In a time of unprecedented economic quality and unemployment (see Occupy Movements), in which the top one percent control 42 percent of financial wealth while 15 percent of the country is on food stamps and unemployment is still hanging at 9.1 percent, a group of wealthy individuals have eschewed the anti-tax crusades of fiscal terrorist, Grover Norquist.
Patriotic Millionaires, a group of 200-plus people making more than $1 million per year (including actress Edie Falco and economist Nouriel Roubini, among others), feel that life has been good to them. and that America has offered them opportunities for the same financial betterment that the Occupy protestors are forgoing bathroom breaks in order to achieve, had the dubious honor of meeting with Norquist in DC earlier this week. Norquist’s positions on taxes is the economic policy equivalent of a spoiled child holding his ears and yelling incoherently until his parents capitulate to his unnecessary demands. He is the face of the new republican radical transformation of reorganizing itself around an irrational and careless belief that the wealthy should grow wealthier and wealthier, no matter the ramifications for the 99 percent plebeians. Norquist is the man behind the nefarious Americans for Tax Reform group (or Certain Americans for constant Tax Cuts), and he has gone so far as to force all campaigning republicans and sitting ones to sign his “anti-tax pledge,” though some Republicans have asked to have their names removed from the list given its unpopularity. A bus driver gets $26k a year to safely transport kids to school, while this soul-sucking GOP (Grand Obstructionist Plutocrat) has profited tremendously to help drive the economy for the rest of us into a ditch of quicksand and molasses and he could care less.
But the folks of Patriotic Millionaires vigorously disagree with Norquist.
”[The government] provided a foundation through which we could succeed,” writes the group on their website. “Now, we want to do our part to keep that foundation strong so that others can succeed as we have.”
Naturally, Norquist degenerated into the spoiled brat who holds his ears and screams incoherently whenever he hears something that doesn’ goes his way.
“They were there with a heavy partisan message,” Norquist told HuffPost Thursday. “The kinds of arguments I got from these old people weren’t interesting when I was 12, the left has not advanced. These guys are Democratic Party hacks.”
Is there anyway of permanently getting a neon sign placed over Norquist during appearances that flashes lambently “Still not getting it?”
Like all right-wing fat cats without an iota of knowledge of macroeconomics during times of economic ruin, Norquist manipulates the meaning of the constitution in order to satisfy his greedy agenda. His unwillingness to recognize the need for investment in green energies and ambitious infrastructure projects–the very investment that pulled America out of the depression during FDR’s reign–is a level of contrarian that should come with psychotropics.
“I think government, up to a certain point, advances human liberty. Police, a judicial system and an army to prevent people from stealing stuff out of your car, out of your house, knocking you on your head or the Canadians coming over and invading the country,” he said. “Those are actually mentioned in the Constitution and in the history of our country as legitimate things for our government to do and they make us freer, not less free. I am for limited government that does a limited number of things competently.”
Yeah, because I’m sure a ragtime militia of funny-speaking Curling enthusiasts taking over America is a relevant 21st century reality and what keeps the 99 percent lying awake in their foreclosed beds every night.
Luckily, a sane member of Patriotic Millionaires and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School said that the Patriotic feel that liberty only fits within a context and that government has a truly fundamental role in ensuring that people have liberty. Part of the way they do that is by investing in things that benefit the public.
Wow, who would’ve thunk it??? So then a fleet of Diamond-encrusted Hummer yachts don’t create jobs and stimulate long-term economic growth???
Part of a recorded phone conversation with Huff Post:
“[Norquist] raised an issue we get all the time which is, ‘Well there’s nothing stopping you guys from paying higher taxes, just send a check to the government!’ And this to me is frankly an absurd position; I don’t consider it to be a very serious argument. Government is not a charity and we can’t rely on voluntary contributions from people to support the things that government does. And I also said to him, ‘Look would you be willing to sign a pledge where you’re willing to forgo all the benefits that government provides? Are you willing to sign a pledge that says you don’t want the U.S. military to protect you? That you will refuse to contact the police if somebody steals from you? That you will refuse to contact the fire department if your house is on fire? Because that’s the equivalent! Why should you get a free ride? Why should you benefit from my willingness to support the government? Let’s do it together.’ And he said, ‘If I don’t have to pay any taxes for it, I would forgo all those things!’ To which my response was, ‘Well there’s an easy way to do that, move to Somalia!’ And his argument was, ‘Somalia doesn’t suffer from too little government, it suffers from too much government.’ I don’t even begin to understand what that means, but again there’s only so much you can go into in these conversations.”, said Eric Schoenberg, member of Patriotic Millionaires.
Somalia has too much government? Does this guy even hear himself speak? Somalia is designated as a disordered country and thus ‘failed state’, according to foreign policy experts.
Move to Somalia, indeed. But please also take Rush Limbaugh, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell with you! Then again, Norquist may not have to, with American becoming more and more like Somalia–love of guns and not even the most basic form of government–only fatter and whiter.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you photos of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong