Seriously – this Chick-Fil-A Nonsense Won’t Go Away

Hatin’ the gays and eatin’ fried food.  That’s what passes for patriotism for way too many Americans.

I’ve spent countless hours trying to understand anti-gay folks.  I read articles, op-eds, websites and books.  Again and again, it boils down to simple prejudice.  They made up their minds in advance and aren’t interested in hearing what anyone has to say if it contradicts what they already think.  They rain their money on preachers who confirm their prejucide by saying things like “Gay people are sinners (unlike you).”  For these folks, last week’s Chick-Fil-A day was a combination July 4th, New Year’s Eve and Sunday service all in one.  Folks on the left are far less sanguine.

Michelangelo Signorile opined that the gay community mismanaged the entire contretemps from beginning to end:

Some are saying we lost the battle with Chick-fil-A, even calling it a dismal failure. I don’t believe any effort to point to homophobia is ever in vain, so I wouldn’t go that far. When you’re fighting bigotry, it’s always an uphill battle.

That said, there were problems with the strategy — or rather, lack of strategy — in taking on Chick-fil-A. We allowed the opponents of LGBT rights to use the media to recast the issue as one about the first amendment. I say we “allowed” the radical right to do this because it’s a no-brainer that it’s not about Chick-fil-A’s first amendment rights, as Gay Voices editor Noah Michelson explained.

And these people are hypocrites who cared nothing about the first amendment when they went on a religious crusade against Muslims, trying to stop construction of the Islamic center near ground zero back in 2010. Now, while they crusade against gays, with millions of dollars from Chick-fil-A’s profits going to groups that promote harmful pray-away-the-gay therapies, they’re crying about the first amendment? Please.

So yes, our enemies distorted our message and reframed the story. And we allowed them to do it.

By contrast, David Sirota argued:

There are so many reasons to both uncontrollably laugh at and be intensely disgusted by last week’s brouhaha over Chick-fil-A. With droves of American eaters rewarding the company with record sales for its CEO’s public rant against gay marriage, you can let out that same chuckle you release when you watch Coen Brothers characters — you guffaw at the paranoia, the sheer stupidity and the irrational animus of a bewildered herd. You can also feel that intestinal-tract pang of nausea you experience during food poisoning — the feeling that no matter what you look at to try to calm your gut, the image is going to make you simultaneously defecate and puke all over yourself.

This laugh/retch impulse has become an understandable reaction in an country obsessed with the Culture War. But, then, as much as the back-and-forth over Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s declaration seems like just a run-of-the-mill skirmish in that war, it’s not. It is a genuinely iconic grotesquerie, and not just because it involves a company that has faced repeated accusations of illegal discrimination. In five distinct ways, the episode sums up so much of what’s wrong with American society today.

Of Sirota’s five lessons, number four seems most relevant:

Total ignorance of the First Amendment and the concept of “free speech”

Both those railing on the fast food chain and those supporting Chick-Fil-A succinctly proved that many Americans either have absolutely no understanding of or no respect for the most basic tenets of the First Amendment and the concept of free speech.

As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald showed, the pro-equal-rights politicians seeking to ban Chick-Fil-A from doing business in their communities were thuggishly violating both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution. According to the First Amendment, a government cannot “abridge the freedom of speech” — which means in practice, it cannot ban a company from doing business as retribution for statements made by a company’s executives, no matter how abhorrent those statements are. In their (understandable) disgust with Dan Cathy’s statements, the elected officials seeking to ban Chick-Fil-A from their municipalities exposed themselves as wholly uninformed about — or disrespectful of — this concept. They don’t seem to understand that under the First Amendment freedom of speech includes the freedom to say things politicians don’t like, and to say them without the fear governmental retribution.

At the same time, those rubes insinuating that a consumer backlash or threat of boycotts are an assault on Dan Cathy’s liberties are just as ignorant of free speech as their ideological opponents. This was the same inane argument made by attention-seeking rubes when advertisers began dropping their sponsorship of the Rush Limbaugh Show — and it’s just as idiotic today as it was back then.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean the freedom to say whatever you want and not face criticism or legal non-governmental consequences (like, say, protests and boycotts). Cathy and Limbaugh and anyone else has every right to spew their hateful vitriol, just as their supporters have every right to pig out on Chick-fil-A junk food or patronize specific sponsors in support of that hate – just as other Americans have every right to say they are all cretins and to therefore avoid supporting the restaurant company and/or those sponsors with their money.

That these most basic liberties are no longer understood by large swaths of the population shows how divorced we’ve become from our own — supposedly vaunted — Constitution.

Michael Rowe, on HuffPo, described his experience:

Over the past week or so, I’ve interacted with some of these people in the comments section of Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

What they all appear to have in common is a type of moronic, simmering frustration, mixed with an equally dull-witted glee, as though they truly believe they are on a crusade for justice. Their posts are often inarticulate and badly spelled. They fall just short of calling opponents of Chick-Fil-A’s bigotry “uppity faggots” but many seem to genuinely see their consumption of greasy, pre-cardiac disease fast food as a strike against the forces of darkness in the name of their American Jesus.

The videos from various outlets – of people singing “God Bless America” or declaring they’d come to eat chicken and strike a blow for freedom at the same time – are depressing, example of Rowe’s simmering frustration and glee. 

From Jen McCreight at FreeThoughtBlogs:

I know your feelings are hurt. No one wants to be called a bigot, right? But before you do something silly like scream “FREE SPEECH” or say I’m the bigot, let’s rewind a bit.

Chick-Fil-A has funneled millions of dollars toward certified hate groups in order to fund campaigns that depict gay people as pedophiles, fight against “gay behavior” and the legalization of same-sex marriage, and support dangerous “pray away the gay” programs. They also used their profits to support Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill. When I first found out about these atrocious things a couple of years ago, I stopped eating at Chick-Fil-A (despite how much I love their delicious chicken sandwiches). I did not feel right knowing my money could ultimately be used to hurt GLBT people.

I could originally understand why someone wouldn’t boycott an organization that they disagree with politically. I bet there are things I buy that support things I hate, mostly because I don’t know any better, partially because I can’t financially afford to boycott everything. But now that Chick-Fil-A has been in the public eye, you know better. And if you drove to a Chick-Fil-A today to show your solidarity with the organization, you’re not just some random apathetic person who likes a chicken sandwich and doesn’t care about where their $5 goes.

You are a bigot.[snip]

Here is a case where I might call someone ignorant (no screen capture of her tweet because she later blocked me). But again, it’s not name-calling because it’s true. The government is not taking away your right to say how much you love fried chicken sandwiches or how much you hate gay people. Thus, no free speech violation. Just as you have the right to spew ignorant hatred on Twitter, I have to right to point and laugh and say you’re wrong. And a bigot.

About that simmering frustration:

Something has been simmering. Something the Tea Party represents. Something Sarah Palin has represented. Something that has previously kept media companies afraid of advertisers and people like Anderson Cooper and Sally Ride from being more forthcoming with their sexual orientation. People do care. It is a big deal and when someone like Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy stands up and says it, one by one people start to cheer. (You might wonder how many other companies and company owners/advertisers feel the same way.)

Cathy’s statement and the overwhelming support for Chick-Fil-A are not about free speech, or they would have cheered for Anderson. It was not an expression of the rights of businesses, or they would not have boycotted JC Penny for hiring Ellen DeGeneres and Disney for offering domestic partner benefits.

The people who cheer and revel as they wait in line at Chick-Fil-A and those who supported those boycotts are most likely the same ones who heard their fears resonated in Pat Buchanan’s words 20 years ago. “The America I know, want and believe in is slipping away… and it’s their fault.” It’s the “us’s” versus the “them’s.”

The simmering frustration is all about the feeling that there is a “them” out there who are stealing America, who are threatening what the “us’s” value.  When those folks standing in line at Chick-Fil-A started singing “God Bless America” they were enacting what Paul Rosenberg described in posts at OpenLeft over three years ago as mythos.  It doesn’t make sense because it’s not about reason or facts.  It’s about enacting a symbolic narrative, a mythos of America and American identity which talismanic and symbolic; why shoudl they sing that song?  how is eating fried chicken a blow for freedom?:

 . . . those questions come out of looking at her diatribe as if it were an example of logos, which it most clearly is not.  It is mythos through and through, and mythos has no need of evidence, as logos understands it.  The Birther’s own birth certificate is not evidence in the sense of logos, it is a talisman, a symbol of her authentic identity as an American, and once she has established that identity, all it takes is her word as an American to cast The Other out.  (And, of course, there is no doubt that Obama is The Other after all, he’s black a Kenyan citizen!  And probably a Muslim terrorist, to boot!)  This is why she doesn’t offer any evidence that Obama is a Kenyan citizen, but instead simply asserts that she’s an American.  Well, that proves it!  Not according to logos, of course, but according to the Birther mythos it damn sure does!  

It’s as if we’re operating in the world of dreams in which the logic of reason and facts are overruled by the mythical order of symbols:

But, of course, disrupting the logos of the meeting is precisely the point-she is enacting a defeat of logos by her own mythos.  And who could argue against her?  To argue against her is to refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag!  This is the crowning accomplishment of ritual performance-she has gotten everyone to follow her lead in pledging allegiance to the flag.  Anyone who would not do it would have identified themselves by their own actionsas not being a real American!  Who needs a birth certificate to prove that?

This is why this brief videotaped interaction is so strange.  It is a complete subversion of one reality by another, and the reality that is subverted is the reality of facts, logic, and good civil order, while the subverting reality is that of unhinged white supremacy utterly cut off from, and contemptuous of all manner of logic and evidence.

All those people standing in line to order chicken, saying its about freedom, are enacting myth, are making real a mythology of America.  It sounds daffy but consider:

Myth only became a reality when it was embodied in cult, rituals, and ceremonies which worked aesthetically upon worshipers, evoking within them a sense of sacred significance and enabling them to apprehend the deeper currents of existence. Myth and cult were so inseparable that it is a matter of scholarly debate which came first: the mythical narrative or the rituals attached to it.

 The tacky transcendence of the fast food franchise, singing a hymn to America, proclaiming the whole effort was about “freedom” – can this be anything other than an impromptu ritual?  When people in line were talking about freedom, an no matter which location they were at they used almost the same language, it was as if we were watching people recite a litany in a worship service.  It’s not accidental that song was from the hymnody and was not the actual national anthem.  The combination of American patriotism and religious identity into a single, conservative identity has been happening for decades.  After twenty years of right wing culture war, conservatives have created a Frankenstein monster of American-ness, equal parts Christianism, historic myths and jingoistic proclamations of patriotism turned into a lumbering being and set loose on the land.

Do not doubt that it was transcendent for the participants.  It was a moment of shared identity, a communal proclamation of membership in “America” defined by faith and freedom in which the enemy is ever present and in which for a brief shining moment, Chick-Fil-A became their sanctuary, safe from the “others.”

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  1. #1 by brewski on August 6, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    Glenden,
    You are 100% right when you say

    “Again and again, it boils down to simple prejudice. They made up their minds in advance and aren’t interested in hearing what anyone has to say if it contradicts what they already think.”

    I can think of a whole lot of people who are prejudiced. They have made up their minds and no matter what objective data you give them. No matter what independent experts you source, it doesn’t matter. They have made up their minds and won’t even listen to any other information no matter what. In fact, it makes them feel good to not to listen to anyone other than people who are also as equally prejudiced as they are.

    The people’s names are Glenden, Shane, Richard, Cliff, Becky…….

  2. #2 by cav on August 6, 2012 - 4:46 pm

    Isn’t Cathy a girl name. My bet is Cathy is hating on his parents for tagging him with it. I bet his resentment has been growing a long, long time.

  3. #3 by Shane on August 6, 2012 - 9:24 pm

    Looks like brewski has been shown up too many times in a row, all the signs are there. He started posting his cute little “I win” comments again, and now the random attempts at insults are the opening gambit.

    If you don’t all be nice he is going to pack up his little ball and go home and tell his mom! And then he will stop talking to us all and just ignore us from the window! You are all so mean!

    Big stupid dodo heads….

  4. #4 by brewski on August 7, 2012 - 3:53 pm

    I haven’t been “shown up” once. Your uneducated little graphic was shot down like a hydrogen Zeppelin. I have the facts. You have your feelings. Yes, I won. Objective fact.

  5. #5 by Shane on August 7, 2012 - 7:38 pm

    So you still can’t figure out the basic English on the picture huh?

    The entertaining part of this is that somewhere in your little mind you really are giving objective facts. Somewhere in a special dimension just for you, the crazy you spout makes sense.

    When every commenter here except for the certifiable nut job who changes his name hourly can see that you don’t make sense, but everyone here is, in your mind, mean, prejudice, hate filled and ignoring facts, you might step back and notice something. You are the common denominator.

    Think about that for a bit. Ask yourself why that is. Perhaps the problem is not in everyone around you, but in yourself…

    Sorry, I know it isn’t the Buddha, but Zen should be close enough, don’t you think?

  6. #6 by cav on August 7, 2012 - 8:16 pm

    All ‘objective facts’ have limitations. Gotama sees none of these.

    His council might be to practice laughing til you get it right.

  7. #7 by Shane on August 7, 2012 - 9:08 pm

    Cav, at least in the Chinese case that may be true. Ever really look at the Indian statues? Serene? Maybe. Happy? Not so much. But look at the Chinese Buddhas! That is a fat and happy guy! Taoism and culture had some serious impact on the philosophy as it crossed the border. Gave us a nice bastard child in the form of Ch’an too.

    Anyway, it should ardly be a shock I prefer a bit of Zen from time to time. In the belief genes so to speak. Not worth blathering about really. “Nothing special” and all that…

  8. #8 by cav on August 7, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    Sometime I have a hard time repressing my inner fortune cookie (or specifying the addressee). And I’m always relating one snippet with another. I recall a discussion wherein it was suggested that one of the differences between a nice guy and an a**hole, at least on a cellular level, may have been the individuals ‘hug count’. So too, on a cellular level, forced, even fake laughter, so fools the body that it produces a flood of feel-good hormones. When you feel good, well, you know…

    For a better world; More laughter, more hugs.

    My fortune cookie was addressed to brewski as much as anyone else, but I’m glad you’re reading. Thanks

  9. #9 by brewski on August 8, 2012 - 7:57 am

    Shane,
    Please explain to me how I am wrong. You have not and you never do. Go through my points one by one and tell me, in detail, with examples, with sources, with data not from thinkprogress or Rachel Maddow, how I am wrong.

    Sarcastic comments and references to other uneducated lefty posters do not cut it

    Until you do, I am right.

  10. #10 by Shane on August 8, 2012 - 8:17 am

    Cav, I always feel free to read other peoples fortunes. It is a bad habit I have. I also like to borrow quotes and not return them…

    Brewski, I pointed out exactly what the problem is, and you failed both to understand, and to extend the example to the other instances. Oh well.

    I could go through this post as well. Much can be said about how only certain sources will do for you, despite the fat that the sources you disparage are often more credible than the ones you use. Similarly, much can be said about your claims that no one ever shows you are wrong. Even if you insist we prove you wrong to your own satisfaction, “never” is not true. Even you have managed to find places where your world overlaps reality and you have been forced to admit mistakes.

    But the important point is that literally nothing would matter. The fact that you think that you are right until proven wrong, shows all we need to see about how you think.

    If the point of the graphic that is your current obsession is to show that first of all Mittens has a dishonest campaign story by misquoting Obama, and second, that government rules and regulations do in fact help people make companies, it is safe. Those are both facts, no matter what you wish to say, or whether anyone ever tries to prove them to you.

    Facts do not depend on your knowing them to be true.

    I realize that you feel the universe revolves around you, and given that you seem to live in your own little world, that may be true. In your universe. But here in reality, facts are independent of brewski’s belief in them. You are not “right” because you don’t see that you are wrong. You are just deluded…

  11. #11 by brewski on August 8, 2012 - 1:12 pm

    Shane,
    Pretty much everything you said is false.

    I do read the links to thinkprogress and others to see what they have to say, why they say it and what information they are using. 90% of them time thinkprogress is quoting some 26 year old with a degree in art history who has never held a job and all of a sudden has decided that he or she is an expert on tax policy, international trade, corporate governance, labor economics and health care management best practices. So one opinion piece is referencing another opinion piece and neither have any idea what they are talking about. So it is for that reason that I mock sources like thinkprogress since they have proven themselves to be worthy of mockery.

    I am no supporter of Mitt. I have listened to his ideas and I don’t think they are very good. So my question is are his ideas less awful than Obama’s? Tough choice since Obama’s are truly awful.

    You have not explained anything. Do you know what the word explain means? Sarcastic pithy remarks are nothing. You need to articulate why. You haven’t and it is not just because I fail to understand. The fact is that you didn’t.

    Your lack of doing anything other than being a waste of flesh is not my lack of understanding. I am quite capable of listening and evaluating something. But you have no something. I say I win because you can’t help yourself but to lose. Every time.

    You have not explained any of the other points either. So you say it doesn’t matter and then criticize me for not understanding when you haven’t said anything to understand. Your posts are vacuous uneducated sarcastic pithy shots completely devoid of substance. I give you history and facts. So yes, you lose.

    So say that facts don’t depend on me knowing them to be true, but you don’t give me any facts at all so there is nothing to be true. I am happy to evaluate your facts and to verify them, but you have never given me a single fact at all.

    That is why you are a loser.

  12. #12 by Shane on August 8, 2012 - 2:00 pm

    I am sorry brewski, but until you explain one by one with examples all sourced from dailyKOS, you are wrong.

    And honestly, if you are against 26 year old art history degree holders, what are we to make of 62 year old unemployed liars who can’t even use their own real name to reply to a blog?

    Which brings us to a further issue: why are you here? You insist everything written here is wrong, that you know better, and that we are all horrible prejudiced mean icky people. Yet you keep coming back, mostly to bitch.

    We realize it is hard to fill the empty hours when your “job” as a “job creator” turns out to be the fever dream of a dishonest randian hanger on, and surely it is difficult to find things to do while you await the child rape trial, and I understand that when your wife left you due to the syphilis that must have opened up a big block of spare time, but surely one of your non-existent education can find a home on townhall sites or something, can’t you?

    Feel free to go through those points one by one, with examples, sources and data. Until then, I guess I am right, as per your “logic”.

    Have a nice day.

  13. #13 by brewski on August 8, 2012 - 7:38 pm

    You have completely lost it.

  14. #14 by Shane on August 9, 2012 - 7:12 am

    Sorry, based on your last few posts I naturally assumed it was “make up random shit” day.

    But do feel free to explain why you are here and who you are that you have more credibility than the “26 year old with a degree in art history” does.

    What was your degree in again?

    To quote someone in this thread with your name, “we mock brewski because he has shown himself to be worthy of mockery” as you show when you pithily complain that posts here have no facts and only “pity shots.”

  15. #15 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 8:20 am

    I have nothing against 26 year olds with art history degrees and who have never held a job. But I am doubt they have much expertise in the various topics on which they opine.

    I do not publish articles on art history since I do not claim that I am qualified to do so.

    That is the problem with most of the articles which are linked here. They are opinion pieces written by people who have no expertise in the topic at hand.

    I will listen to Volcker and Krugman if I want to get different perspectives on economics, for example.

    I will listen to Denis Cortese or David Dranove about healthcare.

    What has Ezra Klein ever done in his life and what is his education? Look it up. And this guy is an expert on all kinds of topics? Ha!

    Why are you here? Do you want to just live in a world where everyone agrees with you? Are you part of the well documented phenomenon of the intolerant left?

    “Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.” – Pew Center

  16. #16 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 9:40 am

    brewski–

    What are President Obama’s “truly awful” ideas? I ask this because my complaint against Obama is that his policies are right-wing corporatist policies, that Republicans normally favor when they are not under the influence of hyper-partisanship.

  17. #17 by cav on August 9, 2012 - 10:36 am

    “…part of the well documented phenomenon of the intolerant left”

    There being ‘much’ documentation cranked out by the cranks, and the validity of that documentation, are two quite different things.

    This written by a common man.

  18. #18 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Is the Pew Center a bunch of cranks?

    Barack Obama’s truly awful ideas:
    1. Health care bill which leaves 60 million uninsured, raises premiums, raises corporate profits. Also known as the worst bill in the history of the US.
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article18121.html

    2. Lower the tax revenues collected by raising the corporate tax rate.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/what_does_obama_believe_about.html

    3. Blocking an employer from setting up factories in South Carolina.
    http://www.shopfloor.org/2011/04/in-anti-boeing-move-nlrb-rejects-s-c-jobs-solar-energy/20260

  19. #19 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 11:34 am

    brewski–

    1. I agree, Obama’s Heritage Foundation/Romney-based health care “reform” was worse than doing nothing. We need to control costs, and Obama could not get his corporate bosses to allow even a tiny public option into the mix. But there is no Republican alternative to the ACA, for the simple reason that the ACA was the Republican alternative.

    2. I don’t believe that President Obama (or actually Congress) can raise the corporate income tax rate. Or the capital gains rate, which is what your link actually addressed. Both parties are obsessed with giving more tax cuts to the rich. The top tax rates on ordinary income, dividends, estates, and gifts remain at or near historically low levels. The tax burden has shifted from corporations onto individuals, and second, from the wealthiest individuals onto everyone else. Nobody is proposing to reverse this.

    3. Boeing was not stopped from moving jobs to South Carolina, and in fact the company says their timeline was not affected by union complaints. This is a right-wing myth.

  20. #20 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 11:51 am

    This graph illustrates why rich peoples’ complaints about taxes are so hilarious.

  21. #21 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 11:53 am

    Exhbit # 1,547,962
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/08/08/660851/disney-ceo-corporate-tax/

    Here the author uses the term “marginal tax rate” when he means “effective tax rate”. My conclusion is that he doesn’t know the difference since he then uses as support for his claim are charts having to do with corporate taxes divided by GDP ratio, which is, of course, not the marginal tax rate.

    QED

    P.S. As far as I can tell, the author has never had a real job, has no education or experience in corporate taxation, and looks like he might be 26.

  22. #22 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 11:57 am

    Richard,
    1. Your chart has nothing to do with the point regarding the relationship between capital gains tax rates and revenues.
    2. You imply but don’t say that the “complaints” about taxes are only about the marginal rates. This is a false premise.
    3. Yes, the NRLB backed off after first filing a complaint against Boeing. That does not change the fact that the NRLB filed a complaint against Boeing for the sole reason that Boeing wants to open a plant in SC. So your defense is lame.

  23. #23 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    Corporate tax rate by country (%):

    United States* 39.1
    France* 34.4
    Belgium* 34.0
    Portugal * 31.5
    Germany 30.2
    Spain* 30.0
    Australia* 30.0
    Mexico 30.0
    Luxembourg 28.8
    Norway* 28.0
    New Zealand* 28.0
    Italy* 27.5
    Sweden 26.3
    Canada* 26.1
    Denmark 25.0
    Israel 25.0
    Austria 25.0
    Netherlands* 25.0
    Finland* 24.5
    Korea 24.2
    United Kingdom* 24.0
    Switzerland* 21.2
    Estonia 21.0
    Chile 20.0
    Iceland* 20.0
    Slovenia 20.0
    Turkey 20.0
    Greece 20.0
    Poland 19.0
    Hungary 19.0
    Czech Republic 19.0
    Slovak Republic 19.0
    Ireland 12.5

    Yes I know this is the statutory rate and not what they pay all in. But that is entirely the point. If you eliminated all of the loopholes and preferences then you could lower the statutory rate and collect MORE revenue.

    Why lower the marginal statutory rate at all you ask? Because this rate is the rate that is paid on profits after all the loopholes are taken. So on incremental profits after that they do pay that rate. So if the US has the highest rate then companies will do what they can to avoid it. Avoiding it including not investing in incremental business in the US, as well as shifting profits to other countries. Both things are undesirable. Both lower tax revenues in the US in favor of other countries, not to mention fewer jobs in the US.

    So much for hilarious.

  24. #24 by cav on August 9, 2012 - 12:45 pm

    I’m not knocking the Pew Center so much as the notion that Obama is a leftist.

  25. #25 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    brewski–

    Where do you get a corporate income tax rate of 39.1 percent? There is a flat 34% tax rate on incomes from $335,000 to $10,000,000, gradually increasing to a flat rate of 35% on incomes above $18,333,333. The Obama administration wants to cut the top rate to 28 percent. And let’s not forget President Obama’s bonus depreciation corporate giveaway.

    Your devotion to supply-side and trickle-down economic theory goes against decades of evidence that it doesn’t work as advertised. Letting rich people keep more of their money leads to financial instability and extreme economic inequality. If you cut capital gains taxes, sometimes there is a short spike in revenues but it goes back down again. Letting corporations get away with paying little or nothing in taxes also disproportionately benefits the wealthiest Americans.

    So complaints about over-taxation are hilarious. Then it stops being funny when the same people claim we have to privatize Medicare because there’s a deficit – which would not exist if the “haves” paid their fair share.

    It’s ironic that what progressives regard as the Obama administration’s “truly awful” ideas are things the right-wingers normally are in favor of. Because of the partisan imperative to be against Obama no matter what, they are reduced to making stuff up about nonexistent tax increases and anti-business policies. Lately Willard has been lying about Obama’s welfare (TANF) policy – which originated with Republican governors!

    The the sole reason that Boeing wants to open a plant in South Carolina is to hire non-union workers. Duh. If I were President, I would not allow them to bid on government contracts if they are going to treat their employees like that.

  26. #26 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    The 39.1% is the weighted average of Federal plus state corporate income tax rates.

    The same method is used for other countries like Canada which have Provincial corporate taxs.

    Yes, the Obama Geithner has said he wants to cut the rate to 28% in exchange for many closings of loopholes so it would be revenue neutral. So this would not be a tax cut.

    Yes. The bonus depreciation was part of the stimulus bill. It will expire this year.

    Nothing I said is either supply side or trickle down. So stop saying it is. You have a habit of lying and then getting upset when other people lie.

    None of this is a tax cut. None of this is letting rich people keep more of their money. It is objectively false so stop repeating it.

    Your comment about Medicare is hilarious. The average person retiring today will be 300% more in benefits than they paid in. Do you want to increase the payroll tax rate by 300%?

    If you want Warren Buffett to pay 250% more in taxes then advocate my simple plan. Why are you against him paying more taxes?

  27. #27 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 2:29 pm

    brewski–

    Without the pixie dust of supply-side economic theory, you can’t cut tax rates and have revenues magically increase. OK, it doesn’t work even with the pixie dust.

    Wait, your example of an Obama “truly awful” idea was that he supposedly wants to raise the corporate tax rate. But in reality, he actually wants to cut the top corporate rate by 7 percent. Now you are saying Obama’s “truly awful” because he doesn’t want to cut taxes for rich individuals too? But he does. He wants to cut marginal income taxes up to $250,000 a year, which is a huge tax cut for the rich!

    The big question in American politics ought to be why Obama didn’t run for the GOP nomination.

  28. #28 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 2:33 pm

    If is doesn’t work, as you assert, then how is it that all of those other countries have lower tax rates, and collect more revenue as a percent of GDP.

    It is the ratio of taxes collected to GDP that you put forth and show how much revenue all of those other countries collect. All of those other countries which have lower rates.

    So your evidence proves you are wrong.

  29. #29 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    I never said anything about cutting taxes. You keeping talking about cutting taxes. I keep talking about raising taxes. You must be thinking of someone else.

  30. #30 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    brewski–

    Those foreign countries levy a value-added tax, as you well know.

    You can fantasize about removing tax loopholes all you want, but that won’t balance out the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich or allow for additional rate cuts without exploding deficits.

    This is why I say Romney wants to raise your taxes by $2,000 – because tax cuts for the rich have to be paid for if you want to claim revenue neutrality. If you want to raise MORE revenue while cutting tax rates, there just isn’t enough pixie dust in the whole world to do that! Hand-waving won’t help either.

  31. #31 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 3:43 pm

    That’s not what YOUR chart says. YOUR chart says that these other countries specifically raise more from corporate income taxes only. It says that the corporate income tax alone raises more revenue as a percent of GDP. YOUR data shows that these countries raise more from corporate income taxes and have lower corporate income tax rates. You proved yourself wrong but since you don’t understand taxes and how to read a chart you don’t see it.

  32. #32 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/final-chart.png

    Look at the chart on the left of this link. Look for Canada and the US.

    Now look at the rates I show above. Now look for Canada and the US.

    So Canada has a lower rate, and it collects more in revenue. Period. End of story.

    So if the US were to adopt the Canadian corporate tax code word for word we would have a lower rate and would collect more in revenue. Understand?

  33. #33 by Richard Warnick on August 9, 2012 - 4:43 pm

    brewski–

    The graph I used shows the top corporate tax rate over time. It is now the lowest since World War II.

    I think the history of Reaganomics and the utter catastrophe of the George W. Bush administration ought to be enough to dispel the myth of the Laffer Curve, supply-side economics, etc.

    This nonsense has been around, apparently, since the 19th Century.

    The economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that supply side economics was not a new theory. He wrote, “Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”

    So the sparrows were told they would get nothing but crap from the rich, and they ought to be happy with that. :-(

  34. #34 by brewski on August 9, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    I was referring to another graph you had used earlier which is similar to the one I just linked.

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