Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jon Stewart arm wrestles Grover Norquist (and wins)

Here's the Jon Stewart interview. (Dontcha wish actual newspeople interviewed this well?)

I have a pledge for you. And I bet it'd work.

"Any congressional district that elects anyone who signs Grover Norquist's pledge shall have its federal funding adjusted to equal its federal taxes paid."

This would affect mostly Republican districts who get more than they pay in. And it would balance the budget almost immediately.

Take it a step further: all congressional districts that elect a Democrat shall not have to pay more in taxes than they receive in federal funding. This would affect most Democratic districts who tend to pay more in taxes than they receive in federal dollars.

Ya see, here's the Big Hypocrisy: the districts that get the most from the federal government are Republican districts. And Republican districts nationwide, on average, get more from the federal government than they pay in.

So we'd be doing them a favor. We'd be helping them be honest, helping them be true to their ideals. No more federal gravy train for Republican districts who signed Grover's pledge (which he thought up when he was twelve–––I'm not making this up, it's on tape.) And Democrat taxpayers would stop being ripped off by the lazy, tax evading Republican parts of the country.

Anyway, Jon Stewart does a pretty fair job of outdebating Norquist. He points out that Reagan raised taxes a dozen or so times. He points out Clinton raised taxes and created a budget surplus and a boom, and Bush cut them and destroyed the global economy and bankrupted the country. Norquist doesn't blink or argue because it's all true.

Stewart does miss one big fat opportunity. When Norquist says we should get rid of public pensions and replace them with 401K's because then everyone knows exactly what they are going to get, Jon should have pointed out that 401K's are the accounts that Wall Street cleaned out over the past four years. The money went away. (Well, it didn't go away as much as it went into Goldman Sachs executive bonuses.)

Retirees under the privatized system have to pray really hard that the economy is up when they retire.

The thing Norquist hates about pensions is they are promises that have to be kept even if the market is being wiped out by pirates. Norquist doesn't like promises made to working people. Only promises made to pirates and CEOs, who are sometimes the same thing.

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