You can’t negotiate with stupid

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on November 13, 2011

Rep. James Clyburn is one of the Democrats on the so-called super-committee tasked with identifying $1.2 Trillion in savings before Nov. 23. Chris Wallace interviewed him on “Fox News Sunday” this morning and viewers were treated to these whoppers.

WALLACE: Well, that's a problem right there, 10 days out, that the Democrats don't have a plan.

CLYBURN: Well, the Republicans don't have a plan. I think we are there to develop a bipartisan plan. And that's why it's six and six. And I do believe we can get to a bipartisan plan.

We've got to get realistic about these so-called tax increases. How do you define closing the loophole as a tax increase is beyond me? The fact of the matter is, if you got someone who is supposed to be paying 30 percent, 35 percent in taxes, yet can find loopholes not to pay anything in taxes. And so, it's fair -- unfair to close that loophole. I don't quite understand that. [emphasis added, stupidity in original]

He seriously does not realize that closing loopholes increases taxes? Or was this a brilliant ploy to get Wallace to waste time explaining the blindingly obvious to him?

WALLACE: Wait, wait, Congressman, that's not the typical situation. Let's say you are fortunate enough to be in the 35 percent bracket and let's say you take a mortgage deduction on your home. Now, if instead of getting the full value of that deduction, you got 2/3 of it, you are paying more in taxes. That's a tax increase.

Mission accomplished. Time wasted on the obvious. But the obliviousness continues.

CLYBURN: Well, that's not all that we are talking about here. We are talking about the loopholes that allow you to go down to zero in taxes. And I think it is unfair for us to sit out an say to a person who is making billions of dollars, we're going to allow a tax increase or decrease of another $300,000 a year while we are then going to take away Medicare for people living on fixed income. That is just not fair.

That’s not what we’re talking about? Yes, that’s what we’re talking about. We’re also talking about loopholes, as you say, that allow you to go down to zero in taxes—but you don’t want to get rid of those loopholes because those are “green energy” Obama-supporting, GE-benefiting loopholes.

I thought the interview couldn’t get any dumber. I was wrong.

WALLACE: OK. Let me ask you about one other thing which the Republicans say it is unfair about the Democrats.

You -- well, this is not your plan. The Democratic plan that is out there would count hundreds of billions of dollars in savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that would be applied to entitlements, things like that. Isn't that a classic Washington budget gimmick, to count savings on money that was going to be spent anyway?

CLYBURN: That is not. And, in fact, that's much more realistic then this so-called pro-growth economy which --

WALLACE: Well, I'm asking you about this though. Counting money from wars that weren't going to be fought?

CLYBURN: We believe and the CBO believes that there is around $917 billion to be saved over the next 10 years from the overseas contingency account. And we ought to count that.

Imagine how much more we could save if we stop spending money to fight wars in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam and the Barbary Pirates!

These people are not serious and they’re not honest.

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November 2011



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