Stupid Rep. Tricks

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Since Tom Suozzi's "Some of my best friends are dark-skinned!" photos got a good reaction last week, I humbly offer The Hotline's collection of "funny photos on official congressional websites." You've got your expected photos of Westerners riding horses and Hawaiians with leis, but you've also got stuff like Bill Nelsonzilla holding a space shuttle prisoner in his terrifying grip.

And now you know why they're too busy to pass Social Security reform.

NEXT: McCain Makes Falwell Flippy-Floppy (Or Not)

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  1. Social Security “reform?” Actually, I’d rather this congress do about anything other than “reform” Social Security. My God, what would you Libers have done to it? (Frightening…)

    JMJ

  2. Jersey McJones,

    Getting rid of its unfunded nature would be a start. Its time we killed Bismarck’s legacy.

  3. what would you Libers have done to it?

    We’d start by being honest about its unsustainability.

  4. Social Security is “unfunded?” :l Do you mean you want a trust rather than a transfer?

    JMJ

  5. Social Security is “unfunded?” :l Do you mean you want a trust rather than a transfer?

    First, we want a say on whether or not we take part in the program to begin with.

    Second, if we can’t opt out, then we should have a say were our money is invested.

  6. God, is Cindy Sheehan one homely-ass bitch. You think the left could have gotten a cuter (not to mention younger) postergirl for their movement, not to mention a less hysterical one.

  7. Edit: …have a say where our money…

  8. Back onto the topic.
    Is “white guilt” in the dictionary yet?

  9. “God, is Cindy Sheehan one homely-ass bitch. You think the left could have gotten a cuter (not to mention younger) postergirl for their movement, not to mention a less hysterical one.

    Comment by: andy at April 3, 2006 11:21 AM”

    interesting statement….. i think you hit on most of the sexist descriptions of females. wow. all in one sentence, too! that must have taken some work!

  10. Don’t know if jean schmidt is the man or woman in the photo, but that family’s favorite movie is Crawlspace.

  11. “think you hit on most of the sexist descriptions of females. wow. all in one sentence, too!”

    Well, to be honest, her age and her physical attractiveness aren’t all that important (although it WOULD be nice if she was young and hot…). My only real beef with her is how she dishonors her son so much by using his name for her agenda when it’s pretty certain that he would disagree with it, let alone condone her use of his name.

  12. Damn if Loretta Sanchez doesn’t look like she has some guns while shootem ‘dem guns!

  13. “My only real beef with her is how she dishonors her son so much by using his name for her agenda when it’s pretty certain that he would disagree with it, let alone condone her use of his name.”

    okay. how you chose to express that thought with the first post is quite a contrast, IMO. so from how you spoke of her made it seem as the attractiveness/ asthetics was important, at least that was the focus of your disagreement with her. compare your two postings. the second says something very different from the first.

  14. Hey Cindy –
    Why did your son volunteer to join the all-volunteer armed forces?

    Cue the typical lefty responses such as “incentives”, “no alternatives”, “right-wing propoganda” “made him do it”.

  15. The Sullivan photo is my favorite, worthy of its own caption contest.

  16. Damn if Loretta Sanchez doesn’t look like she has some guns while shootem ‘dem guns!

    Looks like Linda Hamilton circa Terminator 3.

  17. VM,

    Well, when I saw her picture (twice) with those dipshit politicians the first thing that came into my mind was, “Jesus Christmas, what a DOG.” I know it’s shallow to comment upon that, but since I find her character repulsive too, I thought her looks are fair game for abuse.

  18. and by focusing on that (looks) solely, you left out the rest of your philosophical opinion.

    just “interesting”.

    but love the defensive tone, now. it makes for an otherwise dreary monday rather exciting. can’t phrase an intelligent objection without resorting to words such as “hysterical” (do you know the origins of that word? it’s perfect for someone like you to use, since one of your types invented it)

    can you make a muscle for me? with that tough, misogynistic talk, you must be one helluva of an internet tough guy. is “better to be judged by twelve than carried by six” in your obviously well developed phrase-armamentarium? gawd. i may faint.

    glad i have a night light. with the sorts of toughies as you out there, i might get a little scared.

    oooh. mr. tough guy.

  19. VM: That’s quite the sick you have up your ass. How’d you manage to fit it?

  20. I mean stick. Goddammit.

  21. Social Security is “unfunded?” :l Do you mean you want a trust rather than a transfer?

    JMJ: Write yourself a check for a hojillion dollars, see if you get wealthier. That’s basically what the SS “trust fund” is: a check from the government to itself. Worthless, unfunded, a delusion of the grandest scale.

  22. Akira,

    “First, we want a say on whether or not we take part in the program to begin with.

    Second, if we can’t opt out, then we should have a say were our money is invested.”

    First – How the heck do you know whether or not you’re going to need SS in the future? After all, it’s not just a retirement plan, and even if it were, how would you know if you’re going to one day need it or not?

    Second – What sort of “say” do you want?

    Andy,

    “God, is Cindy Sheehan one homely-ass bitch. You think the left could have gotten a cuter (not to mention younger) postergirl for their movement, not to mention a less hysterical one.”

    Thank you for showing everyone why Fox puts bleach blonde bimbos up as news women for the entertainment of the low-brow, stupid, slovenly, juvenile right. No wonder we have a retard for president.

    Finkelstein,

    “Cue the typical lefty responses such as “incentives”, “no alternatives”, “right-wing propoganda” “made him do it”.”

    How’s about – they never thought they’d have such a lying, crooked, incompetent “administration” that would throw them into a bad losing situation for NOTHING.

    JMJ

  23. Timothy,

    I’m perfectly happy with SS as a transfer of wealth. I know it’s not a trust fund. Personally, I think it should be a total transfer of wealth – meanstesting recipients and removing the payroll tax cap.

    JMJ


  24. Social Security “reform?” Actually, I’d rather this congress do about anything other than “reform” Social Security.
    Comment by: Jersey McJones at April 3, 2006 11:04 AM

    You know, I agree with you. The last thing we need is more oligopoly oriented and incompetent policy hoisted onto SS from the same unhinged congress that gave us the most recent Medicare fiasco.

  25. Personally, I think it should be a total transfer of wealth – meanstesting recipients and removing the payroll tax cap.

    That’s why we don’t like you.

  26. It worked for Ponzi- why not the federal gov’t?

  27. MP,

    But I like you-ou!

    SSSSSMMMMMMOOOOOOOOCCCCHHHHH!!!!!

    JMJ

  28. “MP,

    But I like you-ou!

    SSSSSMMMMMMOOOOOOOOCCCCHHHHH!!!!!

    JMJ”

    Congratulations, JMJ! You managed to make a post without calling another poster stupid. Can we make it two in a row?

  29. “The reason you don’t need 16 people for every one anymore-”

    I never made that claim. Are you making it? If so, let’s see your reference.

    “If the cap were removed, the equivalent of the 16 payers would be right there.”

    While you’re at it, pull the reference up for this one too.

    “As for gambling on investment returns, that’s just stupid.”

    Then there are a large number of stupid people in this country making stupidly impressive gains.

    “The whole point of SS is for people who’s ROIs are nil or in the tank.”

    The whole point of a diverse portfolio is to keep ROIs from being nil or in the bank.

    You didn’t respond to the suggestion I posted for phasing out SS. Is there something wrong with it? I realize it’s exceedingly simple, so politicians won’t like it, but otherwise it seems as though it could work.

  30. Sage,

    The reason you don’t need 16 people for every one anymore-

    “I never made that claim. Are you making it? If so, let’s see your reference.”

    You completely missed the point. The point is that we do sort-of have 16 people paying for one if you look at the “16 people” as one rich person.

    If the cap were removed, the equivalent of the 16 payers would be right there.

    “While you’re at it, pull the reference up for this one too.”

    Do it yourself.

    As for gambling on investment returns, that’s just stupid.

    “Then there are a large number of stupid people in this country making stupidly impressive gains.”

    The Dow’s been flat for years. Real Estate in on the down-turn. The NASDAQ will take years to get back to where it once was. We are all in hock for about 20K each for Bush’s stupid war. The debt is some 9 tril. The trade deficit is about 800 bil. Yeah, history would be a guide if anyone in power was actually using that guide…

    The whole point of SS is for people who’s ROIs are nil or in the tank.

    “The whole point of a diverse portfolio is to keep ROIs from being nil or in the bank.

    You didn’t respond to the suggestion I posted for phasing out SS. Is there something wrong with it? I realize it’s exceedingly simple, so politicians won’t like it, but otherwise it seems as though it could work.”

    Simple. Exactly. Very, very simple. That’s the tyrouble with you Libers – easy answers. Why you all don’t move to Somalia is beyond me…

    JMJ

  31. “Why you all don’t move to Somalia is beyond me…”

    It’s because we’re afraid of black people.

  32. “…we have an inordinate number of very, very wealthy people.”

    And we must punish them for their impertinent wickedness, eh, Comrade McNanny?

  33. My only real beef with her is how she dishonors her son so much by using his name for her agenda when it’s pretty certain that he would disagree with it, let alone condone her use of his name.

    And you know this…how? As Pat Tillman demonstrated, serving your country by joining the military and supporting the latest softheaded military intervention pushed by the executive branch don’t necessasarily go hand-in-hand. I don’t really agree with her tactics, but I trust a mother to know what her kid would have thought much more than I trust some anonomous misogynist on the internet. Especially given the fact that I have to assume that he’d rather not be, well, dead at the moment, at least considering what he died for.

  34. My only real beef with her is how she dishonors her son so much by using his name for her agenda when it’s pretty certain that he would disagree with it, let alone condone her use of his name.

    And you know this…how? As Pat Tillman demonstrated, serving your country by joining the military and supporting the latest softheaded military intervention pushed by the executive branch don’t necessasarily go hand-in-hand. I don’t really agree with her tactics, but I trust a mother to know what her kid would have thought much more than I trust some anonomous misogynist on the internet. Especially given the fact that I have to assume that he’d rather not be, well, dead at the moment, at least considering what he died for.

  35. JMJ:

    Removing the cap is very seductive, until you realize that once you have enough penalties on the rich to make it worth their while, they will do whatever it takes to protect their wealth. Would you rather the rich move to a more tax-friendly country, or simply move all of their wealth offshore? Perhaps the East German solution would work to prevent that.

    Regardless, Arthur Laffer was to first to popularize the very simple fact that you can only tax people (including and especially the rich) to a certain point before you begin bringing in less money than if you taxed them less. You may want to read up on him.

  36. Add this one to your bookshelf-

    The Law and the Profits, by Dr Parkinson

  37. JF,

    THey can afford it…

    JMJ

  38. Look gang – when the top bracket was 70% was the economy slow?

    No.

    If there’s money to be made – people will make it.

    JMJ

  39. JMJ:

    If by “They can afford it” you mean that the rich can afford to move their assets offshore in order to avoid punitive taxation, I am in 100% agreement with you. Otherwise, you must realize that the only way to keep the rich AND their assets in the United States is by a police state.

  40. The fact is, Jersey, that the reason for the payroll tax and the cap is that the pols realized a long time ago that the progressive income tax is a crock, and that there are, in fact, not enough rich people to tax at any rate to raise all the cash to make all their statist dreams come true.

    Social Security and the payroll tax (together with the myth of the Social Security Trust Fund) enabled them to go after the real money; ie the money distributed among the far more numerous non-rich folks. To make a regressive tax palatable to the proles they disguised it as a pension fund contribution. Clever bastards, no?

    Of course the politicians of the day who advocated the sensible program of means tested pensions funded out of general revenues targeted to the elderly poor were demonized as heartless bastards determined to have everyone’s Aunt Maude freeze in the snow.

    As Hakluyt indicated what we have have here is Bismarck’s revenue-enhancement strategy.

    You are quiet correct, though, to point out that SS has been expanded far beyond it’s original intent as an income supplement for the aged.

  41. “You completely missed the point. The point is that we do sort-of have 16 people paying for one if you look at the “16 people” as one rich person.

    If the cap were removed, the equivalent of the 16 payers would be right there.”

    Again, what information are you looking at to make this claim?

    “Do it yourself. ”

    I would if I was making the claim. You made it; you post the proof. C’mon, think of it as a way to obtain some credibility.

    “The Dow’s been flat for years.”

    Well, here’s the Dow over the last two years. News flash : not flat! (sorry if that looks weird, the preview function is not working.)

    “That’s the tyrouble with you Libers”

    That we make categorical accusations? Oh no, I guess that’d be you.

    “Why you all don’t move to Somalia is beyond me…”

    Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but in my case, I like it here. Even if things can be improved immensely.

  42. “You completely missed the point. The point is that we do sort-of have 16 people paying for one if you look at the “16 people” as one rich person.

    If the cap were removed, the equivalent of the 16 payers would be right there.”

    Again, what information are you looking at to make this claim?

    “Do it yourself. ”

    I would if I was making the claim. You made it; you post the proof. C’mon, think of it as a way to obtain some credibility.

    “The Dow’s been flat for years.”

    Well, here’s the Dow over the last two years. News flash : not flat! (sorry if that looks weird, the preview function is not working.)

    “That’s the tyrouble with you Libers”

    That we make categorical accusations? Oh no, I guess that’d be you.

    “Why you all don’t move to Somalia is beyond me…”

    Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but in my case, I like it here. Even if things can be improved immensely.

  43. JF,

    “If by “They can afford it” you mean that the rich can afford to move their assets offshore in order to avoid punitive taxation, I am in 100% agreement with you. Otherwise, you must realize that the only way to keep the rich AND their assets in the United States is by a police state.”

    Bullcronkers. They are already do that. And they have their cronies in DC to make sure the IRS stays off their backs. You don’t need a “police state” to collect taxes. Just a few enforced laws.

    Isaac,

    “The fact is, Jersey, that the reason for the payroll tax and the cap is that the pols realized a long time ago that the progressive income tax is a crock,”

    No. They put the cap on to appease their masters.

    “and that there are, in fact, not enough rich people to tax at any rate to raise all the cash to make all their statist dreams come true.”

    Yes there are. Don’t be incurious. Look it up for yourself.

    “Social Security and the payroll tax (together with the myth of the Social Security Trust Fund) enabled them to go after the real money; ie the money distributed among the far more numerous non-rich folks. To make a regressive tax palatable to the proles they disguised it as a pension fund contribution. Clever bastards, no?”

    The trust fund was not entirely a myth – once. The idea was that the funds coming in were historically most always greater than the pay out. So that wind fall was to be placed in Trust. Carter took it out of trust and Reagan et al just plain looted it. As for all the money being in trust – only an idiot would have believed that.

    “Of course the politicians of the day who advocated the sensible program of means tested pensions funded out of general revenues targeted to the elderly poor were demonized as heartless bastards determined to have everyone’s Aunt Maude freeze in the snow.”

    No, what bothered people was that it wasn’t supposed to be a dehumanizing welfare program, but rather a guaranteed benefit at a certain age. Also, it became a way of funding orphans whose parents paid into the system, disabled, etc. Not a welfare program, but a completely egalitarian acknowledgement of being a hardworking (or very unlucky) American.

    JMJ

  44. “If there’s money to be made – people will make it.”

    And if the marginal tax rate on that income is 70%, those earners will be willing to divert or “invest” a significant portion of that tax bill toward avoidance. And the accountants and tax attorneys will always have food on their tables.

    ——–

    “…the funds coming in were historically most always greater than the pay out.”

    Hence, my snarky “Ponzi” reference.

  45. A successful parasite should never kill its host.

  46. PB,

    Well, I suppose you could say that it became more of a Ponzi scheme once the pols started looting it. But it was certainly not originally meant to be that way.

    JMJ

  47. JMJ:

    It looks like your starting to understand the problem. When a huge government entitlement is enacted, the pols are always going to find a way to loot it. For that matter, when any government regulation is enacted, you can expect the same thing to happen.

    Perhaps you are experiencing your libertarian awakening?

  48. Sage,
    I think this shows the Dow in a broader picture, especially as it relates to the longevity of Social Security. Clearly, if the funds deposited into the Social Security piggybank had been properly invested there would be an ongoing windfall. With that much funding to pull from, it would be easy to obtain a balanced and profitable portfolio. Of course then there is the problem of having the Government in your shareholder’s meetings, on the Board, etc.

  49. Kwix:

    Aren’t stock prices at least somewhat related to supply and demand? If the government AND private investors are bidding for the the same shares, wouldn’t that artificially inflate stock prices, which would in turn lead to greater instability in the stock market? This isn’t an original idea by me; I read it somewhere in a rather persuasive article which I will try to find.

  50. I suppose I can contradict my above point by linking to this article, which gives an argument for privatizing Social Security in conjuction with returning to the gold standard, which is of course too wacky of an idea for any politician to seriously consider.

  51. The trust fund was not entirely a myth – once. The idea was that the funds coming in were historically most always greater than the pay out. So that wind fall was to be placed in Trust. Carter took it out of trust and Reagan et al just plain looted it. As for all the money being in trust – only an idiot would have believed that.

    The “trust fund” has never been anything but a myth. The “surplus” which used to be bigger because there were more taxpayers than beneficiaries has always been turned over to Treasury in exchange for special treasury bonds*. This fact proves that it has always been a revenue-raising scheme, not a pension scheme. If you want to believe the fairy tale of Social Sec do so, don’t expect others to.

    Well, I suppose you could say that it became more of a Ponzi scheme once the pols started looting it. But it was certainly not originally meant to be that way.

    Bullshit, it has been about the looting since day one. And anyone who looks, even superficially, at the math realizes it.

    *Try saving for your next car this way. Spend all your money but pretend some of it is saving for your new car and write yourself an IOU. See what the dealer says when you try to tell him the IOUs are real money. (Actually what you’ll have to do is exactly what Treasury will have to do to redeem the SS “trust fund”, borrow).

  52. It is interesting how the privatizers can stay so unconnected to any empirical evidence – for example, talk of the laffer curve at current rates is laughable.

    The fishy delay of the report (shoulda been here by the first) will probably still be skewed, but take a look at the assumptions for the so far more accurate optimistic (and solvent) projection.

    Another silly argument swatted down by I think Yglesias is the comparison of payors:payees. The argument goes something like, orginally there were something like 25 payors to every 1 beneficiary, but that when the boomers retirn it will be 2:1. Of course, right now it is already 3:1. So we easily weathered the change from 25:1 to 3:1, but the change from 3:1 to 2:1 is unsustainable? Pure silliness.

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