Political Animal

Blog

May 10, 2012 2:40 PM Abraham Mourdock Confronts the Lucky Duckies

By Ed Kilgore

It’s too early to tell if Richard Mourdock is going to present Democrats with the gift of a United States Senate seat. But like 2010 Senate candidates Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, he does seem determined to keep giving us all a clear glimpse into the wingnut id.

Yesterday we had Mourdock’s pithy thoughts defining “bipartisanship” as a simple matter of Democrats surrendering to Republicans.

Now Think Progress has run across a video of Mourdock at a town hall meeting recently expounding on the Lucky Ducky Meme—you know, the habit of conservatives to compound their demands for lower income tax rates on the wealthy with complaints that poor people often don’t pay income taxes at all (just regressive payroll and state/local taxes on their meagre incomes).

Nothing new about that, except for the analogy Mourdock chose for brave pols like himself who are willing to stand up for Big Business against Big Poor. Travis Waldron explains:

The Republican Party’s nominee for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat recently compared the fight over tax rates and reform to former president Abraham Lincoln’s concern over slavery, alluding to Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech ahead of the Civil War….
“MOURDOCK: What he meant by that was that slavery was either going to be totally eliminated from the United States or it was no longer just going to be restricted to the Southern states, it was going to go everywhere. I am here to suggest to you that we are in a house divided. You know this past April, when our federal taxes were paid, 47 percent — 47 percent — of all American households paid no income tax. In fact, half of that 47 percent almost, actually got tax money back from the government that they never paid — because a few years ago we revised the welfare program to make it part of the tax code. When 47 percent are paying no income taxes — they do pay Social Security — but they are not paying income taxes, and 53 percent are carrying the load, we are a house divided.”

Hoo boy! Aside from the great historical and moral insight that leads Mourdock to compare the antebellum Slave Power to people with no power at all, you do have to wonder if he’s suggesting another Civil War may prove necessary to crush the Rebellion against the rights of the better-off to fully enjoy the fruits of their labor, their capital gains, their inheritances, and their own government benefits without having to share any of them with those people. Hell, isn’t it enough that those people were the beneficiaries of the first Civil War, earning the precious right to earn their own wealth as sharecroppers? No wonder there’s a Tea Party Movement!

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • eahoppi on May 10, 2012 2:50 PM:

    Does that mean the poor people can go to war against the rich with civil war muskets?

  • T2 on May 10, 2012 2:50 PM:

    the joke on fools like Mourdock is, of course, while they are trying to say the people with low incomes don't pay their fair share of taxes, the reveal /overlook the fact that the 1% don't pay ANY taxes for the most part. Guys like MItt Romney. Hypocrite=GOP.

  • zandru on May 10, 2012 3:01 PM:

    Yet another vindication...

    that sunshine is the best disinfectant. Here's hoping the librul media, liberals, progressives, and the late-nite comedians give Mr. Morlock's words lots and LOTS of play.

    More TEA, America?

  • Richard Mourdock on May 10, 2012 3:18 PM:

    I enjoy my 'brown shirt' while I goosestep my way to my wet dream of total fascism created by the oligarchs who deserve everything. All of you among the unwashed masses are 'meant' to serve us. If you don't like it then get the fuck out of MY COUNTRY.

    Of course I know, in reality, I am nothing more than a feeble hemorrhoid of Lucifer's asshole. And, of course, this is why I have made my Faustian Deal.

    Sincerely, Richard "I am not a hemorrhoid" Mourdock

  • Sean Scallon on May 10, 2012 3:32 PM:

    "Hell, isn’t it enough that those people were the beneficiaries of the first Civil War, earning the precious right to earn their own wealth as sharecroppers? No wonder there’s a Tea Party Movement!"

    Someone has their plantation burned to the ground and that person is a benificiary of the first Civil War? Okay, the logic escapes me but whatever you say. That side lost as I seem to recall.

    And it seems to me the only benificaries of the first Civil War were the northern industrialists and bankers whose great fortunes and trusts they earned off their wage slavery, some of which last to this day as part of the one percent.

    And "first" Civil War? Are you expecting another?

  • dalloway on May 10, 2012 3:46 PM:

    Arrrgh! It makes me want to scream whenever asshats like Mourdock complain about the 47 per cent who pay no income tax. Well, guess what? Mourdock and all the other lucky duckies don't pay tax on that much of their income, either. And if they do pay a larger share of income taxes in total, it's because (duh!) they make a (much, much) larger share of the income! So here's my deal: I'd be happy to pay the taxes the Koch brother do (oh, boy, would I) if Mourdock can guarantee that I'd get their income. And you know what? I'll bet the rest of the 47 per cent would take that deal, too.

  • kevo on May 10, 2012 4:03 PM:

    To utter aloud such idiocy is to belie any projection Mourdock has made that he has the best interests of his state's citizenry in mind. No, with such a statement it is obvious his concern is to represent the already powerful in his state at the expense of all others!

    The Mourdocks in this current election cycle are truly dangerous to a multi-stratified free and liberty-minded society as his agenda does not allow for the diverse interests embodied in such a real world here in America! -Kevo

  • Ron Byers on May 10, 2012 4:31 PM:

    The answer to Mourdock is that we all agree that it is terrible 47% of Americans don't make enough income to pay taxes. The response is not to force poor people to pay taxes on their meager wages. It is to help them rise into the middle class. Let's raise the minimum wage, and encourage unionization.

  • Tom Hilton on May 10, 2012 4:46 PM:

    Abraham Lincoln...that name rings a bell, where do I know that from? Oh, yeah--he was the President who signed the first progressive income tax bill. That guy.

  • Peter C on May 10, 2012 5:32 PM:

    So, the poorest 47% of the society makes so little money that their standard exemptions for basic necessities mean they pay no income tax, while the rich 53% of our society has to pay something in income tax. However, 100% of the WAGES of the poorest 47% of society are subject to an automatic payroll tax, while only 0.49% of the income of someone like Mitt Romney (who made $21.6 million last year) is subject to a payroll tax (since a 6.2% FICA only applies to the first $106,800 that a person earns in wages). Because less than 1% of Mitt’s income is subject to payroll taxes, he avoids paying $1,332,578.40 in payroll taxes year after year after year. That’s money that he takes home that the rest of us never even hold in our hands, because our FICA taxes (including those of the 47%) are withheld from our pay and not from his.

    Along these lines, the rich have it even better. The rich can own the corporation (‘corporations are people too’, remember) and structure their earnings so that they are not WAGES and thus not subject to FICA. They can call them ‘capital gains’ and pay at a lower rate.

    Lastly, the rich pay their taxes on the honor system; they tell the government how much they owe and only IRS auditors can hold them to it. We have our taxes withheld up-front and must file returns each year to recover the taxes we paid but didn’t really owe.

    So, yes, there seem to be unfair things in our tax code, but when Republicans whine about “the 47%” (as if that were the big problem), they are not trying to help the other 53%. They are shielding the 1% like Romney.

    And, if FICA taxes ‘don’t count’, then Social Security and Medicare can’t be the causing the deficits since they have a funding source distinct from income taxes.

  • SecularAnimist on May 10, 2012 6:10 PM:

    Ed Kilgore wrote: "... you do have to wonder if he’s suggesting ..."

    You don't have to wonder what Mourdock is suggesting. He's suggesting that his audience is stupid and ignorant.

  • TCinLA on May 10, 2012 6:46 PM:

    Today's representat5ive of the other hairless biped on the planet, Homo Sap, has tried again to demonstrate that lack of frontal lobes and opposable thumbs doesn't stop him from making idiotic comments.

    Someone has their plantation burned to the ground and that person is a benificiary of the first Civil War? Okay, the logic escapes me but whatever you say. That side lost as I seem to recall.

    The traitors of today's South should consider themselves fortunate that their ancestors weren't treated the way traitors should be, since they wouldn't exist.

    And it seems to me the only benificaries of the first Civil War were the northern industrialists and bankers whose great fortunes and trusts they earned off their wage slavery, some of which last to this day as part of the one percent.

    Oh right, the 13th 14th and 15th Amendments matter not, or the fact that at one time in this country (when we won the war that had to be won) labor had managed to force the industrialists to undo the wage slavery (which your side has worked assiduously since to bring us back to).

    And "first" Civil War? Are you expecting another?

    If you wingnut scum keep it up, I'll be perfectly happy to remove your gun from your cold dead hands. And this time we won't let you keep the horses for spring planting.

  • HMDK on May 11, 2012 1:15 AM:

    Sean Scallon... are you for real, are do just have a fetish for dressing up in a white pillowcase with eyeholes cut out?
    Or is it "merely" that you don't get taxes?
    It was right there in the post.
    Seriously, defending the poor slave-owners because they lost the gains they made off their slaves backs?
    Are you THAT warped?
    Sure,the North's motives weren't perfectly, pristinely pure. No ones' ever is. But compared to the confederacy, yeah... Wage slavery is bad, but compared to actual slavery? Are you this dense and delusional?

  • Sean Scallon on May 11, 2012 6:26 AM:

    Amusing isn't it that so many people who probably oppose the war in Iraq would love to make war on their fellow countrymen? 150 years later I'm glad to see so many would-be Charles Sumters and Thaddeus Stevens around. Perhaps you should all become Republicans and we get it on again (assuming you have guns).

    "Are you this dense and delusional?"

    No, I'm just a Douglas Democrat.