Get In Line, Asshole

It’s so cute when the 1% realize they’ve lost control of the narrative:

Tim Pagliara’s frustration turned to action on the upper slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Scaling Africa’s tallest mountain for the fifth time last November, the CEO of CapWealth Advisors in Cool Springs was thinking — again — about the fiscal and spending problems facing the United States. Specifically, he found himself wondering — again — why the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson plan failed to get traction after it was released in late 2010, especially during and after the contentious debt ceiling debate of last summer.

Mount Kilimanjaro? I do my best thinking when The Captain and I heli-ski the Vallée Blanc! To each his own, old chap! To each his own.


I don’t know why this story from a Nashville business rag chapped my ass but it did. It just screams 1% privilege, and how the Ownership Class is trying desperately to take the narrative back from the great unwashed who went and Occupied their cocktail party. Pagliara has formed a 501(c)(4) called Citizens for Enacting The Bowles-Simpson Plan and, according to the article, he’s evidently sunk more than $50,000 of his personal fortune into the organization. He’s also trying to recruit other well-heeled CEOs to the cause because, as he notes:

“The American people are tired of hearing about birth control pills,” he said.

Yes, we are tired of hearing about it. But until Republicans stop attacking it with actual legislation in our state legislatures and the nation’s capitol, we’re gonna keep talking about it, because from our cold, dead hands, buckaroo! So stick a cork in it.

And you know what else? That’s what you get for voting for fucking Republicans, Tim Pagliara. That’s what you get for giving $1,000 to Marsha Blackburn, who was first in line at the microphone to fearmonger about losing her “religious freedom” because of the private insurance mandate for contraception. Which started this whole mess. What the hell did you expect?

Pagliara is hoping a passion for Bowles-Simpson will sweep through the nation with the same fervor as the Occupy movement — yes, he really said that. Which is just so laughably clueless. I hate to break it to you but no one cares about the damn budget deficit unless it’s politically useful to do so. Because Ronald Reagan proved that “deficits don’t matter,” in the immortal words of the last Republican vice president, whose administration rammed through tax cuts for the wealthy while also engaging in not one but two full-fledged wars and a massive unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit which sent our budget deficit soaring in the first place.

Look, it’s an election year. The more the economy improves, the more you will hear about birth control and abortion and President Obama being a radical blackety-black man and did we mention he’s black? And maybe foreign? And the less anyone will care about your precious Cat Food Commission. Which is what we on the left call it, since that is what it will reduce senior citizens to eating … those of us not swilling champagne after scaling Mount Kilimanjaro for the fifth time, that is.

This is what the Republican Party has become. If you want all of your free-market fairies, you have to buy the Bible-banging, fundamentalist crap too. You have to expect to spend copious amounts of time discussing what the Bible says about birth control, abortion, gays, environmentalism, Muslims, and everything else.

If you want to have a grown-up conversation about grown-up things then stick with the Democrats. I know, you guys like to think that we’re all Commies and hippies but here’s the thing: Republicans all fall in line behind whomever is screaming the loudest at the moment. All of the sane people have been purged out of the Republican Party. If you want fiscal responsibility, well Republicans are the ones who told you that deficits don’t matter. Instead I give you Nashville’s own Jim Cooper, a notorious fiscal hawk who was pushing for a vote on this Bowles-Simpson stuff to begin with. You should have given him your $1,000, if that’s what you’re after. If you want a robust military, there’s always Joe Lieberman to bang the war drums. You want to drill, baby, drill? I give you Sen. Mary Landrieu. Much as I wish every Democrat in Congress were Bernie Sanders, they’re not.

In fact, since you guys worship “divided government,” let me show you the divided Democratic Party. Give the Democrats all three branches of government and I guarantee you will have all the haranguing and negotiating and compromising that gives the Third Way folks hard-ons. You will think it’s Christmas in July, I guarantee it.

But hey, don’t listen to me. Keep hoping Bowles-Simpson will take the nation by storm. Maybe it will, what do I know. It just seems to me that during an election year, adult conversations are on hiatus.


Filed under budget, politics, Tennessee

19 responses to “Get In Line, Asshole

  1. What a magnificent idiot. After the revolution, we really should cage the survivors and set up a zoo.

  2. themadkansan

    *starts grinding axes and whetting knives*

    …people like this put me in a blood-letting mood…

  3. Bernard

    As we all know only religious fundies have religious rights. the rest of us have to “believe” their way. thank you Marsha Blackburn, Michelle Blackburn, Sen David Vitter.

    Freedom from religion means keeping the Christian Taliban out of my life/government/state/ city laws. Freedom to believe what i want and not have these Nuts impose their nutzo religious beliefs on others.

  4. Citizens for enacting the Bowles Simpson plan? Catchy.

  5. Eykis

    Standing Up, loudly


    Thank You, Beale!

  6. Randy


    Clapping and linking.

  7. tim pagliara

    Hey Beale
    I couldnt agree with you more about Marsha Blackburn. And despite what you may think, this is a politically agnostic approach to the problem. Stupid Republican and Stupid Democrats don’t make it right for anyone. I bet we agree on more than we disagree on.

    Tim Pagliara

  8. Could this be the start of a Bowles Movement?

    Bowles Simpson was just one in a long list of things that the Republicans woud have passed in a Grand Caymans Bank, numbered account sortasecond IF if have been proposed in 2006.

    The GOP is quite probably the worst and latest iteration of the KnowNothing party.

    • Yes, now Indiana’s Mitch Daniels says he wants a Bowles-Simpson “reunion tour.” GOP is failing big on the birth control thing, they’re desperately trying to look like grown-ups.

    • tim pagliara

      So whats your solution?

      • Tax the super rich, invest in infrastructure, stop spending money on stupid exercises like our trillion dollar folly in Iraq. The usual liberal stuff. You know, patriotic stuff: invest in America’s future. It’s a privilege to live here, so act like it.

        Oh yeah, and regulate the hell out of Wall Street so they can’t crash the economy with their crazy casino schemes. Wall Street used to exist to regulate the flow of capital. Now it’s just a money-making scheme so compulsive gamblers can get a high. That’s fine if you’re one guy in Vegas, not so fine if you’re taking the entire global economy down with you when you make a bad bet.

      • tim pagliara

        Lets tax them fairly- that means Oprah and Romney are going to pay more . If you read the tax reform portions of the plan you will agree that the current tax code is corrupted with over 100,000 tax preferences. When I was in law school the tax code was 2000 pages long. Now it is 10,000 pages. By closing corporate loopholes and individual loopholes (like carried interest that gave romney a $3 million dollar break) we can effectively lower rates and make our economy more globally competitive. Tax rates on corporations in Europe average 23%. Ours are 35%. We could lower rates and raise revenue by closing loopholes. That will bring back jobs. And adopting a territorial corporate tax system. We need to be able to compete.

      • What does “tax them fairly” even mean? Tax rates are meaningless. It doesn’t matter what the official rate is, NOBODY pays it. Please don’t insult my intelligence with this comparison of U.S. and European tax rates. The biggest corporations at best pay 18%, and you’re crying to me about a 35% tax rate that NOBODY pays? And now we’ve got corporations demanding repatriation even though the last time we did that it didn’t create any jobs at all. They used their windfall to buy back their stock. And Romney’s tax rate is meaningless since he and other vulture capitalists avail themselves of complex schemes unavailable to the rest of us plebes whereby they never realize gains in the first place. All of this for destroying American jobs, such a patriot that one.

        I’m sick and tired of rich assholes complaining about their taxes. Boo fucking hoo. PAY UP or shut up. It’s the patriotic thing to do. Don’t like it here? Move to Somalia.

        Or maybe if things are tight don’t spend so much money on your Mt. Kilimanjaro vacation. Tighten your belt like the rest of us have to. Show some personal responsibility for the good of the country.

        They have a different attitude in Europe. In Norway they don’t whine and moan about taxes. They look at it as a patriotic investment in their country. Making sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare makes the whole country stronger, and businesses aren’t burdened with the cost. Here in America we have corporations spending billions of dollars lobbying against something that would have helped their bottom line.


  9. Randy

    As the election year progresses and my patience becomes increasingly tested I am drawn to reductionist forms of blog commenting. I think you’ve provided the perfect retort.


    Thank You.

  10. tim pagliara

    Hey Beale-
    Taxing them fairly means closing the loopholes- if we did that we could balance the budget . Read Bowles Simpson. Its 67 pages long learn something about the tax code- I am amazed by the rhetoric of the uninformed.
    And by the way- I have been going to Moshi Tanzania since 2000. I climb Kilimanjaro as a hobby. While there in 2001 I helped start a school that educates teachers in science and math. We had 19 registered in 2001. There were 1600 registered in the fall of 2011. I have donated hundreds of thousand of dollars to causes like that. How bout you? You mentioned heli skiing? Do anything for humanity on that trip or do you just do it for fun?

    • I’m sorry if I sound annoyed it’s just that I’ve devoted copious amounts of bandwidth to this topic already over the past three-four years and really don’t feel like rehashing every blog post I’ve ever written on it. If you’re REALLY interested just type “taxes” and “economy” into the search box thingie at the top of the page and you’ll get a more in-depth education on what I think. I don’t think austerity in an economic crisis works. I don’t think “uncertainty” is an issue, and I don’t think “job creators” need lower taxes and deregulation to sprinkle their magic fairy dust all over the economy and we can all be huggsy-wuggsy again.

      I DO think a lot of the conversation has been corrupted with GOP-Fox News talking points like those I’ve just listed. The American people are treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed bullshit. One dirty little secret no one talks about is how the labor market has been globalized. That’s a big issue no one is talking about and a lot of those jobs are never coming back. We’re not going to compete for the cheap labor that China has and frankly I don’t want to: do we want to put “suicide nets” around U.S. factories?

      Look, we don’t have a high-taxation problem. We just don’t. We have an income problem. You’re not going to convince me otherwise and I’ve written a ton about it, so suffice it to say you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Plant me firmly in the Paul Krugman/Jared Bernstein wing of economic policy. I’ve read A LOT about this, I’m not some teenager in her pajamas working on her laptop between episodes of “Gossip Girl.”

      And don’t even get me started on the whole “cut Social Security” nonsense, which seems to be the reason so many Republicans were on board with S-B in the first place. A great chance to unravel the safety net! When all of the fearmongering about Social Security insolvency has been a flat-out lie and what fiscal issues the program has could easily be fixed by lifting the cap. Or hell, you don’t even have to lift it, just raise it to $500,000. Even $250,000.

      The bottom line is, you and I may agree on some things, we might even like each other (hey I like to hike, too!) but we will never agree on this. Never. Ever.

      And you know what else? B-S didn’t pass because of Republicans, not Democrats. The Republicans in Congress refused to budge on the big stuff, like the steep Defense cuts we absolutely must have to come close to balancing our budget. You cannot balance the budget on the backs of the poor, you just can’t.

      And that was the whole point of my “why are you supporting Republicans” rant in this post. You’re supporting the very people who are thwarting what you say you want. That does not compute.

      Thanks for visiting. Until Republicans wake up and realize their party has become a haven of John Birch Society extremists and the real negotiating and compromise happens in the Democratic Party, you’re just going to keep beating your head against a wall.

  11. tim pagliara

    Thanks- I have learned a lot through the exchange.I admire your passion and position. Lets hope we can get it together soon.