Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rightwing arrogance and ignorance

I've been listening to C-SPAN this morning, and as might be expected there's a lot of fretting about the 2010 fiscal year budget, the one that will go into effect for the federal government on October 1 of this year. There have been the usual rightwing wackaloons calling in, doing their figurative foaming at the mouth about how the Obama administration isn't doing anything for the average American. A particular target of derision was the "$14 more per pay period," an amount of money per individual that the wackaloons seem to find particularly amusing. As one caller said, "A package of chicken breasts they wouldn't have bought otherwise. Big deal."

I loved the response from Democratic congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, which was basically, yes, it is a big deal. If you've been getting by on peanut butter and Top Ramen and you now have a chance to buy something more substantial for a meal or two for your family, it does make a difference. He did a nice job of politely reaming the callers who mocked the small amount as being trivial and of no consequence. He also pointed out that a number of items that the Republicans are now using as talking points to disparage the budget are items that were inserted by Republicans to begin with, including a good number of the much maligned "earmarks."

It hit me (again) just how unbelievably arrogant, ignorant, and smug the rightwing tinfoil hat crowd is.

It also hit me that as that approximately $14 per person starts hitting paychecks, convincing folks that Obama isn't doing anything for them is going to get a little harder.


  1. $14 more per paycheck is not a lot. But for people living on the edge of poverty, or even in the middle class and struggling to make mortgage and credit card payments, $14 can mean the difference between surviving another two weeks, and not.

    And Republicans (who have fought every minimum wage increase I can remember) have a lot of nerve arguing that it's too small an amount to make a difference and Obama isn't doing anything to help the average American. If you really believe that, then vote for a larger amount -- don't criticize Obama for not doing enough!

    Ay yi yi. They really are a smug lot, aren't they?

  2. I miss the days when we made five bucks an hour and it went further than thirty bucks an hour does now.

  3. Having said that, I get along pretty well on my less than a grand a month. It just takes some planning and a desire to live a basic life like I like to live.

    Shoot, I piss half of that money away anyway, or share it with others.

  4. $14 ...look at grocery store ads can get bread, peanut butter, jelly and milk for about that..that's alot when you live on food stamps with small kids.

  5. It also helps if you contrast disparraging the $14 a paycheck with the Republicans voting 80% for a budget plan which would reduce the tax rate for those making over $100,000 by about 29%. Which, to the upper middle class and the wealthy, could be thousands a paycheck. Tell me again how the Republicans are for working Americans?

  6. Yikes..I think back to my first working wage...$1.14/hour. Come to think of it - I'm close to being back there now. LOL

  7. Yep, it's the difference in whether I can give my Little Man a clarinet lesson or not. It's the difference between turkey burgers or a roast. It's a couple of pairs of new Jeans for the Little Man or a new pair for our Tweenie. And it's the ability to bring my fellow teachers a treat when it's my turn. Sure, little things all, but they all add up, too. First time in 8+ years I remember the government doing anything for working class families, save for giving us all a snow job. Great post.


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