When Bitter Republicans Tip (or more precisely, when they don’t)

by Joey deVilla on January 8, 2013

An online acquaintance of mine stumbled across this gem left for waitstaff by a patron:

Note left for waitress: "As a direct result of Proposition 30 and President Obama's insistence that I pay 'MY FAIR SHARE IN TAXES', I find that I must cut back on discretionary spending and gratuities. I wish it didn't have to be this way for both of us."

Some suggested interpretations of this message include:

  • “You may have already suspected that I was an asshole, but I have left you some documentation just in case.”
  • “I’m incredibly angry and not entirely sure who to blame so i lash out at everyone around me.”
  • “I’m mad about having to pay to keep the country running, and I’ve decided the most effective way to make my displeasure with this governmental policy known to the people responsible is to take it out my impotent rage on waitresses.”

And just to put things in perspective:

Chart: "The United States is a Low-Tax Country"

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil January 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I find it interesting in the graph the OECD has combined provincial/federal tax rate for Canada while only quoting the federal rate for the US. If you live in CA or NY, the tax rate is more like 40 to 45%!

Still, I agree with your sentiments.

Diandra January 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Having lived in both Ontario and Alberta, and now living in California I can honestly say that Canada taxes the everliving shit out of you. Way better here, and keep in mind I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. Where the tax rate is… unforgiving.

brantm January 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I doubt the fool that left this has an income high enough to be paying additional taxes.

Morgan Hills January 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Clearly the person responsible for the note is a jerk, but do we know what the average gratuity is for a meal in these other countries. If I recall, waitstaff in Germany earn a smaller proportion of money in the form of tips than wages. Just wondering if there is some correlation…

Rob January 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I quit reading boingboing because of the increasing political slant I saw emerging. I hoped it was done because I really used to love it. I chose today to give it another shot. This was the first post. I am neither Republican nor Democrat and I care little for the bashing of either side. Boingboing obviously enjoys it. I guess that I am going to give up on itfor good if this is penultimate experience Boingboing can offer. Petty hate filled ranting and finger pointing is counterproductive

Rohan Jayasekera January 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

If the server wasn’t already a fan of Obama’s, I suspect s/he is now. This card is yet another reflection of Republican self-destruction.

Les January 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

@morgan – I believe we are one of the few countries where waitstaff can be paid a wage severely below the legal mininum on the understanding that they receive tips. Friends from overseas always seem dumbstruck when I explain that the waiter makes $2 an hour.

Swanky January 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

This is probably a ruse by some TEA partier to not pay a tip and blame it on Obama.

Mark January 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm

@Rob — I see only one ranter here (aside from the note-leaver), but hey, don’t let the back button hit you in the ass on the way out.


You’re welcome.

FutureMan January 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

If you can’t afford to tip, you probably shouldn’t be eating out at a restaurant, right?

Maximum advocate January 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

You left Somalia off the list! Way to skew the results!

CultivatorX January 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Kick the loser out of the country if he doesn’t want to contribute….

BubbaGumpShrimp January 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Or in other words, “Please place bodily fluids in my food next time I come in. Don’t worry, Obamacare will cover it.”

bob January 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

as a california resident, i have to say that i think it’s bollocks that the tax was retroactively raised. that’s right, proposition 30 was approved in november, but it applies to all income earned in 2012. it’s things like this that make people hate the government – whether or not you think the tax rate is fair/high/low/whatever, you can’t effectively plan because the rules can be changed at any moment.

Paurian January 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

How can we be sure the person is a republican? Maybe the person was Jewish. Why not make some anti-Semite comment? The point is that using labels is nasty territory. If you want to label the person (we don’t know the gender according to the post) then label with what you know… The person was a jerk with a bitter chip and karma will have its day. The title of this post was clearly name calling and inappropriate. The other information was fun and informative. @Rob has a point.

Bruce Arthurs January 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hey, Rob, you need to turn your bed around 180 degrees, so you can stop getting out on the grumpy side every morning.

am January 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

@Paurian Wow. Because it’s SUCH a stretch to assume that a person who blamed Obama for being taxed is a Republican. They literally had cards printed up to bash the current Democratic president. It’s not rocket science to guess which party they are. Why would anyone assume they were Jewish when we’re talking about their politics? Being called a Republican isn’t some offensive slur comparable to assuming that because someone didn’t tip they must be a certain race or ethnicity.

Is it “nasty territory” to label Obama a Democrat? Labels are often useful and keep the world from being a big fog of confusion.

You called the person bitter and a jerk. How is name calling appropriate for you and not the OP?

P.S. Karma doesn’t exist. There’s no magic force that makes people get what they deserve. If they act like jerks, it just might come back to haunt them when people realize it, but, often, good things happen to bad people. Publicly calling out bad behavior lets people know it’s not acceptable way better than pretending some magical force will get even later on.

Slideguy January 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

One of those two-kinds-of-ways you can break the world down into is those who have worked in service and those who haven’t. Those who have, tip willingly. We’ve also noticed that the very wealthy are the cheapest.

Matt G January 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I call hoax unless I hear it from the wait-staff who received it (who, where, when, witnesses, etc). It’s way too easy to fake this for the sake of demographic-bashing. Mind you, it’s clever, mean-spirited, and funny in its own way, but that doesn’t make it true? Can we get some sort of verification on this one?

(and I love the wood tone of the table, sexy).

Ed Low January 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Simple rule: If you can’t afford to tip, then you can’t afford to eat out/drink in bars.

Also, he apparently had enough discretionary income to have these cards professionally printed. (Note the reflection from the glossy, raised print.) It’s also worth noting that basically no one that offers this kind of professional, offset printing sells business cards in lots of less than 500, so he must eat out a lot for someone struggling with this kind of crippling income reduction.

Charlie January 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm

The minimum wage for a server is $2.15/hour. I pay more than that for coffee. If you can’t tip well, you can’t afford the meal.

Patrick Morris January 9, 2013 at 12:34 am

Probably not smart to irritate the people who have your food in their possession before you see it….

Jeremy January 9, 2013 at 1:34 am

1. “Discretionary spending”?!?!?!!? THE CARD IS EMBOSSED.
2. Rob: “…Petty hate filled ranting and finger pointing…” Yeah, we liberals are really bad about that.
3. Also Rob: “…I am neither Republican nor Democrat…” (translation: “I am a Republican, but I want to use my party’s new super-power of PC-baiting and acting butthurt over the injustice of it all.”)
4. Seriously, when conservatives start playing the “can’t we all just get along” card you know things are fucked.

David B. Ingram January 9, 2013 at 4:21 am

Additional suggest interpretation, (should be #1 on the asshole-dar, In my view)

How much of an asshole do you have to be to PRINT UP, such a card, and leave that behind, its one thing to be a cheapskate, quite another to thumb somebody’s nose in it afterwards.

Bill January 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

He’s just a cheap bastard

Nat Nat January 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm

@Diandra: Don’t forget to add your HEALTH CARE to the equation. I moved from the US to Canada in 2005, and calculated that (US Federal + State + Health Care Premiums) was about equal to (Canada Federal + Provincial). The big difference is that when you lose or leave your job in Canada, your health care doesn’t go away.

Rob Strickler January 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

@Nat Nat, @Diandra: I have to agree with NatNat. Moving from Ontario to Illinois, I’ve seen comparable numbers too. Buying gas is a visible difference, but in terms of tax filing & healthcare, it’s a wash.

Now, don’t get me started on healthcare billing. That’s a complete mess in the ‘States.

CountSmackula January 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

While the message is “new”, the occurrence is not. I worked my way through college waiting tables (and occasionally tending bar) and I received religious tracts as ‘tips’; sub-10% tips from patrons paying with their Gold Card, when the food & service were “excellent” (I guess the verbal compliment should have been sufficient); and the remaining change when paid in cash (close as possible to the amount of the bill). I suppose none of them ever got paid $2.13 and had to count on gratuities to actually earn their living.

Of course there are the extreme opposite events. One night, I waited on Jim Varney and his party and earned almost $400 on a $600 dinner tab. “KnoWhutImean, Vern?”

Assholes are everywhere. C’est la vie.

Jessica January 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

that guy deserves piss in his food

bob January 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Facts hurt repugs heads!

Chico January 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Wow, you know it’s a Republican who left it just by the picture? Do you know anything other than their voter registration? We all need to resist the urge to jump to conclusions. I’ll wait for the SNOPES investigation. This seems a little too much like a Klansman saying, “Oh, see, black folks are like this!” When you hate the other side so much, you see what you want to see. And no, I’m not one, but I bet you assumed that too!

justme January 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm

If this really happened, this guy/gal is about as low as you can get. We should all realize the wait staff works their butts off to make our meals pleasurable. That alone deserves a minimum of 20% in my opinion. But I have to say, when adding Federal Income tax, FICA, State Tax, sales tax (8.75%), gasoline tax, and assorted fees (never call them taxes), taxes consumed about 45% of my income last year. And I will pay more when I file. No refunds for this kid.

DarkHumour January 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Has anyone suggested mounting this note into some kind of public display for the restaurant wall for other customers and employees to see ?

E.G. This is the kind of jerkass(es) we have to deal with…

This is as bad as those stupid religious tracts that are look like folded over money but then (SURPRISE!) Jesus instead.

Damn. And I was going to eat tonight.

Joel January 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm

The graph’s application is flawed. Tax rates are not accurately reflected by a graph that displays tax revenues. In fact, historically, the United States has had higher tax revenues under lower tax-rates.

P January 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I can afford to go out to eat, but a tip . . . well, that’s just too extravagant.

@BigB January 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm

What did people think… That the top earners being taxed more were going to just give another 10k+$ more than they already paid? When a gas station has to pay more for fuel, they don’t just eat the extra cost.. they pass it on to the consumer! Rich people own most business in this country, they are just going to pass the extra tax on the low income people.. “Who by the way don’t really pay taxes anyway.. Since they get more back at the end of the year than they paid in! ps. The note was a little unnecessary and left in bad judgement! just saying!

Joel F January 10, 2013 at 11:00 am

IMO this is probably either a hoax or is someone pushing a divisive agenda with subterfuge. Someone who is together enough and bold enough to print these up, carry them around and leave them instead of tips for ideological reasons is likely to understand the extent to which this would backfire. Now, someone looking for attention or who is just a jerkface… that would make sense. Believe it if you like but IMO you are probably getting played.

Mario January 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm

This GOP sore Loser should’ve styed home. If you cant afford to go out and eat, stay in and eat. So now, some server suffers.
The GOP wonders why people are running away from them. Case in point.

Jim January 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

If this was Ontario, and someone left this card implicating Premiere McGuinty for some sort of tax, what would this person be? A Conservative? A teacher? Someone from the NDP?

It must be nice to have such a simplistic system in the USA.

Chris January 11, 2013 at 12:21 am

I like that in his opinion “discretionary spending” doesn’t include eating out at restaurants.

Greg January 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm

As a server, this person will surely wait a long time for their next meal. Old age will set in before this prick gets a refill or anything else out of me. An extremely large chunk of lung butter might well be in their next meal as well.

Kip W January 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm

If this person eats at the same restaurant regularly, and gets a meal from the kitchen that doesn’t contain some amount of human bodily fluids, he probably has it sent back because there’s something ‘off’ about it.

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