Where’s The Outrage?

Mitch McConnell, who may be the most disgusting politician in Washington, said on Tuesday:

In all likelihood, we will agree to continue the current payroll tax relief for another year, but we believe that it should be paid for.

Now, sure, one could and should get angry about Republicans suddenly deciding that in order to give middle class folks tax relief, there must be a way to pay for it.  Because when giving their rich constituents tax cuts, Republicans argue, as a central tenet of their economic philosophy, that those tax cuts pay for themselves.

So, yes,  this obvious hypocrisy should definitely spike our piss meters. But what is nearly as upsetting is the too-often tepid response from some spokesmen in the Obama Administration, sometimes including the President himself.

Example: A very nice woman and senior advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, appeared on MSNBC this morning and was given a chance to comment on Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy on the payroll tax cut issue. The question she was asked was a softball—teed up with jet engines strapped to it—that Jarrett simply had to swing at, and the thing would have set distance records.

Joe Scarborough said to her,

Is Republican Mitch McConnell saying that he doesn’t want this tax cut if it’s not paid for? Because if Mitch McConnell is saying that—and it looks like he is saying that—he would appear to be the first Republican in the history of Washington, D.C., to say they don’t want a tax cut unless it is, quote, paid for, because we Republicans generally believe that tax cuts pay for themselves—the economy grows, daisies bloom in the back yard, male patterned baldness is reversed—is that really what he’s saying?

JARRETT: Joe, I love your sarcasm. I don’t know. I’ll leave it to you to speak for Senator McConnell…[blah, blah, blah]

Now, keep in mind that Mitch McConnell is the President’s most prominent political enemy, a man who vowed to make Mr. Obama a one-term president. Through the filibuster and other parliamentary tricks in the Senate, McConnell has stood in the way of the President’s jobs plan and other initiatives that would have helped the economy and therefore average Americans.

And Mr. Obama’s senior advisor, before a national audience, given the perfect chance, couldn’t muster enough anger to attack him for what is clearly blatant hypocrisy?

That kind of stuff, the unwillingness to get pissed off about what Republicans are doing to the country, is nearly as maddening as what Republicans are actually doing to the country.

Earlier this week, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said this about the failure of the supercommittee:

I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?

You know, the reason people like Chris Christie, and the reason he gets all kind of credit for being “outspoken” and “real,” is because he actually gets pissed off. Albeit he gets pissed off about the wrong things, as the quote above demonstrates, but people like to see passion, and they especially like to see passion in defense of the average guy.

Look at this headline in today’s New York Times:

Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools

Here’s the first paragraph:

Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

That is happening on Obama’s watch because politicians like Mitch McConnell are playing political games, protecting the wealthy from tiny tax increases, worrying suddenly and hypocritically about paying for tax cuts, and generally hurting ordinary Americans, who have already been victimized by Republican economics and the Great Recession.

And the response to that kind of stuff should not always be a calm, rational one delivered with a smile, but one that shows some anger, some outrage, some indignation that people are suffering just so Mitch McConnell can sit in the big-boy chair in the U.S. Senate.


  1. ansonburlingame

     /  November 30, 2011

    Nope Duane,

    The most disgusting politician to me just announced his retirement from the fray!!! O’Reilly finally got his way!!!

    I am not particularly interested in your critique of McConnel. But I am interested in the headline under to clip which calls for a surtax on millionaires as the topic.

    Hell I might agree to that one EXCEPT, let’s get more out of the rich without first changing the income tax codes upward, which are doomed to failure in a GOP House.

    Let’s ELIMINATE the cap on “Social Insurance taxes” currently set at $106K (about). Put NO CAP on such taxation. Anyone earning “income” or “wages” gets taxed the full 7.5% for such wages.

    My guess is that raises fed revenues by some $100 Billion per year without the argument over income tax rates. I would be interested in GOP rebuttals to that approach by the President.

    There are plenty of ways to both increase fed revenues AND cut spending without changing income tax rates which won’t pass GOP muster, now or after Nov 2012.

    I keep reflecting on 50% equals zero and 10% equals 70% which you do not dispute. Is THAT not progressive enough for INCOME tax purposes for you?



  2. Anson,

    First, there are more operative brain cells in one square inch of Barney Frank’s brain than in the entire organ suspended in O’Reilly’s noggin.

    Second, how many times do I have to demonstrate to you that the small picture you paint–“50% equals zero”–represents only a part of the tax burden in this country? I have demonstrated it time and time again and it is undeniable that given all of the taxes, not just income taxes, that are paid in this country, there is very little progressivity in the tax code.

    At some point you either have to believe that fact, or at least admit that you intend on ignoring that fact in favor of one of your own making. If you are talking about progressivity, Anson, you have to look at the big picture, not just a part of it that happens to feed your conservative narrative.



  3. janereaction

     /  November 30, 2011

    The most frightening story is that our two senators voted yea to allow the military to throw US citizens into indefinite detention as terrorists, without a right to a trial.

    This is the line in the sand.

    Either Obama will veto this or rage will suface. Jane is already there!


    • Jane,

      You are right about that vote. McCaskill and Blunt both sided with those who believe it is okay for the military to rob American citizens of their constitutional rights. It is an unbelievable outrage and I’m glad you brought it up.

      Obama has said he will veto the bill, but it is a long way from over at this point. It is amazing to me how so-called “small-government” conservatives, including conservative Democrats, are willing to give the government this kind of power. This may be the only issue on which I ever agree with Rand Paul, who is sticking with his libertarian principles, at least on this one.



  4. Mitch McConnell is pure evil. He is willing to block everything that the president wants to do and then blame Obama for everything. He is a disgusting individual who is nothing but a whore to special interests, the welathy, and lobbyists. Representatives like him, Blunt, Kyl, Lee from Utah, and the senators from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, and most of the south, as well as Eric Cantor, Billie Long, Boehner, and others are set on ruining this country for political purposes. Hopefully, the voters in 2012 will overlook the big money people like the Koch brothers and the Waltons spend to make sure that their money is safe from taxation while the middle class disappears, and vote against these extreme right-wing hypocrits.


  5. ansonburlingame

     /  December 1, 2011

    And then there is Pelosi, Frank, Dodd (formerly), Reid, and my list gets as big as yours. And I can throw in as many “idiots”, “stupids” or whatever words of personal disdain as you can.

    Now go reread how Franklin “moderated” the debate in the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and show me ANYONE on either side today that has such wisdom and ability to find the RIGHT way out of a partisan mess. And yet taht very partisan “mob” created our Constitution in about 3-4 months!!!!

    NO ONE on any horizon that I see today. And if you tell me Obama is the one, I will laugh as hard as you would if I told you Rick Perry is the ONE.

    Start with tax code reform on a grand scale WITHOUT trying to raise revenues intially. And I mean ALL taxes, federal, state and local. EVERYONE should pay their “fair share” and I mean EVERYONE with no loopholes, etc for “special interests”

    STOP creating “minnie Arlington’s” around the country and “fix” the Hazard, Ky’s as well. One goes down, a lot, in terms of federal largesse and the other comes up to a degree.

    I don’t like “fat cats” feeding at the federal trough as well as “bums” that live hand to mouth at the same trough. But, NO, we cannot even discuss ways to level out such disparities. We only separate into “armed class camps” (with words and signs as the weapons of choice right now, but then…?)

    And the sad state of affairs today, politically, is that matters are only getting worse. You call for “getting the GOP out of the way” and I look for a Franklin. Someday, we will find a way to adjust federal size and spending to that which is NEEDED and can be SUSTAINED.

    But we are not even close today and my guess is after Nov 2012 it is only going to get worse, not better.

    Now do you see any light at the end of that tunnel other than “getting the GOP out of the way” along with tax and spend our way to oblivion? Debt is $15 Trillion today. What SHOULD IT BE in say 2020 or so? My “vote” is for about $10 Trillion and headed down with a constant rate. But that takes a zero deficit to even START doing something like that and we can’t even figure out how to create a zero deficit in the next….. years!!!

    Doesn’t matter to you, right. It is all about JOBS today, right? That view in my mind seems myopic and misses the much bigger issue of living within our means at all levels of society with a “hand UP” for some. You instead continue to try to throw money at “some” and only sustain them at poor levels in doing so. Now why is that I wonder?

    Oh, here is another astonishing “statistic” that I learned last week in Arlington, VA. My two grandkids go to a public high school therein. One is a senior and one a sophomore. I asked the percentage of students in their PUBLIC school scoring less than proficient on state tests. Answer… less than 5% score below proficient and that is a public high school the size of JHS where our proficiency or higher rate is about 50%!!!

    Want a “reason” for such disparity? My senior in HS grandchild studies about 3 hours per night in her SENIOR year when “kids” normally “play” a lot. She does not “like” doing so but it is simply now ingrained into her approach to education.

    I also note (with some pride) that her Mom and Dad did not allow her to have a cell phone until she was 16 years old. Some would call that cruel and unusual punishment!!! THAT is NOT a question of money, it is one of personal behavior and standards, decidedly middle class standards, enforced with love but toughness as well, which costs NO money.

    Now join me in a “tour” of JHS and see how many kids therein in HS refuse to even open a textbook in ANY class, much less take the book home for homework!!!



    • hlgaskins

       /  December 4, 2011

      “And then there is Pelosi, Frank, Dodd (formerly), Reid, and my list gets as big as yours. And I can throw in as many “idiots”, “stupids” or whatever words of personal disdain as you can.”

      You haven’t thrown in any idiots yet, and by the way, Mitch McConnell is not an idiot, he’s a Sociopath. He knows enough not to get caught breaking any laws, but he cares for no one or anything outside of his own personal protection or gain. It takes a conscience to care for other humans, even if it means some personal sacrifice.

      Too many of us have forgotten what sacrifice means, because the sad reality is that if every American who condemns the actions of Mitch McConnell, and colleagues, stayed home from work until the contest of ideas were resolved, the country would come to a halt. The only power that politicians and the wealthy elite have, come from us, the people, but we must come together to rescind them.


  6. Carve this in stone and read it every day and end every political conversation with it: WE WILL NOT GET OUR COUNTRY BACK UNTIL THE MONEY IS REMOVED FROM POLITICS! Every complaint from all sides can be reconciled with this mantra. We have to unite and cause this to happen, otherwise, we’re screwed!


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