Monday, July 16, 2012

Demagoguery or Stupidity?

Two weeks ago, my toilets quit flushing.  They didn’t back up, and they would eventually drain, so long as there was no solid waste in them, but they would no longer actually flush.  My wife called me at work about the situation.  I took a look at it when I got home and determined that we needed a plumber.

So we called a plumber, but this wasn’t precisely an emergency: even solid waste would go down with enough plunging, and I wasn’t about to pay emergency rates.  Fairly promptly the next day the plumber showed up.  In almost no time, he discovered the problem: a tree in the easement between my yard and the street had a root cluster which had grown into the drain-pipe.  It would have to be repaired.  As an emergency patch, he drilled a whole through the root cluster then he called the City of Arlington to schedule someone from the city to come out.

If the problem was actually in the easement, which is city property, the city has to pay for its repair, if it was technically inside my property line, I would be responsible.  So the city said we would receive a call on Thursday (this was Tuesday), to tell us when the city inspector would be out.  Thursday afternoon came with no call, so my wife called the city who had managed to lose our appointment.  They would send someone the next day.  At this point, it’s been nearly a week (the problem occurred on Monday), and we would be leaving for vacation (also without flush toilets, but that’s a different issue) that night.

They didn’t come out Friday, either.

Apparently they did come while I was on vacation, and my wife will be calling the city so they can work on the issue on Monday.  The city will then have 5 days to fix the issue, and another 15 to fix any “cosmetic damage.”

Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?  Had I demanded an emergency appointment, the plumber would have sent someone out on Monday night; I’m just a cheapskate.  They did send someone out the next day, and he arrived at the end of the window we were given, but he did arrive within that window.  He quite competently did his job, explained the issue to my wife well enough that she could explain it to me, and then proceeded to do all the steps that should have been necessary to get the City to look at the issue.  On the City’s side of things; they couldn’t be bothered to have someone check out a problem with my having a flushing toilet for two days, then they lost my appointment, then they still didn’t schedule someone to come out like they said they would.  I have no doubt that the City will use every bit of that 20 days they have allotted themselves when they finally get around to fixing the sewer problem.

Barack Obama would have you believe that business owners owe their success to people like the City, and not to people like the plumber.

In an address in Virginia on Friday, Mr. Obama stated that “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.”

So now I must question: is this pure demagoguery or is the President of the United States truly that stupid?  I would normally err on the side of “stupid” for Mr. 57 States, but the rest of his comments lend themselves to “demagogue.”  For instance, he once again brought up the lie that there are rich people who want to pay more in taxes.  This is utter bovine excrement, for if they wanted to do so, there is nothing stopping them from sending extra money to the US Treasury today.  They don’t want to pay more in taxes; they want you to pay more in taxes.

So let’s be clear, here.  Yes, to the extent that someone else physically built a road or a bridge, or that someone else invented the computer, or the automobile, or whatever, no one who is successful “did it on their own.”  However, the idea that, because they are using something for which someone else was compensated- often very, very well- and are successful that they somehow owe a larger percentage of what they make than those who make less is nothing short of Marxist Class Warfare.

Our Income Tax is already redistributive.  It takes more, not just in total numbers, but a larger percentage, from those who are moderately successful than from those who are not at all successful, or from the wildly successful- who can usually pay only the lesser capital gains tax rate, instead of the normal income tax rate.  This ignores the fact that many of those who make, on paper, $250,000 per year are small business owners who already clear something on the order of $70,000 or $80,000 per year themselves, but report their business earnings on their personal taxes.

But all this has been said before.  We all know this.  The President of the United States should certainly know this.  Yet either he doesn’t, or he pretends not to.

I’m not sure which would be worse.  In either case, he is- as ever- a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable tyrant.


  1. The entire tax code does need an overhaul. Capital gains taxes should be higher. Individual business owners should not be compelled to put business earnings in their personal earnings, there should be very competitive rates for small business owners. Very rich folks SHOULD be paying more in taxes...A LOT MORE. Certainly city governments, as well as state and the federal governments, are troubled with incompetence and corruption. The thing is, the plumber HAS to perform as if he acts incompetently he soon runs out of customers and, by default, income. Government has no such pressure. There is pretty much no one to oversee their performance and hold them accountable. Sure, voters are supposed to provide this service to those officials elected into office, but with Citizens United the role of individual voters being the primary force for change is diminishing. Especially when one considers they take no effort to research the massive dump the big media companies call "informative" news. Voters believe the lies from both sides and it ultimately comes down to which side has the corporate donations to shout their lies most often and the loudest. Occasionally it comes down to who owns the Supreme Court. Clearly reducing the pay of government "servants" could go a long way towards holding them accountable for actually achieving progress and results: say, minimum wage for hours worked(actual hours), no compensation in travel or any benefits like vacation or insurance, and a bonus determined on their effectiveness at actually passing tenable legislation(payable upon completion of their term-limited public service). The problem isn't so much big government, the problem is that in the government that there is many are "on the take". Profiting personally from public service should be criminal considering that nearly everyone in government, for elected officials, are very well off and quite capable of providing their services for free.

    As for your disdain of Obama, that is your right and your opinion. The problems we face here are the result of over four decades of bad law making decisions from both sides...from Congresses and Presidents alike. I hope you don't think Willard Romney is the better choice.....

  2. "Very rich folks SHOULD be paying more in taxes"

    Why, besides your class envy? They already pay more (on income) both in percentages and absolute numbers. The only thing that can be gained by taxing them more is some supposed salve to your damaged pride- because someone has more than you.

    As for raising capital gains rates: that won't hurt anyone but the middle class. You see, the truly rich can afford the one-time hit to cash out and go full cash, or expatriate. However, Capital Gains taxes hit your 401(k) or IRA, so it's the people who are busy planning for their retirements who you're bent on hurting the most.

    And if you don't think Romney will be better than Obama for the economy, you're simply delusional.