donation. Thank you for your compassion and help."
Let me start off by saying that while I think Caleb Howe's a massive dick, I hope he's able to pay off his bills and get better.

Having said that, several questions I'd like to raise:

-How does this dude NOT have health insurance? I don't know how the benefits structure works at RedState, but it's pretty clear health insurance isn't included. But even if it wasn't, shouldn't this dude have been able to buy it on his own? I figure he's not part of the vile moocher class, so it should have been no problem, right?

-I know Howe doesn't like Obamacare, but does he feel good about himself seeing as how he has to rely on begging others for assistance?

-If he does feel bad about this, does this mean he's going to reimburse everyone once he gets back to work?

-Has his boss, Erick Erickson, lost a good chunk of respect for him for relying on others to help him out instead of sucking it up and bootstrapping his way out this mess? Does this constitute a moral failing?

-Honestly, is this the type of personal responsibility you guys are always yammering on about?

-Do you think Howe feels particularly depressed that he had to get sick during the same week that his fellow conservatives launched their hip, new, "only fags buy health insurance" initiative? Talk about unfortunate timing.

-Finally, have you learned ANYTHING -anything at all- from this ordeal?

Looking forward to hearing the responses. Oh, and one last thing:

Just throwing that out there.


Mediaite's Tommy Christopher, who is a close personal friend of Howe's, mentions this:

Before he went into the hospital, Caleb called me, and he asked if I thought the ER would admit him even though he didn’t have insurance.

That such a question would be asked by someone who has ostensibly defended the so-called "best health care system in the world" should really put things in perspective.

Also, this was posted by one of Caleb's siblings in the comments section on that Redstate blog post:

 The "facts" of the article are incorrect anyway! Caleb hasn't been writing for over a year and he is unemployed! The fund was set up for his kids *my nieces, I am FURIOUS at the so called writer at KOS for number one having his facts COMPLETELY wrong and number 2 taking this as a political thing, it started as a fund for the kids to get school stuff. I am fuming! Thank you so much for posting this, I am so mad that I would not have been as kind. Side note: Caleb is unaware that this fund is even set up! Some people donating are saying that he has been reduced to begging, makes me so furious.

A few things:

1. So this fund wasn't him asking for help in paying his medical bills, but to ask people to help pay for his kids' schooling? Not sure if this is the best defense.

2. If people are donating money, they sure as hell are entitled to offer any political opinions to go along with it.

3. Not to be a dick, but while it may be true that Howe himself didn't set up this fund to pay for his health care, the fact is that he will most likely be accepting the money nonetheless. Sorry, you don't get to be a non-moocher just because someone else begs on your behalf, while still reaping the rewards.

Mind you, I'm not even saying that's a BAD thing. We all need help sometimes, after all. But imagine, just for a second, if the situations were reversed. What if Caleb was a liberal? Oh sure, I have no doubt that a good chunk of conservatives would help out, but anyone who thinks the comments section wouldn't be flooded with posts in the vein of "GET A DAMN JOB, HIPPY!" is kidding themselves.