I love to watch “The Daily Show” because no matter who is being an idiot, on the right or the left, they make fun of them. Now there are those who claim the show makes fun of conservatives far more often than it does liberals, and that’s valid: because conservatives are idiots more often. In fact, sometimes they’re malicious assholes.
Take the show for Thursday August 18, 2011. It’s a great example of “The Daily Show” humor because it mainly deals in facts: in this case, mathematical facts.
FACT: Ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans would add about $700 billion in revenue to the federal coffers over the next ten years.
Conservative leaders and think-tank wonks like Chris Howard of the Cato Institute say this is “only a tiny fraction of the nation’s deficit”, and isn’t worth pursuing due to the irreparable harm it would do to -job creators- and -the most productive class-. Those are conservative code words for that 2% who own most of the nation’s wealth. And we aren’t talking about “small business owners” here. Small business owners fall into the 48% of people just below the wealthiest at the top. Their taxes wouldn’t be increased under the plan to repeal the Bush-era cuts.
FACT: The number of people who paid little or no income tax because they are below the taxable income level of $22,000 for a family of four, or because they qualified for federal tax credits for the poor rose to over 50% of the total population in 2009. These folks footed about 3% of the national tax burden bill.
These are the same people who collectively own a grand total of 2.5% of the nation’s wealth – literally everything they own – we aren’t talking about “investment property” here. That’s going by the $56.8 trillion figure for HOUSEHOLD wealth in 2010 – not including corporate wealth, which is a number with so many zeroes it staggers the imagination.
That comes to about $1.4 trillion dollars of the entire national household pie.
FACT: If, instead of eliminating the Bush-era tax cuts, we were to raise taxes on the poorest 50% of Americans – say to one-half of all their wealth – that would increase government revenue by $1.4 trillion/2 = about $700 billion.
Hey – that neatly balances the amount the government lost from the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2.5%! Isn’t math wonderful?
And, IN FACT, that’s what reducing the debt only through the use of spending cuts does. Because if you’re out of work, if you’re sick and don’t have health care, if you can’t afford food, clothing, or housing, you aren’t going to get any help from the government. Those programs will be cut. This doesn’t actually put the burden on the poorest 50% of Americans, it puts it on the back and lives of about the poorest 25%. The rest will just struggle along as best they can on the crumbs that fall from the wealthiest mouths.
So there’s an example of “The Daily Show” humor-through-reality. Jon Stewart and his crew accomplish this by simply allowing us to see the contrast between reality and Washington D.C.
And in this case, the point I came away with was, really, conservatives either are rich, or they worship the rich – otherwise how can you explain them being such assholes and wanting to allow the wealthiest 2%, who eat the very largest share of our national pie, dodge paying their fair share?