I got this absurd cartoon emailed to me the other day and I thought I should reply to it. A couple people that I know are conservatives and they run around with the rallying cry that “people who work” pay exorbitant taxes because there is a huge portion of the population that “doesn’t work” and just slides by. Any time you actually throw some numbers at these people, they just deny them because they’re happy about the fact that they can be pissed off and hate certain groups and they frankly don’t want you raining on their parade.
But seriously folks, bitching about your taxes is like bitching about the fact that you’re going to die. Any time you start thinking that you’re being asked to lift up an unfair percentage of the burden, it’s just because you’re not thinking of all the ways you are treated fairly (and probably more than fairly in most cases).
Fact number ONE: the employment rate is right around 90% and of the 10% that are unemployed, 5% would chose to be unemployed regardless. As I was preparing to write this article, I actually did some research (gasp…another thing these emotional idiots never do) and found on this web page that the yearly amount spent on unemployment is around 200 billion dollars. Now, that might seem like a lot, but when you take into account that the budget is 3.5 trillion dollars and that unemployment only accounts for around 5% of that, the number seems pretty reasonable to me.
Actually, it’s not all that easy to find good break downs of the US budget. But I did find on wikipedia that the biggest two expenses are defense (800 billion) and medicare (700 billion). However I suppose putting in, “so you can be a tax slave for people who want to keep their grandparents alive” isn’t quite funny enough for the above “hilarious” joke (even if it is more true).
The ironic thing about this comic is that the guy I got it from is himself a government employee. Now, when I was looking at that 200 billion dollar unemployment budget, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of that went to government officials who decided who the money went to (talk about a redundant occupation). What do you think it is? 25 billion, 50 billion? My point is that in every break down of this whole thing, the biggest amount of your tax dollars go to people who are WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT!
And isn’t it the case that conservatives always say we should make the government smaller? Isn’t it then super hypocritical for ANYONE who claims to be conservative to be working in the government?
In the case of the guy who sent me this comic, I remember when he got his “cushy government job” as he called it. He bragged about how he would never work in the private sector again because in government he got paid more for doing less (just think of every road crew you’ve ever seen, there is always one guy working a shovel and three guys standing around).
So I got inspired and sent him the following response:
As you can probably guess, instead of recognizing the hypocrisy in his position and even making an attempt at acknowledging it or defending it, he decided instead to find fault with the fact that my wife and I found a social service program to help pay the cost of our baby’s delivery. That argument was just downright idiotic for the following reasons:
1. I’ve never been against social programs (I think they’re a good thing).
2. There is a MAJOR difference between what hospitals charge and what insurance companies actually pay (for example if your insurance tells you you’re getting a $50 medication for $5 thanks to them, implying that the insurance company pays $45, the truth of the matter is that the insurance company pays nothing…heck, they might even get some money back from the pharmaceutical company for maintaining the illusion of value).
3. A one time 5-10K payment for a birth DOES NOT COMPARE to a yearly payment of 60-80K (I don’t know how much he makes) that is ongoing!
4. Don’t bring my wife and baby into it motherfucker!
Look, taxes aren’t high because “some people don’t work” taxes are high because you’re making too much money. Instead of bitching about it like an impudent dipshit, you should do what all the other rich people do, HIDE YOUR INCOME, make huge tax-deductible donations to your kids, establish tax-exempt corporations, take advantage of social programs. Running around pissed off in the sense that “things should be different” is just infantile. After all, there’s an old axiom that goes like this:
The immature man berates the fact that things aren’t as they should be, the mature man takes advantage of the way things are.
(if that’s not an axiom it should be).
Oh, and one final little jab to all you conservatives. Screaming for a tax-cut is the same as asking for a government hand-out. Just shut up, nobody has any sympathy for people who can’t afford to pay for their third house. When you’ve had the courage to travel the world and see real poverty (mainly with people who work 80 hours a week) you’ll see just how abhorrent that attitude is.