Friday, December 3, 2010

No Millionaire Bailout!


Are you listed?

Rep. Henry Waxman

I'm very proud of myself . Or maybe proud isn't the right word exactly. I have survived I should say, the AMC channel's "Can't Get Enough Scrooged Week," in which the programmers over at AMC thought it might a good idea to show Bill Murray in the 1988 film "Scrooged," four nights in a row beginning last Monday. I'm sure they believe the film is just soooo good that all of us out here in the viewing public will want to watch it over and over again. Because not only have they decided to show it four nights in a row, oh no, that's not enough Scrooged! No, they decided to show it again right after the first broadcast. That's right! An encore presentation four nights in a row, making a grand total of eight chances to get Scrooged during "Can't Get Enough Scrooged Week."
Well let me tell you something AMC programmers, I for one can get enough Scrooged! I can get so much Scrooged that I've never even seen the movie and I still don't want to watch it! For a film with a 61% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes I'd be careful picking films I thought viewers couldn't get enough of.
But I've made it though, thank God. Now I have to get ready for "Can't Get Enough Gigli Week."
Never seen that one either.
Anyway, over at MSNBC I think they believe it's "Can't Get Enough Of John Boehner Week," because I've been seeing this guy everywhere whenever I turn on the tube. Representative John Boehner (or as Ed Schultz likes to call him, "The Tan Man") of course is the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, and the expected next Speaker of the House once the 112th Congress takes effect in January. I've seen him at the White House this week playing nice with President Obama. I've seen him threaten the Smithsonian Institution this week by promising to examine it's public funding after the Republicans take over the House if it did not remove a privately funded art exhibit he didn't like. I've seen him threaten the President and the Democrats by stating he is only willing to work with them if he gets everything he wants, otherwise he's going to... do something once he takes over the House. I don't know what. No one does. I'm pretty sure even Boehner doesn't.
By the way I'm getting all of my research information from the website "Dickipedia, the wiki of dicks." There's a whole bunch of interesting information on John Boehner in there for some reason. And they have a large list of other "dicks" as well. They have Political dicks, Entertainment dicks, Media dicks, Sports dicks, Business dicks, International dicks, and Miscellaneous dicks. I draw the line though at Santa Claus and Your Mom. Check it out:
I just saw him on TV a little while ago as I write this (yesterday afternoon), and quite frankly all of this coverage of him in the media is making me physically ill. Please excuse me while I regurgitate.
Sorry, I'm much better now.
As I was saying, Rep. Boehner was just explaining to the press, with a somewhat bemused / somewhat exasperated smile on his deeply orange face, that he thought a House vote to extend the Bush tax cuts only for those Americans making less than $250,000 a year was, how shall I put this, "Chicken crap."
He stammered and yammered something about how we just had an election were the voters overwhelmingly rejected whatever it is the Democrats want to do, and overwhelmingly approve of whatever the Republicans want to do. He said the American public rejected tax hikes during the election, and the this vote was nothing but political theater.
That's funny, because I don't recall the subject of tax hikes being on the ballot. And I studied it carefully.
Rep Boehner is thoroughly deluded. I think he actually believes the "chicken crap," he spews.
At least he makes the Republican agenda pretty clear and who they are representing, and it's not the majority of Americans.
In fact the majority of Americans, according to exit polls during the last election favored tax hikes for the rich, or for everybody by 51%. In a Gallup poll yesterday, 44% approve of tax hikes on the wealthy, while 40% do not (Fox News Zombies).
It would appear that despite what he stammers and yammers about, Rep Boehner is not in tune with the majority of Americans.
I am also proud to say that I am in tune with the majority Americans, and am always looking out for them. Therefore I attended a small Move On.Org rally yesterday, on the sidewalk right outside the Los Angeles office of Rep. Henry Waxman, the Mustache of Justice, and my lovely case manager, Erin's, Congressman.
We were there to thank him for not voting to extend the Bush tax cuts for those who made over $250,000 or more. Henry's always doing things like that. He's irrepressible.
His office is just outside of Beverly Hills near the intersection of La Cienega and 3rd Street, also near the massive Ceders Sinai Medical Center, where I donate blood whenever President Obama tells me to.
Our rally was organized by a nice, lively gentleman of about my age, with white hair, named Geoffry. I got there a little early and Geoffry wasn't there yet. Two guys and a young black woman were though, and we talked about the tax situation until everyone else showed up, about 23 to 25 of us in all, mostly middle aged folks like myself and Geoffry. One young black guy was taking photos of the event presumably for his own personal use. No members of the media though.
That's good. I'm rather shy.
But Geoffry wanted there to be lots of media people there, and I certainly don't blame him. As a matter of fact he got some of us to form a Move On.Org Media Committee right then and there. Awesome.
I'm not on it. I don't know anyone from the media (that's not entirely true. I was interviewed a few weeks ago over the phone by a reporter from the Spanish language newspaper La Opinion, who wanted to talk to a veteran about living at SRHT, but I don't remember his name (it was Reuben)... well I know I don't remember his number (I don't).
Anyway, Geoffry gave us all sheets of paper with the slogan "No Millionaire Bailout" printed on one side. We all took these papers and held them up high towards busy 3rd Street where many cars were passing by. We did this for about ten minutes or so, while someone went up to Waxman's office to get someone, anyone, to come down and talk to us, and listen to what we had to tell them. A few drivers honked their horns when they passed by in solidarity with our efforts and messages. That was great. A lot looked at us with blank expressions. And as far as I can tell no millionaires drove by to give us the finger.
Soon a nice young man with dark hair, dressed in black slacks, and blue shirt (no tie), named Aaron came out and we gathered around him. Geoffry took over, telling Aaron why we were there. Aaron said he was sure Rep. Waxman would appreciate our thanks (he was of course in Washington (or should have been) doing the business of the people), and he would dutifully let him know about it. Several of us asked Aaron some questions which he had no answers for. Some of us bitched about taxes and the economy in general, which Aaron patiently listened to (he really looked like he wanted to be anywhere then where he was), some of us had legitimate complaints and stories to tell, like one lady whose business was down by 60% in this Republican economy, and a former construction worker who had fell out of work due to economic conditions and was forced onto Social Security (fortunately he qualified). Aaron listened to all.
Then we performed a little "skit," as Geoffry put it, where two of us read a kind of Letterman Best Ten list dealing with the economy and bush tax cuts, or as we were labeling it today, Bailout." I will reproduce them both here verbatim:


10 27,728 jars of Grey Poupon.
9 188 IPads.
8 Let's ask Congress - since over half of them stand to gain from the millionaire bailout.
7 85 50-inch flat-screen televisions.
6 2 brand new BMWs.
5 A $430 holiday gift to the 218 Republicans in Congress who bravely fought for the bailout.
4 Hire 1.5 D.C. lobbyists to help secure future millionaire bailouts.
3 67 first-class, round trip flights to Miami.
2 $200 power lunch at a 5-star restaurant - every day of the year.
1 Nothing - this bailout is going directly to savings.

*Extending the tax cuts for the top earners would mean the highest 1% (earning an average of $800,000 a year) will get a tax break of $94,000 and receive 46% of the revenue spent on tax cuts; median-income families will receive approximately $1,100 a year.



10 Does this even require explaining?
9 Because it didn't work the first time.
8 Because it would cost $700 billion, duh.
7 Because the rich did just fine during the Clinton years, when the tax rates were higher for them.
6 Because the middle class is barely hanging on.
5 Because we need investment in infrastructure - not more money for millionaires.
4 Because the wealthiest 2% have not been using their tax savings to create jobs, nor will they if their tax breaks are extended.
3 Because we need the money to increase programs to get unemployed back to work.
2 Because tax cuts for the top 2% mean program cuts that go to support the other 98% of us in a time of crisis.
1 It's time for a middle-class bailout.

Aaron listened to it all, politely asked of if we had any more questions, promised he would relate our concerns to the Representative the next time he saw him, and then said he had to go.
Apparently he was very busy.
I asked Geoffry for a copy of the Top Ten lists, perhaps he was the author, I'm not sure. And I promised to send him a link to this post. We all disbanded and went our separate ways.
I went home to learn that the House had passed the tax cuts for the middle class that Boehner was so upset about.
Then I got pretty busy myself.

1 comment: