October 17, 2012 by Ish
CANDY CROWLEY: ISH, as you know, in this bizzare alternate universe in which we find ourselves, you won the coin toss, so the first question will go to you. And I want to turn to a first-time voter, Jeremy Epstein, who has a question for you.
QUESTION: Mr. President, ISH, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?
ISH: Hold on, let me finish pouring my drink. Okay. Who what will I do so that you can support yourself after you graduate? Not a damn thing. I’m running for President, not Preist-King. As President of the United States I have a list of very specific job duties and am not supposed to stray from that list… The list is called the Constitution of the United States. Your professor’s might have heard of it…
OBAMA: Um… well… General Motors is alive, and Osama bin Laden is dea–
ISH: General Motors is almost bankrupt, again, and bin Laden is considered a martyr to al-Qaeda which is very much alive… and probably doing better financially than GM.
OBAMA: Um… I wasn’t done with my answer.
ISH: Oh, deal with it, I’m not really running for President, I can be as blunt as I want. Next question, Candy?
CROWLEY: OK. Will — will — you certainly will have lots of time here coming up.
Because I want to move you on to something that’s sort of connected to cars here, and — and go over. And we want to get a question from Phillip Tricolla.
QUESTION: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?
ISH: I’ll handle that one, actually. I agree with Secretary Chu that it is not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. That’s obvious, if it was his policy, would he have gone on record saying it was not policy, three times? Reading comprehension isn’t something they stressed in you school, was it?
President Obama said, many times in his `08 campiagn that he wanted to see energy prices skyrocket. He’s blocked oil drilling. His party has routinely raised taxes on energy. Of course Secretary Chu thinks it is not the job of the Energy Department to lower gas prices, his boss [points at Obama] has told him not too.
OBAMA: The most important thing we can do is to make sure we control our own energy. So here’s what I’ve done since I’ve been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it’s been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employm–
ISH: There he goes. Mr. President, you’re the president of the United States, not the president of Standard Oil. When you say “we have increased oil production,” you mean that private companies have increased production, not “we.” “They.” “Them.”
OBAMA: Our policies–
ISH: Your polices have kept us from buying oil and gas from our friends in Canada, allowed Brazil and Venezuela to drill off our shores, and not done a damn thing to produce one drop of oil. Domestic oil production to the highest levels in 16 years, despite your policies not because of them.
ISH: You didn’t drill that. Next question!?
CROWLEY: We’re going to move you both along to taxes over here and all these folks that have been waiting. ISH, this question is for you. It comes from Mary Foltano — Follano, sorry.
ISH: Hi, Mary.
QUESTION: ISH, you have stated that if you’re elected president, you would plan to reduce the tax rates for all the tax brackets and that you would work with the Congress to eliminate some deductions in order to make up for the loss in revenue. Concerning the — these various deductions, the mortgage deductions, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit and also the — oh, what’s that other credit? I forgot.
OBAMA: You’re doing great.
QUESTION: Oh, I remember.
The education credits, which are important to me, because I have children in college. What would be your position on those things, which are important to the middle class?
ISH: First, you don’t “have children in college,” you have children that have grown up to be adults in college. It’s semantics, but that bugs me. I have two daughters of my own — many years away from college — so I can imagine it is bittersweet to see them grown and off to university. But still, we as a society need to stop infantilizing college students. They’re adults. Treat them like it. Um… what was the question?
OBAMA: How are you going to pay for tax cuts.
ISH: No, it was deductions.
OBAMA: If you reduce tax rates–
ISH: Mortgage deductions, charitable deductions, child tax credits, and, uh education credits. Right? Those were the things you wanted to know about? Well, to begin with some Civics 101 — make that high school civics — as president I won’t actually be the one writing or voting on any bills. That’s Congress’ job, okay? Sure, I will steer them and influence them, but those 435 assholes are the ones that actually write the thing. I’m going to tell them to cut tax rates for everybody, I’m also going to slash as many deductions as I can — but those 435 pussys in the House won’t want to mess with the sacred cows you just named. So they’ll stay put and we’ll have to keep tax rates higher than they really should be. Fucking morons.
CROWLEY: Thanks, ISH… I think.
OBAMA: My philosophy on taxes has been simple. And that is, I want to give middle-class families and folks who are striving to get into the middle-class some relief. Because they have been hit hard over the last decade. Over the–
ISH: He blamed Bush! Take a shot!
OBAMA: Now, ISH has a different philosophy. He agrees with what Romney said on 60 Minutes just two weeks ago and he was asked: Is it fair for somebody like you, making $20 million a year, to pay a lower tax rate than a nurse or a bus driver, somebody making $50,000 year? And he said, “Yes, I think that’s fair.” Not only that, he said, “I think that’s what grows the economy.”
ISH: Well, no, I don’t think it’s “fair” that they pay different rates. I do think it’s legal and that neither Romney nor I wrote the fucking rules, we just live by them, okay? Also, 14-15% of $20 million a year is a helluva lot more money than 25-30% of $50,000 a year. So there’s that…
OBAMA: But the top 2%…
ISH: You mean top 1%.
OBAMA: Um, uh… the top 1% —
ISH: The 1%. Instead of the, uh… the…
OBAMA: The 99% —
ISH: 99%. Take a shot! Okay, that wasn’t fair… I set that up. Take a sip.
OBAMA: Candy, what was the question?
ISH: Oh, hell with it. You want fair? As in equal? Simple, everyone pays x percent. 10% 15% 40% Whatever. Make it the same for the person earning $50,000 a year or $50,000,000 a year. That’d be fair.
CROWLEY: Mr. President, we’re keeping track, I promise you. And Mr. President, the next question is for you, so stay standing.
OBAMA: Great. Looking forward to it.
And it’s Katherine Fenton, who has a question for you.
QUESTION: In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?
ISH: Oh hell. Look, I gotta interrupt, but study after study has refuted this 72 percent thing as mostly a myth… although it holds true in Obama’s White House… Anyhow, remember what I said about being president and not priest-king? The job of the federal government is not to negotiate your salary for you. If your employer really is discriminating, we’ve got a court system for that. But otherwise you’ll just need to grow a pair and talk to your boss about your wage…
OBAMA: Well, Katherine, that’s a great question. And, you know, I was raised by a single mom…
ISH: And her second-husband, his staff, your two grandparents…
OBAMA: I was raised by a single mom… My grandmother, she started off as a secretary…
ISH: In a bank, yeah, I read your book. Both your books. Two memoirs before age fifty. Modest, ain’t ya?
OBAMA: The Lilly Ledbetter bill, which was one of the first things I signed–
ISH: The Lilly Ledbetter bill didn’t change anyone’s wage. It just extended the statute of limitations in order to bring a lawsuit if your employer really is discriminating. Remember those courts I mentioned? Other than that, go negotiate your own salary, it ain’t my job.
OBAMA: And I’ve got two daughters and I want to make sure that they have the same opportunities that anybody’s sons have.
ISH: Oh, another shot! Man, this is some good shit…
CROWLEY: I want to move us along here to Susan Katz, who has a question.
And, Governor, it’s for you.
QUESTION: Governor Romney, I am an undecided voter, because I’m disappointed with the lack of progress I’ve seen in the last four years. However, I do attribute much of America’s economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration.
Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election. What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush, and how do you differentiate yourself from George W. Bush?
ISH: Jesus, the election is in, what? Three weeks and you haven’t decided yet? You’re still blaming Bush? Look, Bush was a twerp and I disagree with nearly every policy he had. Obama, on the other hand, has been president for the last four years and is the actual man I’m running against.
Next question Candy, I’m running low on scotch.
CROWLEY: Because what I — what I want to do, Mr. President, stand there a second, because I want to introduce you to Nina Gonzalez, who brought up a question that we hear a lot, both over the Internet and from this crowd.
QUESTION: President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?
OBAMA: We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and…
ISH: Then why did your administration take the side against the Second Amendment in Heller? Also, what the fuck is an “assault weapon”? Its a bullshit term that has no meaning. AK-47s are already illegal to own unless you obtain some very expensive and hard to get licenses and pay an exorbitant tax.
CROWLEY: ISH, ISH, if I could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer banned. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?
ISH: These mass killings weren’t conducted with assault rifles, which is a real term. They were conducted with garden-variety rifles and handguns. Not AK-47s. They were done by people who wanted to commit mass murder, somehow I doubt that they were worried about not having the proper paperwork for their weapons. Can someone teach Candy and Obama how to use Wikipedia so they can learn some basic facts about guns? ANd can someone bring me more scotch?
CROWLEY: Okaaay… Thank you. I guess.
I want to ask Carol Goldberg to stand up, because she gets to a question that both these men have been passionate about. It’s for Ish.
QUESTION: The outsourcing of American jobs overseas has taken a toll on our economy. What plans do you have to put back and keep jobs here in the United States?
ISH: Not a goddamn one. President, not Priest-King. Oh, hell with it, I think I saw a bar down the street when the limo was bringing me here. I’m out.