Category Archives: taxes

Joe PagLIARulo Radio: The ‘Three Rs’ Edition

Joe PagLIARulo decided to get into a little math this morning.  It was a bad idea.  While doing a lame fisking of President Obama’s interview on 60 Minutes last night, Joe got bent about who the president said would benefit from extending the Bush era tax cuts.  The president stated that millionaires and billionaires would get the biggest breaks.  Joe hates this and responds:

Not true.  Now, the whole idea that the people that are getting the biggest breaks are the rich is a lie.  Actual dollar amounts, of course, they’re getting a bigger break cuz they pay way more money into taxes, but percentage-wise, it’s not even close.  Listen, if you pay 10% tax rate right now on your income tax federally, you’re going to pay 15% starting January 1st.  Last time I checked, 10% to 15% was a 50% increase in taxes.  50% more.  The evil rich, they’re gonna go from 35% to 39.6, which is an 11% increase in taxes.  Now, let’s see, who’s getting the bigger break?  The people getting an 11% break or the people getting a 50% break?  I would suggest — actually a 33% break if you were at 15 going back to 10.  I don’t want to get all convoluted by throwing a bunch of percentages and numbers out there, but simple math tells you the people who are going to see — if nothing happens and everybody goes back to the pre-Bush era tax rates, you’re gonna see a 50% increase if you are in the 10% bracket.  If you are in the 36% (garbled) 35% bracket  up to 39.6%, you’re going to see an 11% increase.  Let’s stop the bull.  Let’s stop the lying.  OK?  It’s just not true.

I just had to write in.  It’s clear what he was trying to do, but it was also clear that he was none too sure about his math.

Me:  Joe, it’s a good thing you are in radio and not an accountant.
Let me show you how silly your earlier *math* is.
If there were no flag burnings one year and one flag burning the next
year, according to your *math*, there was a 100% increase in flag
Which is a misrepresentation, just like your calculations are.

PagLIARulo dutifully responds!:

either bring what I said incorrectly.. or get over it Michelle.  My
numbers are real.. you and the president are on a fishing expedition.

Me:  Here’s what you said Joe — people who are in the middle class benefit more than people at the top and you explained it this way — 15 minus 10 is 5 and 5 is 50% of 10.  36 minus 33 is 3 and 3 is 11% of 33.
I compared that to 1 minus 0 is 1. and 1 is 100% of 1.
So, what did I get wrong?

I was just ball-parking this, as I didn’t hear exactly all of what he said, but I only needed to hear the 50% part to know what he was trying to do, and therefore make my point.


your math is off.. what I said was an increase of 10 to 15 (which will happen if the cuts aren’t extended) is a 50 percent increase.  Going from 15 to 10 was a 33 percent cut.  going from 35 to 39.6 is an 11 percent increase.  Have some coffee and wake up a bit before emailing me .. k?

PagLIARulo fires a CYA (but is it enough?):

btw.. the increase for the top tier is actually 13.6 — thanks for the help!

Me:  You said, “either bring what I said incorrectly, or get over it.”  So I did.What do you want from me Joe?!?!!?!?!?!?!!?!  And your math is still off.


I took advantage of his ambiguous adverb to chum the water and have a little fun.  I’ve read that in a previous job, Joe was considered to be a sort of grammar cop, but I’m not seeing it.

PagLIARulo get miffed:

no math is dead on.. and I corrected myself..

lemme ask you a serious question.. what exactly is that you have a problem with?  Is it that I’m so right so often that it bothers you?  Do you want people to have an 11 or 13 or 50 percent increase in taxes?  Would that make you happy?

what exactly, Michelle, is your actual issue?  You know conservative values are why we’re the one super power left in the world.. and the most free and liberated people?

is that an issue for you?

get to the real issue, Michelle.


I don’t think he gets my point, which for me is a good thing.  And running to the “American Exceptionalism” point is very weak.  It’s like asking, “Why aren’t you a patriot?”  Ugh.

At this point, Joe decides to rant about me on the air:

By the way, Michelle the liberal will not stop emailing me.  I mean she, I think she now records the program, and word for word tries to go through — I think she looks up every word I say in the dictionary — (with a fake voice says) well I don’t know that’s exactly the way it’s defined.

The other day she had a problem with me saying that I affected positive change on election day because I tried to educate the voters whether they voted liberal/democrat (sic) or conservative/republican, at least they had better ammunition going to the poll if they listened to my program.  She had a problem with that and then today I said if you had uhm if the tax cuts all expired — the Bush era tax cuts — that people paying 10% tax today would go up to 15% and I said that’s a 50% increase, which it is, now when they went from 15 to 10 they saw a 33% decrease, which it was, which is what I said.  I also said if people paying 35% today go up to 39.6%, it’s an 11% increase.  Well, I was actually wrong about that.  It’s almost a 14% increase.  Sorry, Michelle.  It’s actually worse than I said it would be, but you’re all 100% of this and 50% of that and a bunch of convoluted numbers.  Listen, I stand by what I said cuz you know what?  We’re going to see a massive increase in taxes for no other reason than we’ve got an expanded large government that needs to check itself now, especially after this midterm election.

I just want to say that no dictionary was used in the composition of this blog post.

I wrote back:

Me:  And then you flubbed it completely on the air.  Joe, I don’t have a problem, I just find you hilarious.  So, when I ask you if you have any proof that you influenced (or affected) the elections and you say no, I get to laugh.  Or when you get all turned around trying to do math that is beyond you, I laugh even more.

And if you are interested in what my “issues” are, you can, as they say, “read my blog” 😉 .

calle viena

I ask you, was that too subtle?  All of those guys (they are all pasty white guys) on KPRC flog their stupid non-blogs and Facebook pages RELENTLESSLY.

Patronizing PagLIARulo:
Ur so cute Michelle. Dont care if u laugh or cry Michelle as long as u keep listening. Thx for helping my ratings!!
Help his ratings?  I’m not part of the system that measures that and if he counts a page hit while I write these blogs, well rock on, brother!
I know I don’t have to explain the math to you, my dear readers, but just in case Joe manages to navigate his way here, I want to lay it out clearly.
He decided to look at percentages in a misleading way, which is why I used the 0+1 = 100% increase example.  That sounds like a lot.  And that was Joe’s point.  He wants his listeners to think that 50% of a small number is much larger than 11% or 13.6% of a large number.  (Using Joe’s math, the answer is actually closer to 12%, or 11.61%.)  By ignoring the base number, it *sounds* like the middle class are making out like bandits and the poor top 1-2% of income earners are just barely scraping by.  Another way of showing how misleading this is is by using a retail sales example.  Let’s say something is on sale at 10% off.  Then there is a subsequent sale  taking off an additional 5%.  Well, Joe would say that’s 15% off, but in reality, it isn’t.
And seriously, listening to PagLIARulo always makes me think that he must give himself a headache.

Your Taxes Have Gone Down Unless Your Employer is Cheating You

I’ve been saying this for almost two years now.

Here are a couple of links for the doubtful.

Are all the teabaggers confused or have their employers been scamming them?  Given what I have heard from the teabaggers, most of them don’t pay taxes anyway and are just living off of disability payments and doing odd jobs.  Or they are bored housewives.

Here’s a thought experiment for ya

Thinking about the Bush tax cuts and whether or not extending or not extending them will affect certain groups — i.e. small businesses — why not just publish a list of all of the people whom it would affect?

It’s what? one or two percent of the population.  And we all know at least some of the people who would be on that list.  But if you could publish the list of people making over $250,000 by county, then people could check if their names are on the list and see that they are not on it and then know that their taxes will not go up.

I suggest this since I heard untold numbers of people call into wingnut radio stations claiming that their taxes had gone up when nothing of the kind happened.  I think until they can see that they are NOT on the list, then and only then would they believe it.  Otherwise, a tax increase for one wingnut (i.e. the wingnut they are listening to) is a tax increase for all.

I’ll start a local speculative list here and now, and then see how many people’s salaries I can verify.

Michael Berry

(I’d put Chris Baker, but he lives in Minnesota.  And Joe Pags lives in San Antonio.)

Dave Ward

Gina Gaston

Greg Hurst

Lucy Noland

Bill Balleza

Dominique Sachse

Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell (and any professional sports player — except for soccer players — living in the county.  Oh, and maybe not J.R. Richard or Enos Cabell.)

There are, of course, the attorneys and accountants, who would pay a bit more in taxes.  Some educators and academics would fall into the category as well.  There are a couple whom I would love to see pay a bit more since they are dicks as far as my department is concerned and use personal issues with one person to punish an entire department — but I digress.

I don’t think many politicians fall into that category, though I will have to do some digging to find out.  Bill White stands out, but I am sure he wouldn’t mind paying more.  He knows how the cuts have starved the country over the years they have been in place on a first hand basis.

But to my larger point:  I really don’t think that Dems can push the no new taxes for people making under $250,00, because they cut taxes for those folks and there are a few who think they can make people believe their taxes have gone up — despite stark evidence to the contrary — and so, one option the Dems are considering is not raising taxes for anyone.  That way, no one can complain.  I see them working.  It’s premised upon Americans being stupid and the liars on the radio and on teevee winning the argument.

I think my plan is better.  Stop talking abstractions and just name the people in the top tax bracket whose taxes would go up.  It’s not that many people.  Just name them so people can see that they are not on the list and be done with it.

Tea Party Excitement in Harris County

The local tea party people ran ads on at least two or three radio stations in support of their pick for Harris County Republican chair.  How many people turned out to vote for their guy?  15, 179.

That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?  But like other races the tea party has been involved in, it wasn’t enough.  The same old guy won again with 25, 488 votes.

So I guess when the tea party people make their attendance claims about Discovery Green tomorrow or  at Sam Houston Race Park and the total is about 15K, then that will be about right.  And it will mean about as much as the election yesterday did.

And on a related note, Dan Patrick is looking for a new way to take your money — oh, I mean get his name in the paper.

OMG My Tax Bill is HIGHER must be Obama’s fault

On Birther Radio (otherwise known as KPRC and managed by Michael Berry), I’ve heard people calling in on Joe Pag’s show especially, crying about their paycheck being less or their taxes going up.

Of course, tax rates haven’t gone up, unless you pay more for cigs so kids can have health insurance.  If you are getting less in your check, you need to talk to your employer.  S/He is either cheating you, or s/he is cheating you.  Everyone got more money in their paychecks a year ago.  If your income tax bill has gone up, perhaps you are like me and you don’t have as much to deduct this year.

Yeah, I could cry about the fact that I got my energy efficient windows when I couldn’t get a tax break for doing so, but I blame that on GWBush and the Republicans for not getting with the energy efficiency program.  Dicks.

Again, Your Taxes Have Not Been Raised

I haven’t done my taxes yet, but I’m sure I won’t pay more.

Even after Obama has been presidenting for a year, your taxes have not gone up.

And if you were smart enough to plan your home energy efficiency improvement, then you might get some money back.  Starve the beast and all that.

If you make more than $250K you are not reading my blog — unless you are Michael Berry.