Keeping Things Super Simple

It’s not really all that hard to understand the success of organizations like Fox News and candidates like Herman Cain.  The people who support them prefer to be lied to.  The lies are soothing, comforting, reinforcing of their world-view, proving their fears and bigotry.  It’s easy to believe something you hear on the “news” when the “news” is something you already believe.  It’s a lot harder to STOP believing something when you really, really believe it — which explains why so many Tea Party types STILL think President Obama is a Muslim Marxist from Kenya even after seeing his actual birth certificate.

For instance, when the three blond robots on “Fox and Fiends Friends,” reported that President Obama planned a trip to Japan to apologize to the Japanese for that atomic landscaping job we did on Hiroshima in 1945, I’m sure the average Fox News viewer just nodded agreeably. 

“That there Obamer is ALLUS apollygizin’ for America!” Lester says to LuAnn who is in the kitchen pounding out the biscuits for breakfast.  “Howcum none of them other news channels never tells us about stuff like that,” LuAnn bellows.  “It’s cuz they’s in the back pocket of that Kenyan Pretender what’s in the White House,” Lester grumps.

Well, Fox News had to apologize for that one… a startling fact in itself, since they lie so often and rarely apologize. But the stench from this particular lie was apparently so overwhelming that SOMEONE had to open a window and allow some fresh air into the studio. 

Steve Doocy, one of the male blond robots, said,

“…we want to make sure this is very clear. There was never a plan for President Obama to apologize to Japan. We should have been clearer about this, and we’re sorry for any confusion.”

Yes. They should have been clearer about this non-existent plan for the president to apologize for Hiroshima that Fox News manufactured out of whole cloth.

But Fox News viewers, God love ‘em, they prefer the lie to the fact and are STILL criticial of the other “lamestream media” outlets for not covering this “breaking story.”  Check out the “comments” section at Mediaite.com where the typical Fox Defenders defend Fox for the lie AND for apologizing for it.

Fox News viewers, like most of their Tea Party ilk, get downright irate when a lie is proven to be a lie.  It’s much the same sort of anger one gets from a racist when you call that person a racist.

The GOP presidential candidates understand this basic truth about Fox News viewers.  They know that’s why they can say pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.

For instance, the other day when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said this

“For my tax plan, I take a page out of one of my great economists that I admire, Ronald Reagan. And under my tax plan, I want to adopt the Reagan tax plan. It brought the economic miracle of the 1980s.” A few moments later, she reiterated her point, emphasizing, “I want to re-institute the Reagan tax model from the 1980s.”

Well.  That WOULD be a nice thing. It’s GOOD to see a right-winger calling for higher taxes.

(Right now, in your mind, imagine a startled “Scooby-Doo” saying, “whuuuuuUUUUUUT???”)

Yup!  A tax increase.  That’s what Congresswoman Bachmann called for, all right!  As the AOL “Daily Finance” writer Bruce Watson (cited above) pointed out…

During the Reagan years, the total effective tax rate ranged from 29.2% to 30.7%. By comparison, today’s rate is 27.7%. In other words, depending upon which year of Reagan’s presidency one considers, Bachmann’s proposal would raise taxes by between 1.5% and 3%, across the board.

Of course, to add to the hilarity, Bachmann MADE her remarks while criticizing candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan — another bit of smoke-and-mirrortude designed to confuse and bamboozle the simple.

I’m guessing the keys on Mr. Cain’s calculator are all gummed up with melted mozarella, because here’s the math he offers to the voters.

Under the current system, a person who earns $50,000 a year “pays about $10,000 in taxes,” Cain said. “A big part of that is the payroll tax.” Cain then walked us through his 9-9-9 plan and said the same person would “still have $2,000 left over.”

Lester, watching this on Fox News hollers to LuAnn in the kitchen.  “I don’t care what color that Cain fella is, he makes sense to me.”

“How’zat, hon,” LuAnn screeches from the kitchen.

“Because his 9-9-9 plan means we’d pay less in taxes is why,” Lester says, flicking a fly that just landed on the rim of his beer can.

PolitiFact, as it often does, set the record straight.  More or less.

For a single person, 9-9-9 is a better deal. A single person with no dependents would pay about $10,075 in combined payroll and federal income taxes, $1,480 more than that taxpayer would pay under Cain’s 9-9-9. The calculation comes with one caveat: President Barack Obama and Congress temporarily have lowered the payroll tax contribution for employees 2 percentage points, whereas these figures assume the contribution rate is restored to the full 7.65 percent.

For someone married with dependents, 9-9-9 is worse. The current tax code treats married couples with children differently — and better — than people who are single. With dependents, the family of four will pay about $6,515 in income and payroll taxes and even less, about $4,600, if they qualify for a child income tax credit. So the family of four could end up paying anywhere from about $2,080 to $4,000 more in federal taxes under Cain’s 9-9-9.

What PolitiFact neglects to mention, however, is that Cain is also assuming the employer — no longer required to pay the payroll tax — immediately and without being asked just gives that entire chunk of cash to the employee.  Anyone here think that would happen?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

But to the typical Fox Viewer, none of this matters.  Cain said it.  Fox reported it.  So it MUST be true!  And anyone who points to the undeniable and provable facts is part of the “liberal left-wing communist Marxist fascist Obamabot conspiracy that will lead this country to socialism like what they got over there in FRANCE!”

And we all know what a hell-hole FRANCE is…

The typical Fox News viewer won’t be happy until we have the kind of non-centralized government the Founding Fathers envisioned… when they wrote the Articles of Confederation.  Then they realized it would be impossible to govern 13 separate states without a strong central government, so they replaced the Articles with the Constitution.  But most of these folks have never read past the really big words, “We the People…”

But worry not. If thing keep progressing as they have been and stupid people keep voting for people who play to their innate fears and prejudices and the smart people, disgusted by broken promises and the inability to break through a majority set on stonewalling everything, keep sitting out elections… they’ll get the government they’re looking for.

Then we can start calling ourselves “American Somalia.”