When the pot calls the kettle a ‘parasite’

WHEN THE POT CALLS THE KETTLE A ‘PARASITE’…. In Missouri, a man named David Jungerman is drawing some attention for having placing a 45-foot-long banner on a tractor-trailer on his property. It reads, in all caps, “Are you a Producer or Parasite.” The line below it reads, “Democrats — Party of the Parasites.”

Asked to explain his ugly message, Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who don’t pay taxes, but who “always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them” in the form of social programs.

People, it turns out, like David Jungerman. (via Zaid Jilani)

The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the “Party of Parasites” received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995.

But David Jungerman says the payouts don’t contradict the sign he put up in a corn field in Bates County along U.S. 71 Highway.

“That’s just my money coming back to me,” Jungerman, 72, said Monday. “I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.”

No, he’s just the guy who’s accepted nearly $1.1 million in taxpayer-financed farm subsidies over the past 15 years.

It’s also worth noting that Jungerman and his backers may not realize it, but those “parasites” pay taxes, too. There are middle- and lower-class families who have been given a break on their federal income taxes, but they’re still paying sales taxes, state taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare/Medicaid taxes.

When they get unemployment benefits or food stamps, they’re just getting their “money coming back” to them, too.

But there’s also an even more painful subtext to consider here. Jon Chait noted that the Producer vs. Parasite frame “is historically connected with white supremacy.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.