Why America is Stupid: The Limbaugh Diaries

I decided to take a brief hiatus from the Depression Blog to reflect on the 2010 Mid-term election, specifically how the rabble became so intellectually softened  by propaganda and utter bullshit that they actually voted into office a cabal of no-nothing wretches, pseudo-intellectualclowns, and corporate bag men. This will take the form of a tutorial that requires a certain amount of patience on your part, largely because I want you to repress your gag instinct and read and reflect upon the post-election words of the country’s foremost corporate bag man, Rush Limbaugh. I will not force you to chug this toxic kool-aid  in one huge gulp but instead  have broken it down into digestible little shooters, diluted by my comments. The following bloviation  is excerpted from Limbaugh’s November 3rd radio program.

Well, I had a chance to listen to just a little bit of the Obama press conference.  Jake Tapper, ABC, asked Obama about the compromise that he might make on extending the Bush tax cuts.  Right now, of course, the tax cuts will eliminate, stop for everybody, $250,000 or more, and maybe everybody’s taxes will be raised.  But believe me, there’s no tax cuts on the table.  And Jake Tapper said, (paraphrasing) “Would you compromise and say people who make a million dollars a year will not see their tax decrease, tax cut sunsetted?”  And I started thinking, where’s all this talk of rich equaling $250,000 a year, a million a year, where does all this start?  What right does Obama have to sit there and proclaim that people who earn X are gonna be punished with Y, people who earn less than X won’t be punished with Y?  Do you notice how easy it is to fall into the premise trap that the left sets?

Here, Limbaugh lays out his basic argument, that to be taxed at a higher  incremental rate is tantamount to “punishment”, a modern scheme cooked up by a coalition of media stooges (Jake Tapper) and “leftists” (Obama, et al) who collectively hate the rich. However, progressive taxation, or at least the concept of progressive taxation, can be traced to Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”, published in 1776. The initial  use of progressive taxation goes back to 1862 (to finance the Civil War) and has been a permanent part of U.S. tax policy since the turn of the last century. With  Reagan’s 1986 Tax Reform Act, the highest rate went from 50% to 28%, the lowest since 1916. But Limbaugh is shrewd enough to know that the tea baggers and ditto heads, despite all their incessant babbling about the the “founding fathers” and the constitution, don’t know shit about the constitution and couldn’t care less about learning anything.

Looked at within the prism of liberty and freedom, as our founding documents spell out, the Declaration, the Constitution, in nowhere in any of our founding documents was it ever said that people earning X would be punished for it.  It was never said in our founding documents that people earning X would share a greater burden of funding the government than people who didn’t.  Where does all this talk start?  Because all this is nothing more than a direct attack on liberty, a direct attack on freedom and it creates class envy and resentment and anger between the classes, between people of different income groups.  So all of a sudden we’re faced with a possibility here of the Bush tax cuts ending for people who earn $250,000 a year or more.  Well, why are we even discussing it in the first place?  What did those people do? 

Of course, “What did these people do?” reiterates the “punishment” claim, that the rich are being targeted with slightly higher tax rates, not because they can more easily and comfortably afford them, but because of “class envy”. And there is no mention in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of “innocent until proven guilty”, marriage, congressional districts, The United States Air Force, immigration, paper money, executive order, and any number of other modern day realities.

What have they done that resulted in this irresponsibility in Washington?  Nothing!  The people who earn $250 or 500,000 or a million are in fact the people who are investing in this country and the private sector hiring other people, producing products and services that allow for the country’s economy to grow and for people to have jobs and to earn higher wages.  The federal government, the state government cannot and does not create wealth.  All it can do is destroy it.  All it can do is confiscate it.  And what we’re doing is discussing the proper level of servitude.

This is Limbaugh’s pitch to the $40K-a-year income earners who comprise most of his audience and the Tea Party in general. What’s in it for them if people making over $250,000 get a tax break? This is a reiteration of the “trickle down theory”, that a higher economic tide raises  all the little boats in the harbor. It’s a cute and reassuring theory despite the fact that it is utter bullshit and has been proven to be time and time again, specifically following Reagan’s massive cuts in the 80’s and George W. Bush’s tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy in 2001 and 2003. Hell, David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director, has made a personal crusade of exposing the folly of trickle down. But, again, proving that a lie repeated ultimately becomes the truth to the uninformed, this reality is lost on the ‘baggers.

Now, who made Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or any Democrat, I don’t care, any Democrat, who made them the decider on what anybody should make and then what level of taxation they should pay?  Who made them the deciders on what we should eat?  Who made them the decider of what kind of lightbulbs we have in our homes?  Who made them the deciders on the kind of car we should drive?  Who made them the deciders on what kinda house we live in?  Who made them the deciders of when and where we can and can’t turn our lights on?  Who made them the deciders of who loses how much of their freedom?  Who gave them that power?  It doesn’t come from the Constitution.  The Constitution does not say the Democrat Party gets to decide which car people drive, which lightbulb they have, what foods they can and can’t eat, and what lights they can’t turn off or on at what time of year.  The Constitution does not say that the Democrat Party gets to decide any of this.

I guess the short answer to this question would be the election of 2008. A longer answer would be that lead-based paint, arsenic tainted drinking water, small pox, mesothelioma, sweat shops, and massive oil spills are not mentioned in the Consitution either. In Limbaugh’s world, we should all have the “freedom” eat the paint, drink the water, and breath in the asbestos. But, except for the fact that Democrats have been in control of Washington for the past two years, what any of this has to do with tax cuts is lost on me.

So now we have a guy who is the least qualified in any room he walks into being asked a question by an equally incompetent reporter, “Mr. President, are you willing to compromise, people that earn $500,000 a year will be able to keep more of what they earn, will you even go as high as one million?”  And I’m watching this, who the hell are either of you people to decide this?  How did I end up as an American with a guy who doesn’t even like my country telling me how I have to live?  How did that happen?  How did I end up with a guy who does not even respect the founding documents of this country, how did I end up — how did we all end up — with that kind of guy telling us how immoral and unjust we are?  

This is really the gist of Limbaugh’s “argument”, not that breathing second-hand smoke and eating double bacon cheeseburgers equates with “freedom”, but that Obama is nothing other than an illegitimate, America-loathing, leftist imbecile. The “least qualified in any room”? Has this lard bucket ever heard of Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, or Carl Paladino? Or for that matter, Jim Demint, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, the “birthers”, or any other of the intellectually impaired bobble-heads who comprise the Tea Party movement?

Let me tell you something, President Obama.  You can reject it all you want.  But you’ve done it.  And we know you’re happy you’ve done it.  You might want people to think you’re not happy about the direction the country is going, but if you really were unhappy about it you’d do something to stop it.  Instead, you’re doubling down on it.  You reject the idea your policies have taken the country in reverse?  Where the hell have your policies taken us?  You happily preside over a nation in decline.  You have told the world no longer will the US population lead the world economy.  Ain’t gonna happen anymore.  Right. It wasn’t AIG-Lehman Brothers-Goldman Sachs, Bush’s god-forsaken trillion dollar wars, toxic mortgages, or a world-wide economic melt-down that created this mess. It was the Nigerian Muslim fascist, Obama and his America-hating policies. And now that the Republicans are back in charge, the “temporary” Bush tax cuts will be perpetuated, “Obama Care” will be repealed, and Wall Street will be de-regulated.

And after two more years of incessant right wing lies coming from corporate suck-ups like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck, the White House and Senate will be safely back in the hands of the oligarchs, brought to power by a gaggle of useful idiots. And the shining City on the Hill will be restored to its former glory.

Ah, Freedom!

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9 thoughts on “Why America is Stupid: The Limbaugh Diaries”

  1. SLAM DUNK!!! Who in their right mind would take their cueues from a guy who grew up in wealth, who’s own father was a judge (but he must have been the fair non activise kind)..who’s brother is a lawyer and writer of bathroom humor..errrr I mean political books? Why would anybody listen to a guy who is the single highest money earner in radio? He talks like he suffers like he has ever suffered and the only people linked to Rush who suffer is the poor dame who finds herself laying beneath him the 5 times a year his penis decides to get turned on by normal sex (instead of possible underage prostitutes in the D.R.) . How could these people who probably eat up all of his anti-drug nonsense even listen to him when he’s on F**KING drugs? He’s got a lot of nerve calling this president an idiot when he reserved his judgement on the last one, who was a bonafide idiot.

  2. Nice work, Stacy.

    When you break the Right-ist arguments into chunks small enough to deal with, rather than just being overwhelmed and awash in illogic (which is the tactic Limbaugh excels at), it’s easy to see it’s all crap.

    The reasoning behind the graduated income tax, which is never introduced, and never given airtime, is quite simple: that those who benefit most by the system provided by the nation and its citizens must pay back to that system to the degree they have benefited from it. The Right-ists have it backwards…the wealthy are not those who most benefit the system, but are in fact those have benefited most FROM the system. Their corporations use the roads more, pollute the ecosystem more, lobby their government with their individual interests more.

    Thomas Friedman points out in Hot, Flat, and Crowded that what the Right-ists put forth as “the creation of wealth” is always accompanied by the transfer of wealth from the commons to industry. For example: the railroad barons’ wealth was built on land grants from the U.S. government, the oil industry was built on drilling concessions from the U.S. government. Resources are taken from land held in common by the citizens and given to the heads of industry to be developed…and then these people argue why they should not have to pay that wealth back to the government that allowed then to access it.

    Teddy Roosevelt saw this connection clearly, and established the National Parks program to hold some lands in our commonwealth, lands that he felt were essential to national identity…and yet today, even on these lands concessions may be granted for industry to transfer the wealth of natural resources from being held in common by U.S. citizens, and converted into monetary wealth (read ANWAR).

    And in the process, we get stuck with the environmental degradation…the air and water pollution…and we aren’t supposed to be due compensation. Instead we are expected to bow down and lick the boots of the heads of industry, thankful for the jobs created…in malaysia.

  3. Stacy, some of these quotes may find themselves on my FB page. I’ll try to give you due credit and not just directly plagiarize from this brilliant must-read blog entry.

  4. @Stacy: Awesome… as usual. Nothing else to say really.

    @James Johnson: You nailed that right on the head. Great reply…

    -some other thoughts-

    Although I think the tax cut needs to expire, I don’t think it will do a lot. I think the economy will continue to get a little bit better despite Republicans and big business. I still feel big business is perfectly happy with the situation right now. Same profits + less workers = happy happy joy joy.

  5. Pulling into my supermarket parking lot, I glanced to my left and spied a sight I thought I’d seen last summer and was surprised to see it again, an 8′ sign of Obama’s charicture in full Hitler stash and the bold letters “IMPEACH HIM NOW”, mind you it was a 101* in the shade and this idiot was marching around shouting and waving, I thought to myself, why did Reagan close all those asylums, cause this dude had to have excaped a long time ago. Had it not been so fucking hot I would have liked to grab another sign that said”I’M STANDING WITH SOMEONE WHO IS INSANE” call 911

  6. Limbaugh represents the 20-25 percent of this country who still considers W. Bush to be a good president, who buy the tea party b.s. hook, line and sinker and who can, never, ever be reasoned with or reached.
    Obama is making a mistake if he thinks he can work with the new crop of sociopaths coming into Congress in January.
    Instead, he must go around them, over them or just face them, straight on. I wish him the best.

  7. Limbo maintians the image of a two party system when he knows that is an outright lie.

    Republican / Democrat is a horse and pony show – a contrived distraction and means of Elitists conveying the falsity that your vote counts when it doesn’t at all.

    Its a sham