Archive - Oct 2010

October 28th

Bah, Homebug

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Memo to TOMMEH, Little TOMMEH, and Mark Dayton: YOU ARE DULL.

Only four columns left in Election 2010, so I suppose I should plan accordingly and actually parcel them out in a useful manner. Which means devoting one day to the Minnesota elections. I guess. Mainly the gubernatorial election, since Bachmann's got more than enough money to win again, Ellison's gonna walk, and while Erik Paulsen's a bit of a dipshit, he's not in my district or very interesting at all.

So it's a three-way race for governor, the Republican, Tom Emmer, the Democrat, Mark Dayton, and the Independence Party candidate, Tom Horner. So let's run them down while running them down.

MARK DAYTON: I'm going to vote for Mark Dayton.

Oh, you want more? Well, see, eight years of Pawlenty's fellating of Grover Norquist and the Club for Growth have basically wrecked the budget, leading to spending cuts year after year. Mark Dayton will, in all likelihood, reverse this. So even though he's boring, and even though I want to say his name like Matt Damon's in Team America, I might as well vote for him, because the alternatives are a pile of shit and a pile of fake shit.

TOM "TOMMEH!" EMMER: The pile of shit, of course. The great thing about Emmer is that if he were a little bit smarter, a little bit stupider, or a little bit more ambitious, he could be a teabagger. But he just sits there, half-assing it, occasionally attacking a union over here, or hating on the government he wants to lead over there.

We're smack dab in the middle of an election full of people who work hard for the funny, Tom. I find your lack of effort almost as disturbing as your lack of brains. There's a reason you've been largely absent from this space since you won the primary - it's because other than the "waitresses are rich" bullshit, you haven't even tried. You are electoral weaksauce, and deserve all the reflexive knee-jerk apathetic Republican votes that will put you in second place on Tuesday.

And then there's the Ho. Tom Horner. Leading the shell of the party that gave us Jesse Ventura. Horner has racked up a lot of newspaper endorsements, which is not the slightest bit surprising, because Tom Horner is a newspaper's wet fucking dream.

TOM HORNER: Tom Horner is a Republican. He's not a huge dick about it, which makes him a rarity these days, but not openly hating on gays, Muslims, and Mexicans does not make you a moderate centrist. Or at least, it shouldn't. But he sits between a moderate Democrat and a stupid, dull wingnut, and being between two opposites is the bestest thing ever to a media that wants to sound reasonable without all the work of being accurate. Plus, he'll cut business taxes, which is the only thing any struggling media company REALLY wants.

All you need to know about Tom Horner is that he uses the words "fair tax" a lot. "Fair tax" is a code phrase that tests a lot better than the phrase it replaced, "flat tax". It appeals to well-off middle-class people who don't think about it too much, because the flat tax taxes everyone the same percentage. So people think poor people pay less than rich people. Which is true, but misses the point.

Progressive taxation isn't about how much you pay, it's about how much you have left. A ten-percent tax on someone making fifteen grand a year leaves them with $13,500 left. A ten-percent tax on someone making $150,000 a year leaves them with $135,000 left. If you give back all the taxes the poor person pays, and make the rich person pay them instead, the poor person has $15,000 and the rich person has... $133,500. And the rich person is still shitloads better off, even after we've punished their success.

Horner is even sneakier, couching his regressive "fair" taxation in proposals to broaden the sales tax. Now, the sales tax is innately regressive, because poor people spend almost all their money on stuff, while rich people keep their money in banks and stocks and other things not covered by the sales tax. We counteract that by exempting certain classes of items from the sales tax, like food and clothing, that poor people spend so much of their money on.

There's only one way to "broaden" a sales tax like that. Extend it to cover things it doesn't cover already. Things it doesn't cover already because they disproportionally affect the poorest people in our community. It's regressive fuck-the-poor bullshit couched in the flowery language of a moderate. I mean, if you're one of those Republicans who would never vote for a Democrat, by all means, vote for Horner - you'll do your small part to humiliate Emmer and encourage a relative level of sanity on social issues.

But if you're an "independent" "centrist" who doesn't mind voting for someone with a DFL after their name, do not, under any circumstances, be taken in by the pointless triangulation that puts Horner in the center of two randomly assigned points and calls it a winner. It's easy to score a field goal if you can move the goalposts wherever the fuck you want.