Van Jones: "We are not broke--we were robbed, we were robbed. And somebody has our money!"

The state of the art in fiscal denialism on the left, from green-jobs fabulist, "socialist paradise" fantasist, and fundraising completist Van Jones:

Some selected Reason counter-programming, in chronological order:

* Bush Was a Big-Government Disaster: He expanded the state, and the idea that the state is incompetent
* The Era of Even Bigger Government: There is very little to be happy about in Obama's first budget
* Failed States: After a long spending binge, governors go begging for a handout. It won't be their last
* We Are Out of Money: American governance won't begin to inch forward until the political class faces basic facts
* Hey, Look at Me, I'm a Conservative Dupe! Or, what part of massive increases in federal spending don't you understand?
* The 19 Percent Solution: How to balance the budget without increasing taxes
* Public Opinion on the Debt, Spending, and Taxes: Reason-Rupe Survey findings in more detail

More on fiscal denialism here. Link via the Twitter feed of Matthew Yglesias, who appropriately enough introduces it as "Van Jones debunks the idea that America is broke."

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  • Joe M||

    Transcript, for the video impaired?

  • GILMORE||

    No, you really don't want to read wtf he's actually saying.

    The 'sensitive black-preacher'-schtick can be used for just about any collection of nonsense and someone will start clapping and scream, "you tell it to em brother!!"

    The comparison of "telling people they're broke" = "telling people in a burning building that all the doors are locked".... was a doozy. Uhm. So the building isn't burning? La la la. Oh, so relieved.

    He could have just made the speech shorter by saying, "there's still a lot of money out there, we just need to take it"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everything but saying the word "redistribution".

    "News flash: We are still the richest country in the world..."

    "...because we are not broke, we were robbed! And somebody has our money!"

    He actually attacks the war efforts and crony capitalism that his former boss has fully embraced.

  • Ska||

    Yeah, but then you start this whole serial killer vs. serial killer thing that brings Julia Stiles' back to the screen.

  • ||

    He could have just made the speech shorter by saying, "there's still a lot of money out there, we just need to take it"

    Michael Moore agrees.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzfd_sNw2-Y

  • Phlogistan||

    Blah blah blah-number, blah blah-numbers
    Corporations are Bad! Blah blah

  • KPres||

    I love how he goes off about wall street compensation...

    $144 Billion!!! A record high!

    Of course, if you taxed all of that income at 100%, it would still only cover 5% of this years deficit, and not even touch the rest of the $14 trillion outstanding.

    Plus, we wouldn't have a financial sector anymore, which I'm sure would do wonders for economic growth and the corresponding gov't revenues.

    This guy may be the stupidest human being alive.

  • Ska||

    This guy may be the stupidest human being alive.

    Clearly you need to evaluate the people applauding his ideas.

  • ||

    Or people who appoint him to offices in government.

  • Al Sharpton||

    I say there son, Van has a bit to walk before he approaches my level of stupid. I've been doing this shtick for fourty years! He will arrive once he learns to up the anty on the race baiting... I say son, race war! Whitey stole your welfare!

  • Al Sharpton||

    Meanwhile, I ain't go no foldin' money, ain't got no spendin' money, and I *still* don't have my forty acres and a mule!

  • GILMORE||

    Uhm, yeah, that was a more succinct way of putting the point i was trying to make

  • mdb||

    I could only take 3 minutes.

  • Greer||

    I only made it to 33 seconds. Apparently WE are not broke because companies are making money.

  • Name Nomad||

    And we, as a country, are spending lots of money. If you're spending lots of money, you can't be broke!

  • sevo||

    And there's a blank check left in my checkbook!

  • KPres||

    As if it would be better if they were losing money.

    I love how the left, on one hand, thinks corporations shouldn't be treated like people, but when you mention profits, they think there's some guy out there, Mr. Corporation, who's spending all that money on big yachts and caviar.

    Dividend yields are at historical lows. That means the profits are being reinvested in the companies. How the fuck is this a bad think?

  • ||

    "We are not broke--we were robbed

    Then it was an inside job.

  • Platypus||

    And yet, we keep electing thieves.
    I just don't GET IT.
    *sulks*

  • KPres||

    Hmmm.....$60 trillion gross national debt vs. Van Jones's rambling?

  • Paul||

    I haven't watched the video, but he's kind of right. I am broke, but I was robbed, someone does have my money. But my guess is it's not who Van Jones thinks it is.

    My guess is Van Jones thinks I have his money.

  • KPres||

    Are you Jewish?

  • Tony||

    Your counterargument is a list of Republican party talking points?

  • ||

    It's Tony. Hey, everyone, Tony's here! How ya doin, Tony?

  • Tony||

    I'm retarded thank you for asking.

  • Ska||

    All things considered
    I couldn't be better I must say....

    I'm feeling super! No, nothing bugs me!
    Everything is super when you're -

    Don't you think I look cute in this hat...

    (I couldn't resist and never had a good segue for this one)

  • Paul||

    Sage, isn't it about time for a PI fashion link?

  • ||

    OK. Here's the Green Lantern's mom.

    And then there's the chick who wanted a moon by her face. I don't think this is what she had in mind.

  • Paul||

    But where are my beloved hipsters in pork-pie hats, deep vees and jean shorts?

  • ||

    The PI hasn't shown those in a while. Not sure why, maybe someone ratted me out!

  • ||

    I don't think this is what she had in mind.

    There, that looks better...

  • Phlogistan||

    Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence-John Adams

  • ||

    Your counterargument is a list of Republican party talking points?

    Republicans stole our economic arguments first....and of course we stole them from Kennedy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrfIMdiU

  • ||

    Yeah, that old, outdated cliché about how money and things belong to the people who own them legally, and not to the people who don't. If only we could advance beyond that archaic notion, and collectively distribute wealth according to need, all our problems would be solved!

  • Khmer Rouge||

    Already tried it. Sorry, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Obviously you're begging the question. If it's taxed, it's not theirs anymore, it's ours.

  • Paul||

    Personally, I like this new form of liberalism. It goes straight to the thuggish point.

  • KPres||

    Of course, nevermind the hypocrisy inherent in Tony's outlook. If right and wrong are determined by government statute, then by definition, nothing the government has ever done is wrong, in which case, he has no justification criticizing the Bush administration, and nobody ever should have voted for Obama in the first place, since Bush wasn't doing anything wrong.

  • Tony||

    I've never said legitimate/legal and right are the same thing. Right and wrong aren't determined by government, but we do have to work to make sure the law reflects what's right. Your problem is you want to demand rights you think you have but don't want to bother with the messiness of reality to get them--you think nature bestows these rights and government should just get out of the way because you asked nicely.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I've never said legitimate/legal and right are the same thing. Right and wrong aren't determined by government, but we do have to work to make sure the law reflects what's right.

    Still the devious little fuck. Your whole personal philosophy is based on the notion that the law should reflect what YOU think is right. What's "right" has been argued over for centuries--perhaps you should be more concerned about the value of personal liberty than whether something is "right," according to whatever prog-academic nonsense you typically parrot.

  • Tony||

    Yeah I think it should reflect what I think is right, assuming I can get democratic legitimacy behind my beliefs.

    What I'm not doing is claiming that my beliefs are ordained in the heavens as eternally true, therefore government and the people should just take it and like it.

  • ||

    By the way how is "Bush Was a big government disaster" a republican talking point?

    You might find George Will making this point today but last I checked Reason was making this argument while Bush was still in office.

    I am pretty sure Cato was saying this as well...and did it long before any Republican ever admitted it.

  • ||

    And isn't "George Bush did it too" a pretty standard liberal response to every criticism of the Black Jesus?

  • ||

    "the Black Jesus"

    Let's not sabotage the cake of valid criticisms with racist frosting, shan't we?

  • ||

    Fuck off. There is nothing racial about it. Calling him the black Jesus is making fun of his creepy white fans like you, not black people. You and people like you are the target of the ridicule, not black people.

  • Sudden||

    Is it racist for Vikings fans to call AP purple jesus?

  • ||

    Obama is a magic negro for these people. It is pathetic.

  • ||

    It's like you didn't even read the first half of my comment.

    But I guess when right-wingers despise you for being liberal and left-wingers loathe you for being conservative, it's a sign you're doing something right.

  • ||

    Or it could just be a sign that you're a hopeless asshole.

  • ||

    True, but in this case I clearly amn't.

  • ||

    No Tulpa it just means you are a concern troll. Doing it to both sides, while odd, doesn't make it any better.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Just so long as you're not blocking the public right-of-way.

  • ||

    Or maybe I have principles that cause me to disagree with conservatives at some times and liberals at others.

    One principle is that you shouldn't bring up someone's race while criticizing them, unless the criticism actually involves their race somehow. I understand that this irks some Obama critics who want to throw every insult in the book at him without regard for taste or appearances, but that's how I roll.

  • rural progressive||

    "...but that's how I troll."

    FIFY

  • ||

    Isn't "black Jesus" redundant?

    Or do you honestly believe that Jesus was light skinned?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He may not have been the Nazi caricature of an Aryan god, but he wasn't exactly from sub-Saharan Africa, either.

    Most people from that part of the world are dark-skinned, but they'd probably get pretty pissed off if you called them "black," considering they tended to enslave folks of that color.

  • Mike M.||

    By the way how is "Bush Was a big government disaster" a republican talking point?

    That's a damn good question; I can't wait to hear schmuckface try and come up with an answer for that one. But I won't hold my breath waiting.

  • mustard||

    It's a Republican talking point because the new Republicans, Tea Partiers and Koch puppets, want to go even further than Bush did with the deregulating agenda. If you're saying that Bush's problem was he didn't deregulate enough you've crossed the line from rational discourse into talking points.

  • KPres||

    You're right. If Bush had clamped down on Fannie and Freddie, we wouldn't have been in this mess.

  • Tony||

    Excellent example of a GOP talking points.

  • JT||

    So the fuck what? You're a Democrat.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The hypocrisy of Tony and his new friend mustard, is colossal.

    More so than usual.

  • ||

    If you're saying that Bush's problem was he didn't deregulate enough you've crossed the line from partisan fantasy into reality.

    There fixed it for you. Jesus fucking Christ where the fuck were you in the 00s?

  • Trident||

    "If you're saying that Bush's problem was he didn't deregulate enough you've crossed the line from rational discourse into talking points."

    Isn't it convenient how you think you get to determine where the limits of "rational discourse" are?
    Unfortunately for you, the limits of rational discourse are determined by rational arguments, and not by meaningless assertions coming from emotion-based ideologies like liberalism.

    You may try to move the goal posts of what is acceptable or limit-crossing ever left-ward all you want, too bad for you that you don't get to determine the rules.

  • KPres||

    George Bush, the great deregulator who added more pages to the federal registry than any president in history.

  • ||

    If you say "Sarbanes-Oxley" five times while looking in a mirror, George W. Bush with his bloody hook hand will appear behind you.

  • mustard||

    If a sane person had been in the White House we would have added double that amount. The events of those eight years screamed for regulation. What Bush did was stealth deregulation.

  • ||

    Oh so it's like when government budgets go up, that's really a cut because it didn't go up as much as you wanted it to.

    You know, conservatives can be rather annoying, but the utter stupidity of the left makes them worse when it comes to many issues. Including anything involving basic math.

  • KPres||

    Yeah, government interventions and regulations always create the need for more interventions and regulations....

    ...until you strangle the economy so much that you can't get better than 1.5% growth no matter what you do....

    ...kinda like right now.

  • ||

    You are off your meds, dude. I really think you have got to be fucking with everyone. No one can be this stupid. Have you started CHEWING on your tinfoil hat?!?!

  • ||

    And that was aimed at this little nugget of retardation:
    mustard|7.5.11 @ 5:29PM|#

    If a sane person had been in the White House we would have added double that amount. The events of those eight years screamed for regulation. What Bush did was stealth deregulation.
    reply to this

  • KMBA||

    *schmuckface*

    This right here...The reason I come to the boards here in the first place. Absolutely magnificent!

    I also would have accepted: Cock/Cunt-stain, smear, breath, bag, or launcher. Shit-beard would also suffice.

  • Tony||

    The GOP talking point is more along the lines of "George who?"

  • ||

    If it worked in 2008 why not 2012: Boooooossssshhhhhh did it.

    I have to thank the Democrats. Now that they have foisted, and the media has accepted, the concept of political 'inheritance' as an excuse for pretty much anything I now look forward to politicians no longer having any accountability at all. And that's only right: politicating is hard with accountability and we all know that it's only fair that their jobs should be confined to giving speeches and collecting awards.

  • Tony||

    Both sides play that game, but it remains factual that George W. Bush's government did possibly irreparable harm to the United States and wasn't so good for the rest of the planet either. I concede that Obama doesn't admit to making mistakes very often, but it's at least as silly to think the world is made anew with each president, especially in light of how massively the previous one fucked things up.

  • Tony||

    But I'm not going to acknowledge the irreparable harm done by Barack Obama's government.

  • Tony||

    ...or how fucked-up the economy will be by the time Obama is out of office.

  • Tony||

    Obama's government, including Congressional Republicans, or without? Because the latter hasn't been very able to enact many of its policies lately or respond to economic reality in any way but via Fed policy.

    The irony of the strategy of simply trying to make the president fail is that it forces the presidency to maximize its own power in order to get anything done. Meanwhile Congress is still getting paychecks for almost literally holding the people of the country hostage over partisan goals. Some small government you tea partiers have delivered.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    One'a these days, there'll be another Republican figurehead/hood ornament in the White House... and Teal Blue will use "the strategy of simply trying to make the president fail".

    I have plenty of popcorn for the show.

  • ||

    "almost literally holding the people of the country hostage"

    There's that new civility them there on the left keep talkin' bout. Sure wish us racist, knuckle-draggin', nascar-lovin' proto-nazis in the tea party could learn to be that "civil". Then maybe Gabby Giffords would still be alive... like my old hound dog, Buck...

  • Old Mexican||

    For Tony, any counterargument that features sound economics is a "Republican Talking Point," in the same way any small plot owner that produced any small quantity of food was a Kulak.

  • KPres||

    In response to a list of Democratic party talking points?

    Imagine that!

  • Tony||

    And MY counter-counterargument is a list of Keynesian bullshit, so maybe I should shut the fuck up while I'm ahead.

  • ||

    We will never be broke as long as one person owns anything the government hasn't yet stole.

  • Phlogistan||

    I hope you did not exhale any carbon while posting

  • ||

    We will never be broke as long as one person owns anything the government hasn't yet stole.

    Isn't the debt more than all of the actual assets in the U.S.? I know I've heard that somewhere.

    So even if the govt confiscated every thing and handed it over to our creditors it still wouldn't be enough.

  • ||

    I am not sure you could get an actual estimate of the total worth of the country. Megan McArdle made the point that the combined wealth of every billionaire in America would not balance the budget for this year let alone fund future years or pay down the debt. They have finally run out of other people's money. And people like Jones are going ballistic with denial.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And Miz McArdle was absolutely right... which won't change the mind of the liberals, but it's still nice to know.

  • mustard||

    That's why we need to go all the way down to $250,000 like the Commander-in-Chief said.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why is $250K such a magic fucking income level, mustard? Is it just an arbitrary amount to mark The Threshold of Evil?

    I think we know the answer.

  • ||

    We are not broke--we were robbed, we were robbed. And somebody has our money!

    Can't we be robbed and broke at the same time?

    Anyway i agree with this statment. TARP and stimulus and the financial collapse created by Fanny and Freddy at the behest of the federal government was robbery...though Van Jones probably doe not think this. My guess is he blames rich people and Jews or some such nonsense.

  • Paul||

    From the article down blog:

    If the administration hadn’t infused $80 billion into GM and Chrysler

    I think I just found my money...

  • ||

    It's like if some Mafia thug breaks into your house, steals your jewels, and gives them to his buddy who owns a jewelry store, and your response is to blame the owner of the jewelry store while ask the same Mafia thug to fix everything.

  • Phlogistan||

    By jove I think he's got it!

  • ||

    I'd rather go against the jewelry store than the Mafia.

  • MNG||

    JOOS!

  • Tony||

    Whereas you're merely blaming poor black people.

  • KPres||

    Politicians are poor black people? Who'd a thunk it?

  • Tony||

    Ignorance of the dog whistling behind GOP alternate histories is just racism + sad.

  • French ||

    You're right. Fannie and Freddie never owned 60% of US MBSs (the keystone that fueled the housing bubble) in 2005. It's just racist alternate history.

  • Tony||

    The market shifted from regulated GSEs to MBSs from unregulated outfits run by investment banks. The shift led to a decrease in quality of the actual product, and FM/FM lowered their underwriting standards to keep up with the market. They played a role, but they were not the cause of the issues. The only reason anyone thinks they are is because they've bought the GOP alternate history in which only Democrats and black people are to blame for a crisis caused by them and their rich white buddies on Wall Street.

  • KPres||

    "The market shifted from regulated GSEs to MBSs from unregulated outfits run by investment banks"

    Yeah, no shit. Because a bunch of Republicans started putting the heat on the the Bush administration about F&F. So while F&F started deleveraging the private banks were left holding the hot potatoes. They were already sunk because housing prices were astronomical, meaning if they stopped issuing loans the market would crash and they'd be toast. So their only choice was to ride the wave for all it was worth, and hope they got bailed out in the end. Which of course, they did.

    None of this is racist, it's just stupid-ass policy put in place by people like yourself that don't think market forces are real, and that you can engineer outcomes without having any unintended consequences.

  • Tony||

    84%+ of subprime mortgages came from private lenders. The GSEs' share of subprime loans actually shrank as the housing bubble inflated. The GSEs were caught up in the mix of things, but to place the blame primarily on them is a politically-motivated diversion from the truth.

    Yes, market forces are real. One thing markets are good at is inflating bubbles, which in the wake of 80s-era deregulatory policy, the housing market was ripe for.

  • KPres||

    "84%+ of subprime mortgages came from private lenders."

    Tony, it doesn't matter who issued the loans. They were immediately securitized and sold off to Fannie and Freddie. If the private banks didn't have a buyer with no standards and backed by the infinite pockets of the Federal Government, there's no way they issue those loans in the first place.

  • Not an Economist||

    It's racist to point that out.

  • ||

    dog whistle racism + sad = sadism with dogs

    Tony's sending out his own dog whistles (to actual dogs I believe).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He doesn't really *need* a dog, but it's a nice perk.

  • ||

    Whereas you're merely blaming poor black people.

    Tony go fuck yourself.

    You know I am not a racist, and to imply that I am is bullshit.

  • KPres||

    You know I am not a racist, and to imply that I am is bullshit pure political strategy.

    FIFY.

    You shouldn't let him get to you. You know he's a worthless lying sack of shit.

  • ||

    No surprise that a racist denies their racy racism!

  • Jesse Jackson||

    I'd go all the way to Hymietown to say that!

  • Tony||

    I think you think you're not a racist.

  • ||

    No you don't.

    You said I "blame Black People." Without one piece of evidence I might add. Blaming black people would be an overt act of racism.

    An overt act of racism would require one to be self aware.

    I have never said, nor do I think, Black people are to blame for robbing America or for making America broke. I blame TARP, stimulus and a financial crises created by government directed Fanny and Freddy for that.

    You are a piece of shit for accusing me of blaming black people.

    Fuck you.

  • Merriam- Webster||

  • Tony||

    You misunderstand. I don't care about what goes on inside someone's head. It's inconsequential. I care about the real-world effects of believing lies. Whether you know it or not, the Republican alternate history of the financial crisis has dog whistles in it meant to blame uppity black people who bought houses they didn't deserve. It's just how they roll. They've been doing this evil shit for decades. Your problem is buying into their lies, and I can't help it if you aren't aware of the racial component behind them.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, anyone who isn't a Democrat, is a racist.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Capt. Edward J. Smith||

    We are not sinking!

  • Virginia||

    So who has the money? Or do you have to order his book and newsletter for just three easy payments of $39.95 to find out?

    He's like Zig Ziglar. Van should pitch cleaning products and make some real money.

  • Mike M.||

    Every time some leftie dickhead goes off on this riff about how we're not broke, the instant response should be "Great, then there's no need to increase the debt ceiling!"

  • Phlogistan||

    I snickered a little

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Or raise taxes.

  • Paul||

    Well, yeah, that's why the left wants to raise taxes. Because you have their money, and they're coming to get it.

  • ||

    Cutting spending just isn't a realistic option on the table. Time Magazine told me so.

  • programmed||

    AMERICA IS NOT BROKE!

  • Sudden||

    "Just handing those Bush tax cuts to those guys at the top is handing those guys at the top $42 billion every fiscal year."

    $42 billion is about 2.5% of the projected $1.6 trillion deficit.

    But you gotta love the way he throws that big lump sum of war spending at $1.3 trillion up there, to try and make it look like if we just end the wars and take a couple extra duckets from Daddy Warbucks, all will be good. Except that $1.3 trillion was over 10 years, so around $150 billion per year add that to the $42 billion in tax cuts and you still have well over a $1.4 trillion that your spending above receipts.

  • Tony||

    Well, if Republicans hadn't gutted the education budget, Van Jones would know how to add and subtract.

  • ||

    Well, if Republicans hadn't gutted the education budget,

    Come on, even Tony can't be stupid enough to think that the Education budget was gutted. This has to be a troll. The federal education budget was massively increased.

    Doesn't mean that people learned, of course.

  • ||

    I am pretty sure the above Tony post was a spoof.

  • Not an Economist||

    You have forgotten government budget math. If you ask for a 1000% increase in your budget but only get a 500% increase your budget was cut by 500%.

  • Old Mexican||

    Van Jones: "We are not broke--we were robbed, we were robbed. And somebody has our money!"


    Well, until "we" get "our" money back, "we" ARE broke, bro!

  • Michael Moore||

    Van Jones is correct. That money in your bank account isn't yours, it's a national resource.

  • Michael Moore||

    Just like the food in your fridge; it's also a national resource.

    Do you have Miracle Whip in there?

  • Lysander Spooner||

    On general principles of law and reason, debts contracted in the name of "the United States," or of "the people of the United States," are of no validity. It is utterly absurd to pretend that debts to the amount of twenty-five hundred millions of dollars are binding upon thirty-five or forty millions of people, when there is not a particle of legitimate evidence --- such as would be required to prove a private debt --- that can be produced against any one of them, that either he, or his properly authorized attorney, ever contracted to pay one cent.

    Certainly, neither the whole people of the United States, nor any number of them, ever separately or individually contracted to pay a cent of these debts.

    Certainly, also, neither the whole people of the United States, nor any number of them, every, by any open, written, or other authentic and voluntary contract, united themselves as a firm, corporation, or association, by the name of "the United States," or "the people of the United States," and authorized their agents to contract debts in their name.

    Certainly, too, there is in existence no such firm, corporation, or association as "the United States," or "the people of the United States," formed by any open, written, or other authentic and voluntary contract, and having corporate property with which to pay these debts.

    How, then, is it possible, on any general principle of law or reason, that debts that are binding upon nobody individually, can be binding upon forty millions of people collectively, when, on general and legitimate principles of law and reason, these [*43] forty millions of people neither have, nor ever had, any corporate property? never made any corporate or individual contract? and neither have, nor ever had, any corporate existence?

    Who, then, created these debts, in the name of "the United States"? Why, at most, only a few persons, calling themselves "members of Congress," etc., who pretended to represent "the people of the United States," but who really represented only a secret band of robbers and murderers, who wanted money to carry on the robberies and murders in which they were then engaged; and who intended to extort from the future people of the United States, by robbery and threats of murder (and real murder, if that should prove necessary), the means to pay these debts.

    This band of robbers and murderers, who were the real principals in contracting these debts, is a secret one, because its members have never entered into any open, written, avowed, or authentic contract, by which they may be individually known to the world, or even to each other. Their real or pretended representatives, who contracted these debts in their name, were selected (if selected at all) for that purpose secretly (by secret ballot), and in a way to furnish evidence against none of the principals individually; and these principals were really known individually neither to their pretended representatives who contracted these debts in their behalf, nor to those who lent the money. The money, therefore, was all borrowed and lent in the dark; that is, by men who did not see each other's faces, or know each other's names; who could not then, and cannot now, identify each other as principals in the transactions; and who consequently can prove no contract with each other.

    Furthermore, the money was all lent and borrowed for criminal purposes; that is, for purposes of robbery and murder; and for this reason the contracts were all intrinsically void; and would have been so, even though the real parties, borrowers and [*45] lenders, had come face to face, and made their contracts openly, in their own proper names.

    Furthermore, this secret band of robbers and murderers, who were the real borrowers of this money, having no legitimate corporate existence, have no corporate property with which to pay these debts. They do indeed pretend to own large tracts of wild lands, lying between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and between the Gulf of Mexico and the North Pole. But, on general principles of law and reason, they might as well pretend to own the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans themselves; or the atmosphere and the sunlight; and to hold them, and dispose of them, for the payment of these debts.

    Having no corporate property with which to pay what purports to be their corporate debts, this secret band of robbers and murderers are really bankrupt. They have nothing to pay with. In fact, they do not propose to pay their debts otherwise than from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders. These are confessedly their sole reliance; and were known to be such by the lenders of the money, at the time the money was lent. And it was, therefore, virtually a part of the contract, that the money should be repaid only from the proceeds of these future robberies and murders. For this reason, if for no other, the contracts were void from the beginning.

    In fact, these apparently two classes, borrowers and lenders, were really one and the same class. They borrowed and lent money from and to themselves. They themselves were not only part and parcel, but the very life and soul, of this secret band of robbers and murderers, who borrowed and spent the money. Individually they furnished money for a common enterprise; taking, in return, what purported to be corporate promises for individual loans. The only excuse they had for taking these so-called corporate promises of, for individual loans by, the same parties, was that they might have some apparent excuse for the future robberies of the band (that is, to pay the debts of [*46] the corporation), and that they might also know what shares they were to be respectively entitled to out of the proceeds of their future robberies.

    Finally, if these debts had been created for the most innocent and honest purposes, and in the most open and honest manner, by the real parties to the contracts, these parties could thereby have bound nobody but themselves, and no property but their own. They could have bound nobody that should have come after them, and no property subsequently created by, or belonging to, other persons.

  • ||

    Hercule called, he wants his gimmick back.

  • Lysander Spooner||

    I think Lysander has a valid point.

  • Sudden||

    HERCULE doesn't use [phones] since they are the PROVINCE of the ZIONIST [CONSPIRACY] and all owned wholly and exclusively by TEH JOOZ who utilize [them] as means of tracking and KILLING brown [people]. HERCULE sticks with the [telegraph] and various INTERNET PRIVACY tricks he [learned] from ANONBOT.

  • Nipplemancer||

    we've still got checks left in the checkbook, how can we be broke?

  • Spock||

    Captain, I'm picking up a stream of illogic on this channel. This speaker seems to think that wealth is static; that "money" is a zero-sum quantity. He thinks that wealth can only be destroyed or redistributed; not created. There is no intelligent life here. Let's go back to Hooker Planet.

  • Bill||

    That was hilarious (but really freaking sad at the same time).

    I guess he will only believe we are broke when we are in the state Greece is in and no one will buy US bonds anymore.

    This is like saying that because someone has a house they can't afford and drives a big car, they aren't broke. Not until the car is repossessed and the house sold at auction will they be broke.

    Also I got a kick out of having people repeat, "we are not broke", because if you keep saying something loud enough, it makes it come true.

  • James Tiberius Kirk||

    I... need... to... getmesomeOrionslave pussy. Sulu... set... course... forCyranoJones' bar.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Van Jones says the following:

    1. Corporations made lots of money. (So the fuck what?)
    2. Wall Street got bailed out. (Nobody around here is going to say they should have been)
    3. Bush spent lots money on wars. (One: nobody here is going to say he should have. Two: At least W asked for Congressional permission before he started them).
    4. Tax cuts are expenses for the government. (How dare you keep your own money?!)
    5. Many corporations paid $0 in taxes. (For those paying $0 in taxes, can you teach me how to dougie?)
    6. Tax the rich!
    7. ???
    8. UTOPIA

  • Tony||

    How dare you keep your own money?!

    You really think this little nugget of question begging is sufficient to base policy on?

    Let's make a deal. If you refuse to accept that raising revenues is both a job of Congress and half of the debt-reducing equation, then you don't get to complain about debt. K?

  • Mainer||

    Yawn.

  • KPres||

    "half of the debt-reducing equation"

    Teehee. Keep dreaming.

    The vast majority of people think most or all of the deficit reduction should come from spending cuts.

  • Tony||

    The vast majority of people would rather raise taxes on the rich than have their medicare cut. Look at some polls rather than just assuming, how about?

  • Not an Economist||

    Maybe (probably not) also understand that just increasing taxes on the rich won't cut the budget deficit by a significant amount. Most people here do. I'm not sure about you though.

  • Tony||

    That's no excuse to leave them completely off the table. But the fact is the Bush tax cuts are the largest single contributor to our structural deficit, and attempts to minimize their impact are dishonest.

  • ||

    But the fact is the Bush tax cuts are the largest single contributor to our structural deficit

    Liar.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    But the fact is the Bush tax cuts are the largest single contributor to our structural deficit, and attempts to minimize their impact are dishonest.

    Horseshit. Our structural deficit is $1.5 trillion. Only in your stupid little prog universe would $42 billion = $1.5 trillion.

  • Shmenge||

    My memory is a little hazy, but didn't Obama extend the Bush tax cuts?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The vast majority of people would rather raise taxes on the rich because they've been trained to hate the rich, which is a mind-control trick we liberals love to use on the weak-willed.

    FIFY'd.

  • KPres||

    I did look at the polls, dipshit. And I didn't say anything about medicare.

  • KPres||

    Furthermore, the reason polls show a majority favoring tax hikes on the rich as opposed cuts in medicare/ss is because Democrat liars have convinced people 55+ that Paul Ryan's plan would cut their benefits (not the case). If you exclude 55+ your majority disappears.

  • Lysander Spooner||

    And if I reject the authority of Congress to make me liable for its debt?

  • Shorter Tony||

    I can't win an actual argument, so you have to stick to these arbitrary rules.

  • ||

    You really think this little nugget of question begging is sufficient to base policy on?

    Yes. Next question?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    How dare you keep your own money?!

    You really think this little nugget of question begging is sufficient to base policy on?


    Why question-begging? You mean people do NOT own the money they make?

    By the way, thiefs would agree with you if you really think that.

  • Tony||

    It's question begging because if money is taken as taxes, it is by definition not your money, it's the US Treasury's.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Were I more evil than I am now, I would seek to rob Tony as he has no philosophical basis upon which to claim that by depriving him of his property, I have harmed him.

    Force = legitimacy, right Tony?

  • ||

    Might makes right! Those with the will to power, the ability to take are the rightful owners.

    I hate to Godwin, but I think Tony's jackboots are a little too tight.

  • Tony||

    Well how are you gonna make might go away? Ask it nicely? You just have to manage it well.

  • ||

    Well how are you gonna make might go away?

    Liberty by law.

  • M.J. Cicero||

    You are going to embarass Tony out of his totalitarian mindset, he has no shame.

  • Tony||

    How are you defining legitimacy? Force is force. It's a thing that compels you. You can't just wish it away. My moral views are based on certain abstract principles, but I don't expect to impose them upon everyone without so much as a vote.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    My moral views are based on certain abstract principles, but I don't expect to impose them upon everyone without so much as a vote.

    I've heard this before. Where have I heard this before?

    Oh...right. Democratic Centralism.

  • ||

    Tony, you can spew out freshman year dorm room bullshit all you want. At the end of the day, you think it is a good thing to imprison people if they do not spend their money the way you want them to. That is the only principle you have. Everything else is bullshit to cloak the truth.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    You really think this little nugget of question begging is sufficient to base policy on?

    What magical tree do you think the government shakes to acquire taxes from?

  • GILMORE||

    Why do people actually talk to Tony?

    How many punching bags do we really need... if any? Im perfectly happy ignoring his dumb ass. If he really had a point, he wouldn't be here. Its more like an S&M thing at this point. Which I find distasteful. You're not a bad little boy, Tony, and stop trying to hand us the riding crop.

  • 16th amendment||

    > 5. Many corporations paid $0 in taxes

    They might have had a loss, which happens in times of recessions. Or maybe they got to carry forward their loss from a prior year. Or maybe they got special tax credits, which I suppose most people here are against as they favor particular companies or sectors and introduce economic distortions. I know the domestic production activities credit, which was created a few years ago to help manufacturing companies, but the oil companies get about $1.5B in this credit.

  • Tolly||

    CANT...TAKE...THE...STUPIDITY....

    Jesus. The fact that this administration thought this guy was qualified to lead a *federal* agency should send a shiver through the entire nation.

    This guy is dangerously misinformed, with none of the easily available data around that would disprove prove his point. He'd use a passing rainstorm as a factual evidence that we're in the middle of a biblical flood.

  • KPres||

    "This guy is dangerously misinformed"

    No he's not, his audience is. He's just a socialist propaganda artist, capitalizing on people's ignorance.

  • GILMORE||

    Thats the best summary I've heard so far.

  • Tony||

    Obviously therefore he should have been disposed of in a McCarthyist crusade.

  • ||

    Actually, pointing at a genuine borderline deranged Marxist and saying "See? If it wasn't for McCarthyism, we could have a whole government full of these!" may not be your best argument.

  • Tony||

    He was neither deranged nor a Marxist, but you wouldn't know that given the sources of 'information' you probably consult.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Calling Obama a Marxist is wrong... because, if Marx were alive today, he'd be tapping his foot and looking at his watch and saying things like "What is TAKING you so long, Barry?".

  • Tony||

    Or maybe why the fuck are you maintaining the lowest tax levels in 60 years, and corporate profits are at record highs while 90% of the country is continuing to decline. It's almost like he's a capitalist.

  • Van Jones||

    J00s did 9/11!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And Tony continues to lie about his hatred of wealth...

  • l0b0t||

    Was he not a member of STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement)? A group that, according to its own declared Points of Unity "upheld revolutionary democracy, revolutionary feminism, revolutionary internationalism, the central role of the working class, urban Marxism, and Third World Communism".

  • ||

    Obviously therefore he should have been disposed of in a McCarthyist crusade.

    No need.

    The 2012 election will remove him without much fuss.

  • Tony||

    Is that a dispassionate statement of fact or do you really think the Republicans in control will mean you're better off? I mean the batshit things they say are fun when they're just running their mouths, but actually enacting their insane bullshit? Even you can't ignore the fact that they're almost 100% guaranteed to put your country into long-term decline. Surely in a dark recess of your brain is a nagging feeling that maybe the policies Republicans have been bludgeoning us with for decades aren't really getting us anywhere but the shithole.

  • ||

    Is that a dispassionate statement of fact or do you really think the Republicans in control will mean you're better off?

    It is a statement of fact yes....but it is not dispassionate. I like it when the wicked get punished. It makes me happy.

    That said I have no illusions that Republicans will make things "better". We will probably get a balanced budget or at least lower spending for a short time....but that will happen no matter who wins. The public has spoken on this issue and there is no way around it.

    Even you can't ignore the fact that they're almost 100% guaranteed to put your country into long-term decline.

    Nothing is 100% guaranteed. Kennedy cut taxes, Carter deregulated and Clinton declared the end of big government. If those democrats can do good I cannot negate the possibility that the republicans could as well.
    It was Nixon that ended the draft.

  • Tony||

    What public? Every single poll on the issue shows that the public cares about employment over public debt. You are the sad victim of GOP brainwashing, and I will make it my mission to unbrainwash you.

    It's a mistake to ever support a Republican these days. Maybe you don't realize that, because you say insane lies like the public is as obsessed with public debt as they and you are, so I can only assume you watch too much FOX News.

    But they really are a very scary combination of end-times religionists and corporate psychopaths. It's like nothing this country has ever seen. Democrats are hardly without their faults but we need to focus on the clear and present danger.

  • 16th amendment||

    Any idea how much Van Jones got paid for this speech?

  • GILMORE||

    Van Jones is not Paid - Van Jones gets Reparations

  • ||

    The vast majority of people would rather raise taxes on the rich than have their medicare cut.

    In other news, the vast majority of people think we can "fix" he housing crisis by just tearing up mortgage contracts.

  • Phlogistan||

    Wait a minute, didnt congress do just that?

    Shay's Rebellion

  • Van Jones||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Aha! Liberals don't believe it's "our money"... they believe it belongs to The State, Amen.

    You're NICKED, Van.

  • christian louboutins||

    they believe it belongs to The State, Amen.

    You're NICKED, Van.

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