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September 30, 2008

the next bailout

The failure yesterday of the $700 billion bailout package has precipitated a crisis of unprecedented dimension and must be dealt with immediately.

That is why we are calling for immediate reconsideration of the $700 billion bailout package.

To rescue Congress. 

Congress is facing a number of immediate threats that demand attention:

Looming Liquidity Crisis

Sources of campaign cash are drying up fast. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because the world didn’t end today.  Yes, the sun still came up, the mail still arrived like it always does, and scary black-and-white negative ads still ran.  However, already there are signs of other long-established avenues of influence peddling that are threatening to collapse without this bailout. 

Inability to Make Payments

Without an immediate infusion of government funds to powerful interests looking to buy votes, many of these politicians simply won’t have the means to finance their reelection.  They could be thrown out of their offices and onto the street as early as this coming January, in the very dead of winter. As part of this bailout, every effort must be made to ensure these innocent victims are provided every opportunity to retain their seats.  Oh sure, we know what you’re saying, maybe they shouldn’t have run for such a big office in the first place, maybe they should have run for something more modest, more affordable, like local city council.  Well, maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. The fact remains, no American should be thrown out of political office just because they don’t have the money to pay for it.

Ripple Effects

Don’t think that the effects of this crisis will be limited to the confines of Capitol Hill. It will be felt far beyond, several blocks away, on K Street.  Stripped of their decades-long relationships with long-serving members of Congress now thrown out of office, lobbyists will have little to offer clients wanting to influence votes on crucial legislation beyond the actual merits of their client’s positions. You should probably let that sink in for a bit. Laws might be passed based on their merits. This would surely take us into dangerous, uncharted territory.

So, please, call your Congressman today and urge him or her to act swiftly on this rescue package.  Sure, no one likes it.  We all wish we didn’t have to make this choice, that the political market would take of itself, that we didn’t have to rescue powerful political figures. But how many are we willing to see fall before we take action? Are we really willing to wake up one day and find they’re all gone?

Fearless_leaders Let us rephrase that...

J.

September 30, 2008 at 10:22 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2008

no. dear lord, no. it’s bipartisan! rrruuuuunnnn!!!

A number of concerns had been raised regarding the $700 billion bailout bill. Well, your representatives heard you loud and clear and have addressed each and every one to ensure the taxpayer’s voice has been heard:

"$700 billion is just too much all at once. Let’s do it a little bit at a time."

SEC. 115. GRADUATED AUTHORIZATION TO PURCHASE.(a) AUTHORITY.—The authority of the Secretary to purchase troubled assets under this Act shall be limited as follows:  (1) Effective upon the date of enactment of this Act, such authority shall be limited to $250,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time.

See, that’s pretty reasonable to start under the circumstances.

(2) If at any time, the President submits to the Congress a written certification that the Secretary needs to exercise the authority under this paragraph, effective upon such submission, such authority shall be limited to $350,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time.

To get that extra $100 billion they have to not only print out several pieces of paper, they have to have the president sign them.  That’s easily another 25 minutes right there.  Longer if they run out of toner.

(3) If, at any time after the certification in paragraph (2) has been made, the President transmits to the Congress a written report detailing the plan of the Secretary to exercise the authority under this paragraph, unless there is enacted, within 15 calendar days of such transmission, a joint resolution described in subsection (c), effective upon the expiration of such 15-day period, such authority shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time.

Okay, so here’s another piece of paper, and another signature, and then they have to wait 15 ADDITIONAL DAYS. It’s like trying to purchase a firearm in California.  There’s a cooling-off period.

"Shouldn’t this just be about home mortgages which got us into this trouble in the first place?"

(9) TROUBLED ASSETS.—The term ‘‘troubled assets’’ means— (A) residential or commercial mortgages.  (B) any other financial instrument that the Secretary… determines… is necessary…

As you can see, the bill strictly limits the bailout to two things and two things only:

Mortgage instruments
Everything else

This might come in handy as we here at Planet Moron have been struggling under a crushing bar tab that threatens to force us to cut back on other essentials. Like our other bar tab.

"I don’t want to be paying for people who bought a bigger house than they could afford."

(2) MODIFICATIONS.—In the case of a residential mortgage loan, modifications made under paragraph (1) may include— (A) reduction in interest rates; (B) reduction of loan principal; and (C) other similar modifications

This ensures that the only benefits irresponsible home purchasers can expect under this legislation is paying less for their house.  And maybe some other stuff.  A gift basket perhaps, or some coupons to Applebee’s.  But that’s where we draw the line!

"Well, if we’re going to bail these clowns out, I want to make sure they don’t make a mint at our expense."

SEC. 302. SPECIAL RULES FOR TAX TREATMENT OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYERS PARTICIPATING IN THE TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM. (A) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an applicable employer, no deduction shall be allowed under this chapter— (i) in the case of executive remuneration for any applicable taxable year which is attributable to services performed by a covered executive during such applicable taxable year, to the extent that the amount of such remuneration exceeds $500,000.

In short, corporations will be prohibited from deducting excessive compensation expenses from the profits they don’t have.  Tough?  You bet.  But it’s what the taxpayers expect.

There are also provisions that prohibit golden parachutes and bonuses, most of which may take weeks for a good lawyer to get around and let's just say those are tee times they'll never get back.

"Why are we paying for this, let’s make these troubled financial institutions pay for insurance on their assets or something like that."

SEC. 102. INSURANCE OF TROUBLED ASSETS. 24 (a) AUTHORITY.— (1) IN GENERAL.—If the Secretary establishes the program authorized under section 101, then the Secretary shall establish a program to guarantee troubled assets originated or issued prior to March 14, 2008, including such mortgage-backed securities… (3) EXTENT OF GUARANTEE.—Upon request of a financial institution, the Secretary may guarantee the timely payment of principal of, and interest on, troubled assets in amounts not to exceed 100 percent of such payments.

This was the super-victorious “give” House Republican leaders received in exchange for their support and 100% absolutely requires the Treasury to create an insurance fund.  It does not 100% absolutely require any company to actually use it or the Treasury Secretary to push it.  It’s one of those moral victories, like when you lost all that money at poker and so let the air out of the tires of the guy who won.  Sure, that didn’t get you your money back but it took him longer to get home, ha!

Now of course, this is all very complicated. As a final service, we offer this quick Q&A to address any lingering questions:

Q: Wait a second, this legislation doesn’t sound much better than the original version.
A: Hoovervilles!
Q: What?
A: Bread lines!  Market crash!
Q: Now wait second. It’s just that this seems pretty much the same as…
A: Soup kitchens! Dust bowls! Hoovervilles!
Q:
You’ve said Hoovervilles twice now.
A: Hoovervilles! Hoovervilles! Hoovervilles!
Q: You’re just trying to scare us.
A: Zombies!  Flesh-eating mutants!
Q: Okay, we’re done here.
A: Brainnnssssss!!!!

Brainssss_2



Q: Say, we see the House voted against the bill, even after all these "changes."
A: Yes, our elected representatives defied their leaders, stood on principle, listened to the citizens they were sent to Congress to represent, and voted down a transparent fraud.
Q: Okay, now THAT'S scary. Do you think they were replaced by alien pod people?
A: No comment.

J.

September 29, 2008 at 02:44 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 26, 2008

american financial crisis calamity daily diary

Given these dark times of American Financial Crisis Calamity, we thought you might find some comfort in knowing you are not alone.  Below we have reproduced a diary we have been keeping since the start of the financial crisis calamity last week, documenting our attempt to navigate this perilous period in our nation’s history. If nothing else, perhaps it will serve as a record to those who come after, that the story of our travails be known:

DAY 1 - American Financial Crisis Calamity

6:00 AM: It’s the first full day since we all received the dire news from Henry Paulson. I look out my window.  My neighborhood is now smothered under a blanket of darkness.  There isn’t a light to be seen as far as the eye can see, save for a flickering candle in a forlorn window.  And the streetlights. And some landscaping accents. And my neighbor’s 50” plasma TV. Otherwise, all is dark.
7:30 AM: I brush my teeth.  To my surprise, the water still works.  And the electricity. And gas, phone, Internet, cable and cell.  But for how long I ask?  How long?

DAY 3 - American Financial Crisis Calamity

8:00 AM:  Okay, I’ll be honest, I kind of forgot we were in the midst of a financial calamity for a couple days there.  I got started on some chores, and then there were the college games on Saturday and the pro games on Sunday, and next thing I knew I’d lost track of the doom that pervades our very existence. But I was shaken from my complacency by the kind of concrete sign that let’s you know without a doubt that we really are in the midst of a financial calamity: Some guy with good teeth on the TV said we were in the midst of a financial calamity.
12:55 PM: I stop to ponder the ramifications of what we are living through.  With civil society crumbling about us, it is a time for deep reflection on ourselves, and our place in the world.
12:58 PM:  I have a burrito at the mall.

DAY 4 - American Financial Crisis Calamity

7:10 PM: News is becoming increasingly hard to come by as the crisis deepens.  Since 7:00 PM, the network news outlets we’ve all come to rely on started running entertainment programming only.  Yes, that’s the normal schedule, but it is still disconcerting as it leaves a frightened citizenry with few alternatives to receive news on the crisis, forcing us to rely on suspect rumors passed on by neighbors and whispered tips from the occasional passerby.  And the 24-hour broadcasts from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC and the Internet portals of every major news organization on earth.

I’ve never felt so alone.

DAY 5 - American Financial Crisis Calamity

9:30 AM:  Perhaps what is most frightening of all is the normalcy.  Here we are, in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in 100 years, and people are acting as if nothing is wrong.  They go to work.  They go to school.  They talk to their neighbors about the weather and their yards, cash paychecks, go grocery shopping. A nation so shell shocked by the ongoing tragedy of thousands of investment bankers losing their year-end bonuses, its citizens go about their business, zombie like, seemingly numb to the calamity of declining Gucci sales. Can’t they see it?! It’s right there in front of their faces!  I guess.  I don’t actually see see it, if you know what I mean, but I know it’s there.  That guy on the TV with the good teeth keeps saying so.

DAY 6 - American Financial Crisis Calamity

7:30 PM: It’s not clear how long our nation's food supplies will last.  Days maybe?  Hours?  I momentarily contemplate eating my own hand.  I order Chinese takeout instead. 
9:45 PM: C’mon, just give them the $700 billion package. What other possible alternatives could there be?  They’ve been studying this thing for over a week already! What more could there possibly be to know? It's not like they just pulled $700 billion right out of the air.

DAY 7 - American Financial Crisis Calamity

12:20 PM: I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have the strength to continue making these entries. Already, I can see the deterioration in basic services.  I’m pretty sure my broadband connection is a couple hundred k slower and there is no way it took three minutes to get a grande latte at Starbucks before this all began. A venti, maybe. But a grande? No. Way.
12:22 PM: What are we to make of this new, grim reality? The bleakness envelopes me like a damp fog and I turn my thoughts inward, towards a long-overdue introspection, a search of the soul for my humanity so that I may perhaps recognize it in others.
12:25 PM: I have a burrito at the mall.

J.

September 26, 2008 at 05:01 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2008

how about we just slap some paint on it instead…

Have you ever had a salesman try to convince you to buy something because, hey, these are going fast and you have to act right away if you want to take advantage of it.  I can't hold onto these things forever if you know what I mean, not at this price!

And you said no.

So then the guy tells you that if you didn’t buy it, well, he didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but there could be some dire consequences to that decision and he just didn’t want that on his conscience.

And when that didn’t work, he finally tried to convince you that, look, don’t think of it as spending money, think of it as an investment.  Why, it will probably even pay for itself!

You remember what he was trying to sell you?

Vinyl siding.

In this week’s case, $700 billion in vinyl siding.

The thesis that this isn’t really a bailout but could in fact end up making money for the government is a simple one and vigorously argued

  • Lending institutions are in trouble because they hold large amounts of mortgage paper that they can’t sell to anyone because no one knows what the true value of this paper actually is.
  • As a solution to this financial gridlock, the government will come in with $700 billion and purchase this paper from the lending institutions at a value less than this paper’s true value, which no one knows. 
  • Then at some later date, the government will sell the paper back to the market at a value higher than the one it paid which was lower than the unknown true value. The result?  Profit!

Sound familiar?

Underpants_gnomes_business_model_2

So, don’t think of this as a taxpayer-funded multi-billion dollar government bailout.  Think of it as the federal government making a $6000 investment in a 401K for every taxpayer in the country.

And giving it to the underpants gnomes.

J.

September 25, 2008 at 04:59 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

live blogging – president bush's plea, er, speech. we meant speech.

President Bush is scheduled to speak tonight about the financial crisis and the need to address it quickly.  In preparation we've prepared this helpful Q&A:

Q: Bush is still president?
A: Yes.
Q: Didn’t Obama win already?
A: No, the election is in November.
Q: But they already made the coins!
A: Uh, that doesn’t matter.
Q: So, what will Bush say?
A: I need $700 billion or we’re all doomed.
Q: Really?
A: We saw the transcript.
Q: So, based on what we've read, the government set up a bunch of rules encouraging poor lending practices and turned it over to Wall Street to manage without any real oversight.  And now we have this mess. What can Wall Street possibly say?
A:
As Otter told Flounder, “You f%#*@d up.  You trusted us!”

9:02 PM: "This has been an extraordinary period in our nation's economy."  I think I'll use that one on my wife.  "Honey, I had an extraordinary period at the track today..."

9:04 PM: How did we get here?  The problems "developed over a long period of time."  "Money flowed in from abroad." Does that mean we can blame the French?  That usually goes over well.

9:05 PM: Bottom line, everyone assumed housing prices would rise forever.  And why wouldn't they?  As anyone can tell from this chart, housing prices always rise forever without any dips!

Homepricesl 9:10 PM: Both McCain and Obama will show up for a meeting tomorrow.  Maybe Obama will give him one of those souvenir coins of his.

Obamacoin

It would be a nice gesture!

9:14 PM: Okay, so, the good news is, no one is to blame.  And everyone is responsible!

9:16 PM: Interesting.  Fox News pre-empted Hannity & Colmes (hey, there is some good news!) and are having a panel discussion while CNN has Larry "How many children do you have" King on the job!

9:32 PM: To sum up the president's speech in one line: "I need $700 billion or we’re all doomed."

See, we told you we saw the transcript!

9:38 PM: Still, looking back, this was quite possibly the finest presidential speech since FDR's television address to the nation after the 1929 stock market crash.

What?  Why are you looking at us like that?...

J.

September 24, 2008 at 08:58 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2008

it's a set up!

In a testimony to their statesmanlike demeanor and leadership, politicians across the political spectrum have stepped up to accept their shared responsibility for the financial crisis the country now finds itself in and in so doing are prepared to craft policies that address their past mistakes and look to the future.

Had you there for a minute didn’t we?  No?  Okay, we’ll try to make it more believable next time, maybe add a flying unicorn, a magic amulet, and a plucky kid with a heart of gold, anything to add some credibility.

Of course, politicians have been quick to lay blame everywhere else, including each other, but mostly they blame Wall Street greed.

Now, blaming Wall Street for being greedy is like blaming Matt Damon for being an idiot.

It’s what we expect.  We expect Matt Damon to repeat lines other people have written in a plausibly convincing manner but otherwise to be an idiot.  We expect Wall Street bankers to create liquid capital markets that are vital to our general economic prosperity but otherwise be motivated by greed and self-interest.  And so you would no more hand over to Matt Damon any measure of responsibility (say, running the Department of Transportation, or, picking up the dry cleaning) than you would give Wall Street an opportunity to make free money.

Free money?

A little background first: We here at Planet Moron have been around long enough to remember a time when people who could not afford to purchase homes, didn’t purchase homes.

Freaky?  You bet!  But it was just our way back then. In fact, we remember clearly during the 1980s not purchasing a home because we could not afford it.  But then, we couldn’t afford to purchase a car either.  Or hot dogs made of something other than chicken lips, but that’s a story for another time…

This all changed in the 1990s when Democrats pushed for looser lending practices that would allow people to borrow money they could not pay back to purchase homes they could not afford. This made traditional Democratic constituencies happy, which made Democratic politicians happy.

And no, the Republicans did not come to the rescue driven by conservative principles of fiscal restraint and personal responsibility.  Rather, the huge growth in mortgage-backed securities and Wall Street fees created by the resulting explosion in sub-prime debt made many traditionally Republican constituencies happy which made Republican politicians happy.

“But wait,” you are probably asking yourself, “Isn’t there a new House on tonight?” Also, “How could the financial markets absorb so many risky loans with iffy prospects for repayment for so long?”

Well, it helps if the government places an implicit guarantee that the money will be paid back regardless of the risk.

Wait, did we say “implicit?”  We meant “explicit.”  (How do you say “Phew!” in Chinese?)

Like we said, free money. Giving Wall Street an opportunity to make hundreds of millions of dollars in easy money, is like turning Larry Craig loose in an airport men's room.  You only have yourself to blame for what happens next.  Wall Street was eagerly handed the rope they used to hang themselves.  And the gun.  And the candlestick. And now face regulations they didn't need in the first place. In the immortal words of a renowned big-city mayor:

"Bitch set me up."

And so we find ourselves here.  Wall Street is being accused of being Wall Street.  Republicans are being accused of being socialists. And Democrats are being accused of holding up a massive expanse of government power.

It’s going to be an interesting autumn.

J.

September 23, 2008 at 05:06 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2008

a “hamster bomb” is what we’d be really concerned about.

Last week Israeli police deployed for the first time a “skunk bomb,” a non-lethal crowd control device that disperses a foul-smelling odor designed to quickly break up unruly crowds.

But according to our sources, the skunk bomb is but one in an arsenal of upcoming humane agents designed to control violent mobs without causing permanent injury or death. 

Among the new weapons coming online soon:

Lapel Pin Water Cannon:  For employment at Obama rallies should things ever get out of hand, the lapel pin water cannon would spray crowds with American flag lapel pins.  Participants, aghast at this substitution for true patriotism, would immediately turn their full attention to shedding the unwanted pins. (Great care must be taken not to inadvertently employ this crowd control device at a McCain rally.  Tests have suggested that those who ended up being showered with more flag pins will quickly turn violently on those with fewer believing them to be “not patriotic enough.”)

Newspaper Grenade: Targeted at any demonstration with large numbers of teenagers, a newspaper grenade is designed to disperse that day’s morning edition over a 200-yard radius.   Having never before encountered a physical newspaper, the young teens will become disoriented and confused, muttering about how “This story is almost 24 hours old,” and “I need to know what’s happening now.  Now. RIGHT NOW!!” and can be easily rounded up with little risk to police officers.

Viral Video Cyberattack: Effective at large gatherings of tech-savvy demonstrators of all kinds. Device makes use of Wi-Fi hotspots and 3G connectivity to blast viral videos to nearby smart phones in an effort to disrupt organized protestors by irresistibly redirecting their attention to the videos which they will then spend hours forwarding to every social networking group they belong to.  Currently available loads include:

  • For Daily Kos conventions and other large liberal gatherings: A video purporting to show Bristol Palin giving birth to Trig while Sarah Palin takes target practice shooting high school science text books and shouting, “Take that Darwin, you Godless heathen!”
  • For large gatherings of young republicans:  A video that alleges to be a recording of Barack Obama wearing a Kuffiyah and laughing together with Bill Ayers who is in the process of stomping on an American flag while Michelle Obama keeps calling him “you crazy whitey.”
  • For non-partisan crowds: A sex tape.  Doesn’t matter who.  You can make up a name.  The Scarlett Lohan/Jessica Pitt sex tape.  The effectiveness is in no way diminished.

Buffet Bomb: Useful at retirement communities should the need arise.  A simple device, this specialized weapon inundates the target with discount flyers for half-price early-bird buffet specials at Howard Johnson’s resulting in the crowd immediately dispersing to their cars and spending the rest of the afternoon trying to remember where they left their keys.

Martini Mauser: The final non-lethal weapon is for deployment at Republican National Committee meetings, celebrity Obama fundraisers, and Planet Moron staff meetings:  You just tie a bottle of gin to the end of a string. And you can lead us all right into the paddy wagon.

Don’t forget the olives.

J.

September 22, 2008 at 10:02 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2008

we’d probably want to stock up on beer. and whiskey. and maybe some acid…

According to an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll, the American people split 50-47 as to whether they’d prefer to watch a football game with presidential candidates Barack Obama or John McCain.

This is an important consideration for voters, because while the next president’s tax policies, spending priorities, and approach to governance will directly affect each and every American citizen, none of the candidates will ever actually watch a football game with you.  Ever.

However, this did get us to thinking.  What would it be like to watch a football game with the candidates? Our take:

Barack Obama:

Us: It’s third and long.  Think they’ll pass or try to mix it up with a run?
Obama:
There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration. And while the offense has been struggling so far I think it’s important that we look forward, not backward, that we believe that together, as a team, they can properly execute a scoring drive, regardless of whether it’s running a play or a passing play.  These are just labels meant to distract us from achieving the ultimate goal: To work together, to move as one, to unite as never before, and reach the end zone once again. What do you think?
Us: It’s halftime.
Obama: Just as well, we’re almost out of arugula.

John McCain:

Us: Wow, that guy sure took a hit.
McCain: You call that a hit?  Did they hit him in the head with a rifle butt? Did they toss him in isolation for two years?
Us: Well, no, that would probably be…
McCain:
Pfft. Get up, ya sissy.
Us: Okay, well,…
McCain:
And where’s the damn cheese?!

Joe Biden:

Us: This guy was a walk-on his freshman year in college.  And here he is playing for the NFL. That’s quite the story, isn’t it?
Biden: I was a walk-on.
Us: Really?
Biden: Yep, was the star pitcher.
Us: This is football.
Biden: Was the star quarterback.
Us: You don’t say…
Biden: Played for the Cleveland Bears for five seasons.
Us: There is no Cleve…
Biden: Had to quit when I got injured saving seventeen orphans from a building fire but it turned out okay since that freed up time for me to invent the solid state transistor. And chunky peanut butter.
Us: Whoa, look at the time, probably should be getting going...
Biden: Want some mini pretzels? I got them from Amtrak…

Sarah Palin:

Us: Wow, that guy sure took a hit.
Palin: You call that a hit? Did he give birth?  Five times?
Us: Would have to guess “no” on that one.
Palin: Pfft.  Get up ya sissy.
Us:
Okay, well…
Palin: You wouldn’t happen to have some moose, would you?
Us: No.
Palin: Caribou?
Us: Um, no… hey, is that thing loaded?
Palin: <chik-klitch> I tell ya, sometimes a gal has to do everything herself.

And what about the first ladies?

Michelle Obama

Us: We’re up 21-3 before the half, this is looking good.
Obama: You know, for the first time in my adult life…
Us:
Please, don’t…
Obama:
I’m really proud of my team.

Cindy McCain

Us: This is quite a game, huh?
McCain: Yes it is.  You say it’s called “football?”
Us: Uhh, yeah.
McCain: Could I use your bathroom?
Us: Sure, it’s right down the hall.
McCain: Is it the one where you store most of your prescription pain relievers?
Us: Yeah, it’s… wait, what?
McCain. Nothing, nothing.  I’ll be right back…

J.

September 19, 2008 at 04:12 PM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 18, 2008

“No Taxation, Without More Indexation!”

Joe Biden today called on the wealthy to pay more in taxes calling it the “patriotic” thing to do.

Joe Biden’s call echoes early American history, when in 1773, wealthy colonists went to Griffin’s Wharf in Boston Harbor and boarded merchant ships that were loaded with British East India Tea.  Filled with patriotic fervor, they then paid additional taxes on the tea, laying money down on cask after cask of tea until additional taxes had been paid on every single one.

It was this incident, together with the Tax Stamp and Townshend Acts, both of which enraged colonists with the pitifully small amount of taxes they were being forced to pay, that eventually brought on the American Revolution, the spirit of which clearly lives on today.

As Biden told ABC’s Good Moring America, "It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."

We agree wholeheartedly. Today, wealthy Americans pay only triple the tax rate of low-income Americans.  Triple.  You call that being “part of the deal?”  Of course not. Why, we might as well not have them pay anything at all at that rate.

And we can never expect to get out of this rut with the top 5% of earners paying only 57% of all income taxes. You call that fair?  Not when 60% is more fair.  And 65% even more fair.  Hey, 75% would be fairer still, hmmm…

That’s why it’s important for the 95% (for now) of us to band together, and in the grand tradition of the American spirit of liberty, fairness, and the democratic process, demand the other 5% to give us their damn money.

Hey, it’s not robbery when you use the tax code, it’s patriotism!

J.

September 18, 2008 at 02:58 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 17, 2008

hey, the line starts behind us…

This morning we woke up to news of the latest government bailout.  No, no, not that one, the other one.  No, the one after that, after they said it was the last one.   No, the insurance company.

In light of these events, we here at Planet Moron plan to seek our own multi-billion dollar federal bailout.

Sadly, we have badly overextended ourselves with a series of poor investments including a joint venture to create an extensive line of campaign merchandise to take advantage of burgeoning Fred! mania.  Then there was our effort to capitalize on environmental concerns by developing an innovative hybrid automobile, able to run on either regular gasoline, or bituminous coal.  (Turns out people weren’t too crazy about the emissions.  Or the shovel.) But the real killer was our failed attempt at brand extension: Chem-Dry Carpet Cleaning Airlines. “You loved the way we got that cranberry juice stain out, you’ll love our three-times-a-day service to seventeen mid-Atlantic destinations even more!”

Without federal help, we likely won’t be able to pay our Typepad bill.  The result: Typepad goes under, and with it, 345,000 blogs about people’s cats.  What then, we ask you?  What then?

There is also the potential for a much wider ripple effect throughout the economy as we cut back on payments to our other vendors, whether it’s the liquor shop, the guy selling Lotto tickets, the other liquor shop, or the other guy selling Lotto tickets.  There are potential international economic ramifications as well as we cut back doing business with purveyors of fine French wine, fashionable Italian shoes, and high-quality Japanese tentacle erotica.

Unfortunately, it may be difficult for us to get a bailout as the Federal government only likes to comes to the rescue in crises it has created itself, like the “would-be-hero” arsonist who sets fires in order to be the one who saves the occupants all in an elaborate effort to impress Jodie Foster

Hey, federal government, Jodie Foster likes you.  But only as a friend, okay?

While it is unlikely we’ll be successful in our effort to secure a piece of the multi-billion dollar federal bailout bonanza, at least we can rest assured that steady, experienced hands are at the helm and will lead the nation out of this crisis.

To quote Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid:

No one knows what to do.”

We don’t know about you, but we’ll sure sleep better tonight!

Wait, what did he say?...

J.

September 17, 2008 at 06:05 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack