Saturday, September 20, 2008

Responding to Joe Biden: Other patriotic ideas 

Joe Biden says it is patriotic for the wealthy to pay more taxes than they are right now. While this is an arguably asinine opinion for a person running to lead a country founded on a tax revolt, it is a not uncommon view among those who believe that love of country and support for its government are one and the same. That this has rarely been the position of the left in the last eight years is apparently beside the point.

In any case, Biden's real point is that the rich -- meaning people who earn more than $250,000 per year -- should pay more taxes because the government needs the money and they can do so with less personal discomfort than people who are not rich. Doing so would signal love of country.

Well, if that is the new rule, then there must also be ways that people with less money can show their patriotism. I have a few ideas. After all, you don't have to be rich to be patriotic!

If you do not have a job, get a job if you can. No more of that "retirement" nonsense, or living off the efforts of your spouse. If you can do something that is economically -- as opposed to spiritually, socially, or politically -- productive, show your patriotism by doing useful work that people will pay for. You will increase the national wealth and pay taxes, at least the second of which is patriotic under the Biden principle.

If you cannot get a job, ask yourself why. Is it because you live in some place where jobs are not available? Move! Moving to increase the national wealth (so that you can pay taxes) is patriotic! Or is it because you are not capable of doing anything useful? Listen, do not believe that. There are many jobs where the only real requirement is that you show up on time, every time, do not take breaks when you are not supposed to, do not violate company policies, follow simple instructions, and treat the people around you with courtesy and respect. And if you are so incompetent that you cannot even do those things, then improve yourself until you can.

Cannot get any job? Volunteer to help a non-profit that is doing even remotely useful work. Start with your church. That's patriotic.

But wait, there's more! Are you burdening the taxpayers in some stupid way? If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, get healthy! If you are fat, eat less food and get some farookin' exercise. And stop smoking. True, you will pay fewer tobacco taxes, which will make you less patriotic, but most of those go to the states and nobody really thinks that patriotism means "love of New Jersey." Anyway, you will consume fewer medical services paid for by the taxpayers, that that's patriotic!

Are you sucking money out of net savings and spending it on useless schlock made in China? Stop! With the government spending all our money on this and that and with Joe Biden wanting more of it so he can do more of that, we need savings! Save your money. That's patriotic (except, of course, insofar as it prevents you from paying taxes). Seriously, do not be one of those Americans that is making the next generation poor. Be somebody who makes the next generation rich!

If you do spend your money, at least blow it in ways that accelerate GDP. You Manhattanites and San Franciscans, Biden fans all, I'm sure, ought to know that a massage at a spa does far more for your country's economy than a pair of Italian shoes. Stop buying foreign wine (except maybe Australian). Eat domestic brie. Brie from Wisconsin and wine from California is patriotic! You get the idea.

More fundamentally, are you basically a load? Do you sit around in a beanbag chair eating chips all afternoon, or burn up your days watching Oprah? Stop wasting your time on stupid stuff! Improve the country, or at least improve yourself. Read a book, clean up your front yard, wash your car, pull your money out of mortage-backed securities, whatever. All of those things, except maybe the last, are patriotic!

Your further suggestions are welcome.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 20, 03:10:00 PM:

One should note that Mr.Biden's concerns about patriotism are not, apparently, reflected in his support of any charity. His support, loathe though it may be to refer to it as such, could honestly be considered to be miserly. Also, how much extra of his earnings did Mr Biden send to the U.S. treasury ? If paying more taxes is patriotic, then by definition, taking deductions and making adjustments to ones gross income must be unpatriotic. So, Joe how many deductions and adjustments do you use at tax time ? How about your children, even illegal income is still income as far as the IRS is concerned ? And those of your wealthy friends ? Mr. Buffet, how about you ? Mr. Obama, Dodds, Frank, Ms Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, anyone ? What a pompous putz ! Joe isn't good enough to be a jackass, hell he isn't good enough to be the crack between the cheeks.  

By Blogger Steve M. Galbraith, at Sat Sep 20, 03:20:00 PM:

Yes, very good post.

Instead of doing more to provide for government, do more things that make you less of a, well, to be blunt, drain on government.

Self-government, as the saying goes, requires the governing of the self.

Do some more self-governing.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 20, 03:42:00 PM:

Hire local citizens instead of importing illegal immigrants from other countries. You might need to pay them more, but that will push then into higher tax brackets and, viola, more Patriotism! When the millions of illegal immigrants leave because no one will give them a job, the vacancy rate will go up, home prices will go down and then citizens will be better able to afford the American dream on the pay the illegal immigrant used to make. Hey, this is fun.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sat Sep 20, 05:44:00 PM:

"but most of those go to the states and nobody really thinks that patriotism means 'love of New Jersey.' "

No, but patriotism means "love of Texas" in Texas.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Sat Sep 20, 06:02:00 PM:

Didn't Michelle ('85) already make all of these suggestions? I am almost positive she said something about volunteering instead of working on Wall Street (although it will be a while before jobs are created there on a net basis). Also, her husband made the suggestion about keeping your tires inflated. Better be careful, TH, they went to Harvard Law and may have copyrighted all of that stuff -- you certainly don't want to infringe.

Wasn't Biden's other comment relating to higher taxes something along the lines of it being consistent with Catholic religious doctrine?

Palin may be young and have the perception dogging her that she is not ready for high office -- and some of that may be fair -- but I do not believe she puts her foot into her mouth anywhere near as often as Sen. Biden.

And I am sure she has a much nicer foot, anyway.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sat Sep 20, 06:58:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sat Sep 20, 07:18:00 PM:

She'll do fine, Escort81. If I had to close a big business deal in any of the major commercial centers of the world, I would send Palin before I would send Biden.

And don't forget the famous quote by William F. Buckley Jr.: "I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University." *

(* The numbers cited in paraphrases of the Buckley quote often vary from 50 to 2000.)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 20, 07:33:00 PM:

Hey, just leave Biden alone. The pressures on him are extraordinary! The federal government is going to buy hundreds of billions of dollars of at risk financial obligations.
The sellers want top dollar and will be tough negotiators. The federal government will try to buy at the low end.
Biden and his son are working for the sellers, trying to get top dollar. This means millions to Biden's son and multi-millions to Biden's son's firm and it's "investors."
So, cut the pompous ass some slack. His son is trying to sell Biden's influence at the highest price and the pressure is intense.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Sep 20, 08:02:00 PM:

Of course, DEC, Buckley went to Yale...  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sat Sep 20, 08:40:00 PM:

I know, TH.  

By Blogger CMT, at Sat Sep 20, 09:22:00 PM:

Here are a few I actually put in a letter to the Senator on Friday...

Paying into a 401K with Pre tax dollars? STOP lowering youyr taxable income.... after the gov't will have a program to take care of you.

Paying for medical out pre-tax dollars? STOP that as well universal healthcare is imminent.

For the love of God are you itemizing? Take the standard deduction!

Whoa there, only one job? How unpatriotic... go get a second job... the AMT waits for you!

Remember only the Wealthy are patriotic… so bottoms up and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 20, 09:26:00 PM:

Here's the deal:

Patriotic: bear only those children you can afford to raise on your own.

Patriotic: hire only documented US citizens to do work for you, be it at car washes, lawn moving services, etc.

Patriotic: borrow only that which you can, indend to, and will pay back.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 20, 11:23:00 PM:

Patriotic : Help leftists move to a country that matches their values further.

Patriotic : Help black people leave America to a country where they are treated better. Surely, there must be ONE country in the world that treats black people better than America, given how much they complain.  

By Blogger exhelodrvr1, at Sat Sep 20, 11:23:00 PM:

"The pressures on him are extraordinary!"

Well, maybe he's over-inflated!!  

By Blogger SR, at Sat Sep 20, 11:35:00 PM:

Wear a sweater and turn down the thermostat (wait, we already tried that).  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 21, 12:00:00 AM:

Sadly, with regard to the left, most of them think this way with regard to everyone else than themselves, thus Gore wants you to reduce your carbon footprint while he buys boats and keeps his mansion heated.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 21, 01:49:00 AM:

In addition, I would point out that a true patriot would die within seconds of retirement, so as to reduce the demand on the (already spent) Social Security system.  

By Blogger H., at Sun Sep 21, 02:16:00 AM:

LOL, DEC! I was thinking that very thing!  

By Blogger H., at Sun Sep 21, 02:17:00 AM:

About Texas, I mean.

I love my state!  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun Sep 21, 07:24:00 AM:

I'd be willing to agree that paying taxes to Texas is patriotic.

I once met a high school teacher from south Texas. I asked him what he taught, and he said "Texas history." Me: "Seriously?" Him: "Everybody has to take two years of Texas history." Me: "Do you have any idea how weird that is?" Him: "Wadda you mean?" Me: "Nobody else does that. There is an awful lot of history within the borders of New Jersey -- the Revolutionary War, for instance -- but New Jersey history is like a unit, at best." Him: "Huh."

It's like a whole other country.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 21, 07:51:00 AM:

Underscoring the stupidity of Biden's comment is what makes most voters shudder -- when wealthy people and people with large, guaranteed pensions (such as U.S. Congressmen) make suggestions as to what the rest of us can afford. Wealthy liberal millionaires (many of whom are in the Senate, including Senator Obama) won't feel the pain of the increased taxes because they'll still be able to afford everything in their post-tax increase world. The rest of us get concerned -- legitimately -- because of both the potential effect of the taxes on our future (including causing people to stop spending and exacerbating a recession) and because of the source of the comment -- an out-of-touch, insulated legislator. When Biden says things like that, he pushes more Reagan Democrats to the McCain-Palin ticket.

The Centrist  

By Blogger Ignorance is Bliss, at Sun Sep 21, 09:30:00 AM:

My biggest complaint about Bush ( although not my only complaint ) was that he wasted his post-911 speech telling us to go about our buisness. He should have given your post as his speech. Okay, maybe he would need to dial the snark back a notch, but other than that...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 21, 10:15:00 AM:

Wow, what a great post. Thank you for putting into words some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head.  

By Blogger Radish, at Mon Sep 22, 10:43:00 AM:

If you can do something that is economically -- as opposed to spiritually, socially, or politically -- productive, show your patriotism by doing useful work that people will pay for.

So Obama's army of unpaid forced high school and college-aged "volunteers"...ooh.  

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