George W. Bush

Trickle Clowns


Trickle down economics used to be a theory. I say “used to be” because it’s been debunked.

The theory was that lowering taxes on the richest would stimulate the economy. All those savings for the rich would gradually “trickle down” to the poor and middle class. The rich would be all like, “What do we do with all this increased income? I know….let’s invest it in our employees and community, and not spend it on swanky Manhattan penthouses, yachts, and robot dogs.” It’s a theory that was made into an economic policy. The only problem with it as an economic policy is that it relied on greedy rich assholes not being greedy rich assholes. Did the rich hire more people and increase salaries? No. They bought robot dogs.

Ronald Reagan was the first president to implement this policy but it didn’t work. I mean, it did work in that it made rich assholes even richer assholes, but it never trickled down unless the trickle was yellow. But, leave it to Republicans to double down on the trickle down. George W. Bush relied on it with major tax cuts for the rich…while paying for two wars, and Donald Trump gave major tax cuts to the rich arguing it would trickle down. It’s also a shell game when they do these tax cuts because they always lower them for the middle class at the same time…while giving the larger cuts to the rich. In Donald Trump’s case, to himself.

Republicans rely on you being too distracted and stupid from your extra $300 not to notice the rich’s extra $300 million. And in most cases, they’re right. You, as in all of us, are too stupid. I was once talking to the graphic artist at my last newspaper about us having to pay for Bush’s two wars, and his reply was, “So what? I got $300.”

It’s been over 40 years and it’s been proven trickle down economics doesn’t work. Take Jeff Bezos for example. That guy is worth close to $190 billion (with a “B”), yet his tax rate is less than one percent (with a “1”). Warren Buffett has argued for years that taxes on the rich should increase, but between 2014 to 2018, he paid right under $24 million (with an “M”) in taxes on a wealth of over $24 billion (with a “B”).

The typical middle class taxpayer pays a higher rate than billionaires like Bezos, Buffett, Elon Musk, and Michael Bloomberg. A report by ProPublica has revealed these billionaires pay very little in taxes, and sometimes none at all (none, with a “zero”).

The thing is, the United States taxes income, not wealth. Some people, like Senator Elizabeth Warren want to change that. I’m with her. Let’s tax the rich’s wealth. Let’s tax those Manhattan penthouses for mistresses. Let’s tax those yachts. Let’s tax those robot dogs. There should even be a tax for naming your snooty daughter “Ivanka.” If you give me time, I can come up with a list of names that should be taxed. We can start with “Ivanka, Tiffany, and Barron.” We should also increases taxes for boob jobs, face lifts, and rhinoplasty (with an “R”).

Much of the rich’s wealth are in things like shares in companies they run, vacation homes, yachts and other investments, which are not considered “taxable income” unless those assets are sold and a gain is realized. For example, when Derek Jeter sold his penthouse in Trump World Tower for $16 million after buying it for $13 million (both with “Ms”), there would be a tax on that (he was trying to sell it for $20 million, but it took two years to dump it. Even though it had a great view of Manhattan overlooking the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and One World Tower, it was still in Trump World Tower). Even then, there are loopholes in the tax code that can limit or erase all tax liability. If you are a billionaire, you pay for the best tax accountants.

President Biden wants to increase taxes on everyone with an “income” over $453,000 a year by two percent. If you’re a couple making $800,000, then you might pay an additional $5,200 a year in taxes That’s a joke, yet Republicans are fighting it. It would reverse the deductions Trump gave to the rich, including himself. But what will raising the income tax by two percent on the 25 richest Americans, who pay less than 16 percent, do other than make them chortle through their teeth? Maybe buy smaller robot dogs? Republicans act as though that two percent increase is aggressive. I’m surprised one of them hasn’t compared it to the Holocaust yet. But in all honesty, it’s still rewarding the rich for being rich.

If you’re rich, congratulations. I’m sure you worked hard to get there. OK, some of you worked hard to get there. OK, maybe fewer than some. A lot of you inherited what you have. And a whole bunch of you screwed people over to get where you are. Donald Trump, for example, did both. This is a guy who inherited his fortune, and refused to pay people building his towers and casinos. Some years, he only paid $700 in income tax…if any at all. If you make $50,000 a year, hell, $30,000, good luck getting away with only paying $700…legally. And I promise that you feel the pinch of paying $700 a lot more than Donald Trump does.

Senator Warren wants to raise taxes on the rich by two percent also…but not on income. She wants to place a two percent tax on wealth over $50 million (with an “M”). This would include stocks, gifts, homes, yachts, apartments for mistresses, towers that have to be bailed out by Saudis, stock in Grey Poupon, robot dogs (I’m not over robot dogs yet), etc. We can call it the “Asshole tax” (with an “A”).

The rich will always be able to find loopholes. They could spread their property out through their children, who may not be worth $50 million yet. And, those kids would still be tax deductions. Can a robot dog own an apartment? Can you deduct a robot dog? I bet one of these rich jerks has tried.

Over the past few decades, the income gap has increased. The rich have gotten richer while the poor and middle class have not. Wages have remained stagnant. And even when they do increase salaries, they pass it to the consumers who will have to pay 36 cents more for a burrito at Chipotle (I don’t get why everyone love Chipotle? What’s up with that? The food’s dull and boring. They can’t even make a decent taco). When companies raise salaries, they don’t plan for it to cut into their profits or wealth. They plan for you to pay it. It’s why some places charge you for ranch dipping sauce. Don’t believe me? Go to Little Caesars. Their pizza pizza can be a rip-off rip-off.

Republicans have always championed the rich and demonized the poor. Even Ronald Reagan went after welfare recipients, often fictionalizing them and describing one as a “welfare queen” (guess what color she was), while we spend double of social welfare on corporate welfare. We want to piss test people trying to feed their children but we’re not making corporate executives being paid millions of dollars, while their companies are collecting welfare, pee in cups. Hell, if an executive can increase the welfare his company receives, it’s probably another bonus where he can buy a new yacht…that won’t be taxed. Senator Warren…put it in your bill that they have to pee in cups.

If we are depending on this nation to prosper only from the generosity of the rich, we’re fucked….with a capital “F.”

Hopefully, after this column and cartoon is published, no rich asshole sends his robot dog to bite me.

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Friends In MAGA Places


Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is catching a lot of heat for being chummy and laughing it up with whom many consider the perpetrator of massive atrocities on a worldwide level that will take decades to recover from. No, not the Jonas Brothers. I’m talking about President George W. Bush.

After a photo emerged of Ellen sitting next to Bush at the Dallas Cowboys’ game with the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, people went on Twitter to criticize her choice of friends. Ellen dedicated her opening monologue on her Tuesday show to address the backlash.

She said, “I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.” She added, “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them.” She then made a plea to be kind to everyone.

Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell both tweeted out support, though Witherspoon later deleted hers. Maybe she was afraid of offending China. I don’t know. But other celebrities went after her. Mark Ruffalo tweeted, “Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars-emotional & otherwise-inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness.” Don’t make Ruffalo angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with who Ellen is friends with and I respect she didn’t back down. I don’t care who anyone is friends with. There are times I’m disappointed in people when I learn they’re friends with a shit-eating troglodyte, but I think to myself, “that’s too bad,” and I move on. The reason I don’t care who you’re friends with is that I don’t want you to give me crap about who I’m friends with…or who I refuse to be friends with.

With that, I say to Ellen, don’t you lecture me about who to be friends with and treat kindly.

I have friends I don’t agree with politically. I have friends who vote Republican, watch Fox News, put toilet paper under instead of over, put ketchup on hotdogs, and even cheer for the Dallas Cowboys. I have friends who are gun nuts. During the buildup to the Iraq War, I was friends with many people who supported the invasion…until they started lying about it (like blaming Iraq for 9/11). After the war, I had some difficulty with those same people when they decided to change the reasoning for the invasion after their first one proved to be total and complete bullshit.

I accept I’m a hard person to talk politics with if we disagree. I will hammer a point. But, if you’re a Trump supporter, you will have a hard time talking politics with me because I use facts and I’ll call you on your deflections. I don’t let you get away with it.

I’m not really friends with any Trump supporters. Sure, there are people on Facebook but they’re not real-life friends. The reason I’m not friends with Trump supporters is because I’m not in the habit of making friends with assholes.

A few years ago, I started freelancing for a publication on local issues. Then, I discovered the people running the outlet weren’t just Trump supporters, but HUGE Trump supporters. The editor even argued to me that Trump should be elected because after working hard to become a billionaire, he frankly deserves to get whatever he wants. Seriously. I didn’t pull out of the relationship because I had already made a commitment and I wasn’t going to draw cartoons supporting Trump or even talk to them that much about U.S. politics. A short time later, I read an article that argued one shouldn’t enter any business deals with Trump supporters because they lack ethics and morals and eventually, they’ll screw you over. I kept that in mind as my deal with this Trump-loving outlet plodded along. Everything was fine for a while but eventually, they screwed me over. Today, they owe me for five and a half months of work. I stopped working for them last April and they still haven’t paid one cent. Surprise! And guess what. Not having any ethics doesn’t appear to bother them.

If you’re a Trump supporter, being in business or friendship with you doesn’t work for me because I don’t trust you. You’ve proven everything you championed in the past, ethics, law-and-order, religion, patriotism, family values, fiscal responsibility, were all lies. That’s it for me right there. If you’re a Trump supporter, you’re a liar. I base this on the fact that I have never heard anyone argue for or defend Donald Trump without lying. Also, you’re supporting a liar, so what does that make you?

They say you can agree to disagree. With Trump supporters, I’ll only go so far to agree that I’m right and you’re wrong. They say we should respect everyone’s opinion, but I don’t respect your opinion when it’s based on hate and lies.

The other thing is, you’re in a cult. I don’t have a lot friends in cults. You sold out your dignity, principles, and your nation to a really imbecilic cult leader. I don’t like you. You’re destroying my nation. So, no. We’re not going to be friends. On top of all those reasons, you’re probably an idiot.

Sure, I’ll agree to disagree and respect where you’re coming from when we argue about supply-side economics. But I don’t respect a damn thing about you or your opinion when you want to “build the wall” or “send them back.”

So, Ellen, with all due respect, don’t lecture me about who I need to be friends with or that I should be kind to assholes. And if everyone else in this country joins the Trump cult, I’ll get a dog.

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Grabbing By The Bush


Former president George W. Bush has been making the rounds  of talk shows promoting his new book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors.” which  is a collection of individual portraits and a group mural which Bush painted, from photographs, of sixty-six physically and/or mentally wounded Armed Forces veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. From what I’ve seen it’s actually really good.

Bush is a good artist. He was a bad president. Not bad in the Jimmy Carter bad. Bad in the god-awful Millard Fillmore, Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover bad.

Bush started two wars financed by tax cuts and let an American city succumb to weather, snakes, and alligators. Compared to the present occupant of the Oval Office, or Mar-a-Lago, wherever he is at the moment, Bush is downright refreshing. We’d take those snakes and alligators.

Bush was silent during the Obama presidency but looking at the current and impending disaster, he poked his head out of his cave. He probably felt that he’d be welcomed again. He was right.

Bush has gone on Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel’s show talking about his affection for Michelle Obama, and cracking jokes. He’s a likeable guy. He’s a real guy who does respect the presidency. He was never a hater. His fault at times was that he didn’t care and allowed himself to remain ignorant on so many details.

I wouldn’t mind giving Bush a hug. I think at this point America would be afraid to let go. He’s no Obama, but I’m sure most Americans would prefer to turn on the TV and see President Bush over Donald Trump. At this point they’d probably take Fillmore, Grant, and Hoover.

This cartoon is kinda sort of a sequel to the cartoon I drew the day after election day which had Uncle Sam clinging to President Obama’s leg.

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You Never Hold My Hand And Skip With Me


The Saudi kingdom is not very happy with President Obama or the United States right now. In the past, the Saudi king literally held hands with president Bush. They wouldn’t even meet Obama at the airport.

The Saudis are unhappy with issues ranging from the conflict in Yemen, the role of Iran, Lebanon’s instability, the fight against ISIS, and falling gas prices. The most contentious of issues is a Saudi threat to dump U.S. assets if Obama signs into law a bill that could make the kingdom liable for damages stemming from the September 11 terror attacks.

The Saudis also believe we are devoting more attention to their rival, Iran, and Obama has described the Saudis as “so-called allies” and has complained their policies fuel anti-U.S. terror and regional chaos.

Obama should describe the situation as it actually exists. We always talk about freedom while we support a nation that isn’t even remotely free for the majority of its citizens. Saudi Arabia should put troops on the ground to fight ISIS before we make any sort of commitment and while they’re at it, take the anti-American curriculum out of its education system. Maybe in the future terrorists will have a harder time recruiting hijackers from Saudi Arabia than they did in 2001.

A grown man holding another grown man’s hand in public is a sign of friendship and respect in the Middle East. That’s fine, and I haven’t asked, but I doubt my best friend wants to do that with me. I’m not against grown men holding hands but right now. I’m just not ready for another image of my president holding hands with a freedom-hating monarch.

I do miss drawing George W. Bush and that’s the only thing I miss about him.

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W’s Bigger Little Brother


When George W. Bush strode across that flight deck 30 miles off the San Diego coast, wearing a flight suit and boasting “mission accomplished,” it might have been the most obnoxious photo op in political history.

Now Republicans are arguing over how W. kept us safe, and did a good job fighting back after terrorists killed thousands of us. I don’t understand how you talk so much about a terrorist attack which killed thousands of Americans in the same context as “keeping us safe.” After 9/11 Bush destabilized the Middle East, created myths to start a war which killed over a hundred thousand people, killed and injured thousands of Americans and oh yeah…created ISIS. But hey, he kept us safe. And Republicans in South Carolina boo when you bring this up. How dare you talk about facts. How dare your party be so ridiculous that the only one of you who can be somewhat honest about it is Donald Freaking Trump.

The Republicans love to talk about who’s qualified for president. If you think George W. Bush did a good job regarding 9/11 and Iraq then you are not qualified to be president.

Now W. is back trying to help Jeb’s campaign in South Carolina, where he’s currently running fourth. What’s scary is that W. sounds like the smart one.

I watched his speech the other day and it reminded me of the time during his administration when if you questioned him, then your patriotism was questioned. If you weren’t with us you were against us. It was a time that intellect, sophistication, and critical thinking was regarded as a weakness. Mediocrity, stupidity and empty boastful rhetoric was hailed and praised as leadership. Oh, that’s right. We’re still doing that.

Yes, W. was the smart one. Looking at the entire field of Republican candidates, he’s still the smart one. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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A Worse Photo Op


This is the ninth cartoon I’ve drawn this week. Two haven’t been published yet (Sunday and Monday. You have to wait). I’m not going to draw anything tomorrow (Saturday). At least I don’t think I will. I plan to watch movies and restring guitars.

I’ll probably cover the Duggar issue again and focus on the hypocrisy in the situation. I’ll probably write about it too.

Don’t Stand So Close To Me


I continue to read and hear Republicans express their glee over Democrats not wanting Obama to make campaign appearances with them. You would think those who participate in politics would also be students of the profession. Maybe their memories aren’t as short as they appear and they’re willfully excluding facts from recent history.

Do you realize George W. Bush has not been at a Republican National Convention since 2004? It’s not because he’s busy and his excuse isn’t as good as Reagan’s.