Paul Ryan justifies lower taxes on America’s most wealthy by reminding us that, contrary to what we might think, the Bangles are no longer culturally relevant

This week, the Republicans are supposed to be sharing the long-awaited details of their tax reform plan, which, according to those in the know, will likely be ‘a massive windfall’ for Americans most wealthy. And, in advance of the announcement, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has apparently been given the task of convincing us that drastic reform [AKA a massive tax giveaway to the rich] is needed, in spite of the fact that corporate profits are at near record highs, and the wealth gap between the rich and poor in America is growing, all while worker pay has grown stagnant.

So, let’s say it was you who had been given the task of selling a deal to the American people, which, according to reporting by the Washington Post, will likely “lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, and lower the top individual income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent.” How would you go about it? What facts would you use to make the case?

Well, here’s how the brilliant policy wonk Paul “I’d rather be watching myself lift weights” Ryan chose to go about it, once again demonstrating just how little he thinks for his constituents.

That’s right, he made the case that, “Well, of course the tax system needs to change, because, as you can clearly see, we once had the Bangles, and now we have Taylor Swift.”

It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Of course, it still doesn’t answer the question why the rich need billions of dollars back in taxes. I mean, let’s say that Ryan is right, and that Taylor Swift isn’t the Bangles, and let’s, for the sake of argument, accept the fact that this clearly demonstrates that drastic action has to be taken immediately for the good of the nation… why would that mean that we should cut taxes on the most wealthy? I mean, couldn’t this dramatic shift from the Bangles to Taylor Swift not just suggest, but, dare I say it, demand, that we institute at 90% tax rate on our most wealthy? Couldn’t that be the message the Bangles are trying to send us from beyond the grave?

Remind me the next time there’s a protest… I want to bring a, “Raise Taxes Now. Taylor Swift Is Not The Bangles.”

I don’t know that it’s a perfect analogy, but I started thinking about other major pieces of legislation that we could roll back, based on the fact that #1 songs in our country have changed. I chose the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as it’s one of my favorite pieces of legislation, and since I was curious as to who was at the top of the charts on July 2, 1964, when President Johnson signed it into law… Well, it was Peter and Gordon, with “A World Without Love.” And I don’t think I need to tell you that Peter and Gordon are no Cardi B. Therefore, it only stands to reason that we no longer need a Civil Rights Act, right?

Apparently this is how little the leaders of the GOP think of the American people. They think, just because they were able to stop much of Democratic agenda under Obama with memes, that they can lead the country in the same fashion, and it just won’t work, as we saw with their repeated failures to pass Trumpcare. It’s one thing to stir shit up, and make people angry by telling them lies, if you want to stop things from happening. It’s another altogether, however, to lie your way into coherent policy. But, as that’s all the Republican party has left at this point, they’ve apparently decided to keep at it, lying to the American people, and trying to push legislation through without really understanding what the ramifications of passage might be. And, sadly, when it comes to tax reform, they may actually have a shot at it, unless we organize to stop them…. After all, who are we to ignore the ghostly warnings of the Bangles?

And, I should add, this whole “Bangles v. Swift” thing isn’t the only message that Ryan has to work with. He’s also got a brilliant pitch about how, if you support the Republicans, you’re tax form will get a lot easier. And, according to Ryan, you may even save a few dollars. Of course, what he doesn’t tell you is that, while you might be paying a little less, America’s most wealthy will be paying a whole lot less, which will mean less well funded schools for your kids, fewer public parks, and an “every man for himself” health care system that will likely lower your lifespan, among other things. But, yeah, you’ll be able to pay your taxes with a postcard, and maybe get back an extra $5, which you can then promptly spend on a sack of leeches, or a secondhand cartridge for your respirator.

Thankfully, I’m getting the sense that the American people might finally be starting to figure out that the entire GOP is nothing more that a front organization being used by Trump, Ryan and others, to further the economic interests of our American oligarchs, like the Koch brothers and the Mercers. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

So, yeah, Ryan can keep standing in front of Harleys, like he just did in Wisconsin, and telling us that his tax plan is going to be good for the common man, but we know the truth. It’ll be the “Kimmel test” all over again, with them making promises, not living up to them, and getting caught. And, hopefully, when that happens, we’re ready to call them on it, and take the fight to the street.

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13 Comments

  1. Eel
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Dark Side of the Moon is still on the charts. Ergo, no change is necessary.

  2. X
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    “Couldn’t that be the message the Bangles are trying to send us from beyond the grave?”

    I need to bookmark that one.

  3. Demetrius
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    If we’re going to set tax rates according to musical styles, I’d prefer we go back to the era of The Beach Boys, Peter Paul and Mary, and “Little” Stevie Wonder. As late at the early- to mid-1960’s (say, around 1965) top tax rates were still as high as 94 percent on incomes above $250,000 (about $ 2 million in today’s dollars).

    Of course, with exemptions, deductions, etc., very few people actually paid that much Nevertheless, these higher rates did serve as a powerful counterweight to rampant income inequality. Case in point: In 1965, average CEO salaries were equal to about 20 “regular” workers. Today, that number is more than 300.

    So yes, we definitely need tax reform … but not the kind that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are trying to sell.

  4. Jcp2
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I don’t think all this waving about of 90% and up income tax rate is useful in convincing people otherwise engaged in tax reform conversations, as it neglects to differentiate between marginal and effective tax rates, which is what really is the issue. I’m not even sure people really understand the difference between the two, and to the uninformed, having the gub’ment taking 90 cents on every dollar you earn if you become successful sounds pretty bad.

  5. Lynne
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Yes, we need tax reform but like Demetrius has pointed out, perhaps not the same reforms that Ryan advocates.

    FWIW, I don’t get the sense that most Republicans are wising up. I think they very much are as jp2 describes. I get the sense on the internet that a lot of these guys think that the top marginal rate will 1. Apply to them 2. Apply to all of their income. Of those who seem to understand things, a whole lot of them still think it will apply to them, i.e. they remind me of that saying, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

  6. Iron Lung
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    If we would have had UBI, Taylor Swift would have been huge in 1985.

  7. Chet
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Chet Nunley The rich need tax cuts so they will have more money to raise wages for their employees. Poor people never hire anyone and certainly can’t pay a living wage!

  8. Eel
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    If the Swift family had used an IUD, there would be no need for tax reform.

  9. Demetrius
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    @ Chet

    Sorry … but our own “John Galt” already owns the whole parody/ironic exaggeration schtick.

  10. Jcp2
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The Taylor Swift dislike is ironic for a place known for Elvisfest.

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Shake it off, Iron Lung.

  12. Donald Harrison
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    If there’s a protest, I’m counting on you Mark to get hundreds of people to be the Bangles, warning us from their past top 40 glory. Walk Like Plebeians. (and yes, I will video the hell out of it). And how did the ideas of the 99%/Occupy seem to get banished so handily? Too much math, not enough meme?

  13. Matt Fagan
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    But what if Taylor Swift IS the Bangles?

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