Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy “Teabagged Enough Already” Day

Ah, April 15th, the day millions of teabirthers have been longing for. Time to water the Tree of Liberty with the blood of those socialist tyrants who have ruined America.

As much fun as it is to shout and wave a bunch of inflammatory signs — and the more mis-spelled words, the merrier — let’s re-examine a few sentences from Obama’s SOTU speech a few months ago:

“Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college.”

And the clincher:

“And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.”

But hey, enjoy the festivities. Don’t let a bunch of boring facts ruin the party.

As much as everybody bashes the IRS — what’s not to bash? — I’m in favor of one action they’re finally taking. Slippery employers who reclassify their workers as “independent contractors” instead of “employees” — Fun’s Over, Asshole.

For years, columnists and pundits — the late Molly Ivins among them — have been ranting against this slippery tactic. Employers who stoop to this lowlife stunt can save themselves a fortune — at everybody else’s expense.

If you’re an independent contractor, you’re your own boss. Nobody tells you what to do or when to do it, what to wear, when you can and can’t go on vacation. You have autonomy and independence, but there's no safety net.

Employees, of course, are under the boss’s thumb. But if they get sick, they MIGHT have health insurance provided by the company. If they get downsized, they’re eligible for unemployment benefits. If they’re injured on the job, they get workers’ compensation.

It was just a matter of time before a bunch of sleazewipe employers decided to have the best of both worlds. And now millions of workers have all the autonomy and independence of an employee, combined with the security and safety net of an independent contractor.

This has been a gold mine for unscrupulous employers.

Go get ‘em IRS.



Blogger T. Paine said...

Yeah, it is a damned shame that there are so many teabaggers out there that want to actually hold the federal government accountable and not spend more tax-payer money that we don't have. The really must be idiots, don't ya think?

April 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

But T.H. this is only chump change in the world of greed. You forget about corporations that do business overseas and pay not one dime in taxes because they say they're paying foreign taxes. And least we not forget the Cayman Islands where profits are hidden.

April 15, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

You obviously don't have a clue about being an independent contractor and the tremendous tax benefits/deductions that go along.

It's also obvious that Demeur has no assets that he can transfer to CI. If he did......he would. Tiger did!

April 15, 2010 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

I worked in a restaurant that once tried to classify it's waiters and bartenders as 1099 contractors.

That didn't go over so well.

April 15, 2010 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

T: I'm sure some of these people are actually concerned about government accountability and the Constitution. But a lot of them, if not most, are just throwing a tantrum because their party lost the last election. You've gotta admit it's kind of suspicious:

When a Democrat is in the White House (Carter, Clinton, Obama), millions of Republicans are running around terrified of this big giant federal government that's gonna eat the whole country and everybody in it. Then when a Republican takes his place in the White House, all these frantic noisy "politicians work for US, not the other way around!" protesters clam up and quietly slip away. Coincidence?

Demeur: Don't worry, I want the IRS to go after those "my headquarters is a P.O. Box in Bermuda" assholes too. But I read about their crackdown on the "independent contractor" scam in one of those Sunday supplements the other day, so I wanted to do a post on it.

Joaquin: You obviously didn't understand the post. Upon rereading it very slowly and carefully, you'll see that I was talking about employers who weasel out of paying unemployment and workers' comp benefits (among other things) by simply renaming their employees "independent contractors" when they're not.

Thomas: I'll bet that didn't go over well. I'm glad the IRS is cracking down on that.

April 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I think that there is a lot of confusion about independent contractors. True independent contractors are highly skilled professionals who set their own hours and perform a specialized service for several firms. Most make a comfortable living and have excellent tax advantages. Pseudo contractors work for a single company, do not set their own hours, and function as employees in all but title. However, they pay their owen employers share of social security witholding, get no vacations, health care, or other benefits, and if fired, get no unemployment. Since they have few work expenses, they get few if any tax advantages.

April 15, 2010 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Tom, I acknowledge your point that many of these protesters tend to fade into the background when their "party" gets elected; however, this strikes me as a little different this time.

The Tea Party movement while having a large number of Republicans within it, also consists of a very large percentage of independents and even Democrats.

Further, they are running primary challenges to party establishment types of both the GOP and Democratic parties.

Are there knuckleheads within the movement? You bet. Any large group of people will have their nut-jobs within.

The notion of holding politicians accountable for once though strikes me as a very good and long overdue idea, regardless of the party.

April 15, 2010 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

Oh no, I understood the post perfectly.
What I wanted to point out is that being an IC is great unless all they (employees) care about is unemployment and workers' comp. I mean, if that's all they care about, then you're better off getting new "employees"

I've never had a problem educating 'employees' about the benefits of being an IC. Some 'get it'................some don't.

April 15, 2010 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

I for one and sick and tired of supporting the lowlifes & deadbeats like...Lockheed, Boeing, Bank of America, Walmart...shall I go on??

April 15, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

TomCat: Yup, you've got it. Independent contractors (the real ones) set their own schedules. They don't answer to a boss, but if they get sick or injured, they're on their own. The "pseudo" ones -- the only thing "independent" about them is the fact that they have no safety net if they get sick, injured or downsized.

T: I guess we'll see. If, heaven forbid, Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin gets elected in 2012, we'll see how many of these same people are still holding politicians accountable and yelling "they work for us!" and how many of them fade into the woodwork.

Bee: Aw come on, you don't like subsidizing and bailing out large corporations? Where would America be today without their brilliant leadership :)

April 15, 2010 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

While i may concur wiyh some of the ideas put forth by the Teabaggers, it's hard to take them seriously when they have Sarah "Quitter" McPalin as their spokesmodel.

April 15, 2010 at 7:48 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

If tea partiers were subject to being swayed by mere facts, they wouldn't be tea partiers. Big, bad government is their all-purpose punching bag. They can't deck the boss or supervisor who gives them a hard time, can't get even with the jerk who cut them off in traffic, can't one-up some rich person they know. But they can use Uncle Sam for a punching bag to the cheers of likeminded people, and feel big and powerful for a little while.

Re: independent contractors. You're right that it's too often a "heads I win, tails you lose" bonanza for employers and a ripoff for workers.

This is just one of many very bad things rooted in a longterm (not just the current recession) and worsening employers' market, or too many job seekers vying for too few jobs.

April 16, 2010 at 1:32 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Want more taxpayer money? Slash the Pentagon and jack the top rates. Sure, there's the nasty side effect of being able to kill fewer brown people, but everything has a price.

April 16, 2010 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

Yeah Lew, that quitter Palin. What a loser!
At least the Democrats have Pelosi as the standard bearer............

April 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Those Teabaggers don't to believe anything that's closely related to the truth, as you say "boring facts."

Independent contractors should be just that, specialists that come in to a company to do a specific job that is specialized in someway and doesn't get paid minimum wage for doing it.

April 16, 2010 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Now now, Sarah Palin isn't their only spokesmodel. They also have Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Michele Malkin...

SW: And they don't articulate anything besides "tax and spend," "government takeover," "Freedom!" and other soundbites that are too vague and too general to mean anything specific. There's never a peep about the war on drugs or the Pentagon, but the stimulus package and health care reform are draining the treasury and smothering our lives. And yes, if somebody's had a bad day, they can always lash out at "the government" to let off steam.

Randal: Sorry, killing brown people is far too important. But schools, libraries, mass transit -- slash it to the bone.

Joaquin: I don't know what Nancy Pelosi has to do with anything at this post, but since you brought her up: She finishes what she starts. And I'm gonna guess that it didn't take her 7 years and 6 colleges to get her degree.

Also, I don't know what your point is in arguing with other commenters here. If you're just trying to get other people to visit your blog and leave comments there, the tactic doesn't seem to be working :)

Holte: That's true, rhetoric is so much more fun than facts.

April 16, 2010 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

While I have doubts about Palin, she was a very successful governor of Alaska. Her approval ratings were incredibly high, even amongst her Democrat constituents.

In fact, the Democrats loved her at first because she also took on the big boys in Alaska GOP politics and exposed a lot of corruption there. She actually walked the talk and pointed out wrong-doing regardless of party affiliation. That alone is incredibly refreshing!

It wasn't until she was tapped as a VP candidate that the national DNC came in to demonize her.

Further, unlike Pelosi and many of the elitist arrogant snobs of both parties in congress, Palin came from a working class family and had to pay her own way through college by working, hence her pro-longed efforts to finally get her degree.

There are definitely some aspects to her that make me uncomfortable to say the least, but I trust her conservative instincts and her executive experience far more than the non-existent experience of some man-child community organizer who wouldn't be fit to run a fortune 500 company, let alone the only remaining superpower in the world, if his resume were to come across my desk.

April 16, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

If I could pick our first woman president, Nancy Pelosi would be my choice. She's honest, has more experience than most of those who ran for president last time in either party, is smart as hell and has more cojones than anyone this side of Alan Grayson.

Pelosi has also got poise and class, which alone separates her from the likes of Palin, Malkin and the old white guys running the GOP as if it was an especially sleazy Gong Show comedy act.

April 16, 2010 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Tom, changing the subject to evade something one fears to face is a thinking error commonly employed by people trying to justify a position for which there is no rational support. In my volunteer work, I teach prisoners and former prisoners how to recognize thinking errors and understanding the problems such errors cause them and others.

April 16, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

T: We'll have to disagree about Sarah Palin. If you agree with her political views, that's fine; but she's phonier than a $3 bill. I don't know anything about her early life, so if you say she's from a working class family I'll take your word for it.

But her whole "oh, I'm a soccer mom, I'm just like you, an everyday Real American" shtick is totally staged. When she's on a nationwide tour, she flies everywhere, then travels those last few miles on "her" bus, so when she gets off the bus, all her fans think she traveled the whole distance on that bus. In Alaska, she vetoed funding for children with special needs, since she and Todd have enough money of their own to take care of Trig; those other peons can fend for themselves. Anyway, stuff like that, and jillions of other stories just like that.

I hated her since the first time I heard her speak, at the 2008 Republican convention. She and Giuliani (he was even worse) were the most obnoxious little pukes I'd ever heard. That whole convention just sounded like a bunch of 4th graders taunting the school nerd at recess. I would have thrown something at Giuliani if I was there in person.

But that was my first impression of Sarah Palin, and it's gone steadily downhill since then.

I'm not trying to change your mind, but there's no point in discussing that particular sore subject; since we both have our minds made up.

SW: I agree with you about Pelosi. Unfortunately I don't she could get elected to the White House. The Right hates her even more than they hate Hillary Clinton.

TomCat: Good point. And it's a common debating tactic, cleverly oozing into a different topic and then making a zinging one-liner. Rightwingers use this tactic a lot. I'm not saying they're the only ones; I don't argue with liberals as often so I'm less aware of the tactics they use.

April 16, 2010 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"Unfortunately I don't think she (Pelosi) could get elected to the White House. The Right hates her even more than they hate Hillary Clinton."

Let's see, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and now, Barack Obama, all fall into the category of who the right hated with maximum intensity. Do we see a pattern?

The right hates Pelosi because she's smart, determined and gets stuff done. That's a lot like Hillary Clinton, whom more than a few on the right have come to express a certain respect for of late. But in any case, show me a potential leader the right hates and I'll show you a contender the right fears.

Remember, the right isn't very interested in governing, which shows up in how bad they are at governing. What they are interested in is winning and ruling. The opponent who can govern successfully and win the public's appreciation and respect for doing worthwhile things is the political right's absolute worst nightmare. Think Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson and, many would say, Bill Clinton.

Mark my words, the more worthwhile things Obama gets done, the more the right will amp up the hate talk, the demonization and acting out.

By the same token, Pelosi would be another worst nightmare for them. Not because she's bad or incapable, but because she's just the opposite.

April 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: All good points. Food for thought.

April 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Teeluck said...

I wonder if Sarah Palin will pay taxes on that 12 million...

April 16, 2010 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger cadetcap said...

Its so annoying that everyone's going on about how income taxes have been raised. Check out my article on why Americans think Obama's raising taxes at politicalcartographer.blogspot.com. I'll add you to my blogroll.

April 16, 2010 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

From What I understand about these flakes, most are happy with what they pay,happy about social security,Smiling for Medicare and so on...Seems what their pissed about is they don't want THOSE OTHER people to have it to. I guess they just don't want to share.

April 16, 2010 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

SW said: The right hates Pelosi because she's smart, determined and gets stuff done.

That must be it, because I've heard lots of demonization of her from the right (and the left), but I can't remember ever hearing a good, tangible reason as to why she's sooooo very horrible.

April 17, 2010 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Anderson, I will agree with you that Pelosi is very smart. That is where our agreement on the topic ends, however.

She is corrupt, deceitful, and as thorougly power hungry as any of the worst politicians of either party ever were or could be.

The hypocrisy she has shown as Speaker is breathtaking. She has decried abuses when the GOP was in power, and rightly so, and then when she has the gavel she doubles down on the exact same abuses.

Her lying about not having been informed about waterboarding of terrorists to the point that members of her own party say that she was present at the meeting when they were told is just one of many examples. She lied and will lie again for political expediency, as Leon Panetta learned in that incident.

She is wickedly good at getting her legislative agenda passed though. The travesty of the current un-Constitutional Obamacare law would not have passed without her leadership and intimidation to make it so.

You are right though; she is absoultely as un-electable to the presidency as say... Newt Gingrich would be.

April 17, 2010 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Teeluck: Probably not. Or very grudgingly in any case.

cadetcap: Interesting site. I'll add it to my links.

Tim: Amazing, isn't it, how many of them are on Social Security, Medicare, disability payments of some sort. And in their younger years they probably benefited from the GI Bill, minimum wage laws and other Commie threats to Freedom.

Bee: They don't need no steenkeeng tangible reasons. She hates America and that's all you need to know :)

T: I haven't followed Pelosi that closely, so I'm gonna sit this out out :)

April 17, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Tom, is see it on the left on occasion as well, but nowhere near as often. The underlying cause is opinions formed on the basis of cherished beliefs, rather than rational thinking.

April 17, 2010 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

Obamacare...you know, once I hear that, the rest just sounds like "blabbity blabbity blah blah yadda yadda blabbity blabbity."

April 17, 2010 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

T. Paine rattles off the hard-right politics-of-personal-destruction-line on Pelosi. Sounds like secondhand trash off Limbuagh's lips and/or Fox Noise.

Missing from Paine's comment, of course, is any trace of proof. But if because I mentioned that he comes back with "proof," I expect it will be a link to a Right Wing Noise Machine source with all the credibility of Drudge and Bill O'Reilly. (I've been down this path more than once or twice before with conservatives.)

In the interest of honesty, I will concede that during the previous session of Congress, House Dems did resort to a couple of the high-handed practices perpetrated routinely when Gingrich, DeLay and Hastert were in control. From what I understand, those practices have been employed rarely if at all in this session.

BTW, Paine, when I saw Dems doing what Republicans had done, I wrote a post criticizing them for it. IMO, bad practices are just that, no matter who controls the House.

April 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Distributorcap said...

without commenting on the Palin/Pelosi thread (hey Pelosi didnt quit midterm to go on some sort of book tour and wear red leather jackets to rile up a crowd with lies and lines like "we'll hold onto our guns and religion.." and i bet Pelosi can at least name ONE newspaper she reads)

back to the tax cuts in 2010 - since they came from a foreign born socialist african american - they dont count , did you know that Tom? when the come from the blueblooded, Connecticut born Texan who ran business into the ground and go 95% to those making more than $500K, then they count, even for the the people who didnt get them.

very simple in the GOP...

and i still cant believe Palin cant name ONE supreme court case other than Roe v Wade - not even the Exxon Valdez case which was a very big deal in Alaska!

April 18, 2010 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I betcha Palin thinks Exxon Valdez is an illegal immigrant.

April 18, 2010 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

You all underestimate Palin to your own demise. You did so with Bush too, even though I don't hold him in very high regard.

Anderson, I applaud your intellectual honesty in calling a spade a spade in your posting by denouncing such practices regardless of party affiliation.

April 20, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

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