Friday, March 29, 2013

Don "Bridge to Nowhere" Young Ruminates on Other Ways to Cross a River

Leila Kheiry of Ketchikan Community Radio (KRBD) interviewed Don "Bridge to Nowhere" Young and she did a pretty good job of keeping him talking.
Young said that if the United States were forming today, no individual state would agree to be part of the government; they all would prefer independence.
Well, he's off to a good start, but I would suggest that the states that take more from the federal government than they put in, like Alaska, would probably want in because, you know, free money for parasites! For Don Young, states that suck from the Federal Teat don't count, but you individual 47%-ers need to get some skin in the game!
“I really think that everybody should consider my 10 percent solution,” he said. 
“Everybody put 10 percent of their salaries, including those on government welfare, so everyone has something in the game – a little skin in the game – including all the agencies and the whole bit; you’d balance the budget.” 
Young admits that his 10-percent idea is unlikely to find support in Congress. But, he said former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was correct when he said that 47 percent of Americans don’t contribute, and that is a large part of the current problem. 
Image via The Economist
So, the 47% of Americans, many of whom (because Ronald Reagan wanted to encourage them to work instead of being on welfare) get to use the Earned Income Tax Credit, are a "large part of the current problem" but Alaska and the other states that take more than they pay in aren't?

OK, then.

Young keeps talking, because that's what wingnuts do, and displays his ignorance of basic economics by calling for more industry, and less reliance on imports, to bring jobs back to this country. Before he got into politics (a long time ago) Young worked in construction, fishing, trapping, gold mining, tug boating and teaching fifth grade. He apparently never took economics (or didn't pay attention when he did), or he'd know that his support for a high dollar policy is the exact opposite of what you'd want to do to lower our trade deficit and create manufacturing jobs in the US. But then, consistency isn't really a wingnut trait. Bullshitting is.

Operation Wetback, image via Immigration of the 1950s.
Young is, however, capable of noting the effects of productivity on labor intensive industries like agriculture.
Young also believes that Americans need to bring industry back to this country rather than relying on imports. Doing so would increase jobs, although he understands that automation has reduced the number of labor positions available.
“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” he said. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”
I'm guessing the GOP is going to keep Don Young away from their new Latino outreach efforts. Of course, he kept talking today in an attempt to limit the damage from his racist slur.
"I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California," the Republican congressman said in a statement issued to a local television station in Anchorage. "I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect."
Young was born in 1933 and raised in Sutter County, California. He got an associate's degree in education from Yuba College in 1952, served in the army from 55-57, got a bachelor's degree from Chico State College in 1958 and moved to Alaska in 1959. According to the CNN story:
The word was used by the U.S. government in the 1950s for "Operation Wetback," a massive crackdown on illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Operation Wetback, image via US Slave.
Merriam Webster, Wikipedia, and even the Urban Dictionary all agree that the word is, and always has been, a racial slur. If the congressman has proof of the word being used in a way that's not a slur, he's not offering that proof with his non-apology apology. Use of the word is disrespectful  and there is no other way to use it. But then, we already knew that Young is a bullshitter.

He keeps talking in the KRBD interview, about taking advantage of the shipping routes through the arctic he helped create by distorting free markets in favor of his oil company executive friends, and the ethics investigations into his possible past crimes, which he defends by claiming there's a statute of limitations.

But once you swim across Talking Wingnut River, there's really no turning back.