Monday, December 31, 2012

As 'Fiscal Cliff' Nears, Let's Review Republican Irresponsibility

By Manifesto Joe

While cleaning out some of my stuff, preparing to relocate for a new job, I came upon a 2003 publication from Citizens for Tax Justice that casts some interesting background on the so-called predicament in which the federal government now finds itself.

Want to guess which political party, when in executive power, did more spending paid for by borrowing?

This table shows Shares of Non-Social Security Federal Spending Paid for by Borrowing (Fiscal 1947 to 2003 projected)

Truman: none

Eisenhower: 3%

Kennedy-Johnson: 6%

Nixon-Ford: 14%

Carter: 13%

Reagan: 25%

Bush 1: 28%

Clinton: 6%

Bush 2, 2002: 23%

Bush 2, 2003: 33%

For decades, Republicans have stigmatized Democrats as the party of "tax and spend." This table raises the question: What happens when you spend, but don't tax?

At least the Democrats, when in power, have been willing and able to pay for their programs. Il Doofus (Bush 2) didn't bankrupt the country with his unpaid-for elective wars, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

Obama clearly inherited a fiscal mess and has tried to compromise, more than I and many others have been comfortable with, to enact a fix.

Meanwhile, Orange Julius & Co. seem to be doing the bidding of high rollers who don't have to be named. It's their way or the highway, no matter how the presidential election came out. Having held their "majority" in the House by gerrymandering, they apparently plan to obstruct every step of the way until November 2014, and will try to blame Obama for the mounting debt.

I don't have much faith in the intelligence of American voters. But I desperately hope they are smart enough to see through this ruse.

Meanwhile, about 2.1 million jobless Americans lost their emergency unemployment benefits yesterday. While the millionaires in Congress enjoy single-payer health care and count their pension money, many Americans will be looking at bankruptcy and perhaps homelessness.

I have little faith in the resourcefulness of humanity. But I try to believe in God, and I'm certainly not a universalist. I hope there is a Hell, and a special place in it for liars.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Orange Julius' Merry Christmas To Jobless Americans: Your Emergency Benefits Will End

By Manifesto Joe

The best Christmas gift I could have gotten from whatever gods may be came to me on Christmas Eve. I got a job offer, after just over five months of unemployment. I happily accepted.

Not everyone out there is so fortunate, and there but for the grace of God go I. On Saturday, December 29, federal emergency unemployment benefits will end for some 2.1 million Americans, including those in my state who have been jobless for over six months.

I'm certain that Republicans, being the smug types that they are, will try to somehow blame President Obama for this, since he refused to just bend over and spread them for Orange Julius & Co. to continue all the lovely tax bonanzas for the super-rich. Obama gave away plenty trying to strike a budget deal before Christmas, and Orange Julius instead tried to float his own ludicrous "Plan B," and had to sheepishly admit that he did not have sufficient control of his own caucus to get it passed. Obama said he would have vetoed it anyway.

In any case, emergency aid for the long-term unemployed isn't part of the "fiscal cliff" deal, and after last week it looks as though there won't be a deal anyway. There are a few days left, but I'm not holding my breath.

Orange Julius isn't going to miss any meals because of this, nor will any members of his caucus. None of them will face bankruptcy, perhaps even homelessness, because of failure to reach an agreement.

But many Americans will. If I hadn't had the "cavalry" arrive in the nick of time, I could very well have been among them. I'm now in my sixth month of unemployment, and I don't have my first day at work at my new job for a few more weeks.

Polls indicate that more Americans blame the Republicans for the "fiscal cliff" crisis than blame Obama. But it's ridiculous that anyone at all blames the latter. I suppose it's a testament to how much Fox News, Rush Lardbaugh, etc., have persuaded millions of Americans that shit tastes like Beluga caviar.

Here are a couple of links to websites that explain what is happening to benefits for the long-term unemployed. I don't suppose this will provoke rioting in U.S. streets, but if it doesn't, I can't imagine what it would take.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

If I Honestly Think People Suck As Badly As I Do, Why Do I Do This?

By Manifesto Joe

I don't like people. I'm a misanthrope. I'm totally honest about that. I've told that to a room full of people. To support myself, I quoted one Samuel Clemens: "The more I know about people, the more I like my dog."

So why fight for the interests of these sorry, cock-sucking losers? Good question.

I recall something that former Oklahoma Sen. Fred Harris more or less said: That populism, as we know it in current times, is simply a more enlightened form of self-interest.

I subscribe to a 70% theory. To wit:

About 70% of humans are too fucking stupid to bother with, at all. You can write these people off. Entirely. Don't even bother to talk to them. If you're reading this, perhaps you even know who you are. Well, if you can read.

Then there's the remaining 30%. Of them, about 70% are of low moral character. They aren't stupid, but they are fools on another level, the moral one. They are governed entirely by their appetites, and know nothing more than that, ever. What is inexcusable about such people is that their brains are big enough and operative enough for them to know better. Yet, they still somehow don't. All they know is how to make their bank accounts bigger, how to get better sex, etc. So that's an additional 21% who make up the world's contemptible fuck-ups.

We're up to 91%, and that leaves 9%. And that's who has advanced the human race to the extent that it has been advanced, for millenia (ums?). Treasure them -- they are a single-digit minority, and they always have been.

One of my favorite humorists was the late Bill Hicks (1961-1994), and I'll link to a site that has many of his wonderful quotes.

I used to think of "Christians" as being incredibly judgmental people. Now I don't think that's their biggest problem. The biggest one they have is hypocrisy -- that they are ultimately no better, and perhaps even worse, than the pond scum they attempt to sit in judgment upon. Judgment is the prerogative of those who are actually qualified to judge. In the vast majority of cases, "Christians" are definitely NOT qualified. (I recall there being something that even Jesus his own self said about that -- or so they say.) Well, if there is a God who will be there to judge when the time comes, oh man -- there are an awful lot of "Christian" shoes I wouldn't want to be standing in.

In any case, it's true that I honestly don't care very much what kinds of horrors befall most people, and I think that most entirely deserve them.

But, I DON'T deserve them. I have worked hard for my Social Security, and I deserve it. I have worked hard for my Medicare, and I deserve that, and then some more. I don't want just what I'm likely to get -- I want a hell of a lot MORE.

If I had been a member of a labor union, I would have been treated a lot better where I worked. My seniority would have been respected more. I'm not thinking about the others. This is purely self-interest, just a higher and smarter form of it.

And that's where the quote from Fred Harris comes in. It has little to do with other people, most of whom I regard as moronic, nauseating trash. But I have the misfortune of being human, and having similar DNA to others. I have to slop at the same trough with the other smelly hogs. What I'm into is simply a more enlightened form of self-interest. And that's why I keep doing this.

Merry Christmas.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

America Must Stop Subsidizing Evil And Greed Of Walmart And Others

By Manifesto Joe

I think we just had, in effect, a U.S. plebiscite on whether the American people want continued plutocracy, as we have known it for decades, or at long last some more populist alternative. Now comes time to look more closely at how the institutions that make up this country actually operate, and there's one huge corporate one in particular needs a good and proper ass-kicking.

Walmart is profiting, to the tune of billions annually, from government handouts. Their corporate welfare is mainly "indirect": In some locations, as many as 80% of their "associates" are food-stamp recipients. Since the pay at such corporate wage-slave institutions is so low, their hapless "associates" have no recourse to feed their families and themselves other than to turn to the federal government. This is a subsidy: The government puts up money to help Walmart's wage slaves eat, and therefore the taxpayers subsidize this evil corporate giant.

I recall one Walmart wage slave who heard something about me being a newspaper journalist, and stupidly said, "Oh, do you mean those nasty, biased people who suppress opinions?" or something to that effect. I stopped myself from commenting snidely about the general intelligence of Walmart associates, but did venture that I thought he probably wasn't being paid enough. "I can always go somewhere else," was his moronic reply.

Oh, did he mean, like, McDonald's, or Yum! brands, or Wendy's? An awful lot of their employees are on food stamps, too -- and Medicaid, and SCHIP programs. In other words, these companies are all getting "indirect" federal and state subsidies.

Here's a link about the Walmart situation. And here's yet another that accounts for "rival" companies.

It is especially painful for me to recall my encounter with the imbecile at Walmart, who characterized himself as "middle-of-the-road" politically (by Fox News standards?). It is very sad to see people getting reamed in their asses by porno-star-size peckers, and yet they don't even know, don't even seem to have a clue, about who's on the other side of the member. Not even while the violator is leering in their faces.

The recent protests at certain Walmarts show that some of their pathetic dupes at least know what's being done to them. Unfortunately, it isn't enough. A general strike that actually had the participation of more than 50% of the U.S. workforce would be the basic requirement. And, unfortunately, there are enough cretinous dildos like that checker I once encountered in a Walmart that nothing like that will ever happen. True, I have always had the option of never shopping there. But from what I've heard, the treatment of employees at their "rivals" is about the same, so there would be little point in voting with my feet in that way.

As a start, federal and state governments have got to start TELLING these vicious corporate rapists that they know what's happening. Then, they need to start outlining steps that can be taken to stop it. The idea that such people are "job creators" is ludicrous mendacity. People are unable to live on the meager wages that these greed-crazed plutocrats pay.

Would prices go up? Oh, certainly, at first. That's when you start hitting the pond scum with confiscatory taxes, so that they can't just go on pocketing the profits they would get from higher prices. Will they go elsewhere? Oh, of course they will threaten to do so. But what other viable country in the world would tolerate such evil and greed?

It's time to start kicking their evil, greedy corporate asses, hard and ceaselessly. This sort of trashy scum is destroying America just as surely as any terrorist network could ever hope to.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.