Ronald Reagan

Trickle Clowns


Cjones06132021

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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Presidents Worth More Than a Can of Beans


CNN07192020

Here’s your cartoon for this week’s CNN Opinion newsletter. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday.

Once upon a time, President Barack Obama put his feet on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Despite the fact presidents before him had done so as well, including Ronald Reagan, Republicans were livid. How dare he put his feet on the Resolute Desk. At least he didn’t hawk beans on it.

After Donald Trump received empty praise from the president of Goya Foods, Ivanka did a glamour photo with a can of their beans where she’s holding the product like she’s Vanna White. She was roundly criticized and mocked for the act which was also illegal. You can’t use your federal position to endorse products. Seeing this, perhaps to award the company or to get in on trolling, Donald Trump posted a photo of him sitting at the Resolute Desk with several Goya products on top of it.

The other thing is, we’re still in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic that’s killed close to 140,000 people. Donald Trump wants to reopen schools and he doesn’t have a plan. There is racial strife on the streets. What does he have time for? Posing with beans.

Most of us knew Donald Trump would be a failure as president. It didn’t take a genius political prognosticator to predict that a racist reality TV show host who built a career on grifting would make for a bad president. For the first three years, he got by barking at minorities, tweeting profoundly stupid statements, and taking credit for his predecessor’s accomplishments. The fact is, Donald Trump is a shitty president and might be shittiest in our nation’s history.

You can’t claim success when you lose 40 million jobs and 140,000 lives. If you’re still defending the Trump presidency, your island is getting smaller and smaller. Usually, when islands get smaller it’s because of climate change but luckily for you, you don’t believe in climate change.  The climate is changing, politically, and literally. Disapproval over Trump’s handling of the pandemic has even lowered among his racist base.

Donald Trump ran an ad full of people committing violent acts saying that’s what voters will get in Joe Biden’s America. Funny thing, all the violent acts in the ad were in Donald Trump’s America.

Donald Trump is a horrible president and he’s not worth a can of beans.

Creative note: This was the very first cartoon I submitted to CNN this week and they picked it before I had a chance to draw another. Here’s the rough.

CNNrough870

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Go Tell It On The Mountain


cjones09032015

“Man, I love putting a lot of words in a cartoon” said no cartoonist ever. I take that back. I think those cartoonists who draw for alternative weeklies love putting more words into their cartoons instead of art. It’s their thing. The reason I’m not crazy about a lot of words in a cartoon is that it’s a lot of work that’s tedious. Plus, I think most people are lazy and stop reading when there’s too many words. I know I do. At least I didn’t draw a mountain and label it “debt” which I saw in two cartoons today or call it “Mt. Denial” which I saw in about 48 cartoons today.

Obama has officially renamed Mt. McKinley in Alaska Mt. Denali.

Republicans howled in protest faster than they could pull up Wikipedia to find out just who the Hell is William McKinley.

Here’s a brief history of the dispute:

Mt. Denali in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America. It’s taller than that pile of stuff coming from Donald Trump (the rest of the blog won’t rely on such a lame joke). It is the third most prominent peak in the world. For centuries the Koyukon Athabaskans who inhabit the area have referred to it as Denali. In 1896 a gold prospector named it McKinley. William McKinley was a presidential candidate at that time and eventually went on to become the 25th president of the United States. Eventually the federal government recognized it as McKinley. In 1975 the Alaskan state government changed it back to Denali, which is what everybody local called it anyway.

There have been bills in Congress to change it back to Denali but Republicans from Ohio have blocked it. How dare they change something back so historic.

Considering the age of mountains, a hundred years is a blip in time. There is nothing historic about that mountain and William McKinley. McKinley never climbed the mountain. He never saw the mountain. He never even visited the state of Alaska. But suddenly Republicans are running to the defense of William McKinley having his name on a mountain that maybe he heard of.

McKinley wasn’t a bad guy. He was president during the Spanish American War. He made Teddy Roosevelt his V.P. He was assassinated and not by a Koyukon Athabaskan. I’m sure there’s all sorts of things in Ohio, where he’s from, that can be named after him. I’m just John Boehner would love spending hours laying in the William McKinley Tanning Bed (I lied about no more lame jokes). I just don’t see why people are upset that someone removed his name from a mountain in Alaska.

With the Republicans fake outrage over this, you would think it was Obama who changed the name…oh yeah right.

Republicans are fun with names. Currently they’re on a mission naming things after Ronald Reagan. There’s actually an organization whose existence is based on naming stuff after Ronald Reagan. In fact, their mission is have at least one notable landmark in each state and all 3067 counties named after Reagan. The organization is called The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project.

There are schools, roads, parks, buildings, etc. named after Reagan. I dated a girl once who had a daughter later (way after dating me) and guess what she named her. Yup. Reagan! I know a very conservative racist-homphobic-sexist artist and guess his wife’s name. Yup again. Regan! Did he Craigslist that shit?

There’s an aircraft carrier named after Reagan. The airport in Washington used to be the Washington National Airport. Now it’s the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. That one is kind of a stick in the eye to aircraft workers since Reagan once laid off the nation’s flight controllers. Congress changed the name of the metro station at the airport to Reagan and the metro board fought it until Republicans threatened to withhold funding. Nice. They even want that funding, as in currency, to bear Reagan’s likeness.

Now they want to name the Pentagon after Reagan. There’s a movement to name the International Space Station after Reagan. It’s like they don’t understand the word “international.”

If only there was a mountain named after Reagan…oh wait.

Mt. Reagan is in New Hampshire except it’s not officially Mt. Reagan. The state legislature named it after Reagan in 2003 but the U.S. Board On Geographic Names (which has not been renamed after Reagan…yet) still lists it as Mt. Clay.

Mt. Clay. I think they should stick with that.

Tough Question


cjones08072015

I watched the first debate in a bar with some friends. First time, and probably the last, I have ever asked anyone to switch the channel to Fox News. I watched the second debate at my drawing table with an Italian sub from Wawa.

My thoughts on the debate:

It kicked off to an exciting start when toadie moderator Brett Baier asked the candidates to pledge not to run a third party campaign. Donald Trump refused to take that oath. Trump promised to support the party nominee if it’s Trump.

Trump was Trump. He got upset with a question and went off on moderator Megyn Kelly during the debate and after on Twitter. He was a real cry baby. In other parts of the debate he didn’t back down from anyone. Of course he didn’t make much sense and didn’t offer any specifics except that he’s rich, successful and popular.

Rand Paul’s campaign is dying. He tried to make a name for himself by attacking Trump and Chris Christie. He even criticized Christie for hugging Obama. I don’t think the crowd liked Christie’s response but I thought he burned Paul pretty well with saying “he remembers the hugs from victims of 9/11.”

Jeb Bush didn’t hurt himself. He didn’t help himself either. Neither did Scott Walker who reminded everyone that he rides a Harley.

John Kasich was on home turf and he wasn’t booed by the GOP crowd by saying he went to a gay marriage and would still love one of his daughters if she was gay. For Republicans, that’s progress.

Rubio came off pretty polished and will probably siphon off support from Bush.

Ted Cruz came off as a saner Trump which is like coming off as a less rattier rat. He still looks and comes off creepy in a very Uncle Fester kind of way.

Mike Huckabee said the military is for killing people and breaking things. That’s something Rush Limbaugh used to say. I don’t know what bothers me more. A presidential candidate stealing material from Rush Limbaugh or the fact I know Rush Limbaugh said that.

I think Ben Carson had the best joke and came off as the most likable. He stated that everyone mentions things that only they’ve done out of the candidates so he’d do the same. He mentioned being the only one to separate Siamese twins, operating on a fetus and removing half a brain. Then he said looking at Washington you’d think someone had beat him to removing half a brain.

They all talked about immigration, Iran, abortion, Hillary, and Obama. There was no mention of climate change or voting rights.

Personally, I like the styles of Carson, Rubio and Christie. Yeah, I like Christie. He used to be a moderate and I think he comes off more human than most, though he’s a horrible governor.

In the earlier debate (the Kid Table Debate), the media and social media is praising Carly Fiorina. That’s what low expectations gets ya’. Her winning that debate is like winning the NIT championship. Maybe she’ll move into the top ten now.

Not all the questions were softball questions but most came off from a partisan stance, as though the moderators worked for the GOP. Kelly did a good job at times. The Jesus question at the end was stupid and after halfway through the candidates, they added another question to that question which I thought was amateurish.

The next debate will be hosted by CNN. I don’t know the format yet but I’ll be checking in on that later today.