Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What's fat boy been up to?

As bad at math as Megan:

Megan rightly bemoans the proliferation of deductions and credits and whatnots that push tax rates higher and make "doing your taxes" this huge pain in the ass
Anyone know where Matt went to school? I hope it's Harvard or something so we can make some choice "Ivy Leaguers can't do math" jokes. Might throw in an affirmative action joke since all this misogyny is making me thirsty for some racism.
Most clearly, when you redefine most deductions as penalties for the ineligible a lot of this stuff seems a little perverse -- should people who don't have kids in college pay a special penalty? A tax penalty for renters? Probably not.
Brilliant, Matt. Next we'll talk about how crime pays cause criminal get free food, housing and medical coverage in jail. Hey asshat, you get more money cause those things cost more. I know, it's really hard to find your mortage bill and add the interest thingy to the deductions boxamajic, but such is the price of a free society.
Meanwhile, just note that you could eliminate all this, thus capturing 100 percent of the flat tax's virtues, without flattening the tax bracket structure and also that if you did flatten the bracket structure (thus capturing zero percent of the flat tax's virtues), then all the political pressures that create the loopholes would still exist.
Meanwhile, just note that you could obfuscate all this, thus capturing 100% of the incoherence of MM's posts, without all the repetitive jokes and also that if you did insert useless emphasis (thus capitalizing on your own poor grasp of passable writing), then you could still get to be called "Big Media Matt" if you continue to eat your weight in burritos everyday.

Do something stupid, get stupid results
Brendan Nyhan writes about how the need to construct a campaign narrative can lead to people substantially overestimating the importance of this or that campaign occurrence. For example, current polling makes it look likely that Hillary Clinton will beat Barack Obama by a bit more than ten points.

Now if you'd said on March 5 "looks like Clinton will win Pennsylvania by about 12 points" most people would have said "sounds about right, she has a huge advantage in the polls right now but Obama always gains ground through actual campaigning; still, demographically speaking it's very favorable terrain for Clinton." But today it's essentially inevitable that any failure on Obama's part to close the gap will be substantially attributed to "bittergate" even though failure to fully close the gap was not only predictable but widely predicted weeks ago based on Pennsylvania's age structure, educational attainment, and African-American population.

Gee, Matt, if you assume people are stupid enough to care about "bittergate" then, by gosh golly gee, they're also too stupid to dissociate causation and correlation as well. Maybe they should come to you for help with their taxes.

Matt the art Critic
Just five years after the Ang Lee Hulk, Hollywood is giving us a new version. Not a sequel, it seems, just another Hulk movie. Considering that the first movie sucked, it's not a bad plan:
Yeah, right on! The first one sucked, so let's make another. Matt, what other brilliant ideas ya wanna pitch? A sequel to Howard the Duck?

Matt's fighting his inner warmonger
Something I note in Heads in the Sand is that one impediment to undertaking a reasonable response to 9/11 is that, psychologically speaking, it feels as if the response should somehow be proportionate to the devastating emotional impact of the attacks. And when you contemplate the possibility of something even more horrible, like a nuclear attack on a city, then it seems like the preventive measures taken should, again, be incredibly dramatic. And yet the nitty-gritty of serious non-proliferation policy is deadly dull.
Really? Psychologically speaking it FEELS!!!!! like you're a jiggly ball of moron, but... oh wait, that is true. Hmmm, maybe there's some concrete in the foundation of his reasoning after all.

Is this some kind of excuse for his Iraq war cheer leading? We got attacked! It FEELS!!!!! like we gotta start a war!!! Oh wait, we already did in Afghanistan. Well that war FEELS!!!!! too easy. There must be someone else to attack!

Oh man, that's as much of his stomach as I can stomach. Go back to the barrio, pudge master.


spencer said...

You are in luck. Yglesias is indeed a Harvard boy.

NutellaonToast said...