Will offers debate questions, and answers

The first Presidential debate is Wednesday night. I hope we get them talking TO each other instead of talking ABOUT each other. We’ve heard plenty of low-down nasty accusations on television. Whether there’s an inkling of truth in ‘em doesn’t seem to matter. Win the election, apologize later if forced to.

The debate lasts 90 minutes. Maybe Romney will have time to explain which deductions and tax breaks he will reduce or eliminate to make up for a lower tax rate. Naturally, his tax proposals can’t go into effect till they got through Congress. And he could talk about what government actions he’ll can take to get businesses to hire 250,000 workers every month.

Maybe President Obama will explain why he blamed the Muslim terrorist attacks on a video. Also, what would he change about his economic plan since it is still a mess.  Franklin Roosevelt had some advice that might work for him, “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still. Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another.”

You may remember a few weeks ago I “arranged” a debate between former presidents Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Here are two questions you might hear Wed. night, and some answers our 2012 candidates might consider.
Moderator: What is the proper role of religion in America? In our government?
FDR: “I am a Christian and a Democrat, that’s all. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another seeks to destroy all religion… Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force. ”
Coolidge: “Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberality, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government.”

Moderator: What about the national debt?  To reduce trillion dollar deficits, do you favor more taxes on the wealthy?
Coolidge: “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong… Wealth comes from industry and from the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity… There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.”
FDR: “Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay…The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“They have both called each other everything in the world they can think of.” 
DT #1948, Nov. 1, 1932
 “Both sides just spent the whole summer hunting up things to cuss the other side on. That the other side might be right in a lot of things never entered their head, in fact they wouldn’t let it enter it.” WA #514, Oct. 30, 1932

Washington is living high on the hog

Newspaper headline says, “Incomes in DC region defy trends.”  Seven of the ten counties with the highest incomes surround Washington, DC. Did I miss something? Is Washington a major manufacturing center? Did Apple and Microsoft move there? Is that area known for highly productive workers?

Maybe we would be better off as a country if seven of the top ten counties were around Detroit, or Pittsburgh, or Des Moines. Jobs and high incomes should go to people who produce, not the ones who live off the taxes paid by ones who produce. About six weeks ago I suggested that if the price of a house in the region around Washington dropped a third like it has in other areas, that would be a good indication the country is headed in the right direction.

In Libya the majority of Muslims are so fed up with the radical Islamists who murdered our ambassador they attacked their headquarters and ran them out of town. Kinda like the old Western towns of 150 or so years ago, the town folk banded together and got rid of the riffraff that kept shooting up the place. Let’s encourage these peace-loving Muslims to band together and rid the world of the radicals who are living a hundred years behind civilization.

The President finally realized what the rest of us knew for days. The September 11attack in Libya was planned, not spontaneous. They can blame a third rate amateur movie about Mohammed for enraging the Islamic world, but terrorists don’t need any new excuses to start shooting. They’re still mad about incidents that happened a few hundred years ago. And speaking of bad movies, Hollywood has put out quite a few movies that could cause a legitimate protest, mainly by those who paid to see ‘em.

Congress left town without passing a “Farm Bill.” (Actually 80 percent of the farm bill appropriation goes for food stamps, not to farmers.) But don’t worry. Farmers won’t stop harvesting crops or milking cows or feeding hogs and chickens on October 1. They may complain to each other about a do-nothing Congress, but they won’t go on strike. And those food stamp debit cards will continue to pay for food the same as cash.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“History does not record as terrible a place as Washington is now. It is under government control, and if we can’t do anything with it, what kind of example are we setting for other cities?”

“Washington, DC, has an underground tunnel running from the government offices to the Capitol. That’s so when Senators and Congressmen receive their checks every month, they can get to their homes without someone arresting them for robbery.”

“No nation can tell another nation what they need to defend themselves. If I sleep with a gun under my pillow, I don’t want somebody from across the street to “advise me that I don’t need it.” DT #1913, Sept. 21, 1932

Radical Islamists kill (again) on 9/11

The Administration announced that the murder of our Ambassador and 3 others in Libya on Sept. 11 was the result of a “spontaneous” protest. Sure, it was spontaneous in the same way thousands of men with guns suddenly appear in the woods the first day of deer season.

Al Qaeda is behind the embassy attack in Egypt and other Muslim countries. They even taunted us with signs that read, “Obama, we’re all Osamas.”  Of course we know that 1.5 billion Muslims are not all radical Islamists like Osama bin Laden. It sure would help if 1.499 billion wonderful peace-loving followers of the Islam faith would rise up and take out the terrorists.

I think our Marines protecting diplomats in Muslim countries should have bullets in their guns. And the guns given to new Afghan trainees should have blanks.

The Federal Reserve Board met and Ben Bernanke announced he will start up the old   printing press again. Ben is pretty much telling folks to take their money out of banks and CDs, and buy something with it before the price goes up. The 0.25% interest they might give you on a saving account won’t be enough to buy groceries and sure won’t keep up with inflation.  Or invest your savings in something risky, just trying to keep ahead of the printing press.

Bernanke intends to print $40 Billion in new money every month. In four years that could add up close to $2 Trillion. If you did it, you would be jailed for counterfeiting.

The Chicago teachers union is on strike for a 30% raise even though they already make twice as much as the families in the city. And they object to having their performance in school count for anything. With that philosophy, no wonder the students don’t bother to learn. The union is taking a big risk by staying off the job a second week. Kids who stay home with their parents are learning more than they did in school. When they finally agree on a new contract, the high school teachers will read it to their students – because so few of their students can read. And apparently, neither can a couple of the teachers.

I heard that Congress is on vacation again. But how can you tell?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“There is two things that can disrupt business in this country. One is war, and the other is a meeting of the Federal Reserve.”  DT #837, Apr. 2, 1929

“There is very little dignity, very little sportsmanship, or very little anything in politics. It’s only: Get the Job and Hold It!” DT #1949, Nov. 2, 1932

After the conventions, we’re ready for…

Finally, the political conventions are over and America can concentrate on what really matters – football.
The Republicans had their peculiar episode when Clint Eastwood talked to an empty chair. The Democrats countered by removing God and Jerusalem from their Platform, then trying to put ‘em back in. First, Mayor Villaraigosa called for a voice vote three times and each time got as many “No” votes as “Aye” votes. Regardless, he declared the amendment passed. Half the delegates booed.
Here’s the Democrats’ mistake. When you have a vote where you know the result you want, have it run by a mayor from Chicago, not Los Angeles. A Chicago mayor’s roots go back to Al Capone and Bugs Moran, so here’s how he would have conducted the vote: “Delegates, we’re gonna put God back in the platform and it requires a two-to-one Yes vote. If you plan to vote “Yes”, good for you. If you even think about voting “No”, be prepared for an iron pipe to touch up your kneecaps. And we would not want television cameras to show any of you nice folks hobbling out of here on crutches. All in favor, say Aye. (Loud response.) All opposed, say No. (Dead silence.) The amendment passed unanimously.” Now, THAT’S how they vote in Chicago.
Wednesday night Bill Clinton gave a rousing speech. On Thursday night, folks figured President Obama might endorse the Clinton economic plan. But he didn’t. Instead he offered a “better path.”  That may sound encouraging to you but for us old country folks who grew up with “four rooms and a path”, we want running water and flush toilets, not a better path. Obama reminded us of Franklin Roosevelt’s challenge ending the Great Depression, implying that we might have to elect him to four terms.
On Friday, the jobs report came out. The good news was that unemployment dropped from 8.3 to 8.1%. The bad news was that 368,000 folks gave up and stopped looking for work. So if President Obama does the arithmetic as Bill Clinton suggested, he will work hard the next month or two getting unemployment under 8% by persuading another 368,000 to drop out.
Of course, this is all silly. But no sillier or outrageous than what you will hear in speeches and commercials the next two months. Who’s ready for some football?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“I tell you, if we got just one-tenth of what was promised to us in either the Democratic or Republican acceptance speech, there wouldn’t be any inducement to want to go to heaven.”  1928
“Now that the Conventions are over and I sit and think of the amount of applesauce and hooey that was spilled there, you wonder that we are even doing as well as we are as a nation.”

Where should the recovery start? Top, bottom or middle?

The Republicans ended their convention in time for the Democrats to start theirs. According to reports, hardly anyone watched the Republicans, and the prospects don’t look any better for the Democrats. This is surprising. All of us taxpayers spent millions and millions to put on each one, so you would think we would at least watch ‘em to see what we are getting for our money. These conventions are so over-priced and ritzy, you would think they were organized by the GSA.

The Republicans had a line up of sixty speakers that included Gov. Christy, Gov. Martinez, Sen. Rubio, Sen. McCain, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Huckebee, Clint Eastwood, and families that attended the same Mormon church as the Romneys. Mrs. Romney spoke on love, and raising to adulthood her 5 boys (6 counting Mitt).

The Democrats plan to bring in Bill Clinton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Schumer, Sen. Kerry, Mayor Villaraigosa, Eva Longoria, Sandra Fluke and about 75 more. Mrs. Obama could speak about love, but if she doesn’t, it’ll be left to Eva and Sandra to discuss love as they see it.

Sculptors are carving a huge 25-foot statue of President Obama for the convention. Kinda reminds me of Mount Rushmore. However, is it wise for a magnificent statue of a president who wants to leave an enduring, permanent legacy to be carved out of sand? Why, the Republicans could sneak in some night with a power washer. Nothing left of Obama but a beach towel.  Not even an empty chair.

I think President Obama heard about a suggestion I made in 1935, during the Great Depression: “One (party) wants the recovery to start from the bottom, and the other wants it to start from the top. I don’t know which is right. I’ve never heard of anybody suggesting that they might start it in the middle, so I hereby make that suggestion because it’s the middle class that does everything anyhow.” He tried for four years to start it at the bottom, with food stamps, welfare and unemployment checks and that didn’t get him anywhere but deeper in debt. For the next four he wants to focus on the middle class, and that could be a winning hand. The Republicans always start at the top, but they have a tough time convincing rich Republicans (and Democrats) to part with their money voluntarily, and hire somebody.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (reporting from Democratic National Conventions)
The keynote speaker told things on the Republicans that would have made anybody else but Republicans ashamed of themselves. (1924)
At a Democratic National Convention there is always something that will stir up an argument, even if they all agree.  (1928)
What the Democratic Convention lacks in class in comparison with the Republican one, why, they will make up in noise. (1924)
Now they have adjourned and can’t do anything. If you can keep a Democrat from doing anything, you can save him from making a mistake.