Now it's time for one of our regular features, the Clown Award, given for meritorious stupidity.
A couple of people have been retired from contention for the award because they would wind up dominating the rankings. One is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, of who I will just say I can't understand why some supposedly knowledgeable people say he is this great legal mind. Ithink it'd be more accurate to replace the words "great legal" with "never."
Another is Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, the man who puts the "Gomer" in Gohmert, and who can be counted on to say something stupid at pretty much regular intervals.
But there is another, someone who I just had to bring out of retirement because of - well, you'll see.
So this week the winner of the Big Red Nose is the man with the world's most perfect initials: Bill O'Reilly
On his July 14 show, after citing a recent Harris poll saying that 46% of Americans who are not retired report living paycheck to paycheck, he proceeded to tell those people what to do about it.
He started by saying that you should have at least $25,000 on hand, money you can immediately access in case you get fired or some financial crisis hits your family. He then proceeds to tell people how they can easily amass such an amount.
I'm quoting now:
First of all, never waste money. Ever. That trinket? You don't need it! Then, look at your life. See what your vices are. See what you overdo - and cut back. Then, go to websites like Groupon, get discounts on stuff that you have to buy. Never - never pay full price. Also, every time you have loose change in your pocket, put it in a big jar. That'll add up fast, pay your cable bill some day. But most important is what my father drummed into my head: every dollar you make, save ten cents. No excuses.First bear in mind that this is the multi-millionaire who recently called income inequality "bull" and "a fabricated, political thing."
And then let's go through what he said: First, every dollar you spend should be on absolute necessities. No frills, no "trinkets," nothing just for fun, nothing to make your life brighter or more colorful. You're not rich enough to deserve it. Oh, and your "vices?" Don't have any.
Speaking of trinkets and vices, I wonder what Bill O'Reilly's loufa bill is.
Getting back to what he said, Groupon and the rest are "deal of the day" sites. If you didn't happen to need that day's deal so you had to go pay full price for a loaf of bread and some cereal, well, apparently according to Mr. B.O. you paid full price and that somehow was your fault, you wasteful loser.
Oh, and a jar for spare change! Oh yeah, that will mount up so fast that "some day" it may pay one month's cable bill. What a bonanza!
Which also means, by the way, cable is apparently a necessity, not a waste or a trinket or any other sort of unnecessary expense which you can survive without. It's a necessity - because, after all, if you don't have cable, you can't watch Bill O'Reilly.
But here it is, the putrid poetry of the pontificating pinhead: "Every dollar you make, save ten cents. No excuses." You have to save 10% of your total income. No excuses.
Remember, this is being addressed to people he had already described as living paycheck to paycheck. Which means by definition they have little if anything to spare. Saving 10% of that current income is, in effect, a 10% cut in the amount of money you have now for current expenses. How are people who are, again, already living paycheck to paycheck supposed to do that?
The utter cluelessness, the utter disconnect, between this bozo and the life he presumes to judge and the people he does judge as just needing a little more self-discipline because if you're poor or struggling it's your own fault, you're either lazy or a spendthrift or both; the utter disconnect between this self-important nitwit and the people he condescends to advise, is just - well, I was going to say stunning but actually it's not, it's exactly what we should expect.
Which is why Bill O'Reilly is and always will be a clown's clown.
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