Column: LooneyTuneLand





Mr. Carpenter holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Illinois and is a syndicated columnist. Please consider contacting your local newspaper to carry his column.

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Our nation's fiscal planners -- and I use "planners" with utmost liberality -- want you to think they are sober-minded Dudley DoRights on mounted steed, peering far ahead and guarding against economic insecurity. More accurate, however, is the metaphor of a fantasizing Snoopy atop an airborne doghouse, sooty goggles fixed and scarf flapping, sneering at impending disasters of flak and enemy fire all about.

If you find the comparison an insult to lovable Snoopy, picture instead those daring Republicans in their fiscal machines as the nearsighted Mr. McGoo, destructive Wile E. Coyote, impetuous Daffy Duck and earth-scorching Tasmanian Devil all in one. The metaphorical characters are apt not merely because each instructs on the perils of blind single-mindedness -- where single-mindedness is often ok, sometimes even admirable, though obliviousness is always a killer. Rather, the cartoon personalities are apt because they are, alas … cartoonish. And when mingled with the genre of Greek tragedy, buffoonish parody fits presidential and congressional fiscal policy to a tee these days.

The 2 camps of incumbent brainpower recently appeared in the hilarious Keystone Cops Conspiracy, otherwise known outside the beltway as the Stupendously Stupid Tax Bill of Aught Three. When it's easy to picture real-life fiscal protagonists as the comically nearsighted, destructive, impetuous and earth-scorching McGoo, et al, then these are amusing times, but also a time to be afraid.

Although the tax bill's actual title carries with it the common political tragedy of major deception, it compensates with loads of zany Warner Bros. humor. Just as Voltaire once observed the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire, so the "Jobs and Growth Reconciliation Tax Act of 2003" signifies neither job creation, nor economic growth, nor, even, reconciliation.

On its best day it leaves America 2-million jobs shy of where she was on W's inauguration day -- that's a gain of 500,000 jobs -- and retards economic progress by making money more expensive and capital formation more difficult. The long-term result is reversal of jobs gained, and then once again we continue the slide.

Further, there was as much authentic House-Senate reconciliation as exists between Iraqi Shiites and the Ba'ath Party. In a desperately needed (by us) change of pace, the usually goose-stepping Republicans went after one another like Sylvester and Tweety Pie. Legislative fur and feathers flew. While the Grand Old Party-downers agreed on the highest principle of denying the industrial-urchin class another bowl of soup, Sir, they heaved up their general principles on paper only after calling one another the worst sort of prevaricating, ignorant boobs. (In division, there is yet hope for America.) To top things off, they somehow forgot to mention to backbenchers that oh, by the way, at the last minute we nixed checks to the $5.50-an-hour crowd. That disclosure was left to the Republican Party's official organ -- the New York Times.

Another disclosure of probable interest to American taxpayers came from the transatlantic front, no less. Last week the Financial Times reported that to ensure passage of the mammoth tax cut the White House hushed a Treasury-commissioned report showing "the US currently faces a future of chronic federal budget deficits totalling at least $44,200bn in current US dollars." For those unaccustomed to Brit-speak, that's $44 trillion of debt. "Ah-ba-dee, ah-ba-dee, that's all folks."

According to the Times, the report also concluded "that closing the gap would require the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 per cent across-the-board income tax increase."

As your children watch the alternative, G-rated version of Wile E. Coyote next Saturday morning, don't spoil their fun by explaining what they face in the grueling decades ahead: colossally higher taxes to avert national default -- and likely no Social Security, Medicare, student loans, a clean and cleaned-up environment, decent health care, livable cities…. Well, best to just not bring it up. Good morning, children.

While speeding their fiscal Frankenstein to creation before anyone could study its precise monstrosities, Warner Bros. Republicans indulged in still other madcap antics such as a $70-billion, dividend tax cut "mistake." Democratic Senator Max Baucus earned, I hope, the prestigious Understatement of the Year Award when he soon commented that the bill was "not thought through." Analytical ability may get you into the United States Senate, but plan on drinking your bourbon and branch water alone when you get there. Honesty is not much admired.

And then there was California Republican Bill Thomas, who, as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, cited an expert tax study during House debate which proved, mind you, that the bill "brings more revenue back to the federal government." In fact, the study determined the bill's "revenue feedback" could be as low as 2.6 percent of its cost. So forget minority status in the Senate. Analytical ability of that sort can make you a powerful House committee chairman -- in LooneyTuneLand, anyway. And that, it seems, is the land in which we find ourselves.

Already legendary is the sober Financial Times's remark that "the lunatics are now in charge of the [American political] asylum." And the lunacy has grown to statutorily weird, cartoonish proportions. Come to think of it, in his comical flight get-up on the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln, George W. even looked a little like Warner Bros.'s Marvin the Martian.



© Copyright 2003 P. M. Carpenter

Mr. Carpenter's column is published weekly by History News Network and buzzflash.com.


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More Comments:


NYGuy - 6/8/2003

Josh,

As usual you don't read very well, but want to continue to impress everyone with your troll comments. Boring.

What part of "Clinton recession reversed" don't you understand?"

Here is what I said:

"This is the same character traits that are getting us through these trying times. He (Bush) helped to restore the confidence in investors this year which resulted in the market rising sharply and increasing the "wealth effect" for nearly all Americans. Now with his tax cut policy beginning to take effect, we are well on the road to greater confidence by the American people in our future, and the prospect of strong economic growth.

Unlike Clinton, he did it on his own and not as an inheritance from his father, as our former President got.

Thanks GW. Better days are here again. I thank you, sir, for your leadership and your courage."

Now you are trying to talk down the economy like all "good Democrats" are trying to do. You are saying "the economy is still declining and will continue to do so for the next 1-2 years?" I know those are the wishes of those who "feel the pain" of others, a continuation of the "Clinton Recession" for another two years because you put politics ahead of people. That is why the democrats voted against the tax cuts to stimulate the economy. It is a bankrupt, self-serving party now with no character, no ideas and no agenda. That is why people are turning from them. It is a party of losers like you.

The proof is in the eating and in three - six months from now I expect an apology from you admitting you don't know anything about economics.


Josh Greenland - 6/8/2003

Sorry NYTroll, but this describes you perfectly:
http://www.philelmore.com/profiling/fieldguidetotrolls.htm

Don't tell us the economy is out of the dumps in New York City. Even with the stock market seriously up for the last 3 months, it's still deeply down, and that's gotta hurt all those brokerages and institutional investors based in your city. It's nice to jabber mindlessly about how we're out of a recession, but has unemployment started to fall yet?


NYGuy - 6/7/2003

For you history buffs, do you know what happened on this day. If not, ask your parents and grandparents. You probably will find some great Americans who you can be proud of.

Thank you GI's. We appreciate your efforts and sacrifice.


NYGuy - 6/6/2003

Rearview,

That was brillant.


V.A - 6/6/2003

You are a seriously retarded douche bag who annoys the crap out of everyone here regardless of their idealogy (i.e a "troll").

"support our troop" "remember the twin towers"--the audacity of you accusing anyone of being a broken record or boring people.

Once again you are a mentally retarded dingleberry. We all look forward to your internet access being disconnected.

Remember Florida! Support our democracy!


NYGuy - 6/6/2003

Rearview VA,

As I told Josh get a new line. Not only is your troll line boring but so are you. I see you have automated your responses, however, since you must be tired thinking of what to say.

GW is a genius and in six months I will show you what a gentleman I am and gracefully accept your apology for being so wrong. Remember all ships rise with the tide so even you will benefit from the great economic future that lies ahead.

PS: I know you can never have zero unemployment since we would be scraping the bottom of the barrel, but you are making such progress in your training that I have hope for you.

Cheers.


Remember the Twin Towers, Remember our troops and thank them.

And get ready for July 4th, the greatest day in the year for all Americans.


V.A - 6/6/2003


Once again please refer yourself to: http://www.philelmore.com/profiling/fieldguidetotrolls.htm

I assume when you say genius you're being ironic. (The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.) Get a life, get a brain, get sterilized.


V.A - 6/6/2003


Once again please refer yourself to: http://www.philelmore.com/profiling/fieldguidetotrolls.htm

I assume when you say genius you're being ironic. (The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.) Get a life, get a brain, get sterilized.


dan - 6/6/2003

"subsidies like EIC"

How many people who get the (max) $376 from EIC owe less than $376 in taxes?

Maybe you can look up the answer and tell us about this great wealth redistribution program.

The tax tables indicate that a person or joint filer will owe $498 - $761 at the income level giving the #376 EIC.

So, prove your point...


Bill Heuisler - 6/6/2003

Buck,
In the future, use either plutocracy or elitist while insulting.
Since their meaning is essentially the same, an uninterested observer might think you patronizing (or worse) unsophisticated.
And, while missing the point, you even misspelled my name.
Bill Heuisler


NYGuy - 6/6/2003

Rearview VA,

You raised the issue of unemployment. I answered you by telling you not to worry that the genuis of GW will cause all boats to rise.

So relax.

Everyone who pays taxes gets a tax break.

If you want to spout a communist view of redistribution of wealth you can. But, the people who come to this country do so to succeed and they do. If you have not, and you need the help of the government you are in the wrong place.

As for the democrats they will do everything in their power to prevent an ecomomic recovery since they believe it will help GW in the election of 2004. So much for I feel your pain.

Get real you are betting on a bunch of losers like Dashle and the rest of his ilk, "I have concerns about everything", but "I have no solutions for anything."

I see you are still in training and working on your vocabulary of personal destruction. Did you work for Bill and Hilary.


V.A - 6/6/2003

Psycho, Troll, Limbaugh ditto monkey, grow up, get a mind of your own, stop posting here you have nothing to offer. You give the U.S a bad name. You waste space. You embarass your own party. On the other hand you might just be the best poster boy for the right wing...or at least a good arguement for the return of sterilization...

According to The New Republic, Senator Zell Miller — one of a dwindling band of Democrats who still think they can make deals with the Bush administration and its allies — got shafted in the recent tax bill. He supported the bill in part because it contained his personal contribution: a measure requiring chief executives to take personal responsibility for corporate tax declarations. But when the bill emerged from conference, his measure had been stripped out.

Will "moderates" — the people formerly known as "conservatives" — ever learn? Today's "conservatives" — the people formerly known as the "radical right" — don't think of a deal as a deal; they think of it as an opportunity to pull yet another bait and switch.

Let's look at the betrayals involved in this latest tax cut.

Most media attention has focused on the child tax credit that wasn't. As in 2001, the administration softened the profile of a tax cut mainly aimed at the wealthy by including a credit for families with children. But at the last minute, a change in wording deprived 12 million children of some or all of that tax credit. "There are a lot of things that are more important than that," declared Tom DeLay, the House majority leader. (Maybe he was thinking of the "Hummer deduction," which stayed in the bill: business owners may now deduct up to $100,000 for the cost of a vehicle, as long as it weighs at least 6,000 pounds.)


NYGuy - 6/6/2003

Rearview Mirror VA,

Your comments show why historians can't predict the future. Remember the predictions of a quagmire in Iraq. Ugh.

Anyway, GW's brillant economic plan is working. First you restore confidence in Americans and investors so the market rises sharply as it is doing this year, (the wealth effect) and than you come in with an econmic stimulus like the tax cuts. This one two punch is getting us out of the Clinton recession.

GW is a genius, i.e. someone who sees a target no one else can see and hits it.

He has character to stay the course, is courageous and bright.

Thank God for the Florida Supreme Court.

Cheers


V.A - 6/6/2003

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 6.1 percent in May, the highest level in nine years, as businesses cut 17,000 jobs in a weak economy.


V.A - 6/6/2003

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E-Mail This Article
Printer-Friendly Format
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TIMES NEWS TRACKER
Topics Alerts


Unemployment
United States Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 6.1 percent in May, the highest level in nine years, as businesses cut 17,000 jobs in a weak economy.


Buck Mulligan - 6/6/2003


Isn't life in our elitist plutocracy grand? Ever try to live on $11,000 a year, asshole?


Buck Mulligan - 6/6/2003


Yeah, sort of like GW's last speech. He claimed "We have found WMD's". He can't open his mouth without lying.


Buck Mulligan - 6/6/2003


C'mon VA. At least those poor Iraqi people are free.


Buck Mulligan - 6/6/2003

Was Nixon a DRAFT DODGER too?


Buck Mulligan - 6/6/2003

Gee, was Kennedy's brother governor of Illinois or Texas in 1960?


Homer Simpson - 6/5/2003

Are we comparing bodily parts.

Still think you'll lose.

Have you been drinking again?


V.A - 6/5/2003

Ha, ha ha! I truly hope you don't conisder yourself a "big boy." You display the least coherent thought and logical arguement on HNN. I could train a monkey to make more sense than you--I'm serious I really could. This coupled with the fact that you don't seem to know how to spell anything bigger than a three letter word leads me to believe you're a slow fifteen year old at fat camp in Texas. Keep embarassing youself, you're the best poster boy for the right wing I could dream of!

"Remember the twin towers. Support our troops." --Ha ha ha... lol. Man, you can't make this stuff up.

Note to Homer: you got some stiff competition buddy...


V.A - 6/5/2003

Ha, ha ha! I truly hope you don't conisder yourself a "big boy." You display the least coherent thought and logical arguement on HNN. I could train a monkey to make more sense than you--I'm serious I really could. This coupled with the fact that you don't seem to know how to spell anything bigger than a three letter word leads me to believe you're a slow fifteen year old at fat camp in Texas. Keep embarassing youself, you're the best poster boy for the right wing I could dream of!

"Remember the twin towers. Support our troops." --Ha ha ha... lol. Man, you can't make this stuff up.

Note to Homer: you got some stiff competition buddy...


Elia Markell - 6/5/2003

"They" investigated? Gosh, that sure is reassuring. The issue, pal, is not how many "they" FOUND doing this. It's how many others "they" did not find. Not many of them, after all, are writing their memoirs.


Elia Markell - 6/5/2003

"They" investigated? Gosh, that sure is reassuring. The issue, pal, is not how many "they" FOUND doing this. It's how many others "they" did not find. Not many of them, after all, are writing their memoirs.


Herodotus - 6/5/2003

I love how Kriz ducks my point...

afraid?


NYGuy - 6/5/2003

VA,

It took you 371/2 hours to copy Josh's reply. Maybe you are better off talking to Cartoon characters, it doesn't create any mental strain or time pressure, but you appear a lot happier.

It is difficult playing with the big boys.

But this is a great country and one of opportunity. Hang in there.


NYGuy - 6/5/2003

VA,

It took you 371/2 hours to copy Josh's reply. Maybe you are better off talking to Cartoon characters, it doesn't create any mental strain or time pressure, but you appear a lot happier.

It is difficult playing with the big boys.

But this is a great country and one of opportunity. Hang in there.


Stephen Kriz - 6/5/2003


They investigated the so-called "smokes for votes" allegations in Milwaukee and found one man had handed out one carton of free cigarettes to bums to vote for Democrats. Most were not even registered voters. The guy who did it was an idiot and got jail time. If ten votes were influenced by this knucklehead, that was about it. We will spot you the ten, and take the 50,000 back from Florida.


Bill Heuisler - 6/4/2003

Mr. Carey,
Misquoting yourself is annoying. But try to stay on message.

One last time. The tax bill Mr. Carpenter tried to criticize dealt with Income Taxes. The tax cut bill did not deal with Social Security levies. The tax cut bill did not deal with income distribution to poor Americans - subsidies like EIC.
And if you know the difference between filers and payers, then why do you confuse them? The law states everyone above a certain income level will file. Many file and take many deductions.

As to Social Security, we pay if we're employed. Voluntary SS privatization would solve many problems, lower most taxes and maybe end your seemingly terminal confusion.
Bill Heuisler


dan - 6/4/2003

You are SO manly... You must have such a BIG dictionary.

None of my dictionaries has "walk crookedly" as a definition for prevaricate. But, hey, learn something new every day, which sets the two of us apoart, I guess.

"Filing is different than paying. Earned income credit is really an unearned subsidy from government."

If you say so. $376 is a HUGE sum, all right.


Elia Markkell - 6/4/2003

It's of course no interest at all to the Marxists among us here, but the Stock Market just poked back up over 9000 today. I realize this is of no interest to those who await breathlessly the vast army of the unemployed, yet there is a relationship of sorts between the heights and the valleys of capitalism and stock market prices do reflect a revival that will, by this time next year, probably be easing the unemployment problem as well, and GW's re-election prospects. In any case, even now, the upward trend in stocks is of vastly greater importance now than in the past, since half the nation has 401Ks again starting to grow steadily, and this half is also the greater half of consumers, whose confidence ... You know the rest.


HC Carey - 6/4/2003

Bill, you cranky old ass. i do understand the difference between FILERS and PAYERS, as you. As usual, you are refuting an argument I'm not making, because you don't actually read anything, you just rant. I dispute the idea that half of all FILERS pay no taxes. Understand?

Could you point me to where you find this limbaughesque info? I was not able to find it on the IRS website


NYGuy - 6/4/2003

Saddled with the Clinton Recession two months after he took office and the the World Trade Center six months later, GW had more on his plate than any President before him. But, as was stated by King Abdullah II of Jordan,

"Mr. President, you have stayed the course. Your presence here today to witness the two leaders meeting together, agreeing on common grounds to solve this conflict, provides a great impetus to move forward and a clear answer to all the skeptics."

I thank you, sir, for your leadership and your courage."

This is the same character traits that are getting us through these trying times. He helped to restore the confidence in investors this year which resulted in the market rising sharply and increasing the "wealth effect" for nearly all Americans. Now with his tax cut policy beginning to take effect, we are well on the road to greater confidence by the American people in our future, and the prospect of strong economic growth.

Unlike Clinton, he did it on his own and not as an inheritance from his father, as our former President got.

Thanks GW. Better days are here again. I thank you, sir, for your leadership and your courage."




Bill Heuisler - 6/4/2003

Mr. Carey,
Read your own posts, for God's sake. You write,
"...found 8.1 million tax FILERS would receive no tax cuts."
Then you misquote yourself:
"That's 8.1 million taxPAYERS, Bill--that's the point--"

Then you assert, "Half of US filers--half the adult population-"

First, filers do not equal population (kids, minimum-income and joint returns reduce the % to maybe a quarter). Second, filing does not equal paying. How many filers do you think get refunds of all or most of their withheld INCOME TAXES? How much tax paid do you think is FICA and not in this discussion? Do some basic reading before attacking the President. Do research. The IRS will share data on % of returns, % of taxpayers to revenue, % of FICA to INCOME LEVY. Go to their website. Call the local IRS.
Once again, Mr. Carey, FILERS do not equal PAYERS. Understand?

This argument has become as ridiculous as your quoting Slate for authority on tax matters.
Bill Heuisler


V.A - 6/4/2003


Troll, you are fooling yourself if you think your postings are any better than Homer's.

Remember the twin towers. Support our troops.

You are a total moron.


NYGuy - 6/4/2003

Josh,

Take a vacation for awhile and try to come up with something new.

PS. The Clinton rececssion is now over thanks to GW. What a great leader to overcome all the problems he had dumped into his lap by the "Great One."

Remember the Twin Towers, Support our troops.


Elia Markell - 6/4/2003


It's worse than even Herodotus notes. Even in Wisconsin, in 2000, Democratic Party workers in Milwaukee were videotaped handing out cigarettes to bums to get them to vote early and often. My guess is no one has even BEGUN to plumb the depths of this recent and ongoing (and mainly Democratic) inner-city vote fraud in our elections.

As Herodotus notes, all this goes back a long way. Some of it is probably unavoidable. But spare us, please, any more of this dimple-mania about Florida. I mean, after all, isn't the anti-Bush crowd's latest paranoia-strikes-deep soap opera all about the missing WMD (you know, the ones Saddam pretended to have but not let anyone see just so he would get invaded and overthrown)? Isn't that enough for the permanently outraged?


HC Carey - 6/4/2003

First off it's not MY "cute tautology"--I didn't write it.

Second, this quote seems to speak to your objection:

"Asked about the exclusion of the child-care credit for low- and middle-income families, White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer reaffirmed that all taxpayers would receive tax cuts, because the people affected by the exclusion weren't taxpayers. They were folks who received public assistance via the Earned Income Tax Crediit...But any low-income folks who earned enough to pay taxes would henceforth pay less.

That turned out not to be true. Researchers at the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center found 8.1 million tax filers would receive no tax cuts.

That's 8.1 million taxpayers, Bill--that's the point--not that some people, the very poor, recieve benefits. It's that Bush's claims are untrue.

As in often the case, you are dragging a different topic into the discussion in order to confuse the issue

Now you also claim that "more than half of use filers pay no income tax." What is your source for that interesting claim? Are you suggesting that these people have no payroll taxes deducted? Half of US filers--half the adult population--pays no taxes? How do you figure that?




Herodotus - 6/4/2003

You're too quick to dismiss the 1960 election because you don't know enough about it. Consistency in your position requires, based on the facts, that you be equally antagonised about the 1960 election as the 2000 election. In one well known case, Fannin County had over 6,000 votes cast on a registered roll of only 4,900 voters. Similar instances occurred all across the state. The Texas election board refused a recount, and Nixon lost the state.

You say that the Illinois turnout did not affect the outcome of the election. The two candidates were neck and neck in electoral votes through much of the night. Within Illinois, the majority of unreported precincts were in Chicago, which the Daley machine controlled. When Chicago went for Kennedy, so did the state. With Texas, this was enough to tip the balance for Kennedy.

Personally, I don't care whether Kennedy or Nixon won the election. But I do care that you're not being consistent in decrying the Electoral College or "fraudulent" elections. It's either both 2000 and 1960, on proceedure, or its neither. If you can't decide, then you're welcome to your irrelevance because your convictions won't carry any weight on here any more.


Josh Greenland - 6/4/2003

Bill Heuisler is described in the following site (The Field Guide to Trolls) as an Affected Profundity Troll:

http://www.philelmore.com/profiling/fieldguidetotrolls.htm

I disagree with but don't have a problem with his conservative politics. My problem is with his mangling of history, his fake erudition and the hateful tone of his posts. I stopped reading anything he had to say a while ago. And he isn't the only member of the "under the bridge crowd" here on HNN who would benefit from being boycotted.


Bill Heuisler - 6/4/2003

Dan,
Learn about words and understand.
Filing is different than paying. Earned income credit is really an unearned subsidy from government. And walking crookedly while typing is very difficult. How did you guess my little secret?
Look it up.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 6/4/2003

Mr. Carey,
Surely you're joking. Your cute tautology doesn't hold up to reality because we all know taxes are different from subsidies and tax filers are not always taxpayers.

The President said the Tax Cut Bill would, "...reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax." Simple. Straightforward.
You object by parroting Slate's non sequiturs. Two most obvious:
1) "no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax credit."
2) "...8.1 million tax filers would receive no tax cuts."

But most informed citizens know full well:
1) A tax cut is entirely different from a tax "credit".
2) More than half US tax "filers" pay no income taxes.

Politically incorrect Tax-facts seem terribly inconvenient for Liberals: Income Taxes cannot be cut if no taxes are paid. Subsidies are money from the US General Fund. Tax cuts keep money with the wage earner. The bill was a Tax-Cut Bill not a spending bill. Slate's arguments are transparently specious.
Bill Heuisler


Herodotus - 6/4/2003

From the previous thread, where you did not respond.
----


dan - 6/3/2003

"...incomes under $26,000 because there's no tax to credit..."

Funny, Form 1040EZ (no deductions need apply, but EIC is available) instructions say single filers must file at $7700, and married at $13,850... with some exception for people who have to file with even less income.

And the Tax Tables go down to taxes on $5 = $1...

Mr. Heuisler, you wouldn't be prevaricating, would you?


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


We? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? You await a response that will never come because I have already told you that the purported fraud in the 1960 election in Illinois, while regrettable, had no bearing on the eventual outcome of the election. The fraud in Florida in 2000 did. GET IT????


Homer Simpson - 6/3/2003

I thought I was a liberal.

When I kick somebody in the balls, I don't laugh at the "resultant pain." (Love that phrase.)

However, haven't had to kick anybody in the balls for some time. If you can think of a good opportunity to do this, please let me know. I don't remember whether it's funny or not. The last time I kicked somebody in the balls is kind of fuzzy... Lenny challenged me to a duel. He got to kick first. Things went black...

The "but replicable" part really threw men, dan (with a small "d" as in "D'oh!"). Are you into computers? Or is that too conservative? Does that mean that you can make it happen again?


dan - 6/3/2003

You are a "comedian" in the same sad way that any Conservative understands "humor," i.e., not at all. The usual Conservative idea of humor is to kick someone in the balls and laugh at their resultant pain. No creativity, no understanding of the human condition, no subtlety...

Sad. But replicable.


Homer Simpson - 6/3/2003

I'd suggest a case of Duff per day. He might be funny if he'd stay drunk.

Now, here's my plan to Save the World.

1. Everybody should buy the biggest SUV they can find
2. All historians should be required to enter into demolition derbies
3. The winner gets to be the new Stalin

Kriz, drinking might help your chances


Herodotus - 6/3/2003

Mr. Kriz,

We await your reply to the posting from last week's Carpenter column: Are you opposed to the outcome and characteristics of both the 2000 election and the 1960 election, or are you unable to stay consistent in your opposition to the Electoral College and voter fraud?


Walter Hearne - 6/3/2003

Hi, I'm P.M. Carpenter? What's "P.M." stand for? Funny you should ask. No it's not because I want to cover up my parents' cruel humor in naming me. No, I call myself "P.M." 'cause "P.M. Carpenter" sounds kind of like "H.L. Mencken." Like every other semi-educated hack who thinks he's incredibly witty and facile with a thesaurus, I think I'm the second coming of Mencken. My dream blurb is "P.M. Carpenter is our new H.L. Mencken." Maybe Gore Vidal could right that for me. Oh, very well, I'll settle for Ted Rall. Anyway, the main purpose of my writing is to expose every person in a position of power as stupider and more craven than me, but Lord knows you wouldn't entrust me with the office of Dog Catcher. My method is to mix lame insults with a half-dozen factoids I cull from the Internet. Don't ask me how I managed to fit Dudley Do-Right, Snoopy, and Mr. "Mcgoo" [sic] into Looney Tunes, even though anybody who wasn't in a coma at age eight knows that none of these characters ever appeared in a Looney Toon. The point is that these guys are DUMB! Ha ha ha. I usually try out my material on the guys at the bar. They pretend to act impressed, but most of the time they're looking for an excuse to escape, and they make fun of me when I hit the head. Watch this now---"BOOBOISIE" ah ha ha ha ha ha ha! Did I mention that I have a history degree?


F. Teague - 6/3/2003


I love it! And I couldn't resist irritating you one last time. Getting the better of gents like you is the easiest part of my day.

You led off inchoately with "your tantrum continues" and then proceeded to an inchoate whirlwind of ad hominems, just like the right's inchoate, leading intellectual and philosopher king, Rush Limbaugh. That in itself defines your inchoate manner and inchoate reflexive response to criticism, again, just like inchoate Rush. You have learned well the fundamentals of online screaming.

You first thought inchoately you had an inchoate biting point to make in inchoate response to the article - remember it, inchoately? - but when countered and cornered you, yep, again, went meshuga just like Rush. It showed you never really cared about your little argument; you only wanted to piss on somebody. What a sad life, empty life.

But if nothing else, in the interest of lexical accuracy, do other readers with a stronger stomach than mine a favor. When you learn a new word, remember you must use it in the right context and pay careful attention to its precise and unique meaning. Otherwise your usage betrays an underlying ignorance of the English language's subtlety and, frankly, causes you to sound a little silly to your betters.

Well, I've given you all the help I know how to give. But knowing you'll ignore good advice, I'll simply leave you with the kind of lowbrow bluntness you so dearly love: Go soak your head.


HC Carey - 6/3/2003

On Bush's tax cut claims, from "Slate"

Meme Watch: A Unified Theory of Bush Lies?
Why did Bush's tax cut exclude so many low-income families?
By Timothy Noah
Posted Monday, June 2, 2003, at 2:15 PM PT


On April 26, President Bush said in his weekly radio address, "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax."

That turned out not to be true. According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an unspecified number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax credit.

A Republican spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee told the New York Times that the benefit had not been extended to these low- and middle-income families because $30 billion in tax cuts had to be taken out of the bill to suit Sen. George Voinovich, a Republican deficit hawk.

That was obviously not true. As the Times reported, extending the benefit would have cost a mere $3.5 billion. It could have been put back in had Congress been willing to lower the top income tax rate to 35.3 percent rather than 35 percent, according to the CBPP. Or, if that had been too controversial, $3.5 billion in tax shelters could have been shut down.

Asked about the exclusion of the child-care credit for low- and middle-income families, White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer reaffirmed that all taxpayers would receive tax cuts, because the people affected by the exclusion weren't taxpayers. They were folks who received public assistance via the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program to help the working poor, who would merely have to settle for a little less cash than they would have received had there been no exclusion. But any low-income folks who earned enough to pay taxes would henceforth pay less.

That turned out not to be true. Researchers at the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center found 8.1 million tax filers would receive no tax cuts.

Fleischer had specifically stated, "People in the 10 percent bracket, they benefit the most from" the Bush tax cut.

That turned out not to be true. Crunching the Tax Policy Center numbers, CBPP found that 89 percent of all single taxpayers (as opposed to "head of household" taxpayers) in the 10 percent bracket would receive no tax relief. It said some "head of household" taxpayers in the 10 percent bracket were left out, too.


H C Carey - 6/3/2003

On Bush's tax cut claims, from todays "slate."

By Timothy Noah
Posted Monday, June 2, 2003, at 2:15 PM PT

On April 26, President Bush said in his weekly radio address, "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax."

That turned out not to be true. According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an unspecified number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax credit.

A Republican spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee told the New York Times that the benefit had not been extended to these low- and middle-income families because $30 billion in tax cuts had to be taken out of the bill to suit Sen. George Voinovich, a Republican deficit hawk.

That was obviously not true. As the Times reported, extending the benefit would have cost a mere $3.5 billion. It could have been put back in had Congress been willing to lower the top income tax rate to 35.3 percent rather than 35 percent, according to the CBPP. Or, if that had been too controversial, $3.5 billion in tax shelters could have been shut down.

Asked about the exclusion of the child-care credit for low- and middle-income families, White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer reaffirmed that all taxpayers would receive tax cuts, because the people affected by the exclusion weren't taxpayers. They were folks who received public assistance via the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program to help the working poor, who would merely have to settle for a little less cash than they would have received had there been no exclusion. But any low-income folks who earned enough to pay taxes would henceforth pay less.

That turned out not to be true. Researchers at the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center found 8.1 million tax filers would receive no tax cuts.

Fleischer had specifically stated, "People in the 10 percent bracket, they benefit the most from" the Bush tax cut.

That turned out not to be true. Crunching the Tax Policy Center numbers, CBPP found that 89 percent of all single taxpayers (as opposed to "head of household" taxpayers) in the 10 percent bracket would receive no tax relief. It said some "head of household" taxpayers in the 10 percent bracket were left out, too.


Stephen Kriz - 6/3/2003


This Homer Simpson likes to take a lot of potshots at me personally, which is fine. His posts and his nom de plume are indicative of a low intellect, so it doesn't really bother me.

I would like to address his attempts to pass off the fiscal mismanagement of the Bush Administration as no big deal, however. This Administration is proving itself to be the most dishonest in American history. More proof of that is the fact that they have changed the way in which the unemployment rate is determined. They now include military personnel in the denominator, which naturally makes the overall rate look lower. In addition, many people have given up looking for work, which reduces the overall rate. This Administration is well on it's way to being the first since Hoover to have overall job loss in every year of its term. The length of time that the unemployed go without finding work is also the longest since they began tracking this statistic. An honest accounting of the unemployment rate would likely put it somewhere in the 8% to 10% range. If, this Administration were honest, which it very clearly is not.

Back to the recent tax cut passed by the Bushies and the radicals in Congress: This is also the most dishonest piece of tripe ever fed to the American people. To say that it only increases the deficit by $350 billion is so dishonest, I am surprised Bill Frist's nose didn't grow when he announced it. The bill is loaded with "sunset" provisions that the Republican jihadis haev no intention of phasing out. These extremists will balloon the deficit by a trillion or more because of this bad piece of legislation, which will provide little or no economic stimulus. I guess we will all have to move to Iraq to get decent schools for our kids, clean water and gun control. These wacko right-wing political extremists are destroying America!!!!


Bill Heuisler - 6/3/2003

Mr. Teague,
Your tantrum continues and confirms my use of our language:
Inchoate means lacking order or form. Borrow a good dictionary.
Your anger - like your knowledge - lacks focus and sequence. You don't understand the subject matter (for instance, a tax cut is unitary; a child subsidy is annual)and conceal abysmal ignorance with petulance and school-yard insults.

When you lose an argument have the grace to withdraw in good order - quit while you're ahead. Your use of terms like "once only issuance" and "defending" into a "deeper hole" is barely literate and truly embarrassing.
Bill Heuisler


NYGuy - 6/3/2003

VA,

Looks like you have finally flipped. Arguing with Homer Simpson.
Ugh.

Keep it up if it makes you happy. But, don't stop taking your medicine.


F. Teague - 6/3/2003


You should stop defending yourself (into a deeper and deeper hole). You are still and further confusing income tax "cuts," which will be in effect till doomsday if the Republicans have their way, with a once-only issuance.

More laughable, however, is that you appear unable to consult a dictionary. "Inchoate" anger? What novel usage.

But most of all it's fun to read stuff like yours: typical right-wing venom that always accuses those in disagreement of being venomous.

You just aren't worth the time. Grow up.


Bill Heuisler - 6/3/2003

Mr Teague,
Your pique is disproportionate and revealing. The only mistake here was Mr. Carpenter's and now yours. The whole misbegotten article was about the Bush Income Tax Cut Bill. Carpenter admits as much in his seventh paragraph:
"Last week the Financial Times reported that to ensure passage of the mammoth tax cut..." That's an income tax cut, Mr. Teague.

And thanks for the correction; it clarifies the issue immensely. Most knowledgable people understand the per-child "tax credit" has nothing to do with taxes or credits on incomes under $26,000 because there's no tax to credit. No tax, no credit = subsidy. Got it now? Numbers and terms become much more understandable once you shed ideological baggage and inchoate anger.
Bill Heuisler


Homer Simpson - 6/2/2003

What's your excuse, doofus?


V.A - 6/2/2003

Yuk, yuk, yuk--
I think you making a douche bag out of yourself is the best comedy we've had here yet.


V.A - 6/2/2003

Yuk, yuk, yuk--
I think you making a douche bag out of yourself is the best comedy we've had here yet.


Homer Simpson - 6/2/2003

VA has a challenger for biggest doofus in America -- this Carpenter moron.

Just visited the buzzflash site. Want a laugh? Well, it might make you cringe a little, too. Carpenter isn't exactly in touch with reality. In fact, I'm surprised he's allowed to appear publicly without an attendant. Go see for yourself.

VA, why don't you take up a hobby, like motorcycling or something? It'll help to relieve the tension and the Secret Service won't have to keep an eye on you.

As I said, I read this site for laughs. You can't make up the idiocy that people post here.


V.A. - 6/2/2003

Ooohhhhh! Nice victory! Wow, you sure got me--jackass. 1 point to troll! Go tell mom when she's making you lunch about the big day at the office.


Homer Simpson - 6/2/2003

You've responded in earnest to a Homer.

I took on the personna of Homer Simpson because I found the idiotic ranting on this site hilarious.

You are even funnier and stupider than Kriz.

At least I pose as a Homer. You really are one.


V.A - 6/2/2003

It's interesting your screen name is that of America's dumb everyman, and your comments reflect that you possess as little knowledge or analytical ability as he who've you named yourself after. However, I don't want to knock the real Homer Simpson--I like him.

Your erroneous statistics, appearing without a source (heritage foundation?--they are the only ones who could purport such a load of crap) only prove that you are simple minded moron who has an Oliver Stone books on tape subscription (I doubt you read much).

Lets pay attention to some important statistics Homer: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined by nearly 2,000 points since Bush took office; unemployment has risen to 5.7% from 4.2%. During the Bush presidency, growth of the gross domestic product has averaged 1.1%, down from 3.6% during the Clinton presidency.' Do you know what newspaper that comes from? The Wall Street Journal.

Read up dipshit, then maybe you'll be able to tell who the loonies are. By the way the phrase is "tickle my funny bone."




V.A - 6/2/2003

It's interesting your screen name is that of America's dumb everyman, and your comments reflect that you possess as little knowledge or analytical ability as he who've you named yourself after. However, I don't want to knock the real Homer Simpson--I like him.

Your erroneous statistics, appearing without a source (heritage foundation?--they are the only ones who could purport such a load of crap) only prove that you are simple minded moron who has an Oliver Stone books on tape subscription (I doubt you read much).

Lets pay attention to some important statistics Homer: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined by nearly 2,000 points since Bush took office; unemployment has risen to 5.7% from 4.2%. During the Bush presidency, growth of the gross domestic product has averaged 1.1%, down from 3.6% during the Clinton presidency.' Do you know what newspaper that comes from? The Wall Street Journal.

Read up dipshit, then maybe you'll be able to tell who the loonies are. By the way the phrase is "tickle my funny bone."




Homer Simpson - 6/2/2003

Reading Carpenter really makes the head spin. Are historians really this dumb? Reading this site seems to confirm this suspicion.

The unemployment rate is 6%, 1.5% above the historic low. The Dow has been stable or rising for quite a while.

As to the charges of "lunacy," well it takes one to know one, and Carpenter clearly qualifies.

The quality of writing and thought on this board is so hopelessly stupid. Most of the respondents aren't aware that the Soviet Union collapsed. I come here for laughs. Where's that moron, Steve Kriz? He really shakes my funny bone.


F. Teague - 6/2/2003


His original mistake and the subsequent correction had nothing to do with "federal income tax cuts."


John Moser - 6/2/2003

In what way does this refute Heuisler's argument? Does pointing out that federal income tax cuts can only logically go to those who pay federal income taxes automatically make one a "hateful right-wing distorter"?


F. Teague - 6/2/2003

From the NYT,

"The negotiators eliminated a provision in the Senate version of the tax bill that would have extended benefits from the child tax credit to families with incomes between $10,500 and $26,625."

I double-checked with a finance instructor, who confirmed that $10,500 is less than $11,000 (which should have been $11,440, actually, but what are facts to hateful right-wing distorters?).


Herodotus - 6/2/2003

In his last column, he claimed that the first tax cut in 2001 eliminated a $5 trillion surplus. We can't believe any of his economic-related arguments.


Bill Heuisler - 6/2/2003

Mr. Carpenter,
Exhibiting your limitations while criticizing others can be ineptly humorous or just unconsciously self-abasing. Do you need courses in economics and writing? Perhaps some counseling?

Economics:
1) You cite an "expert tax study" without identification.
2) Say how the study. "...determined the bill's revenue feedback could be as low as 2.6 percent of its cost." So, you unwittingly admit the existance of tax-cut-revenue-generation, but foolishly limit supply-side revenue to a conjectural percent. After this dialectical faux-pas, you compound the farce by calling un-collected taxes a "cost". A "cost" to whom? Teddy Kennedy?

The misunderstanding continues:
"...at the last minute we nixed checks to the $5.50-an-hour crowd." ($5.50 per hour = $11,000 a year = below tax threshold)
Nixed checks? You mean tax refunds. How can income taxes be refunded to people who paid no income taxes?

Lastly, Mr. Carpenter, your fifth paragraph produced confusion comedy and, finally, a schadenfreude-laden pity. You babble,
"On its best day it leaves America 2-million jobs shy of where she was on W's inauguration day -- that's a gain of 500,000 jobs -- and retard economic progress by making money more expensive and capital formation more difficult. The long-term result is reversal of jobs gained, and then once again we continue the slide." Bad English, bad math, bad economics.

Ignorance and chaos. A clue. Pick a subject you know and write clearly and directly. On the other hand, maybe you should continue as the unwittingly maladroit HNN jester.
Bill Heuisler

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