Friday, April 17, 2009


You are invited to steal this picture. Drag and drop it to your desktop. Share it with friends. Post it on your blog if you are as annoyed as I am with Tempest in a Tea Bag Day.  All rights are hereby waived.

Our national debt is currently $11 trillion dollars.  Deficit spending by three, successive Republican administrations accounts for $9 trillion of the total … a whopping 82%.  Tempest in a Tea Bag Day is a deception whose real agenda is to blame GOP transgressions on Democrats and obstruct plans to fix our economy.

Nine out of 11 trillion dollars in total!  What an interesting ratio.  It reminds me of another 9/11, but undoubtedly any reference to the terrorist attack of 9/11 would surely offend (although the insinuation is damn tempting).

So go ahead: Steal this picture, post it, and go viral.

A special thanks to our friends and colleagues who supported this effort during the weekend: Brain Rage, Captain Fogg, TAO, Green Eagle, Shaw Kenawe, Generik Brand, and others too numerous name here.  Our friend, The Deranged Leftwing Baker, went even further by adding this graph to embellish the above:

(Double click to enlarge; back button to return)

Sometimes a clever cartoon makes a complex topic even simpler and more dramatic:


  1. That's how you tea bag the tea baggers.

  2. It's the next headline at my sister site Octo. Mucho gracias Brother.

  3. A very classy graphic. Love that outer glow on the text.
    I put it right up on my little blog (with credit of course), and want to thank you

  4. She's going up tonight with a link to this post, OCTO. You're doing good work here.

  5. Yet, Republicans want to pin their transgressions on Democrats, and specifically the Obama administration, in an attempt to derail important legislation designed to fix our economy.Not true, Octo. I'm well aware that Republicans have dropped the ball and are to blame for quite a bit. However, the Democrats haven't impressed me. Bush began the bailouts; Obama is continuing them. The Democrats and the Republicans BOTH wanted the darn earmarks; however, BOTH sides could've cut some of those and maybe we could've had 2,000 instead of 8,000. I'm mad at past and present officials. They think they're in office for life and can do whatever they want. To heck with the promises they made; to heck with the people; to heck with America...and I'm sick of it. The Tea Party FOR ME was about making a stand and a statement that I'm not going to stand around with my head in the sand and I'm not going to let it be politics as usual anymore. My ONE voice is now thousands. And it's not just a conservative voice, it's an AMERICAN voice. This transcends party lines. Which is what we need. I'm not blaming Obama, he stepped into a mess. But putting a tax cheat in office isn't going to get me on his side. Although, I'll bet 80% of our officials are corrupt. We need to clean house!

  6. Pamela, I understand your frustration which is mutually shared. You do believe me?

    Let me clarify, however, a few misconceptions. First, earmarks account for far less than 1% of the federal budget. The lions' share of the deficit comes from the mistaken belief that lower taxes are a virtue unto itself without regard to the giant budget black hole created in the process ... and without regard to the fact that government never really shrinks ... its just goes deeper into the hole.

    Although there will always be folks who demand lower taxes (how low can one go before going into deficit?), prosperity and confidence in the economy are far more important than shaving off a few tax percentage points. Please consider these stimulus threshholds:Accelerated Depreciation – $ 0.27
    Bush Income Tax Cuts -- $0.29
    Corporate Tax Cut -- $0.30
    Dividend and Capital Gains Tax Cuts -- $0.37
    Across the Board Tax Cuts -- $1.03

    Aid to States -- $1.36
    Infrastructure Investments -- $1.59
    Unemployment Extended Benefits -- $1.64
    Food Stamps -- $1.73

    Interpretation: When money changes hands, some of it is saved (removed from circulation) and some of it is spent (continues changing hands and remains in circulation). Money that continues to circulate is known as the accelerator effect, and the goal of any stimulus program is to keep money in circulation as long as possible – resulting in maximum bang for the buck.

    As you can see from the above, the stimulating effect of tax cuts is actually quite small. Programs such as aid to states, infrastructure investment, unemployment, and food stamps are far more likely to keep money flowing through the economy.

    And consider this: Tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy cost far more than the amount of economic benefit returned. In other words, the rich get richer while the rest of us get stuck with public debt and end up losing even more.

    To make an informed decision, you really need to understand these concepts before venting frustration and anger. For a more detailed discussion, please read this post and the accompanying comments.

  7. You will be proud to know I rejected 9 comments regarding your teabag picture on my sister site Octo.

    I hate moderating but we have some insane bloggers where I live.

  8. Many thanks for the graphic, will post on my blog with credit to you. Keep fighting the good fight!

  9. I ripped. . . I mean cross posted this too, but I'm 100% sure some condescending voice will chastise my naive misunderstanding of things too complex for a non-Republican mind. It always happens.

    I hope we have at least a brief reprieve from the douche. . . I mean Tea baggery though. I've seen placards telling Obama to give the throne back to God. I've heard people comparing Obama to George III, king by divine right and of course calls for secession and revolution, but not a mention that for 95% of us, Obama promises a tax cut.

    No one that crazy is going to be convinced by any argument as weak as truth.

  10. No one that crazy is going to be convinced by any argument as weak as truth.Very well said Fogg.

  11. The right seems to forget that Obama was elected by something greater than a 5 to 4 vote and that dissent differs from sedition.

    BTW, the graphic came from anonymous (who is quite the prolific commenter) over at The Editor's place, I believe.

    Keep up the fine work,(O).

  12. I sent the tea bag poster along to all my republican friend. I only have one.

    The reply was that it must be more than a statistic.

    So I sent the bar graph also.

  13. "Tempest in a Tea Bag Day is a deception whose real agenda is to blame GOP transgressions on Democrats and obstruct plans to fix our economy"

    Sorry, pal.

    We blame GOP transgressions on the GOP.

    When someone is incapable of presenting facts, he/she turns to name calling. Tea baggers is an offensive bit of name calling that has nothing to do with what went on Wednesday.

    Honest people would know that.

    Are you one of them?

  14. "We?" Who the hell is "we?"

    You speak for all Republicans? You put lying words and hateful harangues in Rush's mouth? You write copy for all the Fox opinion shouters?

    Honest people call Obama a "tyrant" a fascist, a Marxist for agreeing with Adam Smith about graduated income taxes and providing a middle class tax cut?
    Yeah sure.

    Who is trying to fool whom here? Let me put it in simple terms: Top bracket tax cuts don't pay off debts or do anything your party has claimed they will. Deregulation and removal of oversight fosters criminal activity
    -- which has been demonstrated time and again.
    You have nothing new to offer. You do nothing but sabotage and misinform and attempt snotty rejoinders.

    If you don't want to be called a tea bagger, don't give tea bag parties, stirring up the stupid and calling for revolution because of a 3% marginal increase that won't affect you -- after "you" bankrupted the country. Don't claim taxation without representation because you lost an election all because you didn't represent us honestly and broke law after law.

    The hell you're offended. It's your dishonest way of deflecting honest criticism and blame. It's arrogant, it's disgusting, it's seditious, it's unAmerican, it's the rotten core of that fulsome fruit of free for all economics that should have been thrown away decades ago.

  15. Damn, Capt. Fogg, that was one hell of a smackdown.

    Nicely done!

  16. Thanks, but of course it's like smacking hot air. Nothing happens.

  17. I should point out that that we do have some conservative friends who visit and comment here, and the conversations are civil. Our disagreements are about issues, never personal attacks. Of course, we also get an occasional troll infestation ... easily handled with Bloggingdino's handy bug-zapper Comment Policy.

    Nevertheless, there is a subject that is not pleasant to talk about but needs to be discussed ... openly and honestly

    I have alluded to this before: I live in a part of Florida where there are wealthy retirees, many who are self-identified conservatives ... some who I count as friends.

    During the last election, some of my conservative friends switched parties and voted for Obama. There were others, however, who became more radically right wing, more shrill, and very angry. Two months ago, one of these folks verbally attacked a wealthy black resident of my condo with the "N" word. At about the same time, another one of these folks made personal threats against me that forced me to report the matter to law enforcement.

    I mention these incidents again because there are aspects of the current political debate that have crossed the line and border on incitement.

    None of us here are strangers to the Internet; we have assuredly witnessed vicious personal attacks that have nothing to do with conducting a civil debate. Look no further than one of the name-calling comments above ... easily dispatched by our other handy troll zapper, Captain Fogg.

    I still get death threats from far right-wing verbal assassins via e-mail. I believe there should be an open and honest debate about this kind of uncivil conduct, and it must also come from the Conservative side. Verbal assassins all too easily dismiss us a "libtards." It is time for open-minded Republicans to speak up as well. Without their voices, these so-called "open-minded" conversations will be much harder to have ... if at all.

  18. I actually have what might be called conservative opinions myself, but the rhetoric has become so inflamed that traditional concepts have long since been left behind. It's a culture war indeed, but with self-styled conservatives sounding like Bolsheviks and plutocrats being accused of Communism, I no longer have any interest in the terms they've corrupted for their own purposes. One of those purposes is to sabotage any possible dialog and it seems to have worked. We've been divided and I can make an argument for our having already been conquered by extremism.

    It's hard to have polite dialog when the other side can accuse you of all of their own deliberate transgressions and have the means to get away with it. How do you respond when they tell you you're "Demented" in opposing Republican economic policy or military aggression? In fact the effort the Obama administration is making to have any dialog is thrown at him as "weakness."

    What I'm getting at is that although I'm by nature always looking for consensus, it can't work in our modern media-controlled world. I don't think you can let people get away with things, hoping they'll see the error or be persuaded by logic. I think it takes force. Not necessarily violence, but things on the order of 10 million people on the street when Fox organizes some damn fool demonstration of their own. Elections come too infrequently. We need more action, more often.

  19. Captain, I left a similar comment under the blog post of one of our "conservative" friends. To my surprise, the non-response came, not from our conservative friend, but from one of our so-called "liberal" friends.
    Example: just start a members only group, or just stop blogging, are the only ways to try and keep civility.8pus: Selective hearing ... Does this also mean stay off the street, avoid restaurants, avoid places where verbal abusers go, disavow your religion or politics when someone threatens you? ... perhaps you think this is just one more video game.....................
    As incredible as as it may seem, even within our own ranks there are folks who think Coulter and Limbaugh are just entertainers, that 9/11 widows are fair game for jokes, that Michael J Fox's struggle with Parkinson disease is source material for radio comedy.

    Captain, maybe I should start a tiddly-winks blog or just replay The Day the Earth Stood Still in an endless fault loop until the world really does come to an end.

  20. What do you want from me Octopus? What do you want from Captain Fogg? He's a terrific blogger.
    You're a member of Team Swash Zone. If my "antics" don't fit with your beliefs about how bloggers should conduct themselves say (post) the word and I'll stay away from your sites.

  21. T101, I am perplexed by your comment. First, I should point out that my above comment did not identify any blogger specifically by name, or provide a link to any specific blog or post. These omissions were deliberate. Did you notice?

    And what makes you think this comment was about Captain Fogg (we are friends who share mutually felt exasperations online)?

    Do you actually READ my posts and comments? Especially the part about hate-mail, racial slurs, and threats of violence including death by shooting, drowning, or other means? Or did you skip these parts?

    In previous posts and comments, did you miss this link about Kathy Sierra, a well-known IT consultant who was forced to cancel a public appearance due to online threats of rape and death?

    Did you miss this link about the MySpace suicide case … how a mean-spirited prank pushed a vulnerable teenager over the edge?

    You once said: “I do not suffer bullies well.” Then how can you ignore those who harass, humiliate, stalk, and victimize other bloggers? Yet, you seem obtusely dismissive of these concerns.

    My point: Not all kooks and trolls are benign. The Intenet is NOT just some giant phantasmagoria for self-amusement by tit-for-tat masochists. Civility DOES matter.

    Have I made my point?

  22. Before I started my current research project, I accepted the 'tax and spend' label for Democrats as being accurate.

    Looking at the actual numbers was a painfull learning experience.

    I am too much of a conservative at heart to really change sides, but I want to see better from my side.

  23. OMR, admittedly my side has more than a fair share of gaffes and foolishness too, but I am glad we are having this dialogue because this too is important ... we are after all riding in the same boat together.

    When I have this conversation with conservatives, I am quick to point out that self-identified labels (liberal versus conservative) do not matter much anymore. More importantly, I find our core values are actually quite similar; where we differ is the role of government (easily negotiated in the time-honored tradition of compromise and consensus -- minus the sausage part).

  24. My position is that all actions, including inaction, have an associated set of costs and benefits.

    Liberals tend to focus on the benefits of change more than the costs, conservatives vice-versa. In that context I am definitely a conservative.

    The somewhat odd fashion by which the two sides have become wedded to various specific issues, often to the point of absurdity is a bigger problem. Ideas start off with a goal and a philosophy and they are good; as time passes the philosophy drops away and we are left with dogma and empty talking points, and the good is gone.

    That is where the Republican party has really gone wrong. They know the words, but they have forgotten the why. You cannot bring a half-assed game to the court with Obama. And it pisses me off because we need a conservative voice in the game; Either side goes too far when they play unopposed.

    In the end, you and I could sit down at a table and work out a compromise for any issue, but that is because we are interested in the issue, not in winning.

  25. OMR, with defenses down and candor up, I find myself in agreement on everything you say. A thoughtful liberal shares many of the same concerns as a thoughtful conservative, and I can think of no better example than this quote from our esteemed colleague and contributor, Bloggingdino, who says (see comment thread under this post):

    “I can easily agree with old-style conservatives that bigger government presents us with a dilemma, which reduces neatly to Acton's Law. The more responsibility we bestow upon our government, the more power over us we grant it. Power breeds arrogance and contempt on the part of the rulers, and alienation on the part of the ruled. Those of us on the liberal side of things shouldn't forget that, but the wisest response to this problem I believe, isn't just to denounce all government initiatives but rather to demand accountability and balance and to use our votes wisely. Maybe that's the burden of representative government and, more generally, of the upbeat Aristotelian notion that government is about helping citizens achieve the good life.”

    OMR: “Either side goes too far when they play unopposed.”

    Competition is good, and believe it or not, I too would like to see a viable Republican Party for the same reason. My concern right now is the drift of the party. Will the party move closer to the mainstream, be more inclusive, and serve as an advocate for the poor, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised? Regrettably, centrist and moderate Republicans have been driven out of the party or lost seats to Democrats in recent elections, leaving a more extremist core in charge. Not knowing whether you would agree or not, I believe the party, most of all, needs to move away from “wedge” politics which I find polarizing and destructive. Both parties need statesmen, not partisan hacks.

    OMR: “because we are interested in the issue, not in winning.”

    This is a fault of both parties, and it shocks me that elections have been compromised as a result. This urge to win at all costs undermines the very essence of democracy.

    Overall, Democrats are more likely to compromise their core principles with wussiness … depending upon the direction of prevailing political winds. Republicans have a tendency to use false and misleading slogans (i.e., “tax and spend”) just to win.

    If I were to sum up the spirit of our times in one pithy phrase, I would call it the “Age of Corruption” a pervasive and pernicious chicanery that has infected every nook and cranny of our country (I’m not pointing fingers – there is plenty of blame to go around).

    Yes, you and I can probably run the country quite well (but the people would never elect an Octopus).

  26. An afterthought, OMR: The graphic at the top of this post was not intended to offend but merely to set the record straight. As you mentioned in your above comment, the "tax and spend" label is not accurate, and I felt compelled to make a strong statement.

    You can also see from the commenter named "Joe," it brought considerable wrath upon me (and this nothing compared to what others are calling me right now).

  27. A thoughtful comment set by OMR, indeed, and much appreciated by this dinosaur. The two parties really should be understood in relation to each other, in a dialectical and dialogic relationship. Unfortunately, with today's nutty intertube-cable-radio extremists on the right and, frankly, in Congress, that has become very difficult to uphold. (They just make things up. One cannot have a rational discussion with someone who believes conservatives are being shipped off to FEMA camps by "Chairman Maobama," who also manages to be an atheist, a Muslim terrorist, a fascist dictator and a space alien even as he spins his insidious communist plot to destroy America. Professor Moriarty, step aside!) Anyhow, I appreciated Octo's graphic showing that America's Tax-and-Spend Commie-Pinko left has actually been more responsible about spending than the "Bidness"-Touting Grand Old Party. Shocking, isn't it? Anyhow, my thought is that the Respublicani went astray when they fell so deeply in love with capitalism that they couldn't see it for what it really was, and is: a dynamic, but also an imperfect, vehicle for the satisfaction of desire. To suppose that it will solve all our problems is a mistake: all things human need tending. Nothing we invent goes with the regularity of the Watch-Maker God. As Thomas Carlyle pointed out long ago, the market's answer to the ancient ethical problem of distribution is to pile high the "good stuff" before the altar of Mammon even as the destitute Irish Widows of the world drop down in the common lanes, deathly sick with infectious disease. (See his Past and Present, 1843 – a great read.) Things cannot be left in that state, and in this effort to not leave them in that state, the two parties should be willing to cooperate.

  28. I read everyone's posts and comments Octo. Now please tell me what you want me to do so I can either do it or make a snide remark or something.

  29. T101, in answer to your question, I yield the floor to OMR who states:

    First, be civil ourselves. Second, simply ignore personal attacks completely. Actions that accomplish nothing generally fade away. And finally, police our own. That is to say, ignore the people on the other side who get out of hand, and try to reign in those on your own side who get out of hand. Keeping it 'in the family' brings the focus onto the objectionable behaviour rather than the discussion topic.

    Not intending to steal the last word from OMR, I leave you with this question: Would you rather be part of the problem or part of the solution?

  30. To deliver a message one needs an audience. I'm not a virgin at this blogging thing Octo. The righties, as I like to call them in honor of our friend GHB, made me what I am.

    And in all frankness, I don't do scholarly blogging well. You and the Swash Zoners do.

    I do appreciate your interest and have great admiration for your writing Octo.

  31. $782 Billion of the GOP's $900 Billion portion of the National Debt can be directly attributed to the Bush Crime Family!

  32. unsurprisingly this "chart" and its supporting data does not reflect the majorities held in Congress or the House or Representatives. You laugh and call your opponents names but all I see is you drooling over half-baked propaganda. Wake up.

  33. That post is 6 months old. The chart reflects data, not majorities of representatives nor their opinions or the opinions of the corporations they work for.

    Opponents? You mean the American people or the people who laughed and called me a traitor for suggesting Nixon was a crook Reagan's economic policies would bring on recession and unemployment, Bush's war would take more than three weeks and that slashing top tax rates would do the same thing it did in the 1920's.

    You can stand a little name calling particularly with such a silly argument -- are you trying to credit the 8 years of prosperity under Clinton to the Republicans and the George Bush disaster to the Democrats?

    Anyway my only opponents are the people who hope the country fails and goes into chaos rather than face evidence that the economic theories they got from some book don't hold water.


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