On September 18th, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, during a media stop in New Hampshire, defended his boss's infamous comments about 47% of Americans being entitled victims by flipping that tired canard about "haves" and "have-nots" on its head.
"We risk hitting a tipping point in our society where we have more takers than makers in society, where we will have turned our safety net into a hammock that lulls able bodied people into lives of dependency and complacency."
Taking it easy.Ryan is right. The have-nots aren't unlucky; they're greedy and lazy. Nothing lulls the napping poor into their hammocks spun from the ill-gotten wealth of others quite like a little pilfering of tax dollars. It's an idea lifted straight from Ayn Rand. Half of Americans, 53% by Romney's estimation, pay Federal Income Taxes and are therefore "makers" and 47% pay no Federal Income Tax and take more than they are giving to society. The danger in Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney's equation is that eventually those numbers will flip and more Americans will be "takers" than "makers."
So who are all these people taking from hard-working Americans? Ryan doesn't really elaborate much, he just wants to be sure you resent them taking your money, but there are demographics behind the crude numbers.
A lot of these moochers are senior citizens or veterans receiving income after paying into, literally or by deeds, a system of benefits. Which means they think they can just coast along forever. The olds have been hanging around longer and longer. Greatest Generation? More like Can't-Take-a-Hintest Generation. Push off, gramps, and free up some grocery bagger and Walmart greater jobs for our unemployed college graduates.
And the veterans, oh jeez, we get it! Thank you sooo much for your service. What do you want? A parade? Like the GI Bill wasn't good enough? Here's some free medical treatment for your RPG stumps, Your Highness. It will sure be nice when our military is 100% run by Skynet so we can just put our soldiers back in the toy box when we're done with them.
Most of the remaining takers are beneficiaries of income tax credits, AKA free lunch eaters. The Earned Income Credit was a Reaganite anti-poverty measure meant to help the working poor get off Welfare. That was over 20 years ago. They should be off it by now.
And so what if Romney and Ryan's so-called takers actually pay a greater percentage of their income as payroll tax than Mitt Romney pays as income tax? Payroll tax is not the same thing as income tax, so it totally wasn't what he was talking about. And if these moochers had half a brain they'd just invest in a blind trust run by their personal attorney and let their capital make them all the money they need. Sock away those housekeeping tips in a hedge fund. Money never sleeps, Consuelo.
So who are these jerks taking your money and spending it on things like baby formula and education grants? Let's drill down and look at some individual cases of who is taking and who is making in America.
It's the ultimate grudge match. The entitled have-nots versus the hard-working haves. The moochers versus the producers.
Apparently these men and women can strap on their running shoes and dressage jackets, but wouldn't know a bootstrap if you beat them over their needy faces with it. In the USA we do not directly fund our Olympians and these people are terrible earners with no idea how to turn a profit. Olympic runners, for example, can't figure out how to turn running really fast into a bunch of money, so many make less than $15,000 a year. That low income translates into a lot of government assistance targeted at the poor, more than offsetting the taxes they pay, which are prize taxes and not real income tax anyway.
Obama's America punishes entrepreneurs and no example is more vicious than what happened to New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Payton lost out on $5.8 million of salary this year because one of his coaches engaged in a little creative incentive program to motivate his team to perform. Every successful industry includes performance bonuses. For investment banks you receive tens of millions for losing billions and nearly ruining the US economy. For the NFL it is only reasonable to assume causing brain damage to Jay Cutler deserves a bonus. If it weren't for a year-long suspension by the NFL, Payton would be shelling out taxes on nearly $7 million per year to help finance the pathetic lives of America's Olympians.
|The Brady Bunch|
Mike Brady, the sole-earner of the household, is a veteran architect. The median salary for "senior architect" is just $52,000. With all those dependents, including Bobby, who might be mentally handicapped, you can bet the Brady Bunch are the beneficiaries of tax credits that wipe out their liability. Add to that various government programs for child care and you have a household full of moochers. Don't even stop to consider the cost to taxpayers of Just the Ten of Us. It will make you want to vomit. Now if we could repeal various unnecessary laws restricting children from working in precious stone mining operations we might have an American household to be proud of, not to mention cheaper diamond tennis bracelets for our mistresses.
Mad Men's smarmiest accounts exec, Pete Campbell is well into the 53% of makers. With only a wife and one child (technically) he has not burdened the system with a swarm of offspring. While his beginnings were modest, earning a mere $75 per week, his current salary in the show should be much higher based on his stature within the company. The average account executive in advertising in 2012 makes $67,000. Pete Campbell probably brings home more than that as a partner. He is also a proud gun owner.
Laid Off Workers
Nobody is more entitled than laid off workers, also known as the former working, who had their jobs outsourced. Take for example the lazybones soon-to-be-ex-employees of Sensata. They used to make $12 to $18 an hour before their factory was closed and their jobs relocated from Illinois to the more economically efficient region of Jiangxi. Now they are drawing benefits and clicking around recruiting websites like they can download a new job. Worse, these people tend to be democrats voting for even more handouts, just because Bain Capital owned their factory and Mitt Romney ignored their pleas to intervene. Don't hate the player. Also don't hate the game. You just suck at it.
Erik Prince (Former CEO)
Realizing there was an alternative to wasteful government bloat, Erik Prince set to work creating private sector competition for the largest government department in history: the US Military. Clocking in at a net worth of over $2 billion dollars, Erik Prince is one of the world's most active job creators and tax payers. He started out by founding Blackwater, which, for reasons totally unrelated to employees repeatedly shooting civilians, changed its name to the gender-neutral Xe Services LLC and then to Academi. These companies employ thousands of private military contractors, support staff and trainers. More recently he has ventured into Somalia to create another 2,000 jobs among the impoverished nation by training and equipping locals to hunt pirates and fight Islamists.
By their very nature, public employees represent insidious, louse-like parasites infesting our nation. They suck the lifeblood of our hallowed chambers of commerce in the name of "services" like teaching the restive underclass to read and do math or protecting the favelas from being cleared out by raging infernos. Guess what, environmentalists: fires are a part of the natural cycle. Slums burn down and they are replaced with healthy golf courses. Police are not needed to contain the underclass any longer. We have a security gate and armed private security. Worse, because these people don't have real jobs, they don't make real salaries. Firefighters average $42,000 a year, police make $50,000 and teachers make $51,000. Guess who gets to pay for everything their incomes don't? That's right. The makers.
Jeff Dunham (Job Creator)
According to Forbes Magazine, which realistically equates money to power, ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham is the 90th most "powerful" celebrity thanks to his annual earnings of $22 million. North America's top-grossing comic leaves audiences across the country laughing with his ongoing Disorderly Conduct Tour. Presumably people have to put up backgrounds and run lighting shows. There are jobs to take the tickets and sell the fresh Dunham merch available at the venue. This man creates more jobs than the biggest wildfire. He keeps the police helicopters flying over the ghettos and the classroom sizes small in the suburbs.
The winners are clear. By my count, that makes the battle zero to four in favor of the makers. The next time you hear a family member grousing about the rich or about puppet comedians, remind them that they might not have a functional society without Jeff Dunham.
Zack Parsons is the author of the novel Liminal States. He also occasionally contributes op-eds to Politico under his pen name of Joe Scarborough.
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