Stephen Colbert…

…deftly eviscerates the traitorous swine known as our Ruling Class:

A million jobless vets (and thousands of others, both retired and active) get the shaft from the pigs who enriched themselves 3667% during the worst economic downturn since the Depression. For most of us, a millionaire is in the 1%. In Congress, 47% are millionaires.

My idea is strip these federal pigs in the legislative and executive branches of all their money except what they make for their office salary, take their riches, and put it in a fund for injured vets. Then, life in prison for any of these members of the Ruling Class who ever attempts to make a dime beyond their salary while in office. Also, immediate front line combat duty for any member of the legislative or the Executive branch who suggests stripping troops of their already crappy salary and bennies.

Someday soon, it is going to occur to our betrayed troops that they own all the guns and the pigs who send them off to fight and die while they stay home and enrich themselves have nothing but nice ties and limos. When that day comes, we will be lucky beyond our desserts if we do not face a major mutiny. Human beings can only take so much abuse and disregard. Recently, there has been much bustle in the press because a couple of jerks at OWS have defecated publicly. That these disgusting, filthy Ruling Class thieves can even contemplate this is an act of public defecation on the sacrifices of our troops that dwarfs the stupid publicity stunts of a few poor people. But whlle OWS jerks get hauled to the pokey when they act like jerks, wealth and power have the effect of insulating our Ruling Classes from the consequences of their despicable actions.

Nonetheless, God sees and his judgment will not sleep forever.

HT: Frank Weathers, fomer Marine. Thanks for your service, man.

Update from a reader: Thank you, Mark. There are many things I wish the American public realized about what it means to be active-duty military. For example, the “free” government housing we’re “provided” is often in terrible shape, as in mold problems, rat/insect infested, plumbing and electrical in bad repair, etc. Housing is mostly very, very old (like the historic Infantry barracks in Leavenworth that were reconfigured into family housing), and some of it has gotten so bad that it’s recently been condemned. I’ve seen families moved out of their crappy housing on post because it was scheduled for demolition. On Monday, it was “good enough” for a family to live there; on Tuesday, it was rubble. Housing is often in short supply as well, with families on waiting lists for up to one year. Where do they live in the meantime? Sometimes in a hotel — no joke.

There are a huge number of young military families on food stamps because their government salary doesn’t pay them enough to survive. Let that sink in: Some of the guys who have bled and died for our nation weren’t making enough money to feed their kids. Thanks, Uncle Sam.

For the most part, my husband and I have been fortunate in that our housing problems have been solvable, and we’re thankful to have a sturdy roof over our heads. But so many military families have housing horror stories that would make your head spin. It’s not that we military folk expect to be treated like royalty, but we’d like decent housing that’s safe and in good shape (especially while our husbands are deployed). Thankfully, a lot of new construction has been taking place in recent years at certain installations, and I can assure you that military families appreciate it.

Some people may have the impression that active-duty folks are given everything they could ever need with all those government “bennies” and it’s just not so. The cowards in Congress had better not dare to ask for any more “sacrifice” from the people protecting them.

  • Peggy R

    Won’t argue with your point, but FYI, the top 1% earners are people who make over $340K or thereabouts. (National Taxpayers Union) So, millionaires among the general populous are not even 1%. And not all the 1% are filthy rich. Indeed, some very nice annual income to be sure, but not all earn millions.

    • Peggy R

      Sorry that is AGI, but again, not millionaires, all of them.

    • Mark Shea

      My point is that these selfish swine in our ruling classes think first of compelling the people who have bled and suffered to sacrifice, not of lifting a pudgy, pink, soft finger to sacrifice themselves. And yes, nearly half of Congress are millionaires.

    • Dan C

      The top 1 % are still making 7 times more than the average American. Its ok if these members of our ruling class contribute. An easy argument can be made that their wealth is exclusively a product of the efforts of many other civil servants.

  • Arnold

    In my entire career I never made more than $105,000 per year, a very comfortable salary but not one qualifying me for the 1%. Thanks to diligent saving habits learned from my frugal Catholic working class parents plus some judicious and fortunate investments taken at my own risk, I have accumulated savings in the low seven figures. I contribute 15% of my annual gross income to charity, principally Catholic organizations and my local parish/diocese. I wonder if I qualify for your confiscation program, Mark.

    • Mark Shea

      My confiscation program is designed only for members of congress and the executive branches who plan on screwing the soldiers they sent into harm’s way.

      • Frank Weathers

        Arnold: Glad to hear that your thrift has been rewarded, and that you are using your gifts well.

        Now ask yourself if members of Congress should be allowed to continue their “legal” insider trading transactions, on materially significant information unavailable to the rest of the public, when the rest of us would face jail and bankruptcy for the same.

        Here is an example of your Super Committee members in action.

        Go Tribal teams, Go!

  • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

    Mark, great post. One point: it’s FORMER Marine, not ex-Marine.

    Thanks,
    Sean Dailey, former Marine

    • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

      Thanks for the correction! You rock!

      • http://tonylayne.blogspot.com/ Anthony S. Layne

        Miles classicus quondam est, semper miles classicus. Semper Fidelis!

        • Paulus

          I was going to say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” but….

          • Frank Weathers

            Actually, Weathers is a Retired Marine. But as a variation of the motto goes,

            Semper Gumby (flexible).

            Pax

  • Kirt Higdon

    This sounds like a call for a military coup. However bad bankster rule is, and it’s very bad indeed, I’m no more inclined to call for a fascist or Nazi style revolution (both spear-headed to a large extent by disgruntled veterans) than I am for a Jacobin or Bolshevik style revolution. And I wonder how many vets have great sympathy for the OWS “99%”. I recently spoke with an Afghan vet who is living pretty much hand-to-mouth and who I expected to be at least marginally sympathetic to OWS. Instead he opined that “the police should do it the old fashioned way – beat them with their nightclubs and wear heavy boots to stop on their feet”. I’m starting to wonder if we might be approaching some kind of Weimar moment.

    • Mark Shea

      No. I don’t want a coup. I simply note that if our Ruling Classes want to provoke one, they are going about it exactly the right way. This blog is simply a bleat of anger against the crooks who send good men to die and then screw their brothers who survive, their widows and their orphans and defecate on their sacrifice while enriching themselves. In a more civilized era such men would be thrown out of windows by a mob of peasants, placed in the stocks, and pelted with mud and rotting vegetables.

      • Jack

        I’m with you mark.

        Just out of interest are you familiar with the Poem “I wonder through each Charter’d Street” by William Blake? I ask because the conclusion of the 3rd Stanza is relavent to your post.

        Just as an aside to all you Catholics who worship at the altar of Von mises and Smith and sing hymns in praise of pure unadulterated capitalism Eric Arthur Blair once opined that “there is more understanding of the nature of capitalist society in a poem like “I wander through each charter’d street” than in three-quarters of Socialist literature”

        As for me I am with the Distributionists, I long for the day that it becomes the economic system upon which we base our lives.

    • http://www.facebook.com/OffTheGrid Brent

      Nazi revolution?? Hitler was VOTED in.

      • Thomas R

        No he wasn’t, not legitimately anyway. It’s complicated, but essentially he made a deal to get the Chancellorship. The Nazi Party’s growth was starting to slow so he could took an opportunity afforded by a faction/guy that felt disgruntled.

        I have to admit the talk of “swine” and throwing the “ruling classes” out of windows is kind of the “jumping off” point for me. Maybe this blog was always like that and I didn’t see it, but I think I’m done now.

      • Kirt Higdon

        Hitler became Chancellor of Germany by parliamentary dealing – nothing illegal about it. Such deals are routinely made in most countries with a parliamentary system. In fact the government he replaced, the so-called cabinet of the barons, was arguably illegal or at least questionable. The Nazi revolution and reign of terror began AFTER Hitler’s legal assumption of the office of chancellor.

        • Thomas R

          I didn’t say it was illegal, just that he wasn’t voted in as such.

          • Kirt Higdon

            Thomas, my reply was intended for Brent, not for you. I think you got in and made more or less the same point I did a bit ahead of me.

  • Peggy R

    By the way, I understand that the fellow who wrote this new book on insider trading by congressoids, Peter Schweizer, is an advisor to Sarah Palin. Don’t forget she took on the old boys’ club in AK. Apparently, the GOP House has scheduled a hearing for a bill to outlaw insider trading. We’ll see if anything comes of it. Don’t sit by the phone or anything. The “60 Minutes” coverage was the first time in decades that show had me interested. It was very good.

  • Sharon

    I get a lot of flack from my family by posting on American sites about how good Australian health care is with an 11,000,000 taxpayer population and so I won’t go on about the gold class way Australia treats its former service men and women and their families. If you want to know the details just do some research.

    Just want to say that, if it is correct and congress wants to cut the health benefits to those who have served and who are serving then I am with you on this Mark.

    • Rebekka

      Denmark has really good universal health care, too, and the total population (not just taxpayers) is only about 5,5 million people. Per capita spending for health care is half what it is in the US. (And there is a military here, so it’s not just because it’s a nation of tree-hugging pansies. Danes are are doing/have done combat service in both Iraq and Afghanistan.)

  • Matt B

    Mark – I thought you were just a carp, but I see you have the makings of a policy wonk as well.

    Do you fail to see this as the natural result of calling our foreign wars unjust and unnecessary, and our fighting men “murderers;” the shrill and relentless denunciation of military policy as it was actually unfolding in real warzones; our persecution of the men and women who led those wars?

    I have two bromides for you: “To the victor belongs the spoils.” I don’t know who coined that one; but my second is a quote from that great patriotic American Grace Slick: “Feed your head!!!”

    • Mark Shea

      Are you suggesting I call our troops murderers? Yes or no. If yes, I demand an apology and if you refuse, you are gone from my blog.

      • Matt B

        No. I’m not accusing you of that. But some have made such statements. I’m sorry if my approach was somewhat scattershot.

        • Mark Shea

          Okay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OffTheGrid Brent

    Mark: Tell us how you REALLY feel? Also, is it sinful to wish there was a coup? :)

  • Jen

    Thank you, Mark. There are many things I wish the American public realized about what it means to be active-duty military. For example, the “free” government housing we’re “provided” is often in terrible shape, as in mold problems, rat/insect infested, plumbing and electrical in bad repair, etc. Housing is mostly very, very old (like the historic Infantry barracks in Leavenworth that were reconfigured into family housing), and some of it has gotten so bad that it’s recently been condemned. I’ve seen families moved out of their crappy housing on post because it was scheduled for demolition. On Monday, it was “good enough” for a family to live there; on Tuesday, it was rubble. Housing is often in short supply as well, with families on waiting lists for up to one year. Where do they live in the meantime? Sometimes in a hotel — no joke.

    There are a huge number of young military families on food stamps because their government salary doesn’t pay them enough to survive. Let that sink in: Some of the guys who have bled and died for our nation weren’t making enough money to feed their kids. Thanks, Uncle Sam.

    For the most part, my husband and I have been fortunate in that our housing problems have been solvable, and we’re thankful to have a sturdy roof over our heads. But so many military families have housing horror stories that would make your head spin. It’s not that we military folk expect to be treated like royalty, but we’d like decent housing that’s safe and in good shape (especially while our husbands are deployed). Thankfully, a lot of new construction has been taking place in recent years at certain installations, and I can assure you that military families appreciate it.

    Some people may have the impression that active-duty folks are given everything they could ever need with all those government “bennies” and it’s just not so. The cowards in Congress had better not dare to ask for any more “sacrifice” from the people protecting them.

    • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

      I was single when I was in the Marines, not married, so I lived in the barracks, but I can certainly back you up regarding horror stories from base housing for married servicemembers. And on the food stamps some families had to get (being single, I ate in the chow hall, so that was no problem).

      Things were relatively peaceful when I was in but even in those conditions, you spend almost all your time either in the field or on deployment. You might get back from a six-month float, be home for a week, then have to go to the field for three more weeks. Stuff like that. It’s a hard, hard life for very short pay. But to the members of Congress, active duty personnel and vets are just another political football to kick around.

      • Frank Weathers

        And don’t forget, nothing was “free” either. Oh, you thought uniforms were free? Had to buy them all. Uniform allowance was just a pittance and never covered the costs. Uniform regulations change (about as often as the phases of the moon change!), so oftentimes we had to break out our wallets.

        Single guys living in the barracks ate for free in the chow hall, but once married and earning BAQ and Comrats? Break out your wallet.

        I could go on and on, but the main point of Mark’s post isn’t about Military folks bitching and moaning about serving, and the costs thereof. It’s about cutting costs on their backs after decades of not sharing in their sacrifices.

        Colbert’s parody of doing veterans, and those who serve currently, homage, as those in power who laud us as heroes do, is right on target.

        Truth, whether you are on the right, left , or center, Tribes.

        Last week at Mass, I personally prayed for a young 2nd Lieutenant (US Army) who got his legs blown off in Afghanistan by and IUD explosion. He will need assistance for the rest of his life, and we are seriously considering lowering his health benefits?

        Get real, Congress.

  • Ronald King

    When I got out of the air force in 1970 I received $185 per month for the first year of college and increases each year culminating with $425 per month for graduate school. At the time that helped a lot. I did not serve in Viet Nam so I did not suffer with any psychological or physical war injuries which required treatment. It was my Dad who was a Marine in Guadal Canal who actually discouraged me from joining the Marines and told me to join the air force. He died an early death at the age of 59 due to the accumulated toll of the trauma of war and did not want the same for his boys. I was actually blessed during my time in the air force because friends influenced me to challenge my self doubts associated with being from a low social class and poor academic performance by taking college courses while I was stationed in Taiwan. Without the GI Bill I do not think I would have gotten my education and without the friends in the military I would not have thought I could have a different life than the one my dad had lived.
    GIVE THE VETS TEN TIMES WHAT THEY ARE NOW GETTING AND TAKE IT FROM THOSE IN THE ONE PERCENT. AS FOR ME IN THE MIDDLE CLASS INCREASE OUR TAXES BY TWO PERCENT WITH THAT INCREASE DIRECTLY DEVOTED TO THE VETS.

  • Asclepius

    How’s about — and call me crazy here — we don’t steal money from anyone, and just reallocate a part of our bloated budget (perhaps even part of our military budget) to give our vets and active duty military more compensation?

    We should not do evil such that good might come of it, even if those in question are as intentionally wicked as you suggest.

    • Mark Shea

      It is not theft to take from crooks what they should not have in the first place.

      • Asclepius

        Part of the problem is that you do not distinguish between what they’ve rightfully obtained and what they’ve wrongfully obtained. You just say, “My idea is strip these federal pigs in the legislative and executive branches of all their money except what they make for their office salary, take their riches, and put it in a fund for injured vets.”

        That is indeed theft if we do not distinguish between the two.

        • Mark Shea

          I think (or rather dream) of a system in which our Ruling class is bound to a strict rule which forbid them from making any money at all beyond their allotted salary for their time in office. It would have the immediate effect of only attacting to that office people who wish to serve and not to profiteer.

          • Dan C

            A simple argument can be made that the top 15 of earners are the Ruling Class. They buy the lobbyists and employ the Congress.

            • Dan C

              That should be 1%.

    • Ronald King

      What do you know about evil? Is it evil to tax to help the poor if we are too selfish to help them? Or is selfishness an evil? Is greed evil? Is apathy evil? Is gluttony evil? Is selfishness, greed, apathy and gluttony equal to stealing?

      • Asclepius

        What do I know about evil? Well, I’m a priest. I deal with it in about 100 confessions or so a week :) .

        I’m not really concerned with gravity; selfishness, greed, apathy, gluttony, AND stealing — you bring them all to me in the confessional, and I tell you to avoid them all equally. :)

  • Sam Schmitt

    What difference does the income level of members of Congress make? Or are you suggesting that making a lot of money is evil? I understand the anger, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    • Mark Shea

      When congresscritters enrich themselves 3667% during the worst economy since the Depression and then want to rob vets of their meager pay and benefits, they should be punished. My proposed punishment is to strip them all wealth they have accrued while in Congress and to enforce a rule that forbids any elected official from making anything beyond their salary for their office. This will discourage pigs from seeking office as a way to get rich. The fewer pigs, the less likelihood of piggish behavior. Taxes are nothing but enforced confiscation of wealth by the state for the common good. So why not enforce it against our ruling class swine who have used their office to enrich themselves?

      • Frank Weathers

        Insider trading is stealing. Trading on material information that is unavailable to the public is punishable by law for everyone else, and yet members of Congress are legally trading on this type of information constantly.

        Markets that you thought were truly free and unfettered work really great for the folks Mark writes about in this post. Get elected to Congress and make as close to risk-free trades as you can, and you too can balloon your wealth and impress your friends. You could even become a champion of free markets.

        • merkn

          Many of the more notorious Congress members who trade on insider in formation are not friends of free markets at all. They favor regulation.

  • thomas tucker

    I think anyone elected to Congress should have to have all of their investments put into a blind trust , along with the President, Vice-President, Cabinet, etc.

    • Frank Weathers

      I absolutely agree.

  • Tom

    Congress wants to make veterans pay more for their health care. A lot more money, increase of of several thousand dollars. They are saying ” we all need to sacrifice and we have a sweet deal”. Give more? Sacrifice more? sweet deal? I spent 30 months in Iraq and Afg and they want me to pay more for my health care so I can
    underwrite their disastrous financial decisions?

  • Confederate Papist

    I am going to preface this by saying I really don’t think all of the “eat the rich” type talk does anyone any good, and that it foments anger and hatred. I make under $100K and I am one of the 5%….isn’t that crazy? I get Mark’s argument, but wealth confiscation is not the answer, because who gets to make the rules?

    Having said that; I think the vets and active duty should get signing bonuses like the athletes do when they sign for kajillions of dollars before they play one game as a pro. These folks do more in one hour than these “priviledged” jerks in pro sports (I’m really crying for you NBA players…no…not really) do in one year. I also believe there is enough to give these folks a higher salary than what they’re getting and that the healthcare they receive should be much higher quality. What they get now, and what has been proposed is what we can expect when O-care fully kicks in, and if you don’t believe that, then you should consider trying crystal meth instead of the crack you’re smoking.

    It’s a damn shame that these people think they are serving and protecting a country (government) that is crapping on them like this….we should never have come to this to begin with. The military is for defence purposes and yet the government allows illegal invasions every day. (Insert profanities here)!

    As far as congress….my view is that this should be considered a part time job….like it was originally intended. No pay, no healthcare, no health clubs, no barber/beauty shops, just per diem for food and board while in town (which should only be about 3 months/year PERIOD) and then they go home to be amongst the great unwashed that they represent. Term limits should also be enacted. When one has an unlimited safety net underneath them they do things normal people don’t do. The central government was NEVER supposed to have this much power. The president is not a ruler but is supposed to be a “presider” over the government. The congress is not supposed to be the ruling class, but citizen-servants, and the justices are not supposed to finalise illegal legislation based on the feelings of the ruling class or lack thereof.

    But who the hell am I?….just a unrealistic dreamer who thinks the constitution should be followed….what a poor sick bastard I am!

    • thomas tucker

      Unfortunately, we are long long past following the Constitution.

    • Dan C

      Returning taxes to Clinton era levels is not confiscatory, immoral , etc. Whether it is wise is one question. Imparting a sense of immorality is to this discussion-point is ridiculous and lacks support. There is far more credence within our tradition to suggest that not raising taxes is immoral and unjust.

      • Christopher

        No, it isn’t. Neither is returning to Reagan-era tax rates (which were either 20-odd percent or nearly 50%, depending on which year you’re talking about). However, I would never agree to that unless we returned to Clinton or Reagan spending levels, and that will NEVER happen. When you have a dysfunctional Congress, with all its attendant hangers-on and pigs who pull their snouts out of the trough at the merest mention of a spending freeze and scream about how the poor will have to resort to cannibalism if even one NPR station has to shut – well, we’re long past the time there can be a sensible solution.

        Electing an R or a D in office makes no difference any more. They all want your money, they just go about taking it in different ways. Why do you think so many conservatives loathe Romney? Because they know he won’t dare make any hard choices. He won’t roll back the disgusting cuttlefish that is the Imperial Federal Government. He’ll just make it steal more efficiently.

  • SKay

    Senator Patty Murray (D) from Washington is co-chair of this committee, Mark. Have you called her office in DC to give her your opinion?

    The problem with Kerry is that the people in Mass. keep re-electing him. His behavior does not seem to bother them–at least up to this point. The same goes for Nancy Pelosi who seemed to have no idea what Steve Croft was talking about
    when he questioned her about her use of inside knowledge.

  • Kevin

    It will never change until term limits are imposed on Congress. The very phrase strikes terror on the hearts of our nomenklatura.

  • Kevin

    Cut taxes. We already work 5 months a year for the various layers of government we have. Cut taxes and economic activity will increase and so will revenue to the treasury. Everyone knows this including george stephanopolous who confronted obama with this fact in 2008. Obama just hemmed and hawed and retreated into his socialist ideology.

  • Lanny

    Mark,

    Dude, you are really cool, love your blog.

    Join us at the next OWS protest, bring Marine F. Weathers with you.

  • David Davies

    Where is the citation for the 3773 percent in wealth? I have little doubt that they did it, but need to have some evidence to back it up.

  • Jack

    Personally I think that what needs to happen is for serious anti-trust laws to be enacted that prevent the occurence of Oligarchy’s, prevent companies from errecting barriers that prevent new companies from entering markets and stop big companies from using public-funded infastructure to gain an competative advantage over smaller local busineses, then we might actually have something that resembles ‘free market’s, also reinstating the glass-stegall act would be a good idea.

    Through Fiscal/monetary policy we need to make sure that those at the very top of society can NEVER own so much of a nation’s wealth, then we cut taxes for everyone.

    The question should be, how do we do that given the fact that our ruling class have effectively bought our polliticians?

    PS what Kevin said about making congress/house of commons the part-time job it used to be also goes.

  • merkn

    It seems to me that the tenor of your post – - indiscriminately calling for the confiscation of the wealth of all the “pigs” – - is something of a consequentialist position. And no, I understand that may not be what you “mean” but it is what you have said.

    • Mark Shea

      Your tender concern for the ill-gotten riches of traitorous swine who used their public trust to enrich themselves while sending good men to die is duly noted. The pity of conservatives for the immensely wealthy and powerful is moving.


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