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DaveHoward Written by DaveHoward
Oct. 14, 2010 | 12:16 AM

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I Want Your Money- Review

image “Mr. Adams, this revolution is about your petty personal grievances. Your taxes are too high. Well, sir so are mine.” -John Dickinson, the sole vote against U.S. Independence.

Well, I kinda think that’s what went down. I saw it in a movie once.

There is an old phrase in Hollywood when describing art house films “It ain’t gonna play in Peoria.”  Well, I WANT YOUR MONEY will play well in Peoria, Raleigh, Bakersfield and Dallas. This op-ed doc-style flick, directed by Ray Griggs,  lionizes Reagan and skewers every other president in the last 80 years. It might become a Tea Party rallying call. A cinematic yelp to lower taxes and reel in spending, this will be a big hit with the “Beck and Call” crowd. The movie comes out October 15th in red-area movie theaters (i.e. in Burbank rather than WeHo) in time to try and influence the election. If it gets a bump from Fox News or Rush it might even enjoy some some decent viewership.

In a jellybean bag, the movie’s main theme is “If you aren’t Ronald Reagan, you can suck it.” Clinton, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Nixon, Pelosi, Palin and, especially, Obama, are portrayed as inexperienced nincompoops who could use a few wise words from the Gipper.

This piece also tears me in two between my journalistic self and my blogger self. So I am breaking this one up in to two parts: “The Review” and “The Critique.”  This movie preaches to a choir that doesn’t let me sing with them,  so I think this is fair.

By the way, I have a helluva voice.


The filmmaker is actually a talented kid. Currently, he is readying to lens the big screen adaptation of “The Wind and The Willows.” He is at his best in a series of animated shorts featuring the above-mention targets who get condescending elementary economic lessons from The Great Communicator. The physical reproductions look fantastic and the impersonations are dead on.  The filmmaker wisely chooses to use, well for the republicans anyways, actual quotes to drive home his point. Sure, Bill Clinton’s lines are fictional horny old man, Hilary is a bitter shrew and Pelosi is just downright insane. Not completely accurate,  but you expect this from the far right. It crescendos into a Bill Conti-ed, Rocky themed boxing match which is entertaining enough. I bet you can guess who is the star-spangled Rocky and who is the Red and White (get it? Communism!) Apollo Creed or probably more accurately, the Drago guy from ROCKY IV. You can probably guess who gets the knockout blow.

The filmmaker talks directly to the audience about the history of taxes, freedom and the mistakes of the Bushies (more on this later). He is then backed up by the Fox News green room (Newt Gingrich, Andrew Breitbart, etc) on his facts. so there is nothing here that you can’t glean from watching the “fair and balanced” channel from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. PST. Oh, and there are plenty of K-Tel clips of Reagan’s greatest quips.

The real surprises are really in the depictions of Obama and Bush, Jr. Obama comes off as a well-meaning enough kid who needs to be tutored (by Reagan) . I was expecting it to be a bit more scathing attack. Bush, Jr is painted as a juvenile man-boy more in tune with his Michael More persona. It’s the closest the doc comes to being balanced, but in this day and age, I’ll take it.

The animation really brings a fresh approach to his argument and breaks down to to it’s most basic bits in easy to consume spoonfuls of tea-bag sizes of pudding. 


Claiming to be a Reagan Republican has become a very convenient excuse for those who put Bush and his cronies in power for eight years. “That’s not what I voted for.. twice.” But we know that the GOP has always had a problem with claiming responsibility for anything (i.e. the spread of AIDS, invading the wrong country, Watergate, wide stance, etc.). At least in my lifetime.

The main problem with the film is that Griggs wasn’t even old enough to really live through the Reagan years and the aftermath. He was six when Reagan was sworn in. He has obviously gotten his information from a Pro-Reagan second hand source. The film is based on convenient facts (C-Facts) or unmentioned (U-Facts) Let’s pick this sucker apart:

C-Fact 1: Taxes were 70% under Carter. Reagan freed up the upper class for investment.
Yes, taxes were 70% under Carter. However, taxes didn’t fluctuate under the Carter administration. They were 70-75% under Nixon and Ford. They were an astronomical 90% under Eisenhower and DROPPED under JFK and Johnson. That’s why everyone started “investing” in the Caymans and, briefly, in Cuba. No one is suggesting that taxes return to these unfair levels. But the off-seas tax shelters of this bygone era need to be eliminated, now that the taxes for the wealthiest Americans is within a reasonable rate of 35%.  If the wealthiest stop cheating on their taxes (ahem, Glen Beck.. stop playing the victim) there may not be a need to raise taxes.

He claims that the upcoming tax hike will be unfair. It’s a three percent hike. It’s an adjustment for tough times. When things are git up, I am sure it will come down again.

U-Fact 1: Reagan ignored the #1 health threat in America which has cost 100s of billions of dollars. To the GOP that’s what cuts in spending means, penny wise and pound foolish.

C-Fact 2:  The filmmaker mentions that Bush only got half the equation right. He raised spending while lowering taxes (the only major accomplishment of his eight years). This was due to the war on terror. Truth: Bush convinced the nation to invade the wrong county and told everyone it would be free. Once the truth was known the GOP controlled congress did nothing to correct this. When Republicans talk about cutting spending that means taking away Grandma’s social security and medicare. Those they call “hobos” will lose their unemployement checks.

U-Fact 2: Reagan’s tax cuts were too low, put us in a recession and eventually cost his George H.W. Bush’s second term, because he was forced to raise them. Kind of what it is like now.

C-Fact 3: In California, Pete Wilson gave Grey Davis a surplus, which he then turned into a deficit. Bush was given a bigger surplus and blew it in a year. Which begs the question, what happened in 2000? Oh, yeah the dot com bust. I was out of work for 8 months. Bush was on vacation for three of those.

And it goes on and on and on….

No one’s mind is going to changed by this film. And while the technical aspects show some promise the message is selective, “Our way or the highway.”

First Comment:

  1. Really a bombing is a meonsmir in that there will be no explosive bomb, only a chunk of a spacecraft being crashed into a crater of the moon near a pole at 2600 mph to puncture the crust and kick up some dust, hopefully revealing some water/ice that might be just below the surface.  The moon is pelted all of the time with meteorites and small asteroids that have caused the huge craters there over time.  This is due to no atmosphere there as we have on Earth which burns them up here most of time. We call them shooting stars .  Also without an atmosphere, some explosives needing oxygen wouldn’t work anyway plus they wouldn’t want to vaporize any water that might be there!The spacecraft which has been doing other research for the past couple of weeks wouldn’t be brought back to Earth anyway, so might as well crash it.

    Posted by Kazeem on 10/28 at 04:16 AM