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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

I want it all for Christmas

By Tom Toles

c_12072010.gif
***
That didn't take long
The dewy-eyed innocents who have come to Washington to put an end to the compromised ways of the fallen capital have stumbled already into the voluptuous arms of the the special interests. They have suddenly discovered the need to "retire their debt," along with their independence and moral standing. Certain debts, however, don't retire, such as the one they now owe to the the interests who paid them off.

But they have NOT surrendered their moral preening, and you will enjoy various imaginative justifications on how this legal corruption is actually constituent service!

Read it and weep, those of you who bought the idea that electing more Republicans would be the path to reform here in the Emerald City. Then dry your eyes and see that you have been gamed yet again, and the name of that game is still the same: money in politics. And the money comes from...oh!...the rich! Now watch in surprise as your newly duly elected representatives vote to serve the interests of the rich! Who could have guessed. --Tom Toles
***
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By Tom Toles  | December 7, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Next: Bye-bye, Miss American Pie

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Comments

One thing I have observed is that Obama is one of the luckiest politicians in history.

If his luck keeps running, and he actually gets Sarah Palin as his 2012 foe, he may just live to play another day.

As luck would have it.

Posted by: cautious | December 9, 2010 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Jaba the Hut was a CARICATURE? Noooooo...

Posted by: jonroesler | December 8, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The talk was about extending the Bush tax cuts, which were intended to expire because some who finally agreed to vote on them were leery of what would happen if the economy went bad, which it did.

So yeah, you could get pedantic and say this was about tax increases instead of tax cuts. If you want to be that way, Bush increased the taxes when he signed the law.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

dalyplanet, no matter how you want to phrase it, these are tax cuts we're talking about. For the vast majority of the 20th century, the top marginal income tax rate was above 50%. In what a lot of Republicans consider the golden age of Republican government in the US, the 1950s, the rate was 91%! In the latter half of the 20th century, it didn't drop below 50% until 1987, dropping from 50% to 38.5%. Do you know what it is now? 35%. A slight increase of a couple percentage points to counter the Bush tax cuts (38.6% before Bush) is all this would have done, yet it would have applied hundreds of millions of dollars toward a balanced federal budget, AND helped states get out of the red as well (with state rates very dependent on federal rates).

You're trying to defend tax rates for uber-wealthy people that are not justified in these economic times. Tax cuts for rich people do NOT create jobs. We learned that under little Bush and other "trickle down" presidents before him. Give it up. This is a pet theme of the wealthiest section of Republican society, and it's hurting the entire country. When your nation is so very good to you by allowing you to get so very rich, you need to turn around and be good to your nation.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | December 7, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

alrighty then dalyplanet...how 'bout we talk envy and human anatomy....
can you say penis?

Posted by: bertzel | December 7, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't you all find it ironic there is not a nickel's worth of outcome difference between what has been described here as the 'dumbest' and the 'smartest' president.

Words matter and those here and the media describing "tax cuts for the rich" are not being truthful. All proposals were about tax INCREASES not cuts. The current agreement puts off tax increases for 2 years. I am amazed that the media esp. can describe not getting an increase as a CUT to government revenue.

The proposed tax increases on the rich are really only tax increases on higher income middle class workers. The rich are only taxed on a portion of what they spend not what they 'earn'. The tax laws are written in a way that most investment income is deferred or in trust or from a no tax hedge fund so they are the ones who do not pay their fair share. Bill Gates sheltered most of his tax free investment income in a charitable trust so none of it will fall into government hands, how noble of him. Now all of his living expense is related to his 'charity work' and not taxable. I wonder how much bigger that fund gets yearly tax free.

Figure out a way to tax true wealth and our budgets will balance and a control feedback loop will mitigate bubble mentality. Warren Buffet and others can afford to pay 1% or 2% of their net worth not the tiny sum they pay in taxable earned income. I am not holding my breath that this will ever happen but a tax on wealth would really be taxing the rich.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 7, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Tom Toles shows what good ART is:
Not Always Pretty.

This is one of my favorite cartoon, because
both of these characters are fat.
Santa is fat & the old kid is fat.

Both are rich and adored by millions.
Both love the material life, in opposition to major
spiritual traditions. Both may love
charity, but not necessarily good public policy.

Posted by: Tony-KS | December 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

As a member of 'the rich', and one who will benefit handsomely from the government's generosity to me, I must confess that even I am surprised by how easy it was to get the newly-elected Republicans to forget all about their angst over the deficit and serve my interests at the expense of the country. I expected them to at least put up a show for a few weeks before they abandoned all of their campaign promises.

Posted by: DaveHarris | December 7, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

When the Tibet Dalai Lama came to our soil a few years ago,
some asked "What does America need most?"

He replied, "Lose weight."

Other things we should lose are
1. TV commercials
2. TV lies & false propaganda
3. Fascination with games
4. Fascination with rich and sinful.
5. Selfishness in Policy.

Posted by: Tony-KS | December 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

From some of the comments here, it looks like I need to ask once again the question that conservatives can never answer...what are the latest batch of Republicans proposing that was any different than the train wreck that was the GOP Congress and the Bush Jr. White House of a few years ago?

Here we go again...tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, let's bomb Iran/North Korea, no science is to be believed when it flies in the face of the narrative, cuts in social programs, etc, etc.

Where did these policies take us in the first 8 years of this century? Anyone? Anyone?

Problem is, we're supposed to have some people in charge now that know that these things were a bad idea. Oh, but never mind...we'll take a few months of meager unemployment benefits so the super-wealthy can continue to get super-wealthier. "Please sir...may I have some more gruel?"

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | December 7, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Tom: Great work. The only comment I would make is that you should have made the rich guy look more fat and ugly. Along thge lines of Jaba The Hut in the Star Wars series.

Come to think of it, the rich have personality issues kind of like ol' Jaba. They want everything for nothing (make sure the other guy pays and not them), hire thugs to keep it that way (lobbyists, congressman, senators, etc), consume way too much (as Jaba's appearance suggests) and generally crap over everything along the way.

Yup. The best government money can buy.

There is no hope for us. Say good by to the great, late experiment called America. It worked for a while but it is over now.

Posted by: joseph_charles | December 7, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Yo, TT -- Today was one of those few days when I actually read all the written pieces from your noble supporters and pea-brained detractors. It strikes me as astounding – well, okay, somewhat astounding – that there are still people who think about the “richies” as (A) quite deserving of their wealth, either mystically or magically; (B) waiting off-stage to step out, suddently do the right thing by announcing that they’ve doubled or tripled their payrolls; (C) preparing room at the financial ladder’s top rungs for those of us living check-to-check or enduring un(der)employment; or (D) innately worthy of supporting their racist, nouveau riche causes on election day and in their conversations, and in their well-guarded, weak-minded and disdainful perceptions of those politicians who are actually “watching their backs.” On the other hand – or would that be “In all fairness?” – no doubt the Titanic had passengers who blamed the iceberg, rather than the crew.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | December 7, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Our labors have fruit because we rely on our community for safety, order, justice, learning, and a sound and practical economic system. Those are the costs of being able to labor in health and safety. So I suggest that we have to pay for the direct and indirect costs of social structures - community, state, nation, world. Or did I get basic society and economics wrong?

Posted by: Jazzman7 | December 7, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, you don't think that those who voted for Obama have been gamed?
You don't think that Obama serves the interests of the rich?
Look at the people on his economic team: They're from Wall Street!

Posted by: DirtFarmer1 | December 7, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Tom, my wife gave me a great idea and I’m passing it on to you: Why don’t you give us some of your intellectual property so we can sell it as our own…that way the government doesn’t have to take their cut when they share the wealth.
That’s the same thing your advocating isn’t it?

Posted by: quiensabe | December 7, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Tom: Great work of late. As I've said to my neighbor Ed, "The game is over and we lost." The game ended in September 2008 when Bernacke and Paulson marched to the Congress and asked for $750B to save Wall Street and got it within a week. It's over. Money won the game and our country is failing. Andy F.

Posted by: andy317usmc | December 7, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we are asking the wrong questions.
Perhaps we should be questioning where our political parties 'realistically' see our nation 10-20 years from now?

What do they consider the most important objective in achieving the prosperity this nation once had and how do we make it a reality…not just a campaign promise?

What actual steps will be taken to get this nation ‘up and running’ again?

What type of ‘workforce’ do they think will best benefit this country and why?

Will they ever agree on anything without strings attached?

It is clear the rich want to rule…am uncertain as to what kind of nation it is they would like to rule over.

I will throw this out there again: “An equilibrium of agriculture, manufactures & commerce is certainly become essential to our independence.” ~~~Thomas Jefferson

Then we have: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.” ~~~Maurice Strong

If the industrial civilization does indeed collapse (and it most certainly has been heading in that direction here in the states) where does that leave us????
Let us be realistic...

Posted by: bertzel | December 7, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Tom, there's an aspect here I haven't seen pointed out, and it seems a natural for your cartoons.

Both the Greedy Old Party and the Dimocrats compromised here; and gave something up. They made a sacrifice of their principals; for Christmas.

What did they give up?

Well, the Greedies temporarily shelved their fierce objections to running the government further into debt- so that the wealthy (themselves, in fact) can get wealthier; at taxpayer expense.

The Dimmies gave up their objection to the wealthy continuing to escape paying their fair share- so that millions of unemployed could continue to receive their pittance- thus preventing thousands of foreclosures, and suicides.

That's it. The GOP will sell out for money. The Dims will sell out for- oh, compassion.

Plain and simple. Would be interesting to know how many of the unemployed, thus rescued, voted Republican.

Posted by: woodyag | December 7, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Grow up already Tom and start thinking for yourself. It gets funnier every day watching supposedly grown men spew the liberal catch phrases on and on and on. You would rather have the government take money from the 'rich' that earned it? Now that is good fiscal policy! No wonder your comics appear in the Post- what, no one else would print them?

Posted by: rveatch | December 7, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Tom . . . you're getting the cynical style I only this morning had slid its snakey head back into mine. But there you have it: the result of re-electing the forces and voices that brought you "The Great Recession." Sure, rich people, let's have 4 more years of you trickling your "leavings" on the rest of us. That works.

Yet the Democratic party can't find a voice to speak with. It cannot find enough unity to stand with its President. No clear message about standing with the "people." Bickering. Makes us wish for something; can't say exactly what. Anyway, my point ("and I do have one") is that we need to stop listening to "leaders" who are not. Pay attention to the "chorus" of the ancient Greek plays; there you see the sway of opinion in the public as influenced first by first-hand knowledge and then by persuasive public figures. Do we believe our experience or paid advertising?

Posted by: Jazzman7 | December 7, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Wise tax policies are not punitive.
Borrowing to pay for social services is not a wise tax policy.

Posted by: GeneTouchet | December 7, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Wise tax policies are not punitive.
Borrowing to pay for social policies is not a wise tax policy.

Posted by: GeneTouchet | December 7, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

What an idiot. Half of this country doesn't pay any income tax at all. This fool is complaining that some get to keep 65% of their money instead of 60%.

Liberals in this country are nothing but thieves, period.

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | December 7, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Yes - the rich and their lobbyists now own all three branches : the Supreme Court sold out in 2004 and again in 2010; Congress has always been in the bag; the President has turned out to be a wimp who blows in whatever direction the political is blowing. What a complete and utter mistake it has been electing Obama - he is McCain with a Democratic name. It is not impossible that the GOP actually worked with the Dems to get him nominated!!!!

Posted by: PlumHunter | December 7, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

The rich have screwed this country royally. They have -0- loyalty to the country and are perfectly willing to see the rest of us crash and burn as long as they and their children have more money than god.

Posted by: aartmann112004 | December 7, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

It is hard on me to be ashamed of our government, but the right side of the Congress manages to do it regularly.

Posted by: Geezer4 | December 7, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Two years ago with the economy on the verge of collapse, Obama and a new Democratic Congress with large majorities in both houses and fresh from what everyone called a clear mandate, limited themselves to $800 billion dollar stimulus plan because anything bigger would not get past minority Republicans. Not a single House Republican voted for the stimulus plan.

Now, 2 years later, after a national election that both parties said was about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and/or Debt, Debt, Debt, a 900 billion dollar package of 94% tax cuts and 6% unemployment benefits has been agreed to by Obama and Democratic leaders.

Tax cuts get a poor bang for the buck when it comes to job creation and estate tax cuts literally create no jobs and no economic stimulus.

Republicans are lining up to oppose an increase in the debt ceiling in a few months but I’ve heard nothing about forcing an early vote to account for this 900 billion dollar addition to the national debt.

The country needs to spend about 200 billion a year for the next ten years to fix our crumbling infrastructure. The unemployment rate among construction workers is about 25%. Borrowing money is at historical lows. For half the cost of the tax cut plan, we could literally begin to rebuild America for the next 2 years and extend unemployment benefits for 2 years and give a giant boast of confidence and put people back to work.



Posted by: EarlyBird1 | December 7, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

"As I have said before Obama is a lot like Bush only going at it harder and faster."

When two very different people look at the facts and do essentially the same thing in response - the facts have got to be very compeling and urgent.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 7, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

"The fruits of one’s labour belong not to the government, but to the creator."

OK. I can see that.

But why not pay one's share of the bills?

We all benefit from our infrastructure.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 7, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

There is one rule in politics and that is "Do not believe your own propaganda."

Use it, but do not believe it.

Now the Republicans have loaded on the tax cuts and expect it will bring down the economy and their person will be elected in 12. Good idea. But the President is planning on an economic rebound and that will bring a victory to him.

In the Republican propaganda, there is no such thing as good spending. If there were to be good spending, it means that our government does know what it is doing and can make good decisions.

So, we will see.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 7, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

The sketches of a troll consumed with envy and fuelled by class warfare. Taxes are punitive in nature. Why punish those who are most successful while rewarding those who are not? To separate one from his wealth, regardless of the reason, is stealing.

The fruits of one’s labour belong not to the government, but to the creator. You confuse equal opportunity with the desire for equal results.

Posted by: EWH1 | December 7, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

You are an excellent writer too.

Posted by: pdurand | December 7, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Dear Santa, thank you for keeping the tax rates the same and just think Democrats are still in control and the Republicans don't take charge until Jan 2011. So in 2011 please bring us the repeal of Obamacare. Thanks Billy.

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 7, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

So, this is something to be out of the normal? Spend 750K to get elected, and not be tempted for reimbursement? Like it's never happened on either side of the political spectrum?

Let's not jump, but check voting records 6 months from now.

Sheez.

Posted by: chaunceygardener | December 7, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

dalyplanet, I'm impressed by your ability to ignore the actual subject and turn it directly into pure bashing of those you disagree with. My hat's off to you and your constant ability to stay on your one track.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 6, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

~~ You all must be so proud.
Posted by: dalyplanet~~

What???

The Republilcans have PROVEN that they would just as easily shut down than give in...Obama is SMART enough to see a brick wall(damn) and 'deal' with the situation....if you or anyone else cannot see that, it is You, not the President,who has the problem...Politics suck (literally)...always have and to think otherwise is to be delusional.
Give and take...push and pull...tit for tat...why would anyone expect anything different?
In the end....he (your President) has 'compromised for the sake of the middle class. Period.

Posted by: bertzel | December 6, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been such an equivocator that he's moved out of the White House and into Waffle House.

Posted by: 4Runner1 | December 6, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Q: What might be even better than extending tax cuts for the rich?

A: Republicans in the House abolishing Pelosi's Special House Panel on Global Warming!

Posted by: jornolibist | December 6, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things."

Margaret Mead

Posted by: EarlyBird1 | December 6, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles

The latest headline as illustrated in your thoughtful but misleading drawing is not the the dewy-eyed innocents caving to special interests(although your diversionary link does describe a practice common to all legislators) but the last act of the "Hope & Change" lame duck congress soon to be booted. I for one am surprised by the strong similarities between the 'Decider' and the 'Messiah' in getting things done. All the divisive class envy libs looking for tax increases on "the rich" are going to be waiting a couple more years for the Bush tax cuts to expire plus some more additional tax cuts added for good measure. Plus another couple of years of "nation building" thrown in for good measure. As I have said before Obama is a lot like Bush only going at it harder and faster. You all must be so proud.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 6, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

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