Confronting the Tea Baggers With Reality

Fred Clark (via Andrew Sullivan) tries to confront tea-baggers with reality. He agrees they should be angry but goes through sixteen steps to explain why their anger is directed in the wrong direction. He begins by having them compare their pay stubs from this year and last year so they will see that their taxes have not gone up under Obama as they frequently claim:

6. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld for taxes in your current paycheck is less than the amount that was withheld a year ago.

That’s because of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan, which included more than $200 billion in tax cuts, including the one you’re holding right there in your hand, the tax cut that’s now staring you in the face. Republicans all voted against that tax cut. And then they told you to get angry about the stimulus plan. They didn’t explain, however, why you were supposed to get angry about getting a tax cut. Why would you be? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get angry at the people who voted against that Obama tax cut?

He proceeds to explain that the key reason their take home pay goes down and not up is due to increased health care costs. Therefore protesting against health care reform is counterproductive:

15. Do you see the point here? You are angrily, loudly demanding that Congress make sure that you never, ever get another pay raise as long as you live. Because of you and because of your angry demands, you and your family and your kids are going to have to get by with less this year than last year. And next year you’re going to have to get by with even less. And if you keep angrily demanding that no one must ever fix this problem, then you’re going to have to figure out how to get by on less and less every year for the rest of your life.

16. So please, for your own sake, for your family’s sake and the sake of your children, stop. Stop demanding that problems not get fixed. Stop demanding that you keep getting screwed. Stay angry — you should be angry — but start directing that anger toward the system that’s screwing you over and taking money out of your pocket. Start directing that anger toward fixing problems instead of toward making sure they never get fixed. Instead of demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you never, ever, get another pay raise, start demanding that they pass health care reform, as soon as possible. Because until they do, you’re just going to keep on getting screwed.

And it’s going to be that much worse knowing that you brought this on yourself — that you demanded it.

If anyone thinks that Fred is being too kind in going through this step by step for those who cannot understand, proceed to his conclusion after the sixteenth step:

P.S. — I didn’t mention this because I’m trying here to be as patient with you as I can, but you might also want to keep in mind that in addition to screwing over yourself and screwing over your family and screwing over your own children by demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you will never, ever see another pay raise, by doing that you’re also demanding that I never, ever see another pay raise, which means that you’re also screwing over me, and my family, and my children. Not to mention the millions of poor and uninsured and uninsureable people I didn’t even mention above because they don’t seem to matter at all to you. And for that, let me just say the only appropriate thing that can be said to someone so determined to do direct, tangible harm to the welfare of my family: Fuck you, you fucking moron.

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  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    Hate to bust your bubble, but now Uncle Same is now taking out 24 dollars more each month than last year and that’s on a retirement check, cannot even claim I live on a fixed income with it heading south.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Your retirement check is also lower because of health care costs. This does not burst any bubble–it is consistent with what I’ve been saying.

  3. 3
    TimFromLA says:

    Maybe they’re like that because they’re mentally handicapped? I mean, though not proper, doesn’t Republicans and retardicans sound quite similar?

  4. 4
    Infidel753 says:

    Interesting.  I made this comparison and my federal tax withholding was about 8% lower on my last paycheck than on the one for the nearest date last year.  And health-insurance costs have gone up quite a lot.

  5. 5
    Mill Messenger says:

    #liberal Confronting the Tea Baggers With Reality

  6. 6
    Marion Young says:

    Confronting the Tea Baggers With Reality Liberal Values

  7. 7
    Stinger503 says:

    People are forgetting that the Tea Parties are about abolishing the Federal Reserve. That’s the reality.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    People in the Tea Parties are saying much more than abolishing the Federal Reserve. This includes many of them protesting against Obama claiming he increased their taxes when he actually lowered them.

  9. 9
    Karen2010 says:

    The Tea Parties is for everyone not a Republican or Liberal cause, it’s called a people cause and talk about FEAR the progressives really are afraid. When you have to wait 8-10 hours just to see a doctor then you can praise Obama and it’s not over yet

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:


    You might think that the Tea Parties are not a Republican cause, and technically it is not, but it is being manipulated by people on the far right with misinformation.

    The Tea Parties about fear, but misplaced fear. You are being manipulated by the people you should really be afraid of, such as the insurance companies who are misleading you about health care reform to protect their profits.

    There is nothing in the health care reform which would limit you ability to see a doctor. The opposite is true–health care reform would eliminate many of the obstacles which keep people from receiving needed medical care, or force people with insurance into bankruptcy when they get sick. That is why the American Medical Association and my patient advocacy groups support health care reform. For example, see the statement from the American Diabetes Association supporting health care insurance reform:

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