I occasionally get an email forward from my stepfather, who claims not to be a conservative, nor a Republican. Riiiiiight.
There is an excellent short story by Robert Heinlein about the revolt against an American theocracy called “If This Goes On—“ and one of the weapons the revolutionaries employ is a widely distributed newsletter that casts subtle aspersions on the establishment via playful parables like this one. I think the technique is very effective and goes a long way towards explaining our affection for John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I wonder why I don’t get more of these pernicious, allegedly humorous, emails from our side? Perhaps Move-on or one of our friends in the blogosphere will take up the challenge. Me? What I’d really like is a very loud buzzer with a bright red light that says LIE so whenever I hear a conservative talking I can ensure that they don’t get away unchallenged. But I guess I have to satisfy myself with the occasional article here on OpEd rebutting their crap. So here is the text of the email I received, in black text, since black really ought to be the color of the Republicans, not Red which is an otherwise innocent color of rebellion, with my interjections in blue.
If you don't understand the Democrats' version of tax refunds, maybe this will help explain it:
Clearly the author is going to be blowing smoke. While Democrats would prefer a balanced budget (see Bill Clinton budgets 1992-2000) they never failed to refund any overpayment of your fair share just like they are supposed to do. Here comes the pitch…
50,000 people go to a baseball game, but the game was rained out. A refund was then due. The team was about to mail refunds when a group of Congressional Democrats stopped them and suggested that they send out the ticket refunds based on the Democrat National Committee's interpretation of fairness.
Originally the refunds were to be paid based on the price each person had paid for the tickets.
Unfortunately that meant most of the refund money would be going to the ticket holders that had purchased the most expensive tickets. This, according to the DNC, is considered totally unfair.
Buzz LIE! This is perhaps the oldest of the Conservative chestnuts, the percentage vs. amount shell game. 25% of 1 million is exactly as fair as 25% of 50,000, despite the fact that 25% of a million is “5 times more” than the working stiff paid in. 1 million is 20 times more money to start with.
A decision was therefore made to pay out the refunds in this manner:
People in the $10 seats will get back $15. After all, they have less money to spend on tickets to begin with. Call it an "Earned Income Ticket Credit." Persons "earn" it by having few skills, poor work habits, and low ambition, thus keeping them at entry-level wages.
Yes, that is really what the email said. Pretty nasty aren’t they? If there is a single minimum wage slave that votes Republican, you can bet it is because they don’t know that this is how Conservatives really think.
Here is my take on the Republican version of the plan:
Because the team opened the gates, they have to pay for research and development as well as the infrastructure costs, and did we mention security? To remain competitive, they can't deny the stars their salaries, and of course they have to pay management bonuses for the effort they expended doing what they are supposed to do. But since they didn't have to pay the minimum wage to hundreds of ticket, concession, ground crew, and janitorial personnel, they will be providing refunds and rebates based on the following Conservative scheme:
People in the $10 seats will get back nothing because they are getting too many handouts already. In addition, we'll make a note that they intended to go to the game and reduce any assistance they are getting by the full cost of an average ticket ($35). This is just tough love. We believe that if they spend their money on such frivolities as going to a game, they must not need our help.
People in the $25 seats will get back $25, because it "seems fair."
People in the $25 seats will get back 25 cents at some future date when the team is in trouble, because it will make us look like such good guys that our approval ratings will recover. Besides, clearly they are stupid enough to be bought off by a "rebate" of a mere fraction of their outlay.