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Apr 12, 2006


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Lesson: Don't trust talking ducks when they talk about taxes or the media.

Or Lame ones when they talk about ANYTHING.


How about insurance? I always got the idea Mallard Fillmore was just pissed off because the Aflack duck got all the chicks.

Chuck Smith

So, in 2004, the federal government took in 1.88 trillion in taxes. According to Tinsley's "fact" (the one ignored by the MSM), that means that the IRS' budget must have been 1.22 trillion in 2004.

I wonder why Congress appopriated only 10.2 billion for the IRS budget in 2004.

Tinsley was off by more than a factor of 100. Impressive.


It's Mallard Fillmore; therefore it's wrong, and unentertaining in its wrongness. I can only presume the guy thinks he's clever or something. If you really need to read it, it's in the comics at SFGate.com, along with up-to-date Bizarro, which is much more worthwhile and astute and which has the saving grace of being, y'know, funny.


Innumeracy is not uncommon among conservatives (to be fair, it's not unknown among liberals).


Well, I guess you could argue that enforcement of tax collection requires the armed forces, so that might bring the number closer to 65%. I just hope I don't get nuked for filing late.

Anthony Cartouche

I don't know who is the biggest asshole: Tinsley, the people who read and like his strip, or Mallard himself.

Cryptic Ned

Can Tinsley actually believe this?

Do you think he would feel silly when presented with evidence that instead of being 65% it is actually around 00.4%?


I like this one - http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/mallard.asp?date=20060408 - because it so accurately describes the modern Republican mindset. And it's funny, too (only because he doesn't know that, granted)!


Tinsley does get the occasional funny one in--I certainly don't mind when he lampoons political correctness--but usually, he's so hatefully deluded about the greatness of Chimpco and the evil of the demented LIBBURULS that I long for the day when Mallard ends up as Peking Duck.


I refuse to point out to you that this is a guy that argues with crayons and not with sharp objects. Do you have to wonder why?


Cartoon talking duck + discussion of tax policy = Comedy Gold!!


If you really need to read it, it's in the comics at SFGate.com...

You're kidding! The dead-tree edition sure as hell doesn't print it...

Jim M

Donald or Daffy are better sources of info than Tinsley's mallard. Even Yackdoodle probably knows more, and he was so dumb he always needed Chopper to rescue him cause he couldn't figure out that the fox was trying to do him harm.

Boris Presley

Tinsley is the Ben Domenech of the comic pages: Full of crap, relies on other's work, and a lazy, lazy man - half the time he doesn't bother to draw anything but the title character in one of two expressions: A (fake outrage) or B (smirk that would embarrass Sally Forth). And like Domenech has a job only out of the same perversion of "balance" that got Ben his 72 hours on top of the world.


This guy is lazy and misinformed on issues as I often tell him here

Rash Nussell

I think it is more likely that (like most republican Bushco empty-headed animal food-trough wipers) he is just dishonest.

Patrick Eakes

Congratulations, Ed. You can add cartoon strips to strange city/county names as a topic sure to draw comments.

Sperm Donor

Moreover, take this for what it's worth, but get this from a former IRS attorney:

For every dollar spent on hiring IRS personnel, two to three dollars are generated for the IRS.

In other words, those employees for the IRS generate much more in income and revenue to the federal government than what it costs to pay them.

AND . . . . given such economic realities wherin it is hiring MORE IRS personnel is extremely profitable for the federal government, the ONLY reason MORE IRS people aren't hired is because the Republicans know that with more people working for the IRS, the likelihood that their rich contributors will get audited and that they will have to pay more in taxes and/or get busted for evasion increases.

All this came from a former IRS attorney, who now works in private practice as a tax attorney


The idea of 65% cost of collection is so idiotic on its face that it's hard to believe anyone with an operable brain could actually think it was so.


I stopped my subscription to my local newspaper when they started running Mallard Filmore next to Doonesbury. That is like serving dog food on the same plate with prime rib.

An Enquiring Mind

I will say one thing nice about Mallard Filmore: It doesn't suck as bad as Johnny Hart's B.C.


Qwak! Tax cuts! Qwak! Libruls evil! Qwak!

media in trouble

Even if the duck was right, one has to ask what happens to the other 35%?

Sly Fanatic

It was found out in 2004,but suppressed, that Mallard and Howard the Duck live an alternative lifestyle that was revealed to like minded closeted conservatives at the wild party held in a certain California Rep's suite.

Fred Gregory

Well now that everyone has yuked it up with very few facts to back up their howls, here is some educated speculation on my part. Yes the 65% figure seemed high to me. The cost of collecting taxes fall for the most part on employers who withhold your taxes from wages and salaries. Self employed folks submit their estimated taxes to the IRS on a quarterly basis. My guess is this requires very little in administrative costs for the IRS to keep track of vis a vis the overall federal budget. The IRS I suspect spends far more on fraud and delinquent cases without the same favorable ratio of return as the withholding system.

Last tear taxes collected by the Feds =$932 billion. Also last year they took in $1.286 trillion in Social Security taxes. Again I dare say by the involuntary withholding method.

The AEI article by Payne however is righteous. Almost $2 trillion of the tresury's bank account last went to fundinincome redistribution schemes.

Ed Cone

Right. We have a sizable government in this country, an overly complicated tax code, and plenty of things that could be done better, cheaper, or not at all.

Too bad Tinsley's such a dumbass that he couldn't even light a match to that kind of dry tinder.

Fred Gregory

Dumbass ? Come on Edward, name calling is not necessary. You have higher standards, don't you ? Have you ever had fun, fun, fun with the obscene, over the top, sicko, hateful stuff from Doonesbury. Neither strip is always funny or always factual. In fact Trudeau's material is sometimes made up of whole cloth. So enuff to you and all your liberal hack commenters. The egalitarian programs funded by the income redistribution ponzi plans will have in the long term permanent and destructive results on this republic. Scoff if you will but look at France then tell me your vision for America will reach a different outcome. Sheesh.

Ed Cone

It's not namecalling, it's taxonomy.

The fact that you don't like Doonesbury does not mean Tinsley is not a dumbass.

The US has prospered like no society in history since the advent of the New Deal. As noted above, there is much that needs fixing, but your blanket statements are about as meaningful as math from a talking duck.

Fred Gregory


Please, first the worst form of emotional argument and now sloganeering. Evoking the cult of FDR and Keynes is a lame excuse for a serious discussion of the tax system . The New Deal..Harrumpf !! It has obviously left an influence on you, albeit troubling.

It is the free enterprise system that has led to this country's prosperity and the the class warfare game which " progressives " like to play has been rejected by the populus more often than not. Capitalism , despite its flaws and temporary hicups, keeps on winning the day.

"Good order is the foundation of all things " E.B.

Ed Cone

Fred, I'm not playing emotion, I'm doing math. Our country has prospered greatly since the social safety net and other reforms were instituted. I'm a happy capitalist, but I can also count, and I also understand that markets are tools, not a religion.

None of which has much to do with the subject of this post, which remains unimpeachable. If you want to have a conversation about something else, why not lead it at your own blog?

David Boyd

Our country has prospered greatly since the social safety net and other reforms were instituted.

Causality or coincidence?

Ed Cone

Given the length of time involved, and the empirical data available on the economy and standards of living prior to said reforms, coincidence seems unlikely.

There are of course many other factors at work in a hellishly complex equation like this. But if you want to argue for doing away with, say, Social Security and the SEC, it's useful to remember life before those things.

Again, this is a thread about a dumbass comic strip and its dumbass creator. I do not plan to spend my Saturday wading into a tarpit of hardcore libertarian economics.

David Boyd

...coincidence seems unlikely.

Many other countries have larger safety nets than we do. Seems that if the safety net was the thing driving prosperity, we'd see them with greater growth rates than the US.

Ed Cone

Boyd, I'm not going to do this. Start a thread at your own blog.


Just another duck joke to ease the tensions:


Maybe you heard the joke before. Don't know.


"Many other countries have larger safety nets than we do. Seems that if the safety net was the thing driving prosperity, we'd see them with greater growth rates than the US."

I'm sorry, but that logic only follows if one assumes a constant positive correlation, If I read correctly, that is not what Ed said. One may argue that the optimal balance is a more lasseiz faire economy than our own (though I would disagree). But to say that no subsidies or pensions at all should exist borders on the silly.


I enjoy Mallard Fillmore, and didn't see the particular strip being mentioned. I'm amazed at the reaction this strip generates, almost as vitriolic as the reactions that Rush Limbaugh gets. It really seems to hit a nerve with some people. What is it about socialists, sorry, I mean liberals, that you folks can't simply say "I disagree with you politically "? You're big boys and girls, but you don't seem able to accept the fact that some people don't agree with you. Roughly half the country. I don't understand it.


I don't understand why an obvious political cartoon gets in the comics section. I don't mind the crap he spouts, I just want him on the editorial page like all the other political cartoons. Kids read the comics, he doesn't qualify, HES NOT FUNNY just insulting and condescending.

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