Monday, August 28, 2017

Let the "adorably out of touch" eat cake - and other illustrated news

Mexico won't pay - why should the US
Welcome to the party!

First, get yourself primed with AZBlueMeanie’s cartoons. Join the President of Mexico in a good guffaw when Trump tries to stick Congress (aka YOU!) with the bill for his wall. Then graduate to the First Lady of the Treasury’s “let them eat cake” moment.

Paying your taxes is not a sacrifice, says Mark E Andersen to Louise Linton. Until you sell that giant rock on your finger to buy a gallon of milk, you do not know what sacrifice is.. [For the rock, check out the photo in Andersen’s Daily Kos post.]

This past week Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, wrote the following about their tax burden: “Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch.”

The irony of that statement is that Linton claims that the person she is responding to on Instagram is out of touch. Well, Ms. Linton, I hate to break it to you, but you are the one who is out of touch. Paying taxes on wealth that most Americans can only dream of is not a fucking sacrifice. It is your duty as an American citizen to pay your fair share toward the common good.

The very definition of sacrifice is the destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else; something given up or lost. That says nothing about paying your damned taxes. It’s doubtful Linton will be reading this, but just in case she does, let’s throw out some actual sacrifices.

During the Great Depression many sacrifices were made. Parents would go hungry so that their children could eat. …

During World War II the sacrifices ranged far and wide. On the home front, everything from gasoline and tires to meat and sugar was rationed, and families even gave up their family dogs for the war effort. Young men put their lives on hold to serve their country, with 407,000 of them making the ultimate sacrifice and never coming home.

Sacrifices are made every day in this country … [like] the single mother who works full time and goes to school part time to make a better life for her children. And the elementary school teacher who uses his own money to purchase school supplies so no student in his classroom goes without. …

Sacrifices are all around us. We see them every day. Some of them may be small and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things while other sacrifices can make you wonder how much someone can give. In all cases, paying your taxes is not a sacrifice. It is your duty as an American.

Linton’s thoughts are just a small microcosm of the Trump administration’s views. They have never known want, and they have never known sacrifice. There is precedent for Linton’s comments. In philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, he related the story of a great princess saying “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” or as we know it today, “Let them eat cake,” a phrase often erroneously attributed to Marie Antoinette (even during her time). And we know how things turned out for her.

Ms. Linton, her husband, and his associates have no idea what it is like to sacrifice, or how it feels to struggle to make it from paycheck to paycheck. They will never know what it is like to have to decide between putting gas in the car to get to work or buying a gallon of milk. For her to even utter the word sacrifice shows how little she has in common with the average American, and shows just how far out of touch the Trump administration is.

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