Ah, to be part of the 47%! Remember them? The people who were just never going to vote for lower taxes for the rich?
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what . . . . These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. … My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Well sign me up for the Republican Party, because I got a job offer recently! It won’t pay me Warren Buffett money, or even Warren-Buffett’s-secretary-money (ha-ha, just kidding, Debbie!), but if everything goes smoothly I will be officially lifted out of the “poors” bracket and into the, oh, I don’t know, they haven’t told me what it’s called yet, but I’ll label it the “junior mandarins” bracket for now. That means that, unlike all the ne’er-do-well teat-suckers Obama carries around in his pocket, I will now see a BUNCH of my paycheck go voomp! through the vacuum tubes and across the continent to Uncle Sam every week. (When you are in the “poors” bracket, a good portion of your income also goes voomp!, but in much tinier pieces, at the store and at the DMV, and it goes to Uncle Jerry.)
And I have to admit, when I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate of my take-home… it stung. I’ve had this experience once before, years ago, when my wife for one glorious year had a high-paying job with a fancy media company. We got her first check, and it was so much smaller than what we were expecting we thought at first that it must have been for a partial pay period. But… nope. That was it. That was the whole thing.
Now I could give you a lot of Sam Seaborn about how a junior mandarin such as I just has to pay high taxes because “that’s the only way it’s gonna work.” But let’s not get there quite yet. Let me just sit with my feelings for a moment.
One of my feelings is that I wish I could pay less. Mythologically speaking, then, the Republican party is supposed to be for me: they will advocate for small, tight budgets and low, low taxes, right? I mean, yes, they really ran to embrace racism in the 1960s and ’70s and then stoked gay panic, abortion panic, family values panic, and drug panic in the ’80s, and then embraced racism again in the ’90s, but will you shut up already, you goddamned Social Justice Warriors?? …is the kind of thing I would say, probably, if the Republican Party were offering me a tax break at the federal level.
So you can imagine how disappointed I was to read, this week, that even the so-called “libertarian” Republican proto-candidate, Rand Paul, is not that serious about giving me a tax break:
Just weeks before announcing his 2016 presidential bid, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is completing an about-face on a longstanding pledge to curb the growth in defense spending.
In an olive branch to defense hawks hell-bent on curtailing his White House ambitions, the libertarian Senator introduced a budget amendment late Wednesday calling for a nearly $190 billion infusion to the defense budget over the next two years—a roughly 16 percent increase.
Paul’s amendment brings him in line with his likely presidential primary rivals, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who introduced a measure calling for nearly the same level of increases just days ago. The amendment was first noticed by TIME and later confirmed by Paul’s office.
The move completes a stunning reversal for Paul, who in May 2011, after just five months in office, released his own budget that would have eliminated four agencies—Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Education—while slashing the Pentagon, a sacred cow for many Republicans. Under Paul’s original proposal, defense spending would have dropped from $553 billion in the 2011 fiscal year to $542 billion in 2016. War funding would have plummeted from $159 billion to zero. He called it the “draw-down and restructuring of the Department of Defense.”
Et tu, Rand?
If that big blue part is going to stay the same or keep growing anyway — if I’m never going to see an appreciable tax break, no matter who I vote for, that is not funded by deficits — then fuck it: I’m gonna vote for the guy/gal who will give poor people food stamps, too. (That’s [a small portion of] the teeny-tiny, sky blue sliver.)