Thoughts on the 10/18 debate

I actually watched the whole thing, and frankly it was fascinating.  Of all the f-king people on that panel, of all the least likeliest candidates to marginally impress me, you know who actually impressed me the most ?

Newt F-king Gingrich.

That’s right.  I said it.  He sounded like an old guy who doesn’t want to fart around any more with lying about and ignoring  the realities of governance.  Plus, compared to Rick Perry, Ron Paul (seriously, most of this man’s ideas are crap.  I’ll take all-comers on that one), and Michele “If you say Obama enough you’re bound to get some mindless fools to vote for you” Bachmann, Gingrich actually had some reasonable and common sense thinking about the issues.  Besides, he also had the stones to tell a bunch of people in Nevada that according to scientists Yucca Mountain is apparently the best site in the US to store nuclear waste. (cue populist responses about states rights and whatever from the other candidates looking to cash in on a denial of reality)  I give Newt full on balls-up credit for being the first Republican to EVER use the word “scientist” in reference to a substantiation of facts in the history of the spoken word.

And don’t get me wrong, I heard a lot of stuff on that panel that I thought was totally ridiculous nonsense.  Things like, “Let’s build a double-walled fence all the way across the border with lights and cameras and s-t.”  Are you actually serious?  Really… come on.  Listen, I don’t know much, but I do know this:  The Great Wall of China was designed to keep Mongols out of China.  Hadrian’s Wall was designed to keep Scots out of England.  The Berlin Wall was designed to keep East Germans out of West Germany.  The Walls of Jericho were designed to keep Jews out of Jericho, and my fence is designed to keep people from throwing s-t in my yard.  All of these walls have failed.  Catastrophically.  Generally with severe social implications.  Hell, arguably the most successful walls ever built were the Walls of Troy, and eventually the Greeks built a giant wooden horse and wandered on in anyway.  Mark my words:  There is no fortification ever built in the history of the universe that wasn’t beatable with a combination of willpower and time.  None. And if there’s one thing that people (that’s right, I called illegal immigrants ‘people’) coming here illegally have, it’s willpower and time.   Even if we spend the next 15 years building a giant fiscal black hole of a wall, with all the trappings of 21st century cutting edge technology, eventually immigrants will defeat it with a technology from the dawn of human civilization:  tunnel underneath it, set fire to the supports, collapse it into a sinkhole, and come spilling through like a broken dam.

Now tickled as I am that we had a Republican debate in which the words “abortion” and “gay marriage” didn’t really come up, what did come up was the debt and fiscal responsibility.  As one would hope.  Personally I found the argument about taxes fascinating.  My favorite quote was Bitchele Mockman’s “Everybody should pay something even if it’s a dollar.”  Boy that s-t sounds good, doesn’t it?  Everyone should pay something, and we all hate people who get something for nothing, don’t we?

Except that we’re only talking about INCOME taxes…  Poor people pay plenty of taxes.  Lots.  Gas tax for starters.  That’s a lot.  Also, sales tax.  Sure it’s a state tax, but in case you haven’t noticed, that’s a hell of a lot.  Then there’s Social Security Tax, Medicaid, property taxes, gas tax, school levys, bonds, all that s-t.  Frankly, income tax is about the only tax they don’t pay because THEY DON’T MAKE ANY MONEY. That’s like bitching at people who avoid gas taxes by riding a bike.  Besides, think about collecting $1 for 120 million people.  First off, if they e-file you’re already down to $0.65.  Secondly, if they simply refuse to pay it will cost you at least $5 of effort to track them down and you’d lose all that cash for the effort.  Look, the bottom line is, when you break down Michele Bachmann’s tax policies you come up with:

1.  Make a flat tax which in effect gives rich people a massive tax cut

2.  Tax the s-t out of the poor.

3.  Get rid of immigrants. (who incidentally pay social security, medicaid, and payroll taxes despite never taking advantage of SS or medicaid, or the Bill of Rights)

Awesome.  And do keep in mind this is a woman who, barely five minutes later, was giving an emotional pep-talk to poor single mothers about how she supports them and they need to “hang in there” in tough economic times.  Yeah, good job Michele.  They’re going to need all the faith in the world when President Fem-Skeletor is sucking their boobs dry for federal sustenance while their babies go without.  That right there is the kind of idiotic thinking that can only come from a Fundamentalist.

Now again I have to give credit where it’s due.  Hermann Cain.  9-9-9.  An actual tangible proposal.  Granted, having concrete ideas is usually the kiss of death at this stage of a Presidential bid, but whatever.  Now of all my personal criticisma of 9-9-9, of all the stuff I heard in the debate, the dumbest thing I heard BAR NONE came from the mouth which sits beneath the perfectly quaffed hair of Mitt Romney.  His response to Hermann Cain’s statement that the federal sales taxes are in addition to state sales taxes:

Mitt:  I’m going to be getting a bushel basket full of apples and oranges because I’m going to be paying both taxes, and the people of the state of Nevada don’t want to pay both taxes. ”

Well, duh.  Nobody wants to pay taxes.  That’s the point.  Cain’s going to drop their income taxes off like a lemming diving into the sea, and all Romney wants to talk about is paying a bit more in Sales Tax.  A) what a whiner, and B) for a bunch of people bitching about how income taxes are unfair, what better way to level the playing field that through sales tax?  If you have lots of money and buy lots of stuff, you pay more taxes.  If you have less cash and buy less, you pay less taxes.  Everybody pays proportionally.  Personally, that sounds pretty good to me, and everyone except Sarah palin will be paying less income tax than they ever have.  Oh, and here’s Romney’s plan by the way:

Romney: Nerf nerf nrfnr frnfrnefrfenerrrr…..(big smile, perfect hair)

I do have to give Romney credit though, he did call Rick Perry out on his s-t about illegal immigration.  Poor Rick.  He’s the only guy in the world who seems to understand that stopping illegal immigrants from coming here is not only impossible, but our economy needs them.  Texas needs them.  That’s why he’s perceived as soft – when you have to actually govern reality has a funny way of tempering polarized ideology.  How else do you think goods stay internationally competitive and dirt cheap for the rest of us?  Let’s not kid ourselves.  If you like cheap fruit, vegetables, and having your lawn watered and houses built on the cheap, you are pro illegal immigration.  Bitch all you want about the free market and unfair labor practices, if Americans wanted those jobs they could have them provided they are willing to work at competitive wages.  And as Milton Friedman said, “People vote with their feet.”  I see lots of people walking into this country to work, not one of you leaving for opportunities abroad, and yet everyone seems to be able to afford a Big Mac and cheap Wal-Mart corn on the cob.  Have cake, eat too.

I guess in closing, I’d like to say that the most hilarius thing I saw all night was the pervasive belief that the solution to big corporations making tons of money on the backs of unbenefitted slave wages and deregulated industries engaging in dangerous fiscal practices in order to make a quick buck before everything collapses…

is tax cuts for the rich and deregulating businesses.  The same s-t that got us here in the first place.  Now I’ve heard trickle-down economics change monikers to things like “the free market” and “deregulation” the same way Creationism is now “intelligent design”.  If you listen to Clinton back in 92, trickle-down economics was a joke, and I’d further suggest to you that Bill Clinton was one of the most economically successful presidents in the last fifty years.  Hell, in 96 he ran on the platform of “I kick ass at running economies.”  I don’t know much, but if you run on that you will win every time.  That’s why we were all able to waste 2000 on things like abortion and gay marriage – the biggest issue in front of our country’s face was how to swallow a big presidential dick.

Now it’s true that slashing regulations and corporate taxes will create many, many jobs, but stop and think about what kind of jobs will be created by unregulated corporate machines who are free to suck every last penny of profit out of an ununionized workforce.

tick – tock -tick – tock –  oh…shit.

That’s right.  That kind of economy doesn’t create GOOD jobs, it creates s-t go-nowhere jobs that leaves citizens working in the same conditions as the poor Chinese who work 18 hr days in factories and get paid just enough cash to buy a cubical in the ass district of Beijing and will never be able to improve their lot.  Yes lots of people will have jobs, but they will be permanently relegated to a slave class in a highly stratified society.  Massive deregulation doesn’t create reasonable wages.  It creates a dramatically more stratified society, and if you don’t believe me then go read Milton Friedman’s work where he espouses exactly this kind of system and says we ought to eliminate the minimum wage and workers should to be thankful to have a s-t job because objectively it’s better than no job.  That’s a HORRIBLE attitude to take…unless you run the company.

And now the Republicans are right back to it except even worse this time.  Instead of talking about 35% or 40% taxes on the rich, they’re bitching about how anything more than 9% is social injustice.  Except for Ron Paul who pretty much stands up there and actually says that he doesn’t think our Congressmen should be doing anything.  How f-ked up is that?  Ron Paul is running for president on the platform of “Elect me to do a job I don’t believe should exists so I can figure out how to do as little as possible.”  Look dude, I expect my politicians to age 4 years for every one of mine, even if it’s just by looking worried all the time.  I want my politicians to drink Maalox from the bottle and chain smoke themselves until they look like a strip of cured pork belly in a neck tie because of all the s-t they stress over trying to do their job the best they possibly can.  And you want me to elect you on a platform of occupying a chair simply so some other motivated person can’t sit there and actually do anything?  Kiss my white ass Ron.

I guess the writing was on the wall for all this.  When you frame a panel of candidates with the two pillars of Rick Santorum and Michele Bachman, whatever’s the middle is probably just variations on a s-t sandwich.  Oh, and Rick Santorum actually did OK too, oddly enough.  Mostly because all he did is openly point out how everyone else is blatantly lying or, like Mitt Romney, editing later editions of their books to make it look like they never wanted the health care initiative.  Hey, I’m frankly disgusted that Mitt Romney, who clearly helped to put the bill together and did something very similar in his own state, is backing off of it now.  Popular or not, you’d think he could easily point to how much people in his state actually like it and that he’s proud of the work he did in Massachusetts.  Seriously, what the f-k’s wrong with wanting socialized health care anyway?  Socialist policies aren’t all bad, many of them are good.  We have socialized roads, parks, public buildings, fire departments, police, etc.  Hell, we even have socialize justice for christ sakes.  What you don’t think our judges get paychecks?  What’s sick, is that if people would just get over the idea of the word “socialized”, we could probably have passed a law that was much simpler and reasonable because we wouldn’t have had to bitch and argue about specifics so much.

Anyway, I’m going to end it here, but I highly recommend getting on Youtube and checking out the debate even if you are a liberal.  Every once in a while someone says something that’s worthy of reasonable consideration and strutiny.  That’s what makes this all interesting.  The possibility of new ideas.

Ben Tomkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colorado. He hates stupidity and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of an issue. Reach Ben Tomkins at

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