Thursday, October 6, 2011

Those Were The Days

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is a never-ending fountain of wisdom… if you count batshittery as wisdom. Here he is musing about how great things were when the only people who could vote were the landed gentry (i.e. the rich white guys).

As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted—that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending—to have some skin in the game.

Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don’t have an income tax liability. And it’s pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all. In fact, of our unemployment numbers—that run in the 13 or 14 million category—when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren’t working.

Now I don’t think they’re paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.

The man is a genius at stupidity; even for an elected official, he has no peer.

Aside from the fact that he’s demonstrably wrong in saying that “47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes,” — households that fall below the federal income tax level still pay state, local, sales, and all sorts of other taxes — the reason that a lot of people came to this country and continent even before it was the good ole U.S.A. was because they didn’t have the right to vote in the old country. If there was voting at all, it was limited to property owners. It’s one of the reasons that universal suffrage — well, at the time, being white and male was considered “universal” — was written into the Constitution. It was a revolutionary idea at the time; no one else was doing it.

The only thing I can’t figure out is why Steve King isn’t running for president.