STFU, Conservatives




Unsurprisingly, a Wall Street Journal opinion writer thinks poor people don’t need a raise. He says that if you factor in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), *technically* poor people are already making $9 an hour.

Couple things:

  1. When you’re poor, you can’t pay the electric company by saying, “Well, in April of next year I’ll get a sweet tax return check!” When you are poor, you need money up front, in your bank account, every two weeks. The phrase “living paycheck to paycheck” comes to mind. When you’re not poor, it’s easy to wait a few months for the government to pay you back for the money they borrowed. A few thousand bucks at tax return time? Sweet. But poor people don’t have the luxury of waiting for a once-yearly bump to their income.
  2. Poor people do not necessarily have access to someone who can do their taxes. If you’re rich, you can pay a high-level tax professional to comb over your receipts and help you write off $77,000 in horse expenses (remember Mitt Romney, guys? He got $77k in tax breaks for his wife’s horse. True story). That tax person can also show you how to put your money into bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands so that you don’t have to pay taxes on it at all. America!

    But these tax guys charge a lot. Last year, my boss’s sister (an accountant) did my taxes for me, and at the “family and friends” rate, I still paid over $100. Poor families cannot afford $100 to *possibly* find more tax breaks they’re entitled to. I’m going to have to plead ignorance on one point: I do not know if the 1040 EZ includes the EITC, or if you have to file differently to get it. Google is pulling up lots of documentation on taxes that I can barely comprehend. (ETA: Readers have helpfully pointed out that if you file the 1040EZ with Turbotax, you can apply for the EITC. But there are a lot of exceptions - you can’t get it if anyone else lists you as a dependent, for instance. Basically, it’s not an automatic part of your tax return; it’s something you have to know about when you file your taxes.) But the point still stands that many poor people miss out on tax breaks because they don’t know about them. That was the one - ONE - advantage of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan: it would have simplified the tax code. Right now, tax knowledge is a real ivory tower thing. Saying “But poor people already get a tax credit that increases their yearly salary” is ignorant of that fact.
  3. Fuck you, buddy. Just fuck you. Fuck you and your “well technically poor people are already coddled with $9 an hour salaries!” bullshit. Fuck you and your tax code shit. People deserve $9 an hour. Maybe more than that. $9 an hour per paycheck, not per year. Fuck you.

number 1 is a legitimate point, since many of the impoverished are fending off homelessness at any given time. however, it’s not anyone else’s fault but yours for not knowing about the tax code of the country that you live in. i think it’s big, dumb, monolithic and should absolutely be simplified, but that doesn’t keep me from finding out as much as i can about doing it around april. (3) the internet is a wonderful invention. use it.

(2) the author definitely wasn’t arguing that poor people are being “coddled” as you pompously said. he was arguing that an overall increase in the minimum wage would cost jobs, since a higher price for anything, including labor, decreases demand. lrn2econ

(1) Lol @ dumb liberals on tumblr thinking they know more about economics than a writer for the Wall Street Journal.

I want to respond to a few points here, so I put bolded numbers in parentheses so you know what I’m referring to.

(1) Wait wait wait. Back up. That thing you just said there? About the audacity of questioning a journalist? That is fucking scary. Do you seriously believe everything you read on the internet that’s published by a newspaper site? Do you really think journalists are never wrong? Biased? You really believe that critically examining an opinion piece (it was an opinion piece, not an article) is laughable? Do you know what the fuck media criticism is? Do you even care?

And he’s wrong - factually, actually wrong - that the EITC is the same as a pay increase for all minimum wage workers. Because the EITC doesn’t apply to people under 25, people who make a certain amount of income (even if they make minimum wage), people who are claimed as dependents, and other exceptions. So to say “we don’t need to increase the minimum wage because the EITC takes care of all poor people” is just wrong.

But really. The fact that you think people shouldn’t dare to criticize the media is frightening to me.

(2) No, the author argued that the minimum wage was already $9 an hour, so we don’t need to increase it. See also: the title of the piece. I interpreted him saying “the government already makes it so people get paid $9/hour” as “we already coddle the poor by paying them $9/hour.” Not much of a stretch. lrn2read plz.

(3) I said I googled. I couldn’t find the answer, so I asked my readers, who helpfully gave me the answer. lrn2read mebbe?

I still have yet to hear from a single conservative/libertarian/economics expert on Tumblr why increasing the minimum wage is a bad thing. I keep citing sources and studies and they keep saying “lol you don’t get economics!” K guys. Teach me. I’m waiting.

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    also can i just say - I live in a state where the minimum wage is $9 an hour, and that is not that much. Let’s do the...
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    The scare quotes remind me of the bs on Fox News where they were using them to describe poor people who had...
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    I would like to point out as well thats its not just about being able to survive on a minimum wage, its about a living...
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