Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ass Backwards Anger

Yesterday I came across this little item posted on my Facebook page by a teabagger who has often posted or commented approvingly of teabagger nostrums. We'll call her Sal.

Sal had the following data posted on her FB page:
Salary of the US President ..................$400,000
Salary of retired US Presidents .............$180,000
Salary of House/Senate .......................$174,00​0
Salary of Speaker of the House ............$223,500
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders ...... $193,400
Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN IRAQ $38,000
I think we found where the cuts should be made ! If you agree.. RE-POST
This is the sort of pointless, feel-good pablum that ignorant teabaggers cannot resist. It's identity and tribalism substituting for knowledge and analysis.

So let's see; in our multi-trillion dollar economy, the salaries of Congress and the President are budget-busters and must be cut; you know, to save the country. Most members of Congress could make more in the private sector; most will when they leave government. Let's be clear about this: Congressional pay is relatively low compared to what most members of Congress could be doing; law and lobbying are two lucrative choices. Some prefer to line their pockets at Fox News.

Most members of Congress are relatively wealthy. They did not go into politics for the salary; the graft, kickbacks, and influence-peddling, perhaps, but not the salary. And while most are wealthy, some are not. Suppose we did slash pay for elected officials. That would make Congress more of a rich man's club than it already is. Only those independently wealthy could afford to serve in Washington. I think we already have a serious problem of bright and able, but not rich, individuals spurning government service because of low pay.

I realize that may not make any sense to people who think we can fix education by cutting teachers' salaries and benefits.

Sal is correct in her concern over the plight of our troops serving in harm's way. She seems unconcerned about the massive amounts of money being spent on the twin rat holes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Corporate America loves a bloated defense industry and it loves war. Every bomb, every sortie, every meal, every piece of equipment and spare part represents profits for defense contractors.

Now I know full well we have legitimate national defense interests, so you teabaggers can stop soiling your pants. My disgust is with simpletons who lose all sense of perspective. I mean, how many times do we have to hear about how defense contractors have overrun cost projections and trot back to the Pentagon for more. "We figured $4 billion for this project, but we will need a few billion more." And they get it. Talking about gaming the system.

Where is the outrage when the Army is charged $800 for a wrench, or $2000 for a toilet seat? Where is the outrage when the Pentagon admits it cannot account for billions of dollars in cash, lost in Iraq? Or the fact that Donald Rumsfeld himself publicly stated that the Pentagon's accounting was so flawed that a total of $2.3 trillion could not be located?

Do you remember when he said this? Sept 10, 2001. Talk about being pushed off the front page by subsequent events! And that does not account for the disappearing billions in Iraq after 9/11. Here is the video explaining where teabaggers should be venting their pathological and misplaced rage:

So um... yeah, government wastes money. But getting worked up over salaries of our elected officials and ignoring the real costs inflicted on us by corporate America, special interests, and our increasingly powerful overclass requires willful ignorance from those who have their brain stuck up their ideological ass. Pull it out, clean it off and give it a chance to learn about the pitfalls of misinformed ideological sophistry.

The videos below is a parody starring the infamous Nathan Spewman, but makes the same points in a slightly different way (I see Ugly Betty is grown up and very un-ugly).

Part One

Part Two:


  1. This blog post is definitely my favorite. Succinct and to the point with a dab of humor - nice counterpoint given the gravity of the subject matter.

    Keep up the good work!