Anderson Cooper: The garbage this nation accepts!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2011

Empty head, furrowed brow—Cooper declaims about taxes: You can tell that Anderson Cooper cares. He lets you see his furrowed brow.

But good God! The intellectual garbage this nation accepts! About twenty minutes into last night’s debate, Cooper was asking the candidates questions about tax policy. The savant turned to Michele Bachmann.

Incredibly, Cooper said this:
COOPER (10/18/11): Congresswoman Bachmann, you said in the last debate that everyone should pay something. Does that mean that you would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don't pay taxes?
It’s hard to have an emptier head that the one Cooper employs.

Forty-seven percent of Americans currently don't pay taxes! That is just utterly bogus, of course—but that’s clearly what Cooper had said. And instantly, things got worse. Here is the fuller exchange, exactly as it is transcribed in the CNN/Nexis transcript:
COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you said in the last debate that everyone should pay something. Does that mean that you would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don't pay taxes?

BACHMANN: I believe absolutely every American benefits by this magnificent country. Absolutely every American should pay something, even if it's a dollar.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: Everyone needs to pay something in this country.
How do voters get disinformed? You just saw part of the process.

So typical! A roomful of voters heard Cooper say that forty-seven percent of Americans “currently don't pay taxes!” Not absurdly, they cheered and applauded when Bachmann said these freeloaders should pay something, even if only a dollar. Cooper himself is paid millions per year to serve transplendent crap like that. He is now getting paid millions more for clowning around in the afternoon on his tabloid talk program.

Why is Cooper so dumb at night? In part, could it be because he wastes his time clowning around in the daytime?

It’s hard to be as dumb as Cooper. For his efforts, he’s massively paid. We liberals prefer to blame the voters who get disinformed in these ways.

35 comments:

  1. More precisely, 47% of Americans don't pay Federal income tax. Many of these 47% pay wage taxes, most of them pay FICA, and virtually all of them pay sales tax.

    The point of having everybody pay something isn't so much to punish the freeloaders, it's more to preserve democracy. A long-understood theoretical problem with democracy is that the less-wealthy majority may vote to force the wealth minority to give them their money. But, too much redistribution would destroy the economy. Nobody would work hard to make money or save to accumulate property that would just be taken away from them.

    When half the people aren't paying federal income tax, it's easy for them to vote for federal tax increases so large as to destroy the economy. If all Americans paid some income tax, they'd be less likely to do this.

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  2. "When half the people aren't paying federal income tax, it's easy for them to vote for federal tax increases so large as to destroy the economy. If all Americans paid some income tax, they'd be less likely to do this."
    --------------------
    How "easy" could it be? They haven't even tried it yet.

    Berto

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  3. David, even granting all of your faulty premises, why would a nominal universal federal income tax make its payers less likely to vote increases in the highest marginal rates?

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  4. "When half the people aren't paying federal income tax, it's easy for them to vote for federal tax increases so large as to destroy the economy."

    You mean, David, as opposed to the top 1% who *did* destroy the economy, despite paying the lowest taxes in the industrialized world? (Yes, I do realize that, in your universe, wrecking the economy was the fault of Barney Frank and all the poor people who hoodwinked the Masters of the Universe into lending them money and buying up their mortgages.)

    One might also ask why, if the bottom 47% are so ready to raise taxes on the wealthy, they haven't yet done so, despite the fact that their share of the national economy has been shrinking for about 30 years, while the taxes on the richest and most privileged, and on corporate America, have steadily declined over the same period.

    As to why it's good to impoverish the already poor, who earn less than the standard deduction and personal exemption, well hell -- we all know it's good for their characters. This makes far more sense, anyway, than ensuring that they earn enough to exceed the thresholds of the standard deduction and personal exemptions. I mean, jeez, that would be socialism!

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  5. Bob,

    You have in David in Cal a perfect illustration of why your program of liberal enlightenment won't work. For every Krugman, there are a thousand Davids -- on corporate, think-tank, media and economics payrolls, and saturating the airwaves. Even when Krugman is "on", these people command (and demand) equal time (their thousands of unopposed hours elsewhere apparently don't count).

    Whether our friend "David" is here to disrupt the proceedings or honestly believes his (or their) sophisms (I would opt for the former) doesn't matter in the slightest, because we face exactly the same dilemma in mass-media discourse.

    How does anyone "message", facing this corporate-funded barrage of untruth? Particularly when "refuting" this nonsense again and again isn't rewarding, intellectually -- not many people would care to make a career of it. Nobody wins a Nobel, for refuting right-wing nonsense, day in and day out.

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  6. Our top story...farcical primary "debate" features farcical questions, answers.

    "Imagine you are an idiot. Then imagine you are a member of Congess. But I repeat myself." --Mark Twain

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  7. David, David, David, where do you get this dreck?
    Don't answer that, I don't want to know.

    Ever since Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the Great American Democratic Experiment, conservatives have been predicting that democracy will fail as soon as the lower classes learn they can vote for wealth instead of working for it.

    De Tocqueville was a bit more cynical than that. What he did write in 1835 was that an industrial aristocracy will rise from the ownership of labor, warning that ‘...friends of democracy must keep an anxious eye peeled in this direction at all times’ saying further that the route of industry was the gate by which a new found wealthy class may potentially dominate.

    Take a look around and tell me which America you see.

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  8. It's obvious that Anderson Cooper's brain has been buffeted by one too many Hurricanes. That must be why his handlers have reassigned him to PLO. That's 'Permanent Latrine Orderly.'

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  9. "David, even granting all of your faulty premises, why would a nominal universal federal income tax make its payers less likely to vote increases in the highest marginal rates?"

    Anonymous: you're forgetting something. If the Davids have their way, we'll have a flat tax. So of course the poor and middle-class will work against any tax increases, particularly after already absorbing the huge hit a flat-tax system will cost them. Remember, the Davids want to "broaden the tax base" -- i.e., make the poor pay taxes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous said:
    How does anyone "message", facing this corporate-funded barrage of untruth? Particularly when "refuting" this nonsense again and again isn't rewarding, intellectually -- not many people would care to make a career of it. Nobody wins a Nobel, for refuting right-wing nonsense, day in and day out.

    That's where building macro themes and messaging comes in. Yeah, we'll never have the corporate funding they have, but presumably our path is aided by having the truth on our side; looking at history, fact does tend to win out, though the process is virtually always slow and painful.

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  11. Speaking of buffoonish press coverage of the latest GOP debate, this was the headline story at the NYT shortly after the debate. What makes this article so terrible? Just dig this closing paragraph:

    The nearly two-hour debate offered a rolling and combative night of exchanges, which highlighted the diverging views among Republicans over the Wall Street bailout, military spending and aid to Israel.

    Wow, sounds like a good topic for a newspaper article! Too bad it was the offhand closing remark in an article about the catty things the candidates were saying to each other. I mean, it's a big surprise to me that there is some disagreement within this group about aid to Israel. I'm guessing that would be from Ron Paul, but I'm left to my own devices here.

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  12. A former long serving Bush 43 administration official, who currently holds a position as a Hoover Institution Research Fellow, answers the question: Why do so many Americans pay no income taxes? Keith Hennessey says [my emphasis]:

    >>>>>...The huge number of Americans who owe no income taxes is the result of the interaction of three tax policies:

    --a progressive rate structure and a standard deduction;

    --the Earned Income Tax Credit, which significantly reduces tax liability for the lowest earners;

    --the per-child tax credit, which significantly reduces tax liability for low- and moderate-income families with kids.

    Different political coalitions support these three policies:

    There is broad-based political support spanning both parties for a progressive rate structure. Republicans split on this point, with some conservatives favoring a flat tax. Even many flat tax supporters support some progressivity with a large(r) standard deduction.

    Support for expanding/keeping EITC tends to be center-left. Many on the right oppose it at its current size.

    Support for the per-child tax credit is nearly universal, but it started on the right.

    The large number of people who owed no income taxes until the mid-90s was driven largely by the first two factors and especially by the Earned Income Tax Credit, a policy driven by the Left.

    The dramatic increase in the number of people who owed no income taxes since the mid-90s was driven almost entirely by the creation and expansion of the per-child tax credit, a policy driven by the Right.

    This was a “pro-family” tax credit created in the 1994 Contract with America, pushed to a veto by Congressional Republicans in 1995, negotiated with President Clinton in 1997, and expanded by President Bush and Republicans.

    Behind closed doors Republicans split on the per-child tax credit. Economic types oppose it or hold their noses. Social/family conservatives vigorously support it, as does almost anyone running for office.

    It’s easy for Republicans to complain today about the end result. They (we) have an out in that they can point to the EITC as one of the causes. But much of this outcome is driven by tax policy changes initiated and expanded by Republicans....<<<<<

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  13. Somebody making $20,000 a year should pay income taxes because he should feel the same supposed tax "pain" as Bill Gates or the Koch brothers?? Huh? Some of these people not paying federal income taxes are poor seniors surviving on Social Security. So some widow subsisting on a SS payment of $1,000/month should have to pay some income taxes as well? Or a single mother of 2 kids, working at 2 part time jobs with no health coverage, no pension benefits and making the grand total of $25,000 a year should be punished with federal income taxes? During much of the 1940s through the 1970s, the top marginal tax rate ranged from 91% to 71%. Now the GOP wants poor Michael Dell to be burdened with a 9% tax rate? Welcome to the plutocratic republic of kleptocrats.

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  14. Cooper has retracted and apologized:

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201110190022

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  15. Cooper also repeatedly called it "Obamacare." Deeply furrowed brow absent, however.

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  16. First of all I hate Anderson Cooper. I hate the progeny of super rich people.(Little Gloria Vanderbilt Happy at last) Remember that book?It
    was turned into a tv miniseries.Anderson needs
    something important to do while waiting for uber
    rich mommy to die and leave him her billions.
    In America everybody pays taxes. But to the Republican party if you are called a hard working
    poor person it is not a compliment but an accusation.This means you are not paying your fair share and you need to ante up.Look out working poor The republicans know where the real
    money is and they are gonna turn your pockets
    inside out.

    ReplyDelete
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