GOPocrisy, Taxes, Tea Party — January 6, 2014

When it comes to “socialist snowplows”, tea partiers love them some Big Government

by

They hate it when you call them on their hypocrisy

Yesterday I posted a tweet that went pretty viral on Twitter and on Facebook. Anne worked her magic and, by the afternoon, it had become this meme which went even more viral:

Last evening, journalist E.J. Dionne retweeeted it (and again this morning). This caused all manner of self-described libertarians and other conservatives to leap up to say this didn’t make any sense, they didn’t get the joke, they don’t think all government is socialism, etc., etc. Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds feigned a lack of comprehension:

The faux outrage that I dare to mischaracterize their political views was comical. These are the same people that call for disaster aid to be withheld unless corresponding budget cuts are found. The same people who sign up for Grover Norquist’s “Government Bathtub Drowning Society” and sign his tax pledge ensuring that vital services are cut at nearly every level of government.

I would encourage these self-described patriots to come up to Michigan and drive on our roads. I know many people, myself included, who have had car damage as a result of hitting enormous potholes on our fine road system – damage that’s cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Meanwhile, the tea party legislators in our state House and Senate are completely incapable of coming up with any funding for road and bridge repair. That would require revenues that they don’t have after giving huge tax breaks to corporations while amassing a budget surplus.

This same group of legislators decries the “socialist” Affordable Care Act, an historic effort to “promote the general welfare” by ensuring that more Americans can get health care without going bankrupt and without forcing the rest of us to pay for it through inflated health care costs.

These conservatives and libertarians and tea partiers can all act outraged when they get their noses tweaked for their hypocrisy but the reality is that they DO see much of government spending as “socialist”. We see it on their signs. We see it on their websites. We hear their rhetoric all over the internet about “small government” and “free market” solutions. They love their plowed and salted streets but they don’t want to pay for it and they will demonize the union workers who do the hard work on their behalf as overpaid leeches on society.

But if that road isn’t plowed on schedule, you can be sure these “patriots” will be first in line to complain about the inefficiencies of government, even as they hold its head under water in the bathtub.

UPDATE: Via my pal Amy Hunter:

(Larger version of the comic HERE.)

  • ChrisAndersen

    We’re talking about people for whom the adjective “government” is automatically presumed to be a negative. Their reasoning skills have atrophied on this point.

    • Zach Purnell

      Government is monopoly, and monopoly is viewed as a negative..

      • corsair82

        No, government is not monopoly. Government is supposed to be owned and run by us. Your tea party corporate backers (the Koch brothers, in case you’ve been asleep) and all the other corporate and special interests have been allowed to buy our legislators, judges, and executives. These folks are the real “monopoly” on power, but perhaps a better word is cartel. Join the non-partisan Represent.Us and do something about the corrupting influence of money in politics first. Then, when the playing field isn’t tilted in favor of those persons and organizations with the deepest coffers, we can have faith that the national conversation about the proper scope of government won’t be hijacked by those with hidden agendas and corrupt politicians in their pockets.

        • Zach Purnell

          Actually, monopoly is only possible through government. You’d have to study economics to understand, but I see you’re too busy making assumptions about me. Government is an outdated concept that came from people who think they were ordained by God to rule over others. We did our best to limit its power to suppress future growth, but it was to no avail. Government will always provide the engine by which corrupt people can increase their power. And since federal programs don’t allow market competition, government is always monopoly.

          • TheBorc
          • Zach Purnell

            You just throw out the word “anarchy” and thinks this ends the discussion of whether there are viable alternatives to centralization of resources through government decree?

        • robert owen

          Yes, government is monopoly. Government is coercion and functions by threat of violence. Our own system has functioned because Americans, including public officials were moral. No longer, unfortunately. Obama is exactly as evil as Koch. Read yer scripture, bobo.

        • AnneCink

          Two words – Tom Steyer!

      • robert owen

        Government is, at best, a necessary evil and , at worst, an intolerable burden. I don’t remember who said that but I’m pretty sue it was not a present-day Liberal Democrat!

        • Zach Purnell

          Goverment is an outdated concept derived from those who thought they were ordained by god to rule over others. The 20th century is proof enough of the failure of centralization. Please join me in aiding humanity’s evolution away from oppression.

          • robert owen

            Consider yourself joined! The U.S. has exercised tremendous power for good in the world, and “socialism” in the form of safety net programs has been welcome BUT some people are telling me that if I accept my SS payments and praise Lincoln and Roosevelt that I’m morally obligated to live with whatever “government” wants to do. Don’t tread on me!

    • robert owen

      I’m thinking that “atrophied” is a relative term. It is much worse if you started with nearly nothing. You may have a distorted view, Chris.

  • Jason Lane

    You do realize snow plows are a state tax and not a federal tax, right?

    • Brainwrap

      Which has what to do with anything again? Are you saying that you have no problem with taxes or public infrastructure spending to promote the general welfare as long as it’s at the state level instead of the federal level?

      • Jason Lane

        Your state taxes are pretty far from “big government” as the title would have people believe. Actually I never said I have a problem with socialism at all. However if OP likes his own tweet so much as to reblog about it, perhaps we should clear up the fore mentioned, first.

    • Nathan

      That’s a difference without a distinction. Whether taxed locally or federally, it’s still socialism.

      • Jason Lane

        The difference? Snow plows from the federal level would come equipped with cameras and cost the tax payers an extra couple mill.;)

        • Michiganmitch

          Is that why European-style government-run health care costs half as much per capita for superior outcomes, the extra cameras?

          • Jason Lane

            I guess it depends on if you had to go to the hospital for socialist snowplow related injuries or not?

          • Michiganmitch

            I guess when you have been devastated by your opponent’s argument, a lame attempt at humor is the only alternative left.

          • Zach Purnell

            Saying the Europeans have cheaper health care is implying that the problem with healthcare is the cost. Mandated insurance does nothing to address the reason for high costs

          • Michiganmitch

            Some of the actual reasons for the higher costs are an insurance system that has overhead of 30% or more due to the fact that the for profit nature seeks to enrich CEOs and stock holders, doctors making an average $200K/year which is double the OECD average, the archaic patent system that establishes drug monopolies allowing pharma products to be priced at 1,000 times production costs for years after roll-out, as well as the patenting system that allows for substantial over-pricing for medical equipment similar to inflated drug costs and the for profit hospital systems that monopolize the field as opposed to the old county hospitals that were into care rather than 5 star hotel-like accommodations with 4 star chefs making the food.

          • Zach Purnell

            Yes the patent system and the AMA and other government intrusions have given the US a century of medical fascism, yet the answer to these problems is complete government control? When has federal control every yielded positive results??

          • Me

            “When has federal control every yielded positive results??” That is an easy one to answer with multiple citations but the one of the simplest is the boom of our infrastructure that occurred right after world war 2 which made our highway system that we use on an everyday basis today. Part of our current problems on “complete government control” is that the corporate interests always seem to trump the common good in everything and the politicians that deny improvements and repairs to our dilapidated infrastructure system base on fear munging rhetoric that social projects for the common good and general welfare of the country will change our government into a “socialist” state.

          • Zach Purnell

            Your sentiments are the bane of the economist’s existence. You use words like “boom” without understanding its place in the business cycle, you completely disregard that inflation tripled with this goverment spending, you understand that our goverment monopoly roads are dilapidated but can’t fathom that centralization of resources might be the problem, you are ignorant to the fact that the highway system that began over 10 years after WW2 was a consolidation of the private turnpike system that was already being developed, and you say corporate interest prevails but don’t consider that a corporation is a legal entity created through government and gains influence through federal force.

            The 20th century has put the nails in the coffin of Keynesianism and centralization of resources. It’s time to reject government propaganda, roads are not miracles that can only be produced by bureaucrats.

          • robert owen

            When you state this, please give evidence. May I invite you to look at the demographics of the countries involved? Our minorities are heavily involved in all things governmental, and the graft, corruption, and idiocy is proportionate. Sweden has no “200 years out of the jungle” equivalent group, and no laws stipulating that 110 is an adequate IQ for public service.

          • Michiganmitch

            Robert-your racism demonstrates your own sense of inferiority. BTW, here is the proof re: health care costs.

          • robert owen

            Well, Mitch, you know me better than I know myself! Look up the stats on the people in my state, Alabama. We are well “integrated” racially. Our teachers, heavily minority, are so incompetent that we home school a LOT. By the way, my family lived in Michigan when I was a kid and we still have people there, so I’m acquainted with your state. Your personal race pandering is embarrassing. I know my world and I know my people, black and white. I know my history and I know how we got this way. Do you really believe that African/Americans could conceive of and run Sweden’s health care system? BTW, your “proof” doesn’t open. Technically challenged are you?

          • Michiganmitch

            Perhaps you should pop for a more up to date operating system if opening internet files has become a problem. BTW, you comically accuse me of being challenged while you are apparently incapable of conducting an internet search for yourself. Hint- GOOGLE “Americans pay twice as much for healthcare as other OECD nations” and you will find many sources proving what I stated. Home schooling is educational incest and should be avoided at all costs. And about education in Alabama, in a free market you get what you pay for. Quality teachers mysteriously appear when ed. majors are offered compensation packages that compete with those offered by businesses for professional help. Shitty pay, shitty applicants. You have people? Do you own slaves or are you a “job Creator”? BRHAHAHAHA!

          • robert owen

            You get WHO you pay for. Federal laws have forced Alabama to hire the least qualified, if you know what I mean. I hear Michigan isn’t exactly a bastion of intellect either, and YOU are evidence to support that impression. All you can do is link to articles and studies, and they don’t open. Try it. If it opens, repost and I’ll read it. Just remember that Alabama has half of the best hospitals in the US, half the space program, and most of the acclaimed novelists. You seem almost uneducable. Too bad. We are very open down here to counterculture and I’d guess you are having a hard time getting a date. Are you really from Michigan, cause my cousins seem so much SMARTER than you.

          • Michiganmitch

            Half of the best hospitals? Let’s see a citation, no Alabama hospitals come to mind or are on any list I saw. Here is what I found on hospitals.

            http://www.mastersinhealthcare.net/blog/2010/best-and-worst-hospital-care-by-state/

            To summarize, Michigan is ranked 4th while Alabama is among the bottom 15. Not surprising and an example of something a conservative knows to be true but is easily refutable.

            So the least qualified are the only successful candidates for teaching jobs? So the law is unique to Alabama?

            You need to provide proof of that also. NASA in Alabama, credit LBJ for his war on poverty in an attempt to get educated people to move to an intellectual desert. I see the GOOGLE is still a mystery to you even after I told you what to type in the search dialog box and why is it that in any of your posts here to a piece that is 11 months old, you have no links, none! Alabama is open to counterculture? When did it open for culture? If trailer parks are what you mean I would agree. A date? Huh? If your cousins seem smarter than I, that is proof that with you the Dunning-Kruger effect is alive and well. I can’t resist, here is another link concerning health care costs in the U.S. compared to costs elsewhere. To locate it I Googled what I told YOU to Google.
            http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/health-costs-how-the-us-compares-with-other-countries/

          • Michiganmitch

            As previously pointed out you are incapable or more likely afraid to Google the phrase I listed for you because you are wrong and somewhere inside you know it. Better get one of the kids in the pic to show gramps how to use the computer machine. ” I don’t pathetically rely on STUDIES to reinforce my points. I know what I know.” That is the central theme of conservatism, I am ignorant and damn proud of it. Can’t prove what I say but I am right. BRHAHAHAHAHA! Is that what they taught you at the 88th ranked university in the U.S. according to U.S. News and World Report. making it a sub=par “American School”? Michigan is ranked 29th btw. What a shamefully ignorant statement. You like most cons have a belief system that is not based upon that which can be proved but mere articles of faith. Can’t debate thin air and that is what you are intellectually. Also, your overt racism evidences your deep feelings of inferiority.

          • Michiganmitch

            Dude, a quick check of the interwebs shows that Mississippi is likely where the blues first developed among the blacks at a particular plantation, the New Orleans black community is credited with jazz and R and R within southern black communities but no specific mention of an exact location, so again you strike out with zero proof of a claim. Can you prove anything you write? Yes I know about affirmative action and I am aware that application as policy does not as you stated automatically insure that the least qualified are first hired. Again like everything else you have posted not only to me but to others on this site, you are unable to provide any proof for what you say. Dweeb, really? Only a punk would use that one even in the ’70’s.

          • Michiganmitch

            “Dweeb is always a good description for an hysterical, womanish man.” Based on the photo, someone like you but I was thinking only a punk would use the term made popular on Nickelodeon back in the ’70’s. Perhaps you were a fan while attending Alabama . “Your obsession with studies and links is sad and unmanly.” Ignorant but still comical. Perhaps your kids will be impressed with your lack of respect for knowledge and using facts to bolster opinions but I doubt it. BTW, I still see no evidence that Alabama is the birthplace of anything beyond ignorance, bestiality and incest. BTW, it is quite hypocritical how you celebrate the achievements of African-Americans from the South in music at the same time you express nothing but hatred and utter contempt for them, often within the same post. Dichotomies like this are common within conservative thought.

    • LarryEWells

      No Not really because every state also gets federal help on their road budgets .

    • Norbrook

      What do you have against private businesses or citizens doing it on their own? Socialist!

      • Michiganmitch

        The xtra cost that is often implied with a profit motive.

    • robert owen

      Jason; Rhetorically, I say….if this was about ski boats or surfboards, I’d care! Snow plows? Move to Florida. Further, as with most things involving service, snow plows are hired by government from private contractors. This article, like many commentors, is a dummy!

  • judyms9

    Counties and cities manage snow removal.
    Government provides necessary shared services that individuals cannot provide individually, but which we can afford collectively. The conservatives are not known for sharing, or caring.

  • Norbrook

    I used to live and run a business in a “low tax, small government” area, and where I really noted the difference between the “high tax, big government” state I used to (and now do) live in and that area was in snow removal. One day I was extremely late getting in to open up after a big snowstorm, and one of the people I knew twitted me about it. “I thought you said you grew up learning to drive in the winter in NY.” My response was “Yeah, but back there we have these things called plowing, salting,and sanding. This state doesn’t.”

  • LJ

    In our area the county gets revenue through gas (about 11 cents per gal) and wheel taxes among other things which are designated for road maintenance. This way everyone who uses roads participates in maintenance of the road. Now, if this was the Affordable Road Act, there would be a signup at the pump where those earning up to 3 times the poverty level would get a 10 cent subsidy and those making $200k would pay 35 cents per gallon. And if you are going to work, your employer could pitch in 10 cents as well. Now you really would have a socialist snow plow

    • Rob

      To bad these “gas taxes” rarely seem to make it to repairing the infrastructure as intended.
      Then there are the time frames that these repairs are completed in. I live in another state which mandated repairs and road work be completed in a reasonable time generally under 3 years. Now the stat I currently live in deems a 10 year period as a “temporary repair” where contractors will work 1 or 2 days a month (if we’re lucky). These inflated construction times and “contracts” only seem to better serve a corporate agenda over what should be done for the common good.

  • LJ

    In our area the county gets revenue from gas taxes (about 11 cents per gal) and wheel taxes among other things designated for road maintenance. Generally speaking, if you use the road you will participate equitably in maintaining the road. Now if we had the Affordable Road Act, there would be a 3 bureaucrats at each gas pump. Those up to 3 times the poverty level would get a 10 cent subsidy and
    those making over $100k would pay 35 cents per gallon tax. Now you have your socialist snowplow. It was a cute picture and made me laugh but not quite apples to apples.

  • z–man

    Yes……a socialist snow plow…..designed, prototyped, developed and tested by socialist engineers, manufactured by a socialist corporation with raw materials and components supplied by other socialist corporations, sold by socialists to socialists for evil socialist profit, and operated by a socialist while burning socialist fuel from evil socialist oil companies!

  • z–man

    The meme is funny, but misses the mark. There’s a difference between the government services that we all pay taxes for, and “Socialism”.

    • concreteblue

      Do tell.

  • Chris

    I’d bet money that the Kotch bros roads get priority plowing.

  • Hans Yunge

    So misinformed. Government spending is not socialism, socialism is when the Government owns and maintains certain areas of commerce. Like in Venezuela, the government owns and operates many areas of manufacturing and agriculture. Socialism means that the government would own copper mines or oil refineries. The closest our government got to that was when the government owned shares of GM from the bailout. Government spending is not socialism, and funny thing is the truck is a Volvo made by a private corporation in Germany, not a socialist made vehicle. More misinformation confusing the masses. Thats public education for you.

  • Hans Yunge

    Also, living in Colorado, I see a large private force of snow plows clearing snow, making more than the hourly wage the government pays. Also, there is no reining of this government spending. We are 100% relying on the faith and trust of the international community in the value if the US Dollar. There will be a tipping point when emerging markets are large enough that China doesnt rely so heavily on the US for its economy, that they will start selling the bonds and replace it with an international currency the IMF so badly wants, and we’re screwed people. Trillions of dollars in debt will be crippling when our money is worthless. Tough choices are tough, but you gotta make them.

    • Octoberfurst

      Private snow plow employees get more than government snow plow employees? Seriously? I have never known that to be true. (I live in Pa.) Where did you get that info? I’m curious.

      • Hans Yunge

        I know people who plow and they get paid by job, so they bust there butt getting one done and go to the next, they maximize their hourly earnings.

        • ogdenthorsap

          Are you talking about people who plow public roads or private parking lots and driveways? As contracted employees, do they receive insurance or retirement benefits? I just want to be able to make a real comparison in ‘compensation’. Also, citing the source of your numbers would be helpful in making that comparison. Thanks.

  • robert owen

    The liberal method is to first mis-characterize the other side’s view and then ridicule that totally fabricated view! This results in a a sort of comedic ideological masturbation with a chorus of braying jass-acks in the background. Throw in a reference to “tea baggers” and you get a veritable Democrat hootenanny! The problem is that nobody but Democrats are listening.

  • David

    Because only a government snowplow can clear a street. Just like all of those government-employed children who knock on people’s doors to shovel the snow in front of their houses..

  • robert owen

    So….if you don’t believe that government, which always rules by threat of violence, is not a “necessary evil” then you are what we call, “wrong”. I can’t be any kinder than that. We are always negotiating, as citizens, how much interference we will tolerate from said elected (or otherwise chosen) government officials. A Constitution is put in place to establish immutable principles designed to protect us from whims of the public. In America we have the 2nd Amendment, which states that we may own the weapons necessary to defend ourselves from our government. The public ownership of these weapons actually enhances the government’s ability to protect us, the people, from violation by foreign powers. ANY President who tells you different is a liar.

  • Interesting how the post never really goes on to tell us how snow plows are socialist. Just a whole bunch of silliness and straw men. Nice.

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