A rebuttal to Elizabeth Warren
‘Shut Up,’ She Explained
Elizabeth Warren — the ridiculous hustling flatbilly grifter from Massachusetts from Oklahoma who snookered the academic establishment by pretending to be a Native American while writing dopey self-help books that are so sloppy and intellectually dishonest that it’s a surprise skeezy old Joe Biden hasn’t plagiarized them yet, a political grotesque who prides herself on being in the first generation of her family to attend college but rage-tweets as though she were in the first generation in her family with opposable thumbs, as ghastly and deceitful and god-awful a sniveling and self-serving a creature as the United States Congress has to offer — is, in spite of the genuine facts of her sorry case, getting a little full of herself, and believes that as a senator, she should be above the petty “heckling” of the little people
You know, peons. Like you.
Sometimes, they mess up and tell you what they are thinking. And what Senator Warren is thinking is: “Shut up, or I’ll use the power of my office to shut you up.”
At issue is the senator’s recent social-media spat with Amazon. Because Senator Warren is as dreadfully predictable as a chlamydia outbreak in West Roxbury, you can imagine the insipidity of her complaint: “Blah blah blah, fair share, higher taxes on everybody except important hometown business interests and rich liberals in Cambridge, blah blah blah, Amazon.” Etc.
To which Amazon offered a perfectly sensible response, if I may paraphrase: “You’re in the Senate, you ridiculous ninny — and you are even on the freakin’ committee that writes tax legislation. You got a problem with tax law? We know a counterfeit Cherokee princess repping Massachusetts you might want to have a quiet word in private with.”
(My words, not theirs. Should have been theirs, though.)
Senator Warren, because dishonesty is her reflexive instinct (remember that bullsh** made-up story about being fired from a teaching job for being pregnant?), protested: “I didn’t write the loopholes you exploit.”
Well, senator . . . this is going to be kind of awkward!
Do you know what another word for “loophole” is? Law. Loopholes aren’t manufactured at some overseas sweatshop loophole factory operated by Charles Koch’s evil cousin Skippy — they are manufactured right there in the august body that is the United States Senate Committee on Finance, of which Senator Elizabeth Warren is, insanely enough, an actual member. She may as well have a sign on her door reading “Loopholes ’R’ Us.”
This is Senator Warren’s mess. Jeff Bezos just pays the bills.
And, of course, “loopholes” aren’t really loopholes. “Loopholes” are what useless low-minded demagogues call intentionally designed features of the tax code when they are being used by somebody it is politically convenient to attack. We see this year after year after excruciatingly stupid year: Somebody with big ideas about spurring blue-collar employment proposes a tax subsidy for politically connected manufacturers, and then two years later bitches that tax subsidies are being used by politically connected manufacturers. Because we tax businesses on their profits rather than on their cashflow, ordinary expenses are deducted from taxable income — and politicians bitch about businesses getting to deduct expenses resulting from business decisions the politicians don’t like. An endless cycle of asininity, over and over and over.
Amazon’s strategy for minimizing taxes on its profits is indeed a devious one: not making very much money. Amazon routinely posts quite low profit margins: Last year’s 5.5 percent, modest by the standards of an Apple or a Google, was unusually high for Amazon, and in many years Amazon has reported no profit at all or almost none, choosing to reinvest its income into the business — you know, that chronic capitalist short-termism we’re always hearing about.
That’s not a loophole. That’s how basic U.S. corporate-tax law works.
It doesn’t have to work that way, of course: Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House, too, and there isn’t anything stopping them from passing a big fat progressive tax-reform bill that raises corporate taxes and capital-gains taxes to 65 percent, that radically narrows the deductibility of business expenses, whatever.
If Senator Warren weren’t dumber than nine chickens and as useless as teats on a boar hog, it would be genuinely surprising that she would put this political extortion threat into writing and publish it. Because that is what she is doing and what must be understood: Senator Warren is threatening to use the power of her office to impose economic sanctions on Americans to keep them from publicly criticizing her. I don’t have any particular sympathy for the recreant techno-bullies over in Jeff Bezos’s shop — I think it is just damned weird that our nation’s biggest bookseller is also our premier book-banner — but once you accept this kind of abuse of political power, it’s a short route to chaos.
This is, in fact, precisely the kind of thing the Democrats impeached Donald Trump over: the abuse of official power. Senator Warren “has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-government and the rule of law.”
There is more.
Senator Warren has a problem and it is not Amazon, but her own government greed. Every intelligent person tries to minimize the taxes they pay.