100% Ridiculous


Over the past several weeks, hundreds of Americans have submitted personal tales of economic hardship on the “Occupy Wall Street”-affiliated Tumblr “We are the 99 percent.” Now, conservatives who oppose the Wall Street protests have an answer to it in the form of their own Tumblr, entitled “We are the 53%.”

According to the Washington Post, the blog was conceptualized by Redstate.org founder Erick Erickson, who collaborated on it with the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Josh Trevino and conservative filmmaker Mike Wilson.

The Tumblr claims to represent the 53 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes – the implication being that those associated with “Occupy Wall Street” are not also part of that 53 percent and do not pay federal income taxes.

Original DVD cover

According to the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center, 46 percent of Americans will not pay federal income taxes for 2011. About half of those people, their report says, are exempt because their incomes are too low. The other half tend to be exempt due to provisions benefiting senior citizens and low-income working families with children.

The group points out, however, that “many of those who don’t pay income tax do pay other taxes–federal payroll and excise taxes as well as state and local income, sales, and property taxes.”

Unlike “We are the 99 percent,” which has 76 pages worth of posts and counting, the conservative iteration of the blog only has 5 pages worth of posts logged so far.

In the first post, which mimics the style of the “99 percent” blog, Erickson holds up a sign with a hand-written message, telling the “whiners” protesting Wall Street to “suck it up.”

“I work 3 jobs. I have a house I can’t sell. My family insurance costs are outrageous. But I don’t blame Wall Street. Suck it up you whiners. I am the 53% subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain,” the sign says. Below the image, a caption confirms that “@ewerickson Declares he’s one of the 53.”


Washington Post blogger Suzy Khimm, who first reported on the background of “We are the 53 percent” on Ezra Klein’s left-leaning blog on the site, points out an irony in conservatives espousing such strong support for federal taxes.

She writes: “The ’53 percent’ Tumblr also implies that there’s a certain mantle of responsibility that paying taxes confers upon people — i.e. grown-up, self-directed Americans like us can earn enough money to pay taxes, so you should, too. That’s an unusual message coming from conservatives who’ve pushed so mightily for an anti-tax agenda.”

And about those 3 grueling jobs that Erick Erickson has…From THINK PROGRESS:

The three jobs Erickson wants you to believe he scrapes by on include occasional paid opinion blogging at RedState.com, a lucrative television contract with CNN, and a radio gig that paid the previous host $165,183 a year (Herman Cain’s financial disclosures show he was paid this amount before Erickson took over his spot). The house Erickson can’t sell? Bibb County, Georgia records reveal that Erickson just bought a new $374,900 house in February of this year, and owns another that, according to an estimate by the website Zillow, might be worth slightly less than the amount he paid for it in 2001. And its likely that Erickson’s CNN job alone provides him with a personal driver and covered travel expenses when he needs to appear on the show.

Moreover, when Erickson says he doesn’t blame Wall Street, who could be surprised? Erickson should be grateful to big corporations since they sponsor his blog and provide him with content:

Shilling For Banks: During the congressional battle over the Durbin Amendment, a rule that limits the amount banks can charge businesses to process debit-card fees, Erickson came out fiercely on the side of big banks. According to Bloomberg, Erickson had spoken with public relation firms employed by bank lobbyists while writing his posts.


Shilling For Walmart: The first major evidence of RedState’s corporate sock-puppetry came in 2006 when the New York Times broke the story that Mike Krempasky, a RedState founder and blogger, was being paid by Walmart to orchestrate online attacks on the company’s critics.


Selling Erick Erickson ‘Video Endorsements’: An email uncovered earlier this year from Eagle Publishing, the owner of RedState, sold not only traditional advertisements and sponsorship opportunities, but also a “video endorsement” from Erick Erickson. “Organizations with issues, candidates and viewpoints that are in line with Erick’s positions can truly benefit from his endorsement,” read the sales pitch. Erickson has rented his list to MyWireless.org, a telecom front group funded by industry, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, an oil lobbying association.

Representatives For Corporate Lobbyists Guest Blog For Erickson’s Website: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a lobbying association for top firms like Goldman Sachs, Chevron, AIG and Dow Chemical, has partnered with RedState for blogger briefings and guest posts.


Erickson’s Blog Caught In Pay-For-Blogging Scheme Orchestrated By Malaysian Lobbyists: The most unusual example of RedState’s fraudulent blogging may be the case of Josh Trevino, RedState’s co-founder. The government of Malaysia paid a consulting firm owned by Trevino and other regular RedState contributors to promote the ruling party using various conservative websites. Trevino, who recently collaborated with Erickson to created “We Are The 53%” site, even sponsored blogger meet and greets and fake media town halls with the current Malaysian prime minister.

Unfortunately, Erickson’s phony economic victim act is slowly catching on. In what has become a strange display of American feudalism, people are now contributing messages to Erickson’s 53 Percent site and boasting about being screwed by the economy.



Erickson has responded on his blog with name calling but no new facts. He says he isn’t paid well at CNN or through his radio show host job, but won’t even give a ball park figure of his income. He also ignores his extra salary from Eagle Publishing, the sponsor of his blog. Erickson began his “We Are The 53%” blog with a victimhood rant about his “3 jobs” and a house he “can’t sell.” But in his response to ThinkProgress, Erickson now says he is a winner of the failing economy. The second house ThinkProgress revealed, which Erickson bought for nearly $400,000 this year, was “originally for sale for over $600,000.00″ and Erickson says he “benefited from the misery of others in the market downturn.” Erickson adds, “it was tasty misery at that.”


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29 responses to “100% Ridiculous

  1. John Erickson

    Now how about a much more realistic Erickson reporting in? Unable to work because “cluster headaches” are not acceptable to most employers OR Social Security, living in a horrifically depressed (and depressing) area of the country (Coshocton County, Ohio), wife working two manual labour jobs as kitchen help at a restaurant and janitor at a church, sitting on a house valued at over $100,000 that we couldn’t sell right now for half the price. No second home, a 16-year old and 24-year-old car (neither running quite right), and my only connection with broadcasting is putting my silly and bizarre commentary on blogs like this one.
    If he REALLY wants to impress the public, this jackass sharing my last name could drop me a $10,000 check in the mail – 5% of his “tasty misery” savings. That would fix my disintegrating porch roof, bring both cars up to full running quality, get me a series of blood tests and X-Rays and MRIs I need, get the dang shared drive paved, and still leave money over for a nice vacation for my wife. Or maybe some savings for our old age, LONG gone.
    What an asshole!

    • John Erickson

      Sorry for that rant, and the swearing at the end. That just touched a nerve. I’m better now! 😀

      • you can rant anytime you want, john. do any of those asswipes look like they ever missed a meal? they’re paid shills for the ultra-rich and corporations, and they don’t give a flying shit about anyone other than themselves. i wrote to cnn when they hired erick erickson, and i told them i would never watch their channel as long as he’s employed there. i’ve kept my word. cnn has become faux news lite, and from what i read, it is going to get even worse.

  2. Don’t tell anyone else I said this … I mean, I have a reputation and all, but these guys really put the “ass” in “astroturf,” don’t they?

  3. Alright, I’ll be honest … Call me naive, before this post I didn’t know these clowns. Yet, the “no shit Sherlock” line on the poster brought a smile. It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone use that … well, besides me. 🙂

    • no shit sherlock is one of my favorite expressions, and i haven’t had the opportunity to use it in a while. it’s so sarcastic, but funny with just the right amount of disdain.

  4. It’s good to hear that at least one of those stories was made up. Reading the letters on that site damn near broke my heart, people saying things like “I work two or three jobs even though I’m sick or disabled just to survive, I don’t have money for health care, but I don’t whine! I don’t complain!” Well, you should complain, damn it!! You’re getting treated like shit! Don’t they see that?

    • maybe they can’t see, because they have no health insurance, and they can’t afford to see an eye doctor. maybe they should visit little randy paul.

      • rofl! Thanks for inserting some humor into this. It angers me to see the oppressed attack the other oppressed (not talking about little Erick here, just the other people on the website), just like it angers me to see people vote against their own interests.

        • i bet a lot of the people who are posting at the 53% site are paid shills. the koch brothers, their groups, and the rethugs in general are known for paying people to protest. on the ows side, there’s no need to pay anyone to protest. there are too many people who are in dire straits, and they’ve all been waiting to talk when the powers that be are being forced to listen.

          • In a weird way, the paid shills thing makes me feel better–it would be even worse if these people were real. I have already spent way too much time since coming to this country doing the *headdesk* thing and going “Why are they okay with being treated like this? Why??”

            • they would make me feel better if those being taken in by them were aware that they were being taken in. they’re like a cult, though, and they can’t risk their mental house of cards by learning the truth.

  5. jay

    Erick Erickson should pay to be on CNN.

    • i think that people should be able to pay to throw things at erick erickson live on cnn. the larger the object, the more you pay, and all the money goes to charity.

  6. maggiejean

    I have no words. I do not like Erick Erickson. He, like his ilk, spews venom almost continuously.

  7. It is amazing how the goperites struggle greatly with six and seven figure incomes. How do the manage to get by? Two weeks ago I was short of money and had to make sure enough quarters were there to buy a $5.40 pouch of tobacco. When I first bought one, way back when, they were 15 cents (and no sales tax).

    • why would i trust someone with the economy when they can’t figure out how to make it on a few million a year? if you can’t live on that, you don’t have a fucking clue on how to run a country.

  8. jeb

    Working three jobs and he still has time to dedicate to spiteful and venomous blog? It’s not like he’s making any money on this extra curricular activity… oh wait, he is. Still, that shouldn’t lessen our opinion of this man who is so dedicated and committed to being a scummy propaganda tool spreading his disinformation.

  9. Your awesomeness did not come to my email box last night. Booooooo! I’m late.

    The reality is these idiots are an insignificant and loud minority.

    • you’re never late when you’re always welcome. (i’ll have to put that on a sampler or a pillow)

      the reality is that these idiots are a loud minority, and they are only heard, because big money runs the news networks. if someone in the tea party clears his throat, there are 20 news cameras on him, and the coverage is run over and over again. it took people taking over wall street and getting brutalized and arrested by the police for anyone to pay attention to the demands of the vast, vast, vast majority of citizens.

  10. BEAUTIFULLY done, Nonnie!
    These jackwads need a rusty shovel to the back of the head and some electrodes to the testes to shock them back to reality. Maybe a visit from Limbaugh’s LAR buddies.

  11. http://westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com/

    Just saw this on the Book o0f Faces, and it is awesome.
    Take that, Erick Erickson!!!!!!!!

    • awesome, indeed. it should be made clear that people don’t hate people because they’re rich. people hate rich people who are selfish, self-centered greedy asswipes who don’t give a flying shit about anyone else. there are plenty of rich people who are kind and sympathetic and realize that when something is done to help the least of us, it helps all of us.