Battle Bots and the Debt Ceiling

OK, I wish I could take credit writing this.  Or finding it.  I did neither.  It was sent to me.  This is a comment that was left on an unspecified article on CNN Money.  But I dig the description so much, not to mention the non-partisan standpoint, I have to share it.  No edits have been made from what I received, and I believe it to be true to the source.

If you wrote this, or you happen to see it on the CNN Money site, PLEASE let me know so I can give credit where due.

One big problem the American public has with modern politics is an inability to understand Congress. By nature we see organizations as people with the ability to think and reason. This view is faulty.

In order to fully understand Congress you have to watch BattleBots – little machines designed to destroy each other in a survival-of-the-best-design competition.

Each battlebot has some combination of weaponry and defenses. The machines with the superior design destroy and survive until the end where often two or more machines with cancelling offensive and defensive capabilities square off in a never-ending deadlock. These machines would run forever (or until they run out of power) unless humans switched them off. They’re machines. They do what they’re programmed to do. Endlessly.

Congress is a BattleBot competition. Republicans are programmed to seek tax breaks for the ultra-rich people and mega-sized global corporations as well as various payoffs (no-bid contracts or some new “war on ___”) that is never labelled as “spending.” It’s always “National Security” or “cracking down” (which is always directed at the working class – never ever the rich and powerful – that would be “socialism”) or so.

Democrats are programmed to seek government subsidies for the absolute poor always labeled as “safety-nets” and “infrastructure” – these are “investments” – not “spending.”

Someone, somewhere has to pay for all this spending. They borrow all they can and every once in a while face the reality that someone, somewhere has to pay more in taxes. The GOP battle-bots are programmed to block all taxation of the wealthy. The poor don’t pay taxes. The middle class gets that job. All battle-bots are programmed with the known fact that the middle class is an ATM machine.

In this particular battle – the GOP battle-bots are programmed to damage the US economy as much as possible without causing a default. This deadly game of chicken is risky – unless you’re filthy rich and you live in a cocoon of arrogance – which the battle-bot operators clearly are. The democrat battle-bot captain is facing being tossed out as worthless next year unless it can finally win one battle and deliver something, anything to its frustrated operators who want their money back.

This is one of those cases where the battle-bots will become deadlocked and will attack and counter-attack each other forever. There is no adult who can switch them off. The operators of the battle-bots will never switch them off. They paid good money for these things – if it isn’t going to deliver then what good is it?

Meanwhile, intelligent taxpayers watch in shock and awe as the whole financial backbone of America crumbles to pieces wondering how these morons could let something like this happen.

It makes you wonder who the real morons are doesn’t it?


  1. Only flaw is the claim that the poor pay no taxes. Did they suddenly get exempt from FICA, state taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc.?

    • Fair point. I think it works as a generalization, as is comparatively they pay virtually nothing. Of course, that falls apart if you look at what they pay as a percentage of income instead of straight dollars.

      Is it fair to say the poor, by and large, are largely exempt from income tax, either by virtue of being below the standard deduction or living off of “non-reported” income?

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