TOM THE DANCING BUG: Lucky Ducky, in "Tricklin' Down"!



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      1. Evidently , there’s only so much trenchant social satire that some people can withstand before the painful truth overwhelms the witty comic format.

        Also,  postal carriers don’t wear bow ties.

          1.  Pink slime technology hadn’t been developed yet then.  It must be some sort of future/past batman like alternative timeline.

      2. How is it getting old?  Really?

        He’s done essentially the same joke every 3 or 4 weeks since like 2002 (I started reading Dancing Bug when it showed up on Salon, but I think I’ve probably read them all now).  I agree with the social commentary, but I’m tired of Lucky Duck.  Honestly, it feels like these are the strips he phones in when he can’t think of something interesting. 

        And that’s fair enough.  He’s produced a lot of material. 

        And to be clear, I wouldn’t complain if I didn’t like his other work.

        But the Lucky Duck strips have gotten pretty stale over the years.

        1. Considering how good some of his other social commentary is, the Lucky Ducky strips often fall flat because they try to address much more complex issues. This one doesn’t even make sense in that the entire justification for the trickle-down argument is that the money is supposed to end up going to the “Lucky Duckies”. Hollingsworth Hound in this case should be applauding this happening for Lucky Ducky for the first time, trying to convince L.D. that he has his best interests at heart.

    1. Oh, no – tedious gags about 1-dimensional class-warfare stereotypes makes me laugh so hard my monocle pops right out. 
      I, for one, can’t wait for these Lucky Duck strip scenarios: 
      – in spite of numerous felonies, LD can’t get fired from his insanely lucrative low-level govt job because he’s part of a powerful voting bloc 
      – LD’s bankrupt Widget factory still gets billions in loans because he’s a political donor to Government Goose
      – Hollingsworth’s net worth is completely siphoned into federal coffers but his “contribution” doesn’t make the slightest damned bit of difference because Federal Fox can’t stop spending trillions of dollars every year

      1. Out of the three scenarios you’re tossing out there, one of them has LD as Hollingsworth Hound’s role (unless there’s a way to get billions and own a factory while still dirt-poor).

      2. – LD’s bankrupt Widget factory still gets billions in loans because he’s a political donor to Government Goose

        Lucky Ducky is a working class everyman…er everyduck, so this makes almost no sense.  The kind of people that manipulate politicians to receive corporate welfare and government largesse (while simultaneously complaining about *big government*) are the Hollingsworth Hounds of the U.S., The Kochs, the Wall Streeters, the oil men etc.  Our beloved oligarchs.

        It’s been said a million ways, but it’s always true that it’s business as usual when the elite business class craps on everybody else, and “class warfare” when the shat upon complain about it.

        I see what you tried to do there by making a thinly veiled reference to Solyndra, for the benefit of anybody else viewing, your narrative has been shown to be Mostly False

        1. The mistake here, Gas Pumper, is in trying to speak logic to someone who’s shitting straw men faster than you can light them on fire.

        2. Totally nailed it there, guy. 
          Especially with the bland “it’s always true” appeal to common practice that stealing from a smaller class of people isn’t class warfare when you rob them with good intentions. Only GOP oligarch oil baron wouldn’t want to give more money to us so we can feed the masses! 

          The real issue couldn’t possibly be that the govt is spending entirely too much (which it is), or that there’s already a huge tax burden on the upper register of the income brackets, or the crushing amount of entitlements being paid out that a large portion of the “shat upon”. It’s that Rich Guy McStrawman isn’t giving enough back of what he’s earned. Who cares how he earned it or how he wants to use it, just take more. Because people love when you forcibly confiscate their property. 

          Close, but not quite on the Solyndra reference. (And “Mostly False” is a really shining declaration of only partial malfeasance.) 
          Maybe it’s referring to the auto bailout, Solar Trust of America, Ener1 or Fannie/Freddie… Take your pic!
          It’s so hard to keep track of all the handouts to virtuous causes that end up costing us billions. The important thing here is that if rich people give them more money, they’re gonna create tons of jobs for everyone.

          1. or that there’s already a huge tax burden on the upper register of the income brackets

            lmfao. Not true in any imagined universe that you choose to inhabit.

            Funny that choose those privately owned GSEs but ignore all the other financial institutes that were bailed out by both party’s as well as the last president. They should have had to help themselves with private funds, or be winded down, or taken over by the state, just like they did in Sweden.

            It’s that Rich Guy McStrawman isn’t giving enough back of what he’s earned. Who cares how he earned it or how he wants to use it, just take more. Because people love when you forcibly confiscate their property.

            A portion of his money is not his “property”, he can “Go Galt” and live on a ship in the middle of the ocean if he doesn’t want to contribute to the society that enabled him to accumulate his wealth. Also the Hollingsworth Hounds of the world are more than happy to use their power to confiscate other people’s property when it suits them, see the Keystone Pipeline for just one example of many. Or all the so called “Liberty” types who have made fortunes off the spoils of the U.S. military complex.

          2. There was a time in U.S. history when taxes were truly progressive, from low taxes on people with very low incomes graduating fairly smoothly to taxes on the rich that were as confiscatory as those in the most Socialist Western countries in Europe.  We tried it.  During the Eisenhower administration, right after the end of WWII, and tax rates are a pretty easy thing to fact-check.

            Funny thing:  Truly Progressive tax rates with the wealthiest Americans paying the most didn’t cripple the economy at all.  To the contrary, people with money who wanted more HAD to invest it wisely in order to make it grow; not just rely on an unending spiral of tax cuts.  Contractors doubled down by ENCOURAGING the building of roads and bridges with government funds, for which their labor and materials would of course be used, and their companies (and they personally) would in turn be enriched by a share of the profits made building the roads and bridges WHILE CREATING JOBS WHICH FURTHER STIMULATED THE ECONOMY.

            A spiral of growth was created, and our economy expanded under these high tax rates like it never had before or has since.

            We always have a choice:  Old-world economic aristocracy in the style of the czars or the old French or English moneyed aristocracies, exactly the sort of economic model Americans fought a revolution to overthrow; vs. an economy with progressive tax rates that requires training and work and infrastructure and continual investment in training and work and infrastructure in order to maintain solid economic health.

        3. Perhaps you have a newsletter and/or website to which I could subscribe?

          Oh, and good to see someone else caught the bs Solyndra dig. Add the Fannie-Freddie crack and ignorance of how well the auto bailout worked, and all Layne has left to do is take a shot at the CRA — railing about how the crisis was really caused by banks being forced to loan money to poor people because Clinton’speniskenyanmarxistbushneverreallyexistedFREEDUMism.

          Or something. I really don’t get those people.

          Keep up the good fight. I’m going back to lurking …

      3.  Aren’t they still running “Mallard Fillmore” in the dailies?  That one might be more your speed.

        I’m also wondering if you can name a single billionaire who is consistently taxed at above 20% of their gross income including capital gains, etc.  Or if you can cite an instance of an “insanely lucrative low-level govt job”. 

        1. Right on, dude. When you can’t address the substance of a differing opinion, stoop to personal attacks and ask for specific instances that you can then swat away.  Why not go the extra lazy-ass mile and call me troll astroturfer for the Kochtopus? 

          Tax all the billionaires in the nation and you won’t even dent the pace of the debt we’ve been wracking up in the past 8 years. Implementing this stupid, pandering tax would only raise an estimated $2.8 billion a year. Which comes out to less than a day’s worth of new debt incurred by those selfless compassionate champions of the lower classes in Washington. Already this year they’ve managed to rack up an impressive $780 billion in debt.  I know math is hard, but you shouldn’t have to use all your fingers and toes to figure out the bigger number issue there. 

          But you know – rich people just gotta pay more money. Problem solved!

          And govt pay? Pretty well evidenced that it’s greater than comparable positions in the private sector – and that’s before you even factor in pensions, benefits and the greater obstacles for termination of employment.

          Guess ‘Family Circus’ is more your speed. 

          1. From your own link.

             Key findings:

            • Federal. The federal pay premium cut across all job categories — white-collar, blue-collar, management, professional, technical and low-skill. In all, 180 jobs paid better average salaries in the federal government; 36 paid better in the private sector.

            • Private. The private sector paid more on average in a select group of high-skill occupations, including lawyers, veterinarians and airline pilots. The government’s 5,200 computer research scientists made an average of $95,190, about $10,000 less than the average in the corporate world.

            • State and local. State government employees had an average salary of $47,231 in 2008, about 5% less than comparable jobs in the private sector. City and county workers earned an average of $43,589, about 2% more than private workers in similar jobs. State and local workers have higher total compensation than private workers when the value of benefits is included.

            So this is really trivial, with the exception that government jobs help keep standards and pay higher for the private sector as well.

            Red herring is red.

            Since tax cuts for the wealthy have been a proven failure, along with austerity as well, it’s on you to come up with some magical source of revenue.

          2.  But you know – rich people just gotta pay more money. Problem solved!

            Yes they do.  That’s one part of fixing the problem indeed.  And I’d phrase it more like:  “Rich people just gotta get off their gravy train”.

          3.  ?  What part of your post had anything to do with any part of mine?

            For example, where is the “personal attack”?  Suggesting that you might like a comic strip featuring a duck that explicitly endorses a politically conservative POV is supposed to be an attack?  I mean, sure it’s not funny but it’s pretty obvious by now that you have a shit-poor sense of humor in the first place.

            I don’t know which specific tax you’re talking about…you’ll notice I said nothing about any particular tax in my post.  I do think it’s pretty hilarious (obviously unintentionally so) that you jump straight to this “Kochtopus” garbage on the basis of 4 sentences, two of which are completely benign (seriously, what’s wrong with recommending “Mallard Fillmore”?) and the other two of which are completely legitimate questions.  Which, by the way, you almost entirely ignored.  (“greater than comparable” is not the same as “insanely lucrative”)

            So you’re an idealogue.  And you probably don’t have an original thought in your head.  But your best argument is a tu quoque, projecting on me all your biases about liberals — again, on the basis of four sentences that have shit all to do with your accusations.

            Keep living in your angry, hateful little fantasy world, man.  You’re the best laugh I’ve had all day.

          4. How exactly is questioning the points you made to introduce your argument not “addressing the substance” of this differing opinion? If you’re expressing your argument with those points then those are exactly the points you should expect to be questioned on and those which you should be able to back up. You didn’t offer anything of a reply, unless this reply IS supposed to be your evidence for “lucrative low-level” government jobs.  Maybe the answer could be that those government jobs are actualy offering something closer to a fair price for labor, and that the private sector has had supressed wages (what about the stagnation of wages for about 80% of all US jobs in terms of real spending power over the last 30 years).  It couldn’t be that massive wealth inequality gives more leverage to those who ultimately decide on what they are willing to pay their employees, leading to a greater skewing over time – business practices have always been fair when it comes to labor.

            Give us some substance that isn’t just based on the assumption that people already actually earn what they get, that fairness and meritocracy define our nation’s economy.  I certainly don’t share that view, especially on a structural level, and I’ve seen plenty to make me believe the opposite is true.  Also, what difference does it make? Why is it that what those with great wealth “deserve” is somehow more valuable and more fundamental than what would lead to the best for the most? Maybe what you see in that is communist Russia, but what I see is socialist Germany or Norway, societies in which parental income has far less of an influence (or at least predictive correspondence) with future child income than here in the US.  That sounds more like equality of opportunity to me…

            Also, where are you getting the $2.8B amount? I’ve seen it at $36B on the low end – still not amazing, but over an order of magnitude greater than what you’ve suggested. The Buffett Tax itself won’t solve the problem, but its passing would open the door for more meaningful tax reform, breaking the stalement that Grover Norquist’s pledge for the GOP has created.  Perhaps the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for those making over $200K/year (as the Dems pushed last year), which would result in much greater revenues, perhaps the aggressive pursuit of international tax havens, perhaps treating capital gains as standard income.  It has to start somewhere, and I can’t see a problem with it being those people who have been flourishing during the economic stagnation, many of whom were also those who caused it in the first place.  I’m sure the rich will be bled dry by such crushing taxes, though, and it will harm our economy just as deeply as it did in the decades after WW2.

            But let’s go further…

            How about that Solyndra investigation, which has been mining for dirt to throw at the Obama administration for a year and has ultimately come up with little to nothing in the way of wrongdoing?  It’s not like Germany ran into cost problems with their large solar industry, either, due to massive Chinese expansion meant to undercut everyone else and shore up wavering overall manufacturing exports. But China never engages in practices meant to skew world markets in their favor.

            How about all that government overspending on the “shat upon”? It couldn’t be that such spending actually saves us from greater costs in the long run in terms of medicine and law-enforcement (but hey, there could never be food riots here, and why should we feel compelled to care for people who show up to emergency rooms).  It couldn’t also be the case that all of these programs now have time limits and employment /education /health requirements for adults. It couldn’t be that all of these programs are carefully monitored and subjected to cost-benefit analysis, regularly reported upon to Congress.  It couldn’t be that poverty in the US is an issue far deeper than most people are willing to recognize because doing so would call into question many deep assumptions about the nature of our world and the modern social contract. Nobody has ever gone through great efforts to avoid the truth.

            And how about Freddie and Fannie? Wasn’t it great when they stopped accepting loans made with few requirements for being too risky, and then private institutions stepped in and took the mortgage security industry to an entirely different scale, one without any of the strict-by-comparison oversight that the FM’s were subject to?  Those hundreds of billions we paid to bail them out were terrible, especially when compared with the trillions paid secretly to private banks (which still didn’t cover their losses, which they probably plan on hiding until the end of time by refusing to mark-to-market the assets they still hold).  Wasn’t it also great when those same private institutions created all of those completely invisible CDO’s between each other which caused the collapse to spread to every major finance institution? I thought that was brilliant, and highlighted exactly how businesses always ultimately act in the public interest through the free market when they lack regulation weighing them down.

            It also couldn’t be the case that along with increasing revenues, the current administration pushed for a massive infrastructure program which would have created jobs (for low-wage workers, whose income is generally spent back into the economy almost immediately) as well as saving us tens of billions (at least) every year that we otherwise lose through additional fuel costs, transport delays, and accidents caused by our crumbling roads and bridges.  That was a terrible idea with no merit, especially because it would mean the government spending more money in the short-term.  The GOP would never try to prevent useful policyfrom passing, milking the economic crisis as a way of winning political points.

          5. seriously, what’s wrong with recommending “Mallard Fillmore”?

            ‘Cause “Mallard Fillmore” is of, by, and for humor-deficient dolts and self-centered, shortsighted rubes.  I’d be insulted too.

      4. – LD can’t get fired from his insanely lucrative low-level govt job because he’s part of a powerful voting bloc

        Huh? Working people? Government workers?

        Tell me, do you think these working people in this “powerful voting bloc” have more or less influence in politics than the average American? And do you think the men who have given millions to the Republican super-pacs have more or less influence in politics than the average American?

        1. Barney Frank has said that “Big money is very important, but on issues that the voters speak out on, they will kick big money’s ass.” Unlike Layne Frank considers this to be a good thing, but it should also be noted that Frank’s comment doesn’t take into account the fact that the reason big money is important is because votes can be bought.

      5. Oh, no – tedious gags about 1-dimensional class-warfare stereotypes makes me laugh so hard my monocle pops right out.

        The guy who has the gun to your head, forcing you to read it? Tell him he has my permission.

    2. So… you think it would be exciting for Hollingsworth to win a round? But but, it would defeat the whole gag. Lucky Ducky is the underdog (so to speak) but he always outsmarts Hollingsworth. It’s like the Road Runner, you know. I mean, of course we all want Hollingsworth to pull one over on Lucky Ducky, but it’s the wanting it (being denied the satisfaction of seeing Lucky Ducky get his comeuppance) that makes the joke so EXCITING!

  1. So trickle down economics and tax cuts for the rich actually work! Never thought this would come from Tom the dancing bug :)

  2. WAH! i want my comics to be about cats with eating disorders and the hilarious, unpredictable things children say and do!!

    1. The real irony about the whole trickle down thing is that many of the rich and super rich emphasize how they are not spending their money like crazy. Just recently I read about Melinda Gates who was quoted saying she doesn’t care about luxury goods and tries not to pay more than necessary.

      1. It was written a long time ago, but Studs Terkel wrote a book called “Working” which was a collection of interviews with people just talking about their jobs. A garbage man observed that middle class and poor people’s trash was filled with all the brand name stuff; rich people’s garbage had generic and house brand garbage.

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