Unless you've seen it, or heard about it, or read about it already, you'll have a hard time guessing where the above images were published.
The poor oppressed 6 figure income folks are faced with increases in their tax burdens that range from zero, the weary looking retired couple with an annual income of $180,000, to 21,608 for the overburdened family with an income just shy of two-thirds of a million dollars.
Actually, my favorite is the beleaguered single mom with a quarter million dollar annual income. See how sad and worn she looks? The life of a waitress can be hard, especially if you pull in that amount in tips. A lot of tables there.
It seems kind of unfair, actually, the sort of constructing of a straw man and then knocking him down. You misrepresent an opposition argument, then have fun demolishing it. To anyone who is familiar with the pros and cons of the debate, that sort of thing will seem puerile, even juvenile.
It isn't an unknown tactic in the blogging world.
But these images are so over the top, it would be reasonable to consider them satire.
The damage done to the Romney campaign by his 47% quote, as I see it, was that it put new muscle into a previously discredited image of out of touch, snobby, superior feeling, rich folk. It was a Daddy Warbucks sort of image: the little figure with the top hat that Monopoly game players moved around the board.
The stereotype had, over the years, come to be recognized as a wild exaggeration. Nobody actually thought of working people as less virtuous and hard working than rich folk. Those who are wealthy may have their faults, as Jesus said, but they don't actually look down their noses at those less fortunate.
Then suddenly, they actually did.
Still, the poor, suffering rich as portrayed in that drawing, tired and overachieved, painfully scrounging for an extra 1 or 2 or 3 percent of tax revenue is taking ridicule a little far.
I didn't believe it at first. The images were based on a complaining article in the Wall Street Journal. After my surprise, it came to me that the images were drawn as a protest to the Rupert Murdoch publication. After all, this was the same Wall Street Journal that once published a piece bemoaning the fact that those living near the poverty line paid nearly no taxes. "Lucky Duckies" was the name the WSJ gave to those who labor for low pay.
Even based on an article inside the Journal, it is a little unfair. A legitimate debate is possible about whether those earning ten or fifteen times the average combined wage for a typical family ought to pay a higher percentage in taxes. No need to even imply a false image that no rational person would advance.
"I was sad," writes TBogg at FireDogLake, "because I had no shoes until I met a married couple with four kids living on a mere $650,000 a year with only $180,000 in investment income."
I don't blame you if you don't believe me. I didn't believe it until I checked. Click on the images. Unless it occurs to them to become embarrassed, the representation of poor downtrodden taxpayers will still be seen next to the third sentence of the article in the Wall Street Journal itself.
It is their drawing, published by their paper. By the way, that third sentence reads thusly:
While the top 1% of taxpayers will bear the biggest burden, many other families, affluent and poor, will pay more as well.
Yes, Virginia, that is actually how many of the top one percent, those who are instructed by the editorial policies of the premier financial newspaper, see the world. Those who ride buses to work are "Lucky Duckies." Those with six figure incomes range between affluent and ... you know.
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It is sad that our country has come to this, but it appears to be one of the very few methods that democrats have learned to use to stay in power.
Stay tuned... Obama thinks ALL Americans are far too rich compared to the rest of the world.
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