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Once Upon A Terrible Time....

robert reichToday's Rant is the first few paragraphs of a column by Robert Reich called "The Fable of the Century":

Imagine a country in which the very richest people get all the economic gains. They eventually accumulate so much of the nation's total income and wealth that the middle class no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy going full speed. Most of the middle class's wages keep falling and their major asset - their home - keeps shrinking in value.

Imagine that the richest people in this country use some of their vast wealth to routinely bribe politicians. They get the politicians to cut their taxes so low there's no money to finance important public investments that the middle class depends on - such as schools and roads, or safety nets such as health care for the elderly and poor.

Imagine further that among the richest of these rich are financiers. These financiers have so much power over the rest of the economy they get average taxpayers to bail them out when their bets in the casino called the stock market go bad. They have so much power they even shred regulations intended to limit their power.

These financiers have so much power they force businesses to lay off millions of workers and to reduce the wages and benefits of millions of others, in order to maximize profits and raise share prices - all of which make the financiers even richer, because they own so many of shares of stock and run the casino.

Now, imagine that among the richest of these financiers are people called private-equity managers who buy up companies in order to squeeze even more money out of them by loading them up with debt and firing even more of their employees, and then selling the companies for a fat profit.

Although these private-equity managers don't even risk their own money - they round up investors to buy the target companies - they nonetheless pocket 20 percent of those fat profits.

And because of a loophole in the tax laws, which they created with their political bribes, these private equity managers are allowed to treat their whopping earnings as capital gains, taxed at only 15 percent - even though they themselves made no investment and didn't risk a dime.

Finally, imagine there is a presidential election. One party, called the Republican Party, nominates as its candidate a private-equity manager who has raked in more than $20 million a year and paid only 13.9 percent in taxes - a lower tax rate than many in the middle class.

Read the rest of the story here.


4-10-2012: The eagle-eyed among you might notice that I made a slight edit to the art in this cartoon. I don't do this often but in this case it was perfectly warranted. For the curious here is the original version.



Note 1: Ever wondered what the top five regrets of the dying might be? Hint: It's not that they should have worked harder.

Note 2: More bad news for meat eaters. If the meat is processed you're asking for trouble. BIG trouble.

Note 3: There is no longer a functioning democracy in Michigan.

Note 4: The War On Drugs is great... if you're a sadistic bastard working for the police department.

Note 5: Who needs a $30,000 watch? Why, a priest, naturally. Musn't miss vespers.

Note 6: Say "Hello!" to Rick Santorum!


And now our Chart of the Day: Deficit Projections since 2001.

deficit projections chart
Vastly more massive version available here.


Republican Job Creation Update

republican job creation4-9-2012: The House has scheduled a series hearings for the next two weeks. No jobs will be created.


Fox News Lies. Dump Fox News

Fox News Lies! Vice President Joe Biden told a group of firemen and policemen to ignore thr emergencies of rich people. Actually, he didn't. Fox News just made that shit up.

Click here to help Drop Fox from your cable system.

end rant

(To spare you right-wing nincompoopery all comments are moderated.)
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Today's Google Chow.

There are those who say the modern Republican Party is cynical and hypocritical.They say we pander to yokels using emotional issues, then leverage the vote of the mob to power our primarily pro-corporation agenda. But let me assure you, my friends, that the GOP is genuinely proud to be the party of God, guns, social values and, uh, and....... and (sigh) Justin Bieber!