North Carolina Congressman Explains To Katy Tur How Middle Class Tax Cuts Are Socialism
Excuse me, Congressman, but my boots smell like piss and you keep saying it's raining.
The indefatigable Katy Tur is not one to suffer fools gladly, but on MSNBC Tuesday, she was stuck with one insufferable one. Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger of North Carolina has thoroughly internalized his rote interview replies but apparently doesn't understand concepts like "tax cuts" or "socialism" well enough to deploy the right talking point at the right time. So when Tur asked him whether the economy wouldn't be stimulated more by tax cuts aimed at the middle class -- the folks who actually buy stuff and would create demand for products -- Pettinger's GOP-installed Reply Processor suffered some kind of ugly malfunction, and he spat out an incoherent line about how giving tax cuts to the middle class would be socialism of the ugliest sort. It's not clear whether the man is economically illiterate or just not very skilled at matching up journalists' questions with his store of prescribed lines. Probably both!
Before he got to that nonsense, however, Pittenger had some deep thoughts about how Americans will benefit from huge corporate tax cuts, because don't Americans have a lot of money in the stock market? You bet they do! OK, maybe it's more like under half of families own any stock at all, and that most stock wealth is held by the richest ten percent, who will of course overwhelmingly benefit from a roaring market.
When Tur tried to question him on that, Pittenger seemed to think she was asking about whether stocks were mostly owned by foreigners or something:
Pittenger: I'm saying to you, this is a jobs bill. The American people need jobs.
Tur: But you just said that the American people own corporations...
Pittenger: The American people are shareholders — they own stock!
Tur: All of them?
Pittenger: Ma’am, I’m telling you, the people own stock in —
Tur: All Americans own stock in corporations?
Pittenger: American people do!
Tur: Some American people do --
Pittenger: They do! Middle America does, and they count on it in their 401K! They count on that for their economic future!
The syndicate is America, and everyone has a share!
Then we got to the serious stupid. Tur pointed out a bunch of boring facts about how corporations are already flush with money, and so a tax cut for corporations isn't likely to accomplish much as far as job creation goes, since supply doesn't make demand happen. Unfortunately, she didn't frame it in terms of people buying stuff, which really is the reason why more wealth for consumers means more job creation; she took a shortcut, and used the word "give" so obviously she was talking about welfare, oh my stars and garters:
Why would you say, “Hey listen, I need more of those corporations to have more money.” Why not give it directly to the folks -- why not do the job creation by giving the money to the middle class, to the lower class, to people who make less money so that they can reinvest in themselves?
Note to Katy Tur: We know you were talking about tax cuts for the middle class. You know you were talking about tax cuts for the middle class. When a Republican hears you talking about "giving money to people" -- even if you were just talking about taxes -- the Republican can only think you have to be talking about income redistribution, which is only fair when it moves upward. Pittenger wasn't about to have any of that liberal's commie thinking!
Pittenger: Well, I understand your narrative, and frankly, that’s the concept of socialism. And socialism never has worked. When all you’re doing is transferring wealth from one person to another --
Tur: No, it’s a tax cut, it’s not socialism. It’s a tax cut. They’re going to do a tax cut --
Pittenger: -- what you need to do is create a bigger pie, and you expand your economy, you create more jobs, and then you have more revenue back to the American government.
Tur: Tax cuts are not socialism, sir. Sir, tax cuts are not socialism. It’s a tax cut we’re talking about. We’re not talking about a government handout, I’m talking about a tax cut.
No, no, no, Katy Tur, you went and mentioned the gap between CEO wages and employee wages, and that automatically means you are jealous of your betters and you are a socialist. So let's get this straight: A tax cut to those at the top grows the economic pie (even though the Congressional Research Service found no such connection), while tax cuts that favor the middle and working class can't possibly have any effect on growth. Obviously, even though lower and middle-income folks actually spend their money on consumer goods and services, a tax cut to spur such spending would do nothing for the economy, because those people don't own any members of Congress.
If You Didn't Spend Your Moolah On Dames, Firewater And Picture Shows, You Might Not Be A Ne'er-Do-Well!
Jeepers, Mr. Grassley! If the sailors don't come by the dance hall no more, how am I gonna afford my knee rouge?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.