April 20, 2011
Bill Whittle is a douchebag.*
Ignore that this douchebag* spouting ad hominem attack after ad hominem attack; against the British, Michael Moore, liberals, et al.
Ignore the fact that he calls Michael Moore a hypocrite for being a millionaire who says that millionaires should pay more in taxes. (And why is that hypocritical, exactly? Shouldn't he have MORE right to talk about how much millionaires should pay, being one himself? Seriously, wtf? Is Bill Whittles idea of an un-hypocritical person a poor person defending the rights of the rich to pay nothing in taxes by sheltering their income in offshore tax havens? Clearly logic is not a big part of this guys day-to-day life.)
IGNORE ALL THAT:
The meat of the video is this: In trying to "blow a hole" in Michael Moore's "money hoarder" argument, Bill Whittle proves Moore's point for him. This video illustrates quite well, even with the narrow scope that it presents it's evidence with, that most of the money is in the hands of the super-wealthy. That we're able to make it through 2/3rds of the year on the salaries of a few thousand people alone is striking.
What he leaves out is that right now they aren't paying their fair share. And at the end of his argument, we're still one day short, so the rest of us get stuck with a whopping $40 in annual federal taxes!
Dear me! I've already had $2,000 withheld from my paycheck, and I'll be lucky to make $16,000 this year. I'd gladly pay $40 in federal taxes as opposed to what I pay now. The elephant in the room here, is that since the ultra-rich aren't paying in, the burden of taxation is falling on working people.
And he doesn't even touch the "dark market" shit on wall street- naked shortselling, derivatives trading, etc.
A Tobin tax of 1% applied to these "dark market" trades would raise 1.7 trillion annually.
I'm skeptical of the numbers he has on ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eliminating these wars would reduce our spending every year after we end them from here to infinity, but they are portrayed in this video as being a one-time cost reduction-- which is a misleading error at best, and a deliberative deception at worst. No matter though, because either way, it's bullshit.
If we're spending $170 billion every year on killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our budgeted discretionary pentagon spending is $815 billion, then that leaves an additional $645 billion (that's more than half a trillion) in discretionary pentagon spending we could free up. Keep in mind, this is discretionary spending, not mandated spending for soldier's wages, VA benefits, etc.
What would his little fiscal calendar look like if we shut down all those 737 military bases we have all over the Goddamn planet?
What would it look like if we reduced our nuclear weapon stores by 50%? Between 1940 and 1996, we spent more than 5 trillion on maintaining our nuclear weapons. Just by letting them sit around and making sure that they don't explode on us. And keep in mind, we currently have enough nuclear weapons to replicate Hiroshima 150,000 times over.
The issue here isn't that we want to take everything from the rich. The issue here is that they don't pay taxes, and working people do. If you're rich enough, you can hide your money in tax shelters in the maldives and not pay a goddamn cent.
The issue here is that the richest among us got that way because our society provided them with the means to do so. If they manufactured products, everybody who paid taxes provided them with the means to do so-- electricity, water, sewage, waste disposal, etc-- and if they sold those products, everybody who paid taxes provided them with the means to do so-- we paid for the roads, bridges, and rail-beds that they shipped their products on.
It isn't uncouth to expect that since the wealthiest amongst us became wealthy because of social spending, that they should give back accordingly-- the more wealthy they become, the more they should give back to the society that allowed them to become wealthy. Also, I think we can conclude soundly and firmly, that Bill Whittle is a contemptible douchebag.*
* Not an ad hominem attack-- I've presented solid evidence that this is the case