Fiscal Snark

Fiscal Cliff.

We’ve heard news about the fiscal cliff until we’re probably all tired of it and are just glad the dealing is over…

Right?

I have to wonder, however, if most folk outside of a few fellow political junkies are entirely clear about what the fiscal cliff is, what deal was struck, and what it means for us lowly peons who don’t speak lawyerese.

I will attempt to explain it as well as I can given that I’m, 1) not a math genius 2) not a lawyer & 3) sick of the very thought of it, by breaking it down into ‘regular folk’ language and simplifying it as much as I can without losing the substance of the thing. Here goes…

This all leads back to the Budget Control Act of 2011.. *snort-laugh* budget control…*ahem* that addressed the debt ceiling crisis of that year. (Is anyone else noticing a pattern in regards to our government, spending, and crises? Anyone??) The changes that were set to take place at midnight Dec 31, 2012 were:

TAXES: 1) Last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts would expire [resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers. Lovely. Slave away, peons, Master Obama needs your taxes.] 2) The “Bush tax cuts” would expire [Bush tax cuts translator: Lower federal income tax for everyone, decrease in the marriage penalty, increase in the child tax credit Yay families!, etc.] 3) We would begin seeing taxes related to Obamacare. [Remember the tax that’s not a tax until the law Pelosi&Co crammed down our collective throats would be found unConstitutional unless it’s a tax?? There was this whole hullabaloo at the Supreme Court about it. Enjoy your “free” birth control, ladies, which will result in higher taxes on everything you buy now! ], etc., etc.

SPENDING: The spending cuts agreed upon as part of the deal would go into effect, including cuts to the defense budget and Medicare. It’s so cute how politicians pretend to want to stop spending our money, isn’t it?? Bless their hearts.

I have to note at this time that raising the debt ceiling via the “Budget Control Act” was considered the only plausible fix to the problem of our government spending, spending, spending, and having no plan to pay down the debt or indeed any intention of staying within a budget (seeing as how they have HAD NO BUDGET for over 1,000 days). I have to point that out because it is an out of control SPENDING government that has caused ALL of these problems and then proposes “fixes” that in no way, shape, or form limit the amount of spending that we as tax payers are expected to pay for.

*Ahem* Mini-rant over. Where was I? Oh yes, the fiscal cliff…

fiscal cliff huxtible

No, not THAT Cliff.

So the cliff was this big scary economic reckoning that would burden an already weak economy with heaps of higher taxes. Remember just before the election when Obama said the economy was ‘doing fine’? Wasn’t that precious!?

So.. what did the sage wizards of Capitol Hill do about this impending doom?

Good question.

Two good things have come of this deal: 1) Most of the Bush tax cuts are permanent. [Taxes will go up on higher incomes, just as King Obama promised in his class warfare campaign. You know, all those “rich” people who hire less rich people to do jobs that they are paid a wage for..] & 2) Taxing and spending have been de-linked, to be dealt with as separate issues. [Good news! If you were missing fiscal cliff talks already you’ll get a bonus round! Woot! ]

Bonus Cliff:

fiscal cliff assets

Now before you run off and spend all that money you’ll save in tax cuts, let me remind you that this is Congress we’re dealing with and if you thought there would be only good to come of this deal then… you don’t know Congress.

So what’s the bad in the deal? Well… 1) Taxes are still going up & 2) “Special interest” tax benefits are extended [“Railroad track maintenance credit” because it’s 1835, y’all!, recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes Wonder if these will be named after the venerable Ted Kennedy?, special expensing rules for film and television, and subsidies for alternative energy. I like to call this the Solyndra Cliff ].

Knowing our taxes are helping Hollywood make crap movies that they’ll charge us $10/person to see just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn’t it?

Hopefully this has helped you gain a better understanding of the Fiscal Cliff and subsequent dealing. All of the research I did to get to this diluted and simplified explanation has created what I call a cuteness deficit in my thought processes. I’ll need furry animal memes to repair the damage done by this trip into Lawyerland’s Tax&Spend Extravaganza.

I-did-the-math

*sad panda*

References:

http://bonds.about.com/od/Issues-in-the-News/a/What-Is-The-Fiscal-Cliff.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_Control_Act_of_2011

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bush-tax-cuts.asp#axzz2GsEfAxWq

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/01/20/1000-days-without-a-budget-facts-on-the-senates-failure/

http://washingtonexaminer.com/the-good-bad-ugly-of-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/article/2517273#.UOT2jG9X0d6

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/31/obama-gives-congress-pay-raise/

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2013/01/02/obama-returns-hawaii-added-cost-3-million/

Oh! I almost forgot…

Just so you know that Obama is serious about saving us from falling off the Fiscal Cliff, you should know that he granted a pay increase for Congress, which shocked even Congress given that they are supposed to be saving us from economic ruin. Don’t worry, the order was rescinded in time for Obama to address the Fiscal Cliff crisis and fly back to Hawaii at an additional cost of over $3 million in addition to the cost of his $4 million family vacation. He’s all about leading by example.

fiscal cliff roadrunner

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Mothers For Romney

Dear Julia,

As we were having our morning coffee, dad and I got your email about birth control. Honey…. I don’t even know where to begin. Let me just say first of all $18,000?!?! REALLY?! I know we have to consider prices and inflation, but did you know you could buy Trojan condoms in bulk and get 1000 condoms for $350? You could have sex every day for nearly 3 years! Although the idea of my little girl being so wanton is quite frankly… sickening! What happened to the values you were taught growing up? Your father can’t even respond to your email, he’s too busy mumbling and cleaning his gun.

We realize you may think our values “old-fashioned” but the truth is those values protect you! When you respect yourself, you don’t give your body to the use of just any man who takes a fleeting interest. You don’t have to worry about pregnancy or disease or whether or not he’s going to call. You’ll never have to do the “walk of shame” or live with regret. Just think about it, dear.

I won’t pretend that I’ve lived with my head in the sand for the last decade. I know you’ve probably… charmed the snake. So if you are going to spit on the values you were taught and be so brazen as to ask your mother for help buying birth control, then get ready little girl because mama just took the gloves off. Here goes…

1) You remember making such a big deal out of being “an adult”? Well I do, honey. Good luck with that.

2) Your dad and I have graciously paid your tuition for 2 years. Your job at that little boutique allowed you to buy your books. If you are too busy humping like a rabbit to study those books and earn that degree we’ve been paying for then we can just stop paying your tuition.

3) Condoms are free at the health department.

4) If your “date” can’t be bothered with protection you should not be surprised when he tells his friends you were easy and doesn’t call you.

5) The pill increases your risk of cancer. Are you going to ask us to pay for your chemo too?

6) The pill helps regulate your period? Oh, well then… all the women in the history of ever wanted me to tell you that they almost shed a single tear for you. Ask for more hours at the boutique and take fewer classes next semester. You’ll be able to buy your own pills!

Dear, we aren’t heartless, but you trying to manipulate us by implying that we will have to pay you if we vote for Romney is a little bit like extortion. Besides, our own insurance rates went up after Obama pushed through Obamacare, and I lost my job because the company couldn’t afford the extra cost to insure employees. Your dad is worried he will lose his job now. We’ve canceled the cable, gym membership, and magazine subscriptions. We stopped eating out. I won’t be reflooring the den or buying a new comforter for the bedroom ($18,000 could refloor the whole house and pay for a nice dinner out!). You see, honey, when grown ups are faced with a change in fortune, they do this thing called “budgeting”. If you are suddenly faced with paying for birth control don’t cry to mommy. You put your big girl panties on and work out how you can cover the necessities. When you’re done with that, call me. I’d like to congratulate you on finally growing up.

xoxo, Mom

p.s. I almost forgot! If you are so insistent on taking care of your .. ahem… ‘sexual needs’, you should invest in a vibrator. It’s much more economical!

(This has been a fictional response to the following ridiculous campaign e-card.)

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-ecard-women-can-i-borrow-18000-help-pay-my-birth-control_653174.html

(Written on the 4th)

I’ll be honest, I had no idea what #natgat was all about. Ever since the whining, writhing maggots of occupy infected the Big Apple, I relegated them to the area of my brain that deals with buzzing flies and obnoxious odors. Besides living in tents and demanding hand outs these people really had no purpose, therefore I ignored them. They occasionally blipped on my radar when they would unleash their fully grown toddler fury on a city by breaking windows, painting on walls, and attacking businesses. No one ever accused occupy of being very logical, but you’d think they would have enough sense to not destroy the sources of taxation that would pay for all the free stuff they want. I suppose they think Michelle is growing a money tree in that fancy White House garden of hers.

Since I wanted to know what all the fuss was about the latest gathering of malcontents, I googled natgat and copied their schedule for July 4th and 5th. I’ve kindly provided an interpretation of the proceedings for those of us who shower daily and understand that “supply and demand” does not mean “the government must supply our demands.”

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4TH

9am – Announcements – I imagine this is the droning of the human megaphone interspersed with uptwinkles (rape tents!) and downtwinkles (capitalism!).

9am – 12pm – Occupy Cafe, Friends Center, 15th & Cherry – Donated organic produce enjoyed in the presence of unwashed hippies. Yum.

10am – Noon – Visioning Exercise – drafting a blueprint for a better future – Who needs all this freedom? A better future must include free propaganda.. I mean education, mass screwing of banks.. I mean debt forgiveness, and the death of America.. I mean open borders.

Noon – Lunch Break – More donated organic produce enjoyed in the presence of even smellier hippies. No water because bans and oppression and stuff… also we’re too stupid to bring any.

2pm – 5pm – Visioning Exercise continues at Franklin Square – 6th & Race – We chant about all the things we hate and whine about how someone else should be productive enough to give our sorry lazy asses what we want. We will tweet about our profound vision of collectivism on our iPhones.

5pm – Final Community Assembly – including reading of any collectively crafted document(s) – We do hereby declare that the correct spelling of our tent city recreation areas shall be “RAPE TENT” not “rapetent” as previously stated.

6pm –  7:30pm – Dinner – Donated organic produce enjoyed in the presence of reeeeeally smelly hippies. Ignore the flies, both produce and hippies have been in the sun all day.

8pm – Final march – Route TBA – Don’t forget your anti-capitalism signs and iPhones!

11pm – Final Camp-Out & Party – Location TBA – To the RAPE TENTS!! Forward!

THURSDAY, JULY 5TH

9am – Courtroom Solidarity for a Philly Occupier – Bring your fleas indoors to enjoy some a/c as we support our hippie comrades who break laws.
9am – #99MileMarch March to Wall Street embarks from Philadelphia Museum of Art –  OWS Guitarmy will be leading an epic 99 mile march from Franklin Square to Wall Street on the 5th for all those that want to join in the quest to deliver the Vision for a Democratic Future! RSVP on their FACEBOOK – the nasty Orcs are leaving Mordor to wage war on the peaceful Hobbits of America! (see picture)Image

Update: You can read more parodies of #natgat plus an actual occupier’s diary entry about the subsequent march at http://www.soopermexican.com by clicking on Mexiblog.

Occupy: Gnat Gat?

A Message From the Rebel Base

Well, it’s May 4th today, and all day in true nerd fashion I’ve been saying

May the Fourth be with you!

Watching Star Wars as a kid was one of my favorite things to do, and one of the many things I could share with my bff- my brother. He wasn’t really into Sleeping Beauty or Grease (more of my favorites), but we could share Star Wars and then later Indiana Jones. It was fun, and exciting, and inspired our imaginations. You may think playing with Barbies is dull and boring, but add some booby traps and suddenly Ken is in the Temple of Doom, and Barbie’s life is in mortal danger! Those were good times.

One thing I really miss about my childhood is that in the books, movies, and television shows, there was a good guy and a bad guy. Unless you were watching My Little Pony, the bad guys were really bad, too. There was never any question of Hordak being ‘misunderstood’. He was evil, enslaving the population of Etheria, and She-Ra and the Rebellion were definitely in the right to resist him and bring the hurt to him and his Evil Horde.

I miss those shows that placed a high value on individual freedom: Star Wars, Transformers, She-Ra: Princess of Power. We had a President (Reagan) who inspired us and a fundamental idea that freedom was a precious gift.

Which brings me to my question… What happened? When did we become so complacent with our cozy little lives that we willingly began handing over freedoms to a government entity? Are we really that scared? Is it worth it to live in a cage just to be safe?

I’m a proud American and fully believe we live in the greatest country in the world. That’s why I find it so bothersome that we have stopped believing that we are capable of looking after ourselves and must rely on our government to provide everything for us. Perhaps the most disturbing trend I see in people around me is that they don’t even consider whether or not they can accomplish something on their own, they just immediately question whether there is a ‘program’ or ‘benefit’ that covers the current need. Really? Was your spirit crushed or did it just fall asleep? Have you no confidence in yourself?

So today as I enjoy the classic tale of a ragtag group of interstellar, freedom-fighting Rebels, I remember another group of ragtag militia from around the year 1776 and their dream of freedom and self-determination. Would they be happy with the way we have preserved the heritage of freedom that they fought so hard for, and won against all odds? Or would they shake their heads in disgust at us, because of our apathy? If we don’t actively preserve our freedom ourselves, we have no one to blame for its loss but… ourselves.

And with that thought I leave you with some quotes from Thomas Jefferson:

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

I hold it, that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

So keep up the good fight, fellow patriots. And May the Fourth be with you 😉

Order up!

There has been so much happening in the world of politics lately, that I’ve been unsure how to categorize my thoughts enough to write anything sensible. From ‘slutgate’ to the latest in presidential haute cuisine (a nice rice pilaf, with a side of dog) to the shocking news that the media-hungry K. Kardashian is considering a career in the political arena, I’ve had a difficult time deciding what is the most interesting or ridiculous topic to write about. Seeing as how I’ve been dieting, you would think I would go with the dogmeat angle, however, as obsessed as all dieters become with food (since we can’t have much of it), the idea of eating man’s best friend makes me deucedly happy to have broccoli and carrots, so I’ll leave that one to the late-night comedians. Likewise with K.K.’s political aspirations, I do not feel qualified to comment on that topic because I don’t have the comedic skill to eviscerate it properly. That leaves me with the current War on Women turned War on Moms. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. Very well, then, I shall try to frame this issue as best I can.

There is no War on Women.

“The hell you say?!”

Yes. Yes I do say.

There is no War on Women, ladies. It’s all a lot of political theatre to make you feel like a victim so that big daddy government can step in and take care of you. That may sound delightful to you, to be taken care of by big daddy government, but remember: “As long as you live under my roof, you’ll obey my rules.” Life is peachy when big daddy is buying you birth control, but along will come a day when big daddy will tell you that you must do something that you disagree with and when you try to rebel, he’ll cut your allowance.

Now go to your room! Your pretty, pretty room that suddenly feels like a cage.

I know that simplifies things to a point that is hard for some people to understand, so I will try to elaborate. Women have not been ‘second-class citizens’ since they won the right to vote. You may say “But the civil rights movement of the ’60s! Unequal pay! Glass ceiling! Reproductive choice!” Let us take these issues one by one shall we? Civil rights were voted on by our representatives whom we voted for. Women had 40 years of voting rights between suffrage and civil rights to affect how Congress operated. The representatives they helped choose passed the Civil Rights Act, which granted them the right to equal pay. You could say they had won the right to pursue happiness in the workforce. The thing about pursuits is that you may not always achieve your desire, but no one can stop you from trying. Also, there is no glass ceiling. That was a ploy by the women’s rights movement to try to seem relevant after the movement stagnated in the early 80s. If you consider the fact that women typically have less physically demanding, safer jobs and get maternity leave as opposed to men who get no ‘paternity’ time off (and are woken by the same screaming infant at 3am) and do more laborious work, I’d say women have it pretty darn good. {I imagine feminists burning me in effigy at this point} Reproductive choice, likewise, is yet another attempt to make the women’s movement seem relevant. I don’t even want to hear about “cases of rape and incest” as we all know the primary focus of women’s rights is not to prevent or protect women from those acts. If it were, NOW would faithfully demonstrate at every trial of rapists and push for tougher sentencing of the despicable people who violate women. “Reproductive choice” is really about abortion, and ironically denies the same right of choice to men since babies must grow inside a mother’s body. Men may want desperately to be fathers, but have no say over whether their child may live or die. In the battle of “reproductive rights” men are the real victims, as their ability to reproduce rests in the wombs and whims of women.

Now that I have your attention (and most likely your seething anger) let me broach  the subject of the War on Moms.

Recently mothers got their hen-feathers ruffled after a sneering remark directed at Ann Romney. The remark was something to the extent of “she never worked a day in her life” and in its greater context was meant to imply that she has no concept of how the poor economy affects women because she’s wealthy. Again, I shall address these issues separately. Motherhood is very hard work. If it isn’t, you aren’t doing it right. Stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs) are nurturing, teaching, and guiding the future leaders of our world. They sacrifice time, wealth, and social interaction with their peers to devote themselves fully to their family. To acknowledge the hard work and dedication of SAHMs is in no way derogatory towards working mothers. Working moms often wish they could be home with their kids, while SAHMs often wish they could speak to someone who doesn’t say “poop” and “Elmo”. If you would pay someone to watch, feed, and teach your children, then staying home with them (sans paycheck) is work. Now that we have debunked the myth that SAHMs do no work, let us address the greater context of the statement made by Ms Rosen, shall we?

Ann Romney clearly lives in a beautiful, extravagant bubble. The economy has no power over her. She’s a fairytale princess in a castle with a car elevator and she frolics with the unicorns aaaaall day. [/end sarc] To say that wealthy people aren’t affected by the economy is ridiculous. Of course they don’t feel the pinch of it as much as us peons do, but they still feel it. To sneer at Ann Romney because she is a wealthy SAHM managing a household budget is to willfully ignore the fact that 100 wealthy Senators have yet to pass a budget for this country. At least the Romneys have a budget. I also have a budget, and while I’m working with way (WAY) less than the Romneys, I’ve chosen to stay home with my kids. It isn’t easy and at times I’ve had to choose which bills got paid, but it’s a choice I don’t regret. (When money was really tight, I would take a look at the budget and cut the ‘unnecessaries’, which is something that our government should learn.)  So much for the idea that only the wealthy have the option of SAHM-hood, and as for the notion that wealthy moms aren’t affected by the economy… well, none of us live in a bubble. It isn’t so much a War on Moms as it is derision of those of us who choose to forgo careers for what we see as our higher calling, sprinkled liberally with a bit of class warfare.

So there you have it. Your heaping helping of political theatre and rhetoric, all served up hot and fresh. Oh, and here’s your side order of roasted mutt. I’d hate for you to miss the fabulous flavor pairing of faux war and dogmeat.