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AdLib On October - 13 - 2011


If this is mid-October, there must be a new GOP frontrunner for the Presidency and if NBC/Wall Street’s latest poll is accurate, the Baggers’ version of the Chuck E. Cheese birthday crown has now been placed on the head of Herman Cain.

It’s not surprising that Cain, who basks in his ignorance, prejudice and intolerance as positive traits has Baggers nodding, “He’s just like me…except how come he’s black?”

With the Mainstream Media chasing conservative attention like a needy best friend, they have swiftly elevated Cain to a position of importance, whether or not he is a babbling fool who thinks that facts are the same as being stubborn and having opinions. Then again…whoever excels most in that might typically be in the lead of the GOP presidential campaign.

As was evidenced in this week’s debate, Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan, though he’s produced no economic materials or substantial details, is being viewed by the MSM as a serious plan. It’s as if he’s promised unicorn rides to all American and instead of questioning the existence of unicorns, all the MSM is asking is when they get their turn to ride.

Ever since there have been wealthy people who have wanted to crush the poor and middle class under a regressive tax burden, so they could pay less, there have been flat tax proposals.

The insidious thing about flat tax proposals is how their utter simplicity fools reasonable people. If someone said, “The fairest way to tax people is to get rid of all deductions and make everyone pay exactly the same 9% in income and sales taxes!”, it doesn’t sound terribly unreasonable at first. One has to start looking at specifics as opposed to generalities to truly understand the social disaster such a plan represents.

Let’s begin with the wealthy:

In 2008, the top earning 400 paid an effective federal income tax rate of 18.11%, up from a record low 16.62% in 2007, when an even higher share of their total income came from capital gains.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2011/05/11/richest-400-took-record-share-of-capital-gains-during-market-meltdown-year/

Now, these whining buckets of greed, who howl at paying the top rate of 34%…but are in fact paying only 18%…want their taxes cut in half to 9%. Imagine the massive loss of revenues to our government that would entail. However could we subsidize this enormous tax cut for the wealthy?

Good question, which brings us to the poor. Here is some info from the National Poverty Center:

2010 Poverty Thresholds, Selected Family Types

  Single Individual Under 65 years  $ 11,344
65 years & older  $ 10,458
  Single Parent One child  $ 15,030
Two children  $ 17,568
  Two Adults No children  $ 14,602
One child  $ 17,552
Two children  $ 22,113
Three children  $ 26,023


SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, Report P60, n. 238, p. 61.

Poverty guidelines are a simplified version of poverty thresholds and are issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to determine financial eligibility for certain federal programs.  For more information on these guidelines, see the 2011 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

How many people were poor in 2010?

In 2010, 15.1 percent of all persons lived in poverty. The poverty rate in 2010 was the highest poverty rate since 1993. Between 1993 and 2000, the poverty rate fell each year, reaching 11.3 percent in 2000.

http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

So, out of 309 million Americans, 47 million live in poverty. Unlike the convenient demonizing from the wealthy, these are not just lazy college drop outs and welfare queens, these include senior citizens, the handicapped and severely ill and most of all, children.

Consider the amounts in the chart above that these households bring in. Those who are poor struggle just to pay for food, rent and other necessities. They don’t pay federal income tax…because they’re poor and our government acknowledges that they can’t afford to do so. Many do however pay payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, they pay state sales taxes and other fees and taxes.

Under this immoral 999 plan…they would instead have to pay 9% of the money that isn’t enough to lift them out of poverty, in income tax. If that isn’t bad enough, the price of everything they buy, baby formula and baby food, diapers, eggs, milk, butter, bread, etc. suddenly costs them 9% more in federal sales tax (added to the existing state sales tax of course, for example, that would mean that they and everyone in CA would pay 17.75% in tax on everything they buy).

Unlike the wealthy who have plenty of income for investing and saving, the poor spend the money they earn. So a federal sales tax would be applied to most of their income whereas it would only be applied to a fraction of the wealthy’s income.

The true impact on the poor would be explosive and devastating. Already barely able or not fully able to make ends meet, the poor would have up to 18% more of the already minimal income they bring in, taken away from them. Millions will simply not be able to afford food and shelter anymore, let alone medical and child care expenses.

Meanwhile, someone in the top 1% making a billion dollars a year saves $900,000 in income tax. Oh, and the Cain plan also eliminates the Capital Gains tax which is how many of the wealthiest people receive much of their income…meaning they will pay 0% income tax on what, for many of them, is most of their income. And what’s that you say, at least when they die they’ll have to pay an Inheritance Tax? Nope, Cain’s flat tax also eliminates that tax so a wall is built around the wealthy to cement their towering wealth in place.

Welcome to the 1%’s America.

As we’ve heard from the GOP Meme Machine, 47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax. Though the poor will be the hardest hit victims of such a scheme, even those making around the median household income in America will be hammered.

The average U.S. household income in 2010 was $49,445 (typically the combined income of two adults). A majority of households making that amount or less pay little or no federal taxes but as described above, they pay state taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, etc..

So, all of those Americans whose income has stagnated under the corporate class warfare of the past decades, which in fact means that due to inflation most Americans are making less each year, would also be hit by a 9% rise in everything they buy and a 9% loss of their current earnings.

As if this is not bad enough, consider what happens if the only taxes being paid are sales and income taxes. No more payroll taxes mean no more Social Security and Medicare for Americans. Not even a privatization of the safety net, Herman Cain’s flat tax eliminates the social safety nets completely.

As Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out yesterday, Herman Cain’s website actually states that he would end Social Security and Medicare:

For the generations or workers who have paid into Social Security and Medicare, the federal government’s inevitable failure to pay them as they retire is undeniably stealing. These are generations who have worked and sacrificed to leave this country a better place for their children and grand children as they retire. The current behavior of an out of control federal government does little to ease their minds.

The federal government has imposed expensive and often counter-productive social and welfare programs on the states and the people. It is time to admit the mistakes, and get the federal government out of the way. This will allow states, cities, churches, charities and businesses to offer a helping hand instead of a handout where they live. People closest to the problems are the best ones to solve the problems effectively.

https://www.hermancain.com/the-issues (click the Entitlements tab).

Yep, that’s right. Not only would everything that seniors buy cost 9% more, including medicine, health care, food, etc…but they wouldn’t even have any money to pay for anything anyway since they wouldn’t get Social Security checks anymore.

When future seniors need heart surgery or cancer treatment, well, according to Cain, the local church or hardware store will surely be happy to take care of that for them.

Lastly, as was explained in the debate, Bloomberg did an analysis on Cain’s plan and concluded that it would bring in 10% less than the $2.2 trillion in taxes brought in last year. So, under Cain’s plan, another $200 billion would need to be chopped out of the budget…and without Social Security to borrow from anymore, a greater amount more would have to be cut.

America would be torn apart at the seams with privation and desperation on every street in America.

It is literally insane that the arguable GOP front runner for President of the United States wants to wreak such havoc on America and the MSM just gives him a nod.

Indie Voters were swayed by the hysteria of the right over the Affordable Care Act that was actually about insuring many people who couldn’t get coverage. And yet, now when there’s a plan being floated that would destroy Social Security and Medicare, crush the poor, plunge most Americans deeper in debt so that the wealthy can keep more of their money and underfund the US which would send our economy into a disastrous Depression…the perpetrator is treated with greater respect.

The bright spot to all of this is that Herman Cain will never be elected President. He hasn’t the smarts or philosophies that would appeal to anyone outside of the hateful, pro-greed base in the Republican party.

However, attention should be paid to this flat tax plan, if at least to enlighten and educate people as to the threat a flat tax poses, the ruthlessness of the GOP and the top 1%, how openly brutal they want to be towards the majority of Americans and how callously they would destroy the lives of millions of Americans once again, out of their insatiable greed.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

100 Responses so far.

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  1. ADONAI says:

    I’d have to research it but this may be the dumbest economic strategy ever proposed by a Presidential candidate.

  2. javaz says:

    Cain compares SSI to slavery

    It took our nation nearly 250 years to end slavery and live up to the self-evident truth that all men are created equal. It should not take us another 250 years to cease the involuntary negative return most working people receive from Social Security, or the involuntary servitude imposed by the oppressive income tax code.

    In another column entitled “Separate Water Fountains,” Cain said the Social Security system “by its very nature discriminates against black men and women.” With their “unconscionable” refusal to implement private accounts, Democratic “so-called black leaders” want to see “the next generation of Blacks remain in economic slavery on the Democratic plantation“:

    It is now evident that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not apply to the Social Security system. Due to the rising retirement age, differences in life expectancy between Blacks and Whites, and mandatory payroll tax deductions, the system by its very nature discriminates against black men and women.[…]

    Perhaps most unconscionable is the opposition to personal retirement accounts by the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, and many of our nation’s so-called black leaders. Personal retirement accounts would provide future generations of Blacks the retirement security their parents and grandparents never had.

    Instead, black Democratic leaders are willing to see the next generation of Blacks remain in economic slavery on the Democratic plantation, so long as they can deny any Republican a perceived political victory.

    http://thinkprogress.org/

    Also, Cain is now touting the 9-0-9 plan instead of the 9-9-9 plan

    Herman Cain came to Detroit on Friday to defend his signature tax plan against the attacks its suffered from all sides since he rose to frontrunner status in the GOP presidential primary. And he did it by publicly dropping one of his 9s for the poorest Americans.

    Cain’s vision for a 9% corporate income tax, 9% personal income tax and 9% sales tax helped skyrocket him to the top of the GOP presidential field after Rick Perry stumbled over his immigration past. But as the frontrunner spotlight has shown on Cain and his plan, flaws have begun to emerge.

    His fellow Republican candidates jumped all over the plan at Tuesday night’s debate in Las Vegas, attacking Cain for raising taxes on some (as he admits his plan will do) and opening up a new potentially exploitable revenue stream to the federal government by way of that 9% sales tax.

    In Detroit Cain said, as he’s said before, that the people who are hating on 9-9-9 just don’t understand it.

    “I know that you’ve heard a lot of disinformation about 9-9-9,” Cain said. “Don’t believe it. Look it up for yourself.”

    Cain said fears of the government abusing that new sales tax by raising it ever higher ignore one thing: Cain himself.

    “One of the reasons they aren’t going to turn 9-9-9 into something else anytime soon,” Cain said, “[is] Number one, I’m going to be president. And I’m not going to sign it.”

    As for the raising taxes on poorer Americans, Cain said those at or below the poverty line were never going to live with the 9-9-9 plan. All along, he said, the plan doesn’t include income taxes for poorest Americans.

    “If you are at or below the poverty level, you’re plan isn’t 9-9-9,” Cain said. “It’s 9-0-9. Say Amen, y’all.”

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/herman-cain-defends-9-9-9-by-dropping-one-of-the-9s.php?ref=fpb

  3. bito says:

    Seems that this is not the first time that Mr.Cain’s math wasn’t understood or others calculations were “just wrong.”

    Herman Cain debates Bill Clinton

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ptrTa8C_Pl4

    http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/10/20/349369/health-care-and-small-business/

    I have read a couple of articles on the reasons for Mr.Cain’s “sucess” with both Burger King in Philly and Godfather’s was because he closed down the less profitable stores, not the unprofitable but the less. When he was at BK he closed close to 1/3 of the outlets which means he dumped on 1/3 of the employees for 2-3% more profit. Same with Godfather’s.
    Is that the way he plans to turn around the unemployment numbers?

    The Job Creators my bum.

  4. PatsyT says:

    Herman Cains Used Food Emporium !!!


  5. Emerald1943 says:

    Hi Adlib!

    Thanks for a great article that takes this silly plan apart! This man is a blithering idiot IMO! He’s great with the bumper sticker stuff, but that’s as far as he goes! No deeper than that! He almost makes Michelle Bachmann look smart!

    It ain’t gonna’ happen…he will never be President! However, I would love to see him go up against President Obama in a debate. PBO would eat his lunch for sure. Current polls show the President up by 11 points on Cain.

    • Hey Em. Cain says it would be no contest between himself and Obama, in a debate. He says he would definitely win because he knows what it’s like to be “po,” before he was “poor.” (he actually said this)
      But, I guess Cain is forgetting that Obama was raised by a single mother and his grandmother and had to face the same prejudices and barriers as Cain did.
      I guess Cain IS right in a way. It WOULD be no contest. Obama would wipe the floor with Cain.

  6. javaz says:

    Warren Buffett would pay ZERO income tax under Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.

    If the “9-9-9” tax plan promoted by Herman Cain, a leading Republican presidential candidate, had been the law of the land last year, Warren Buffett would very likely have paid no income taxes, according to an analysis prepared for Yahoo News and The Lookout by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. At most, Buffett would have paid taxes on just 1 percent of his income.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/warren-buffett-likely-pay-no-income-taxes-under-215446867.html#more-17358

    • AdLib says:

      Yes because Cain’s plan makes all Capital Gains income…tax free!

      So Buffet, billionaire hedge fund managers and millionaires and billionaires throughout America would pay 0% tax on much if not all of their income.

      The end of the US economy would follow.

      A nightmare scenario that would never pass in anyone’s imagination but enlightening about the GOP mentality.

  7. AdLib says:

    From ThinkProgress:

    Top 10 Things Herman Cain Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him

    (1) PLEDGED THAT HE “WILL NOT” APPOINT MUSLIMS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION

    (2) TOLD THINKPROGRESS, “I DON’T THINK THE CURRENT MINIMUM WAGE IS NECESSARY”

    (3) CONFUSED BY BASIC CONCEPT OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS

    (4) IMMIGRATION PLAN INVOLVES A “GREAT WALL OF CHINA” AND A “MOAT [WITH] ALLIGATORS”

    (5) BELIEVES “WE ALREADY RECOGNIZE” THE GOVERNMENT OF TAIWAN

    (6) WANTS TO PUT DIRTY ENERGY CEOS IN CHARGE OF EPA REGULATIONS

    (7) BELIEVES IRAQ SHOULD PAY U.S. BACK FOR INVADING THEIR COUNTRY

    (8) TRIED TO HIDE HIS GAY TREASURER

    (9) SAYS HE WOULD SUPPORT A NATIONAL PHOTO ID LAW

    (10) BELIEVES THAT AMERICANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BAN MOSQUES

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/10/06/334170/herman-cain-top-10/

    • escribacat says:

      Wow. That guy is bad news. I don’t think he’s a particularly serious candidate though. His numbers are only up because the others are such losers.

  8. JMBrodie says:

    Cain is little more than Alan Keyes with a bit more funding. He is not what the GOP will put forward for president, but he does give the Right a chance to take a few racist potshots at Obama.

    Let’s be honest: Cain can say things that would scuttle a campaign coming from a White politician. When the GOP is done with Cain, he, like Keyes, will go away.

    • foodchain says:

      JMBrodie! Alan Keyes is why Obama was elected senator from IL and then to President! Let’s hope that he creates as much success for the Democrats.

    • AdLib says:

      Nice to see you, JMBrodie!

      It is surreal, watching people in the MSM treat Cain seriously when he has condemned the entire Muslim religion, fears Sharia law taking over America and so he champions anti-Sharia laws, denigrated most black voters as “brainwashed”, has a tax plan that would oppress the middle class and poor to give more to the wealthy, blames the unemployed and poor for being so, wants a national ban on gay marriage and opposed the ending of DADT, etc.

      The guy is indeed as much of a joke as Keyes and as you say, the GOP is happy to use him for the facade of not being racist…while rooting him on to reflect their racism.

      At least he hasn’t a chance in hell of getting elected.

    • Hey JM, long time no see. I agree whole heartedly.

  9. choicelady says:

    After listening to him yet again, my reaction:

    9-9-9?

    Nein, nein, nein!

  10. bito says:

    Just saw a clip of Cain saying the beauty of his plan it’s simplicity, which reminds me of this quote:

    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
    H. L. Mencken

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke129796.html

  11. SueInCa says:

    Adlib
    I just sent this to a friend of mine who is claiming she believes in a flat tax. I responded to her with the facts on the 999 but forgot all about the state taxes. She lives in NV so does not pay state tax(probably a reason for her stance) but she would be paying the sales tax almost doubled, plus the personal tax. this is a much more indepth explanation to give her. thanks for the work you just did for me.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hi Sue!

      Sorry to be so late with a comment…under the weather for a couple of days, but better late than…oh well, whatever!

      Cain was asked in an interview about the state sales taxes that would not go away when the 9% national tax was instated. He said that the question was “muddying the water” and a totally different issue. He completely side-stepped the question and refused to answer. I personally think it was over his head! This man is dumber than a box of rocks! I really don’t think that the state taxes had even occurred to him!

      At present, in NC we have a state sales tax of 7.25%. This would mean that the poor would be paying 16.25% on everything they purchase, even food. I would be really frightened if I thought that this idiot had any chance of winning, but it’s not going to happen, no matter how confident he is right now. You gotta’ give him props for arrogance though! :-)

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, very pleased to hear it’s being put to good use!

      Especially for people like your friend, who will see her taxes go up immediately by 9% and depending on what her taxable income is, the 9% on ALL income, when no deductions are allowed, could be a net increase of her income tax.

      Now add to that, the elimination of SS and Medicare. How is she going to support herself and pay the enormous individual insurance premiums she’d have to as a senior with Medicare gone?

      Also, with US tax revenues decimated since the flat tax, even Cain’s which includes a national sales tax too, will bring in far less than current revenues, more budget slashing would occur that would cut into the bone, into defense, social programs, education, etc., sinking us into a new Depression and no way out.

      I understand how fair a flat tax may seem at first glance but in practice, it would be devastating.

      • SueInCa says:

        Adlib

        She is trying to simplify the whole thing and I could not think of what else to show her to get through. Hopefully this will get her attention.

        • choicelady says:

          Remind her that 18% of $40,000 is 7200. That leaves people making that much $32,800 to live on. The same amount -- 18% of $400,000 is $72,000, but that leaves the Big Earner 328,000 to live on. That means we at the lower earning end eat up a HUGE portion of ESSENTIAL funding for what we need to exist, while the larger earners -- paying less than now -- still get what they need plus tons of discretionary money.

          That’s fair?

          And Cain never says what will happen to loopholes, credits, etc. for the wealthy. I can’t help but think those will, miraculously, survive.

        • AdLib says:

          Hope so. The actual facts are undeniable, there aren’t any legit economists I’m aware of that dispute this will shift tax burden away from the wealthy onto the poor and middle class.

          Though it was telling, Murph noted below that the group that vetted Cain’s 999, claims it didn’t create a breakdown of how different income levels would be affected because it wasn’t asked to do so.

          A total lie which betrays how bad it will be for 99% of Americans. Anyone who understands putting numbers together knows that of course they have to have these figures, how else could you calculate what revenue would be generated if you didn’t create a model showing which sources it comes from?

          It really is indisputable, even undisputed by the very people who vetted Cain’s plan.

  12. AdLib says:

    Double-Dylin’ Ratagain just cuddled up with and agreed with Reagan Supply Sider David Stockman on killing payroll taxes (killing SS and Medicare) and instead instituting a national sales tax.

    One of Herman’s “9”s.

    Very interesting too that Ratagain’s “Get Money Out of Politics” petition demands that no one can contribute to anyone else’s campaign…which would mean that only millionaires and billionaires would be able to finance their own run for office.

    Other BS from Stockman, deregulate banks, kill the Fed and all US regulation and oversight (so banks will have total control over America’s economy) and raise interest rates (good thing most of the 99% don’t have credit card debt).

    Now Ratagain just echoed the GOP’s bogus claim that their BS Senate regurgitation of cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations, deregulating and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment would add 5 million jobs. It’s just a claim, no independent source would support such a BS claim but Ratagain stampedes to promote it.

    They don’t call him Ratagain for nothing.

    • Caru says:

      Personally, I think that Presidential nominees should be given a small sum of money by the government and not be allowed spend their own money or any contributions on their run.

      It’ll shorten the campaign season. :)

      • JMBrodie says:

        Totally agree. We should also shorten the campaign season. Two years is too much.

      • AdLib says:

        Agreed Caru, public funding is absolutely a great solution to the corruption we have today. If we could set up a government financed campaign system and shrank the campaign period to a matter of months, so much that’s wrong in our system could be fixed.

        Ratagain’s petition however doesn’t support or set up any public financing through government, it simply calls for outlawing contributions to people running for office.

        So, candidates would only have their own money for their campaign. What person who isn’t a millionaire is going to run against or stand a chance against a millionaire or billionaire who’s running for office?

        • Caru says:

          Perhaps the unions could “gift” a candidate some money a few years in advance?

          • AdLib says:

            Bingo! You just nailed the fatal flaw to this BS petition…just make personal gifts to an individual at any time before he/she ran.

            So what if they had to pay tax on the contributions, they’d then have the millions “of their own” to run for office.

      • choicelady says:

        SCOTUS just negatively impacted public finance in both Citizens United and the McComish decisions.

        We can dream -- but first we have to re-elect a president who gets it AND will appoint justices who are not troglodytes.

  13. Caru says:

    The idea of a flat tax goes against one of the most basic tenants of economics:

    Another dollar is worth less to a millionaire than to someone making $20,000 a year.

    • AdLib says:

      The key to those supporting a flat tax is not economic viability, it’s simply seeking a vehicle for a massive short term transfer of wealth and the political and social domination over an oppressed majority that it would bring.

      It is a plot, a scheme, not a legit and sustainable economic structure in a democracy. The perpetrators of flat tax plans know that and their mission is to hide it and fool people into thinking it’s viable.

    • “Another dollar is worth less to a millionaire than to someone making $20,000 a year.”

      Absolutely right on Caru! That is absolutely true.

  14. choicelady says:

    Mr. Cain makes NO issue of his religion which OUGHT to be refreshing -- I have no clue what he is -- except it also means he could easily be very extremist. It would be in keeping with the secular ideas he has -- don’t blame banks, blame yourself -- in asserting an embedded inequality where those at the bottom are not only entire at fault for their status but entirely unworthy of help.

    The 9-9-9 plan (and take note that this is the emergency number in London, UK) punishes people for being middle class and poor. It makes them pay more than the rich because, well, we are burdens to the rich. Burdens must shoulder penalties!

    Cain’s message to Americans:

    “Don’t blame the banks for your condition! Blame yourself! Then TAX yourself to the MAX for being a failure! Vote 999 so the rich can pocket what they made off of you -- and you can support them which is all you deserve. Losers!”

    Have you noticed that, around the eyes, he resembles JP Morgan…?

    • SueInCa says:

      He is a Baptist CL. Leah claims he is also a dominionist of which I have no doubt at all.

      Oh, and I forgot, a carnival barker in his spare time.

      • choicelady says:

        Oh I can well believe it, but he’s running as a stealth Dominionist. THAT is very scary! His rap is definitely theirs -- don’t blame Wall Street, blame yourself.

        • SueInCa says:

          Yes, he is stealthy about it. I am watching him closely for the signs. I already did a wiki on him for associations but that did not turn up much so I will keep digging. My bet is he is going to be more stealthy so he does not run into the issues that Perry did.

    • AdLib says:

      What is hard to understand is how all the poor rural white people who depend on government social services or subsidies cheer wealthy people saying, “Fuck the poor…like you, losers!”

      Maybe there’s a degree of masochism or self-hatred required to be a non-millionaire Republican.

      • choicelady says:

        There is an element of truth in your observation, AdLib.

        Many poor Southern whites are Pentecostals (allies if not directly Dominionists) who believe when anything goes wrong, it IS your own fault. Calling out anyone else to blame is sinful.

        If you are poor there is one of two reasons: that’s what God wants of you to test your faith OR you are a lousy Christian and don’t deserve anything better.

        (I am NOT making this up.)

        Those who are true believers honestly suppress any idea that banks, or corporations, or even the town bully has any control over their lives. It is all on the individual. If you’re picking rags, it’s because you are not worthy. Those with power in the religion really do pound that into their flocks -- it is all on YOU. You better not take food stamps or any other heathen thing -- if your abusive husband abandoned you and your kids -- you were a bad wife and mother. Period. If you can’t hold a job or get one, you are just not looking hard enough or you do not have enough faith. Period.

        That is why ultra-right evangelicals and fundamentalists adopted the no-tax-increase/small government mantra as one of their ten essential “family values”. Government aid is from the devil and makes people weak in their faith.

        You might be interested to know that “walkaways” from fundamentalist religions represent the single biggest religious movement in America. You can see why.

        I don’t think they can get out of there fast enough though. There are always new souls to harvest.

        • Caru says:

          That’s been a stance of many powerful “Christians” throughout the ages.

          “Vikings raided your town? You don’t pray enough!”

          “Your crops failed? You must be forsaking God!”

          “My wealth? Well, I’m pious and deserve it!”

          Rather un-Chirstlike, if you ask me.

          • choicelady says:

            Actually Catholics (pre Martin Luther) probably never actually said that. This is SO freaking Calvinist! But they might have looked for a witch to burn…Medieval and early Renaissance Europe was not far off the Aztecs in terms of human sacrifice.

            • choicelady says:

              LOL!!! Caru that’s wonderful!

              Puritans, ironically, were not very uptight. They had very lax attitudes toward premarital sex so long as it produced no offspring demanding and with the RIGHT to the welfare of the town. They were given to fairly boisterous celebrations, fairs, etc.

              It was the VICTORIANS with their Protestant ethic around proving their Godliness via material goods that were so dour. So with a bit of a change, H.L. Mencken’s observation should have been that Victorians are those who fear that somewhere, somehow, somebody is having a good time.

              Issues? Oh, boy yes.

            • Caru says:

              Well, they did think that the Vikings were divine punishment for… something or other.

              Though I agree, this is really Calvanist.

              When we first learned about the Calvanists during the equivalent to 7th grade history, we came to the conclusion that they had issues.

      • bito says:

        I wonder if the rural states are “catching on”, AdLib? The PPP poll from Iowa yesterday had PBO leading every of the R candidates by healthy margins.

        • choicelady says:

          Yes, bito. They are catching on. You cannot beat yourself and your family into the ground for years on end without either suicidal thoughts or finally figuring out you’ve been lied to.

          Lest you think this is peculiar to uneducated people, remember that a great many rich Yuppies have joined cults over the years. The quest for fulfillment leads people into some dangerous waters psychologically. Remember the young man in “Wall Street” -- people turn over their being to other people’s ideas of “good”. It is SO hard having a sense of what is right for yourself when all around you are telling you something different and the people in agreement with you are sometimes those with whom you do NOT wish to be friends.

          The force of conformity within community is very powerful -- perhaps the MOST powerful of all. Standing up requires a willingness to abandon -- and be abandoned by -- your family, loved ones, friends, neighbors. That is very dangerous when you have nowhere else to go. Loneliness is very scary.

      • AdLib, it’s pure unadulterated brain washing! The big wigs on the right are very good at making these poor people believe that one day, they too will be part of “the big club.” It just isn’t going to happen.

        • AdLib says:

          It still bewilders me that people vote for people who openly say, “I’m going to take away the money you need to live on!”

          How brainwashed can one be to directly vote for losing all the money one is getting?

          Lots of Baggers on Unemployment, SS and Medicare…yet they cheer Baggers in Congress who vow to end all of them.

          I will never understand such people. Even insects have a sense of self-preservation, how messed up are these people?

          • It certainly IS an anomaly. Some sort of weird phenomena that has come about after 8 years of bush and then the constant propaganda from the tea party and the GOP. With people like Limbaugh and Beck and the rest of the anti-Obama prophets, these people believe everything they are told. The righties twist the truth constantly and scare the crap out of these poor folks who are incapable of critical thinking. They actually believe that Obama is evil, anti-American and wants racial domination by Afro-Americans. It IS mind boggling. These poor people believe the nonsense about vouchers and privatizing SS and Medicare. Which is quite evident on TP rally signs saying, “Keep your government hands off my Social Security.” These are the type of people Nietzsche referred to as the part of the human race that are followers and sheep, the opposite of those he described as wolves with instincts beyond mere survival. They also have to dominate and control And the RW shitbags are very, very good at it.

          • choicelady says:

            I think maybe not anymore. The ones in support of Baggers are those with pensions, gated communities, and life insurance. That is why you see so many fewer at rallies -- those in need have left the “party” in every sense of the word. The disaffection for the GOP is evidence that the message is NOT working.

            Since the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different outcomes -- let’s hope the GOP do not catch on! They are mastering the process and losing support every moment!

            • CL, that would be horrible. Superstitious people can be very dangerous. I think some of these people don’t really follow politics all that much, but simply by word of mouth, they hear all the “scary,” propaganda about Obama. And many of them are just plain racist.
              South west Ohio isn’t much better. It’s a real bastion of Dominionists and very “straight-laced,” people who just don’t understand the concept of “live and let live.”

            • choicelady says:

              KT -- I will put money (a little) on their being NAR adherents. I think they are less Baggers than Dominionists. Did not mean to imply all poor whites had seen the light! They certainly have NOT. But there is a drift toward sanity as they see every single thing they do right still fail them. But watch closely -- I will lay you odds that SE Ohio and Appalachia will see a rise of child deaths through exorcism or beating the devil out of them. Always happens.

            • I don’t know CL. There many, many right wing hillbillies here in Ohio who think Obama is the devil incarnate. They believe all the RW crap about him not being an American citizen and that he is some sort of secret Muslim or anti-white who secretly wants Afro-Americans to dominate.
              Just watch the Victoria Jackson video that Murph posted on one of the Wall Street threads. There are, unfortunately, millions of righties who think like she does.


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