Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 24, 2010

WHEN THE POT CALLS THE KETTLE A 'PARASITE'.... In Missouri, a man named David Jungerman is drawing some attention for having placing a 45-foot-long banner on a tractor-trailer on his property. It reads, in all caps, "Are you a Producer or Parasite." The line below it reads, "Democrats -- Party of the Parasites."

Asked to explain his ugly message, Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who don't pay taxes, but who "always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them" in the form of social programs.

People, it turns out, like David Jungerman. (via Zaid Jilani)

The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the "Party of Parasites" received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995.

But David Jungerman says the payouts don't contradict the sign he put up in a corn field in Bates County along U.S. 71 Highway.

"That's just my money coming back to me," Jungerman, 72, said Monday. "I pay a lot in taxes. I'm not a parasite."

No, he's just the guy who's accepted nearly $1.1 million in taxpayer-financed farm subsidies over the past 15 years.

It's also worth noting that Jungerman and his backers may not realize it, but those "parasites" pay taxes, too. There are middle- and lower-class families who have been given a break on their federal income taxes, but they're still paying sales taxes, state taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare/Medicaid taxes.

When they get unemployment benefits or food stamps, they're just getting their "money coming back" to them, too.

But there's also an even more painful subtext to consider here. Jon Chait noted that the Producer vs. Parasite frame "is historically connected with white supremacy."

Steve Benen 10:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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I'm betting he also collects social security.

Posted by: Jamie on June 24, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Welcome to the Ozarks, Land of inbred Microcephalics.

Posted by: Jamie on June 24, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Ein Rand Zwie Rand Drei Rand ,
All in a row
Which one
Switch one
They'll never know
For when you're counting Rands
Manichean metrics
Keep them
All in a Row

Posted by: FRP on June 24, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

I've said it before, but it would be wonderful if someone parked a tractor-trailer next to his with an arrow pointing to it, with "1.1 million of your tax dollars financed the owner of this trailer" written across it.

Posted by: June on June 24, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

He is well over age 65, so he must be getting that government money, too. That is not HIS money coming back to him either, but the money paid in taxes by those currently working and having it withheld from pay.

Republicans - The Party of Bigotry.

Posted by: withay on June 24, 2010 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who pay no taxes, but, “Always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them” in social programs.

Oh good lord. Just say black people, you cowardly racist asshat. This is the classic mindset of the racist white conservative, who envisions "welfare" specifically as a poor black person just as you would picture "martian" as a green alien or "librarian" as an old woman with glasses on a chain around her neck.

Posted by: August J. Pollak on June 24, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Unemployment is money that is coming back to you. Employers pay based on how many people they laid off.

However, i think you can make a good case that food stamps is NOT money coming back to them.

Of course, I doubt very many people get $1.1MM from the government have paid close to that much in taxes over 15 years. So Jungerman probably is a parasite.

Posted by: neil wilson on June 24, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

pnas cycles continue

Posted by: lodymaberk on June 24, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I like the part where he believes he has paid $1.1 million dollars in taxes since 1995.

Posted by: Perspecticus on June 24, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes I miss the days when racists knew they were racist and were proud of it. At least you didn't have to deal with all the freakish behavior that pops up due to the constant repression.

Of course, you did have to deal with murder and firebombs, so maybe this is an improvement after all.

Posted by: Steve (Not That One) on June 24, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Having just driven the width of Missouri on Interstate 70, the only thing I find surprising is that anyone is surprised at this. Nowhere else in my cross country adventure had as many Pro-Live billboards and roadsigns (professional and amateur) punctuated by mostly amateur "Come to Jesus" signs. It may be the Heartland, but politically that heart is cold as ice.

Posted by: Larry McD on June 24, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

-Channelling Glen Beck, I say, "Gosh, but I fear for the safety of this fine American patriot! SOME people might think he should be 'terminated with extreme prejudice'. Not that I would ever endorse violence, heaven forbid! Just saying. . ."

Posted by: DAY on June 24, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Coming home from work yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker in the train station parking lot. It said: "Republicans: We work so you don't have to." Being a longtime democrat, coming home after 10 hours at my job, I had the distinct inclination to tear the car's bumper off. (I resisted -- way too tired.) It sort of amazed me, but maybe this is just the new republican party mantra. It really is crazy.

Posted by: cheerioz on June 24, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody want to tell me what investment bankers produce?

Posted by: Sengber on June 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Cheerioz,

Congratulations on tempering your rage. Republicans or DINO (democrats in name only ) dominate the "poor" south. My guess there are many many more poor white people than there are blacks. Knowledge of such percentages are just way too intellectual a way for these clowns to understand just how stupid and racist they are. I wonder if anyone has ever did the math on how many republicans are on welfare/unemployed, on social security, medicare/medicaid etc. You know, those "closet socialists".

My guess it's probably pretty close to equal or maybe more than democrats of the same demographic.

Posted by: Stevio on June 24, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Joseph Heller had this mentality down cold in Catch-22 in the character of Major Major's father (I think it was him). Things don't change much.

Posted by: davidp on June 24, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Cheerioz: I syspect you're right about that being the new mantra. I saw a guy on the plane a few weeks ago with a t-shirt saying "Proud Republican: Because we can't all be on welfare", or something like that. The fact that a large percentage of them are on some type welfare via government subsidy doesn't seem to bother them at all.

Posted by: Kris on June 24, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

"But there's also an even more painful subtext to consider here. Jon Chait noted that the Producer vs. Parasite frame 'is historically connected with white supremacy.'"

Well, yes. But it's also the core of the most authentic form of American radicalism. By and large, the most potent critiques of capitalism in this country have come, not from socialists or "progressives," but from those who insist that the promise of American life is basically that those who produce the goods should get to benefit from what they produce, and not have it skimmed off by an unproductive aristocracy. This notion underlay the Republican assault on slavery, for instance: that a bunch of arrogant s.o.b.'s could loll on their verandas while their slaves did the work and pretend that this was somehow their "right." Earlier, it underlay the Jeffersonian assault on the Federalist elite. It later underlay the Populist movement, which contended that the people who grew the crops were getting ripped off by people who sat around in offices and manipulated the marketplace to their own advantage. It's true that this form of American radicalism has frequently veered toward racism, antisemitism, etc., and that in the last generation it has primarily been tapped into by the right. But there's a reason why progressives [who tend to be, in Reich's phrase, symbolic manipulators of the sort that classic Populists not unreasonably considered parasites] so easily get tarred with the "parasite" brush. And be aware that the target of that farmer's "parasite" jibe is as much people like us [who, in his view, do no honest work and look down on those who do] as on the dependent poor. Indeed, all one needs to do is read this comment thread to understand why he might feel that way.

Posted by: David in Nashville on June 24, 2010 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK
Welcome to the Ozarks, Land of inbred Microcephalics.

Posted by: Jamie

Geography: You're doin' it wrong.

Raytown is a KC suburb and about 150 miles from the Ozarks. :-)

I grew up in Raytown, and this kind of attitude was very, very prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s, so it's not all that surprising to me.

In fact, there was show based on Raytown called "Mama's Family." Story goes that Carol Burnett got pulled over, and the cop was such a jackass -- no shock there; they were douche bags of historical proportions -- she came up with the idea for this town full of idiots.

Which, to be honest, isn't too far from the truth. ;-)

The thing is, though, Raytown now has a LOT of African Americans and Latinos, so this guy probably feels threatened. It would explain a lot ...

Posted by: Mark D on June 24, 2010 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

A guy complaining about people living of government handouts, who is himself living off government handouts.

I totally didn't see that coming...

Posted by: Michael Patrick on June 24, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Breathtaking.

Even IF this guy has paid $1 million in federal taxes over the same period, he is still a parasite because he's, at best, paying in marginally more than he's gotten.

Does he think our military uses fairy dust for scrip?

Why does he hate our Freedumbs?

Posted by: karen marie on June 24, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody want to tell me what investment bankers produce?

Posted by: Sengber on June 24, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

A service. Just like lawyers. Just like teachers. Just like fire fighters. They just happen to make a whole lot more because of the enormous potential to make a ton of cash quickly - and a take a % of Each transaction.

Posted by: Mick on June 24, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

As a parasitic Independent I also recommend burning that trailer to the ground. I would so kick that guy's stupid ass if I met him, he'll be lucky that I don't.

Posted by: Trollopoly on June 24, 2010 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK
A service.

Actually, they play the Stock Market Lottery with other people's money. Hell, they don't even do it -- computer algorythms do. A lot of the guys just stare at screens and take calls.

Might as well give them a bundle of cash, drop them off at a casino, and let them play blackjack all day.

:-)

Posted by: Mark D on June 24, 2010 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

This is just elementary Tea-conomics. In other words, if a wingnut benefits from it, it's great; if someone else benefits, it's Armageddon.

Posted by: Varecia on June 24, 2010 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Producer vs. Parasite frame "is historically connected with white supremacy."

Authoritarian behavior, any way you spell it.

If anyone wants to know why they do it, who does it and how they will do it in the future, ....

Follow this link to the most comprehensive study on the Authoritarian Personality in the world, to date.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Posted by: Al B Tross on June 24, 2010 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

These clowns always think it's "my money coming back to me." That's the core of the whole obvious ridiculousness of squishy-bodied old white people collecting the Social Security and Medicare they believe they _earned_, despite the huge disparity between what they paid in and what they get out (the whole point of the program, I hasten to add). But of course everyone else just gets handouts. Selfish, hateful people. But on the positive side, they're dying off.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on June 24, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I thought pitting "producers" against "parasites" was straight-up Rand.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on June 24, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

The scarier part of this is the number who supported his position on comments to the KC Star.

Hey, Mark D, speaking of dumb in Raytown, there was a poster on KC Chiefs blogs who went by the moniker Raytown Ray. He was, finally, banned and had to come back with a different moniker.

Posted by: berttheclock on June 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I've said it before, but it would be wonderful if someone parked a tractor-trailer next to his with an arrow pointing to it, with "1.1 million of your tax dollars financed the owner of this trailer" written across it.

I would be willing to chip in for a 45-foot wide sign along U.S. 71 that said something like "David Jungerman owes America over $1 million. We want our money back, parasite."

Posted by: josef on June 24, 2010 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West.


"You know... morons. "

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 24, 2010 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah: "having placing"

Nice.

Posted by: josef on June 24, 2010 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

"What the hell was that?"
--Krusty the Klown, having just watched an Eastern European "Worker and Parasite" cartoon

Posted by: Kip W on June 26, 2010 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

I like the part where he believes he has paid $1.1 million dollars in taxes since 1995.

Maybe he has.
That would likely mean he's a multimillionaire and that should give a lot of people pause about which side he figures they're on.

As he's denigrating the Democrats, the charge that Republicans serve the uber wealthy just got a heaping helping of credibility.

The multi-millionaire says the Democrats are full of parasites. Just who has he anointed as the producers other than himself? Anyone who looks like you or me?

I've never taken a dime of unemployment insurance, food stamps, or state sponsored health care. I consider this, to some degree, a matter of luck. One good medical problem and one insurer rescission later.... I'm a parasite.

So is everyone except Mr. Juggerman, lucky guy that he is. Nothing could ever reduce him to the need for social support. He's kissed by God.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on June 28, 2010 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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