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|YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!
The contents of this page have been bought with tax payer money!
—Ronald Reagan, who is likely turning in his grave right now.
—Chris's autistic explanation for his Tugboat
The monthly tugboat is Chris's euphemism for his Social Security Disability Insurance payment, which is deposited into his bank account via direct deposit on or about the 3rd of each month. Essentially, the U.S. government has a taxpayer-funded program to financially support disabled individuals whose injuries or ailments affect their ability to earn a living wage. Contrary to popular belief, Chris's check isn't a need-based welfare check, nor is it meant to replace a paycheck for someone who is unable to work. Chris's disability check is meant to supplement the money he would receive at a low-paying job (the best he could hold down) and provide him enough money to live on his own. Chris, with his massive sense of entitlement, chooses not to work and mooches off his mother instead, blowing his tugboat on vidya. Unfortunately, this doesn't disqualify him from receiving disability.
In 2010, Chris received $809 each month, with $580 going to his parents for room, board, and to pay toward his credit card debt. The rest of it generally goes towards video games, junk food, or other frivolous purchases. However, $229 per month (about $7.50 per day) was (and is) nowhere near enough to satisfy Chris's need for games, porn, PlayStation Network downloads, a constant supply of Chicken McNuggets, gallons of Coke, and, since the summer of 2009, alcohol. As of January 2010, he owed roughly $3,500 in credit card debt, some on cards of his own and some on cards he stole from his parents. Indeed, according to one of his bank statements, at the end of one month he had fewer than $3 left in his account. Even more, just by straight spending and no other extra income, he put himself $452.57 in the red.
After his father's death in September 2011, Chris's tugboat increased, and as of 2014, Chris was receiving approximately $1300 a month in welfare money.
As a result of 26 December 2014, it is very possible that if Chris is ruled guilty during at least one trial that has not undergone continuances, he will lose his tugboat privileges.
Chris's Economic Logic
Challenged by a correspondent in the Mailbag, Chris claimed that he is not wasting his taxpayer-funded "tugboat", because he is putting that money back into the economy and indirectly paying the tugboats of others. According to Chris's logic, by purchasing useless commercial goods, he is paying sales tax which the government puts directly back into the hands of the needy. This is a tremendous leap of faulty rationalization, even for Chris, and he fails to elaborate on his shaky economic theories in any detail. If you thought he didn't understand money before, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Another thing to take into consideration is that while Chris spends a chunk of his social security on American products like McDonald's, Chris spends most of it on video games. The problem is his game systems (PSP, Nintendo DS, Wii, and PlayStation 3) come from Japanese companies. Yes, these companies have American bases and a very small amount is produced in the U.S., but the majority is produced, developed and imported from Japan. So the money he spends goes to the retailer, which goes to the employees wages and fixed costs of the retailer's expenses that keep it functioning, which will be possibly be spent in America thus be put into the U.S. economy, the rest will given to the foreign company's employees and fixed costs that keep them functioning, which will be spent in Japan, thus being put back into Japan's economy. However, if Chris was an Xbox consumer, the majority of it would be put back into the U.S. economy, as Microsoft is a U.S. based company, with a majority of its products being developed and manufactured in the U.S. and a large majority of it employees being Americans. In the same way buying a car from American companies like GM stimulates the U.S. economy, and buying a foreign car like a Honda doesn't and stimulates their foreign economies, Chris could help the economy by getting over his irrational hatred of the HEXBox.
On the advice of his dead father, Chris doesn't get a job, supposedly because the tugboat gives him more money overall. However, Bob was totally wrong. At the time of this writing, minimum wage in the state of Virginia is $7.25, pursuant to federal minimum wage. If Chris were to somehow do a complete 180° on his life, get off disability, and begin working a full forty-hour week, his monthly income before taxes and rent payment would be approximately $1,260 USD. This would put Chris's annual income range, before tax, at roughly $15,100. Subtracting what he pays his parents to live in filth, as well as the 5% tax his income range mandates in the state of Virginia, Chris could very likely be left with a ridiculous $9,000 in spending money, enough for many more sex toys and video games. Contrast this with the $2,748 Chris pulls in annually from the government after paying off his parents.
Even if this weren't enough, the most cursory research reveals that a SSDI beneficiary could have earned from $700 a month in the year 2000, when Chris was 18, to $1,000 a month in 2010 without losing a cent of their SSDI payments. It's clear that Bob's decision to encourage Chris's unemployment comes from negligence, ignorance, blind delusion, or the knowledge that his son is a total failure who can bring nothing but shame on himself and his family. His enabling has caused Chris to miss out on over $100,000 in potential earnings through the end of 2010, which could buy a lot of bras, faux-china, children's toys, and PS3 accessories covered in Lego.
If Bob's motivation came from the reasonable assumption that Chris could never survive in a real-world workplace environment, of course, one wonders why he kept unleashing Chris to run amok on an unsuspecting public.
In the Father Call, Chris claims that his disability check is "a stepping-stone in the right direction of [him] moving out." Given Chris's tendency to waste his free money on frivolous junk rather than put it towards anything that might improve his life, he was probably just telling Matt what he thought he wanted to hear.
Total Cost to Taxpayers
Rough calculations and estimations say that if Chris lives into his 80s, given reasonable "cost of living" increases to his tugboat annually, he will receive roughly $1,000,000 over his lifetime from the American taxpayer. In this day and age, that's chump change and he'd amass a larger fortune if he simply got off his ass and got a career; of course, it's extremely unlikely that he will live anywhere near that long.
Since Bob's death, it's not known how much of Chris's tugboat goes to his mother to spend on
boxes of useless clutter necessary items, but given that they asked for cash donations in Bob's obituary, she probably has to take most of it.
References by Chris
- The earliest known use of the term "monthly tugboat" was in March 2007 in Chris's first e-mail to his half-brother Cole Smithey. When introducing himself, Chris says, "I'm getting by livin' with my folks and a monthly tugboat." He does not actually explain what a "monthly tugboat" is supposed to be.
- An e-mail to Megan from August 2007 recounts Chris's purchase of Guitar Hero with his latest tugboat check.
- During the Miyamoto Saga, Chris claimed he was waiting for his tugboat (in an e-mail to "Miyamoto" himself, no less) to fix technical problems with his website.
- In Mumble #1, Chris mentions that he'll have to wait for his next tugboat to buy some new content for Ape Escape on the PSP.
- In BlueSpike PSN Chat #4, Chris tells Julie that he can't make it to Ohio until his next tugboat comes in.
- Since late 2009, Chris seemed to have mostly given up the term "tugboat", possibly because of its extensive adoption by trolls in the Mumble chats, the Mailbag, and elsewhere. In the Father Call, he refers to it as his "monthly income", while in the Jackie e-mails he simply says he's on Social Security, although he did refer to it once as a "tugboat" in Mailbag #34.
- The BlueSpike Skype logs, quoted at the top of the page shine a light on the origin of the term.
- In one of the Jackie chat logs, he wrote about the reason he deserves the welfare:
[7:47 pm] CWC: Originally, I was given that blessing through my father, on one theory of me NOT being able to do the basics of a job, which I have told you I disagree with fully.
—Jackie, destroying Chris with sound logic.
- Jackie Chat #7
- Mailbag #34