Advertisement

Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling for February 25, 2011

  1. June 27th 2009   wwcd
    BrianCrook  over 10 years ago

    Yep, we’re all in this together. Let’s have a kind, rational society and use the government to promote the general welfare. Tax the wealthy, cut the budget for killing, and increase focused spending to help people.

     •  Reply
  2. Missing large
    wcorvi  over 10 years ago

    I remember a cartoon many years ago, in the ‘60’s, in which some college student hippies are headed to the free health care clinic, stopping by for their tuition credits, and then going to protest the government. NOW it is the ultra-right-wing conservatives that are doing exactly the same thing!

     •  Reply
  3. Missing large
    wcorvi  over 10 years ago

    I remember a cartoon many years ago, in the ‘60’s, in which some college student hippies are headed to the free health care clinic, stopping by for their tuition credits, and then going to protest the government. NOW it is the ultra-right-wing conservatives that are doing exactly the same thing!

     •  Reply
  4. Flash
    pschearer Premium Member over 10 years ago

    Do I have this straight? Doing things the government shouldn’t be doing is proof the government should be doing them? Or is it that hypocrisy validates what someone is hypocritical about? Or that once an injustice has been established it should never be undone?

    No matter how I try, I just can’t think like a Leftist.

     •  Reply
  5. Turkey2
    MisngNOLA  over 10 years ago

    Hmm, maybe without having 15-20% of their income taken from them, they won’t need farm subsidies. And perhaps without having to PAY for their medicare and social security, they could afford to pay for their own medical care, and put something aside for their old age. And perhaps, they could barter with their doctor for care, or the doctor who no longer has to file government paperwork and wait to get reuimbursed for his work by the government can carry them along (two different family doctors in two vaastly different neighborhoods told me they could do that) and allow them to make installment payments on any health care costs they incur. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, most if not all farmers who’d carry shotguns would know more about gun safety than our esteemed cartoonist would have you believe, and wouldn’t be nearly so careless with a gun. But exaggeration, simplification, and generalizations are the template for nearly all political extremism, whether it’s left-wing, right-wing, communist, fascist, or whatever flavor you’d like.

     •  Reply
  6. Flash
    pschearer Premium Member over 10 years ago

    Misng: I generally agree with what you say, but I must warn about the word “extremism”. It is a contentless smear intended to distract from the truth or falseness of someone’s beliefs. If tars with the same brush someone who is extremely adrift from reality and someone who is extremely logical and consistent. Do you condemn someone who is extremely moral the same way you would someone who is extremely immoral? If the accusation were around in 1776, those extremist Founding Fathers would have lost.

     •  Reply
  7. Missing large
    TDBernard  over 10 years ago

    pschearer, when you say “shouldn’t be doing”, what do you mean? You mean, you think it’s not right that they’re doing it, or are you saying you believe there are laws that prevent them from doing it but they’re doing it anyway?

    Far as I know, any government may start any sort of company they want. The only downside being competition for the industry. There are no laws that outright forbid that.

    The upside being you’re no longer dependant on the whims of the industry and their insane pricing and backdoors and underhanded business tactics etc…

    @MisngNOLA: the shooting in the foot is an obvious joke and reference to the saying “shooting yourself in the foot”, which is exactly what’s happening here. They shot themselves in the foot, believing they’d end up better than before.

     •  Reply
  8. K schrag
    Karl Hiller Premium Member over 10 years ago

    Why the fascination with bartering with doctors for services? Where did THAT come from (Sharon Angle?) Somehow, eliminating Medicare and Social Security is going to make the medical industry open to bartering?

     •  Reply
  9. Me at 5
    NDeeZ  over 10 years ago

    Shot myself in the foot–too good!

    But maybe that’s me–I like clean air, clean water, untainted food and roads for those farmers to get what real food they grow (as opposed to crops they’re paid NOT to grow) to market.

    And being an adult, I realize those things aren’t free.

    But I’m free market enough concede that the amount a state gets in Federal aid shouldn’t exceed the amount they pay in–sure is gonna impact Texas, Alaska et al. Funny how the ones carping about big government consistently take back MORE than their share, MORE than they’ve paid.

     •  Reply
  10. Junco
    junco49  over 10 years ago

    pschearer: I WAS thinking about saying “Drop the words “like a leftist” from that sentence and I’ll wholeheartedly agree with you.” But I decided not to. It wouldn’t be fair.

     •  Reply
  11. Missing large
    An Iron Hand in a Velvet Glove  over 10 years ago

    I wish I was as smart as Ruben Bolling, but Social Security and USDA subsidies as being indicative of what the average american relies on to live is ridiculous.

    I know it’s supposed to be allegorical, but there aren’t many family farms left and most people I know see SS as a small supplement to their retirement, because they’ve had to save and work hard.

    And they could have saved even more if the government didn’t take 40% of their check each Friday.

     •  Reply
  12. Missing large
    h_lance  over 10 years ago

    pschearer and msingNOLA -

    I notice that you seem to be in substantial disagreement. I

    Pschearer says -

    ‘Doing things the government shouldn’t be doing is proof the government should be doing them? Or is it that hypocrisy validates what someone is hypocritical about? Or that once an injustice has been established it should never be undone?’

    While I disagree with his commentary, it is logically consistent. He doesn’t want socially cooperative systems, and doesn’t much care what happens without them.

    MisngNOLA, on the other hand, advances the transparently foolish and illogical claim that major social programs would not be missed. For example…

    ‘And perhaps without having to PAY for their medicare and social security, they could afford to pay for their own medical care, and put something aside for their old age.’

    This is so absurdly naive that, if it is not deliberately deceptive, it must represent self-brainwash at the expense of constant tormenting cognitive dissonance.

    Modern medical care for many conditions can easily cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

    Social security was created because so many hard working, honest people do not end up being able to save enough for their retirement.

    If you feel that some people should be allowed to starve or die of treatable diseases, say so, instead of dissembling like a weasel.

    ‘And perhaps, they could barter with their doctor for care, or the doctor who no longer has to file government paperwork and wait to get reuimbursed for his work by the government can carry them along (two different family doctors in two vaastly different neighborhoods told me they could do that)’

    Family practitioners are among the lowest paid US doctors and are not trained to deal with expensive, complex treatments.

    Nevertheless, even Family Practice doctors as a group would take a massive financial hit if Medicare were to be eliminated. Rand Paul realizes this, incidentally.

    If you think that we should have fewer or poorer doctors because some people should be allowed to die untreated, or will need to be cared for at the expense of the medical profession, just say so. Stop dissembling like a weasel.

     •  Reply
  13. Computerhead
    Spyderred  over 10 years ago

    You want life without the government? Take a long look at Africa.

     •  Reply
  14. Missing large
    exkiodexian  over 10 years ago

    It’s not that pschearer can’t think like a leftist. He just can’t think. Big difference.

    This is a classic cartoon, one that harkens back to the Health Care Town Halls where the elderly right wing idiot stood up and yelled: “Keep your bleeep government hands off my Medicare!” His igornace was only matched by his vitriol for government services he takes advantage of.

    The point of the cartoon, for the dense pschearer, is that there are millions of right wing loonies who have been brainwashed into thinking the government is bad bad bad, when they are taking advantage of multiple services the government provides them - and they either don’t know, or don’t care. Shocking, but true. If we pulled the rug out from under them, they’d be flopping around like the conservatives idiots in this cartoon.

    Of course, the magic of the “free market” would solve all their problems ….. LOL. That’s another cartoon …..

     •  Reply
  15. Thrill
    fritzoid Premium Member over 10 years ago

    “Doing things the government shouldn’t be doing is proof the government should be doing them?”

    That’s the part I disagree with. We disagree fundamentally over what sorts of things “the government should be doing”.

    Any time a conservative says something like “the Federal Government should deliver the mail and provide for military defense, period”, I wanna say “Sez who?”

    “It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. Were the plan of the convention adverse to the public happiness, my voice would be, Reject the plan. Were the Union itself inconsistent with the public happiness, it would be, Abolish the Union. In like manner, as far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the happiness of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, Let the former be sacrificed to the latter.”

    James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 45

     •  Reply
  16. Bunnypancakehead
    DarkHorseSki  over 10 years ago

    Real farmers don’t need subsidy checks and don’t work at the post office. As for Medicare and Social Security, true fiscally responsible adults realize those were just mechanisms setup to steal from the future and they need to be eliminated.

     •  Reply
  17. Angry baby
    drtom01  over 10 years ago

    Several people who post here have hit the nail on the head. If you want to see what it would be like without the Federal government look at Africa and South America. Multiple country with weak to non-existent Federal government. No roads, no infrastructure outside of a few cities with large swaths of the country controlled by wealth land owners. Just like it was in the U.S. in the 1800’s.

    And by the way you do realize the communication system that is allowing you to post and read these messages was create by the Federal government and given free of charge to U.S. corporations to administer.

    So no internet.

     •  Reply
  18. June 27th 2009   wwcd
    BrianCrook  over 10 years ago

    The last sentence of your first comment, Pschearer, would be more accurate without its last three words.

    If you want doctors to have less paperwork, Nola, then you want universal, single-payer health-care. Most of the paperwork from our current system is from the myriad of private insurance & other H.M.O. plans to which each doctor must attend. Your “maybe”s, by the way, are fantasy.

    The bartering idea, Kreniigh, shows how desperate the regressive cause is to support the health-care mess of the last fifty years. Yeah, I can envision many doctors trying to pay off their medical-school loans with sheaves of wheat & bushels of half-runners.

    Well said, Lance.

     •  Reply
  19. Img 0896
    ickymungmung  over 10 years ago

    “As for Medicare and Social Security, true fiscally responsible adults realize those were just mechanisms setup to steal from the future and they need to be eliminated.”

    We pay into SS and when we get older it pays us back–that is not “just a mechanism” but a reasoned approach to staving off utter despair and abject poverty (for those millions of citizens who are presumed to be ‘not true fiscally responsible adults’). Social Security, the most successful program ever put into place by the United States, did not occur in a vacuum–take pickaxes to it if you will but it has done more good for more taxpayers than you can shake an invisible marketplace hand at, if that’s your thing. Odd fact about that invisible hand of the marketplace: it strangles those who don’t know the secret handshake, and slaps those who speak truth to it.

     •  Reply
  20. Missing large
    papabotts  over 10 years ago

    As in all art, truth is in the eye of the beholder. But putting all this convoluted thinking aside, it seems all he might be saying is that there are people so ignorant in parts of the country that they’ll say one things, not realizing that they actually expect support from the same gubmint that want to shout down. And often its ok if they get more than they pay in back, but if anyone else gets more than they pay in, why they’re” no good varmints!” I saw plenty of people at the last get together riding on their carts because they were too fat to walk , (or work for some of them), and what they were getting in benefits were exponentially more than any of them ever put in. But they were utterly blind to the fact who was paying for their carts, Rx’s, SS, denny’s unhealthy6 meals, etc. This isn’t about specifics. It about intellectual disconnect in general. Bottom line, its purpose is to make us think and question. I’d say its doing an ok job of that. I don’t understand why there has to be this hate and categorizing of black vs white right vs left. most folks are in between. Extremeist means just that “to the extremes”

     •  Reply
  21. Missing large
    h_lance  over 10 years ago

    msingNOLA -

    As others have noted, the actual point of the cartoon is not whether or not Social Security, Medicare, and USDA subsidies are “good”, but the confused attitudes of the characters. (For the record, I oppose many aspects of the USDA subsidy program.)

    You yourself are an example of the confusion. In your first comment you falsely claimed that no-one, not even physicians, would be harmed by elimination of Social Security and Medicare.

    That is an absurd claim. Pschearer knows perfectly well that many people would suffer tremendously if these programs were eliminated, but considers the imposition of small taxes on himself a worse evil than elderly and disabled people starving or suffering and dying of treatable diseases.

    Now, in your second, extremely long comment, you essentially reveal that ALL of the success you have enjoyed in life is ENTIRELY due to the availability of federal government programs (albeit not SS or Medicare).

    Not mentioned in this cartoon, but noted by Bolling in the past, are the confounding variables of ethnic prejudice and homophobia. If there were a party that strongly supported SS, Medicare, trade unions, and a more equitable distribution of income, but was racist, it would be popular. However, no such party exists, and, with an openly black president in the White House, many people choose to blow off their own foot economically out of bias. While doing so they attempt to maintain denial about the impact of economic policy.

     •  Reply
  22. Missing large
    h_lance  over 10 years ago

    Dark Horse Ski -

    It’s getting repetitive, but I will once more point out the naive and/or hypocritical nature of comments such as yours.

    ‘Real farmers don’t need subsidy checks and don’t work at the post office’

    Bullshit. Whether or not the USDA subsidy program is optimal is one question. Whether or not farmers massively depend on it is another issue. Farmers, and the US food supply, are tightly dependent on those programs. And if you think that plenty of family farms don’t also rely on a spouse’s outside job, I don’t know what planet you’re living on.

    ‘As for Medicare and Social Security, true fiscally responsible adults realize those were just mechanisms setup to steal from the future and they need to be eliminated.’

    What they are, is, legally enacted programs. Using the word “steal” in an incorrect way does not make your argument any better.

    Millions of people depend on them for food, shelter, and medical care, and almost all health care professionals and institutions receive a high proportion of their income from Medicare.

    I strongly support your right to express opposition to these programs, but I wish you’d do it in an honest, coherent, way.

     •  Reply
  23. Turkey2
    MisngNOLA  over 10 years ago

    Lance, apparently your reading and comprehension skills are lacking. NOWEHERE in my post do I state that no one would be hurt by getting rid of Social Security and Medicare. What I do state is that it’s possible that SOME people could actually do better on their own without those programs, and there’s the rub. When one-size-fits-all programs and solutions are enacted by the federal government, there is always the law of unintended consequences in which some or many of those who don’t need or don’t want to be included in those programs arefirst, having their incomes reduced by the taxation involved to run those programs, and then second, no longer able to fend for themselves as effectively as if the Federal Government had not intervened in their lives with “help”. Now in my second, longer post I expose the fact that there are ALREADY IN PLACE many programs designed to do what the newest version purports to do. Just by bringing up the fact that those plans are already in place, and are either not effective, or not used widely enough to reach the people they purport to help, it exposes the fact that governmental plans are either A) a large waste of scarce resources, B) poorly thought out and executed or C) totally incapable of achieving the results for which they were institutued. Nothing I have said is dishonest, although you may disagree with it. Just because you don’t understand what the programs were supposed to do (and what the public was told they would do) versus what they have acchieved, that doesn’t make what I have said dishonest in any manner. Again I must state, that I simply believe you are too stuck on a single solution for every problem and if it only works for some of the people, well so be it, regardless of the fact that it may ultimately be a detriment to more people than it helps.

     •  Reply
  24. Turkey2
    MisngNOLA  over 10 years ago

    Oh, and my successes were as a result of my willingness to put forth effort and work in a quid pro quo arrangement with the Federal Government in which it gained the use of my services and in exchange I got a return for the use of my services. That’s a far cry from a Federal Government program in which the only quid pro quo is that it takes the monies of it’s citizens and provides meager returns because its largesse far exceeds the proceeds of its confiscatory attempts to procure revenue. Let me shock you for a moment, I am in favor of taxing people with incomes in excess of 100 times the national average salary at substantially higher rates than those who make average wages. What I am NOT in favor of, is taxing those people at such a rate as to be punitive in the levy of those taxes. That being said, even if those who make $1 million or more were taxed at a rate of 75%, it would not be enough to balance the budget without also including sensible spending restraints. What I see currently from the Federal Government is that every time they suggest that they have created a reduction in spending , what they have actually done is only slow the rate of said spending, or shift that spending to “another pool of money” which still gets spent. I’d love to sit down with any of you and talk about the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) process and the sheer stupidity involved in spending gobs of money in order to save money. I am not anti- Federal Government, I am anti -Federal Government deceptive spending which occurs in MANY departments including that sacred cow, the Department of Defense. I’m not stupid, nor naive, like many of you seem to be. I see with both eyes open, and balance pros against cons when it comes to making my decisions on many issues, especially ones which come down to fiscal responsibility and human costs. I am diametrically opposed to MOST of the positions which Republicans take on Social issues, for example, defunding of CPB/NPR/and PBS is an ignorant move by the members of the Republican lead House of Representatives. Another relates to stem cell research, which I believe is one of the most important avenues of research in the area of disease and health care there has been found in the last 100 years. Unlike many of you, I don’t blindly follow what either side says about an issue or about their opponents. I constantly read on as many subjects as possible, and I tend to believe that I’m smart enough to filter out the political BS which pervades most of these discussions. Finally, I don’t hate any one group or individual simply because their views, lifestyles, income, or anything else don’t match my idea of the way things should be. Perhaps you all should try that too.

     •  Reply
  25. Missing large
    h_lance  over 10 years ago

    “Lance, apparently your reading and comprehension skills are lacking.”

    On the contrary, my reading and comprehension skills are extremely good.

    “NOWEHERE in my post do I state that no one would be hurt by getting rid of Social Security and Medicare. ”

    Although that is technically true, the clear intent of your original comment was to minimize and trivialize the level of harm to individuals that elimination of these programs would do.

    Now I will shock you - as it turns out, I agree with the vast majority of your final two comments.

    I don’t know of anyone who favors government waste, or wants the federal government to be “bigger” than it needs to be.

    However -

    1) I have a subjective preference for a society that treats its most vulnerable citizens in a humane and dignified way. It is inevitable that any program that benefits the truly needy will attract a small number of wretched individuals who don’t really qualify, and there will always be debate about who “deserves” what. Medicare and Social Security are fairly efficient programs.

    2) As you point out, merely increasing taxation levels on incomes so high that the marginal utility of the extra income to the recipient is negligible, and eliminating wasteful “defense” spending (I support a strong military for national defense, of course, I am talking about waste, and we both know it is there) would substantially reduce the deficit.

    3) Finally, again, the point of the cartoon is not that SS, Medicare, the Post Office, etc, are good things, although I think for the most part they are, but that many people who demand “spending cuts” are badly confused. Polls actually show that the only “program” the majority of Americans want cut is “foreign aid”. Like you, I actually favor cuts in the military and some other obviously wasteful areas.

     •  Reply
  26. Missing large
    h_lance  over 10 years ago

    Aircraft engineer said -

    “misng - you can’t talk reason to some here - they just just just …can’t LISTEN to it.”

    In other words, you find some of what is said here disturbingly convincing, and resort to nonspecific insults in an effort to maintain denial.

    “The trouble with cutting funding for almost anything that has become established thru federal funding is that “someone’s OX is going to get GORED””

    Yes, it is very obvious to anyone that cuts in funding will always impact on someone in a negative way.

    Of course, some negative impact is worse than other negative impact, and some programs are more overall beneficial than other programs.

    I favor humane treatment of vulnerable people. That’s a purely subjective preference on my part, of course. For that reason, I favor programs that help the most vulnerable.

    At a more objective level, I can note the following - 1) such programs tend to provide benefit money that goes rapidly back into the US economy, 2) a high proportion of the population is at risk of needing such programs some day and 3) the marginal utility of enough food or medical care, versus not having or having to beg for food or medical care, is very high, whereas the marginal utility of additional money for people with already very high incomes and luxurious lifestyles is low, so programs that address the former provide more marginal utility per absolute dollar spent.

    “Some seem to have an attachment for their OX”

    How post-modern, amoral, and nihilistic of you to assume that anyone who defends programs for the most vulnerable must need such programs themselves.

    Indeed, though, you are correct that people have a strong attachment to food, clothing, and medical care.

     •  Reply
  27. Holyrat100
    Anarcissie  over 10 years ago

    The discussion, like the cartoon, is kind of dumb because almost no one actually wants to get rid of the government. Most of the rightists who talk about shrinking the government actually favor expensive wars, imperialism, police-state surveillance, the prison-industrial complex, and the Drug War which feeds it. If you doubt this look at Reagan’s or the Bushes’ budgets and expenditures.

    And those are just the intended consequences.

     •  Reply
  28. Missing large
    h_lance  over 10 years ago

    Anarcissie -

    What the cartoon depicts is the hypocrisy and self-induced denialism that generate much of the working and middle class support for the right. It does not directly depict the constant propaganda and exploitation of ethnic and social biases which generate the confusion, but Bolling has touched on those themes in the past.

    That is what the cartoon depicts. It depicts this very accurately.

    Most of the claims that the cartoon is “stupid” have come from people who either resemble the characters, or who recognize the truth of it, support the actual intentions of right wing policy, and are worried that people who resemble the characters might get a clue some day.

    “Most of the rightists who talk about shrinking the government actually favor expensive wars, imperialism, police-state surveillance, the prison-industrial complex, and the Drug War which feeds it”

    This is some of the direct impact of several decades of gushing love from the white American working/middle class toward a right wing elite. Economic stagnation and decline for the majority is another part.

    However, if you asked people if they support all of that, the vast majority would say “no”. Yet they do continue to support it. Technically they will get it no matter which major party they support, but they continue to support the party which gives them relatively more of it. That is what the cartoon illustrates.

     •  Reply
  29. Turkey2
    MisngNOLA  over 10 years ago

    Lance, another point on which we agree is the insanity of the drug war/ prison-industrial complex. No need to expand further other than to point out what happened when the 18th amendment went into effect and how its consequences mirror those of the current drug prohibitions.

     •  Reply
  30. June 27th 2009   wwcd
    BrianCrook  over 10 years ago

    Nola, I am pleased to find another area of agreement with you.

     •  Reply
  31. Turkey2
    MisngNOLA  over 10 years ago

    Brian, it just goes to show that most Americans are not on the polar opposite ends of the political spectrum that most of our politicians seem to be on.

     •  Reply
  32. June 27th 2009   wwcd
    BrianCrook  over 10 years ago

    And, Nola, that the media, preferring a fight over agreement, prefer to portray.

     •  Reply
  33. Missing large
    homunq  over 10 years ago

    Shock doctrine comic, please! Wisconsin needs you! Maybe Nate needs a friend…

     •  Reply
  34. Turkey2
    MisngNOLA  over 10 years ago

    It sells advertising, which of course is the bottom line now.

     •  Reply
Sign in to comment
Advertisement

More From Tom the Dancing Bug

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement