Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, October 5, 2008
ISSUE #519
#519 October 5, 2008

Restoring Confidence costs $700 Billion and a bottle of Rum

COLUMBUS: The big news last Friday came out of Washington. The Senate and the House passed a huge bill, the biggest in American history. And here’s what the bill does. It subsidizes Puerto Rican rum, Somoan fishermen, wooden arrows, sheep’s wool and bicycles.

Now, if I had known Congress was so concerned about sheep and bicycles, I might have requested a few million for cattle and horses. With the high price of corn and oats and hay to feed ’em, our ranchers could use the extra loot. I’m confident I could have got it, too, if I had arranged to send each Senator and Congressman a few cases of Puerto Rican rum. That’s what appeared to put the whole thing over, was rum. On Monday they were against the bill, but by Friday they had drunk enough Puerto Rican rum to vote in favor of it.

Of course they don’t call it the “Rum, Wool and Bicycle Bailout Bill”. No, it’s a “Rescue Bill”. It’s funded with $700 Billion from the Taxpayers (hereafter known as the “Rescuers”) which will be turned over to Wall Street and the Bankers (hereafter known as the “Rescuees”). In return for rescuing the Rescuees, the Rescuers have been assured that the Rescuees will do all in their power to Restore Confidence.

As I was watching the debate between the Vice-Presidential candidates I was reminded that Sarah Palin got her big boost in politics because she was appointed to the Alaska Oil Commission and cleaned up the corruption. That’s what got her elected Governor later on. It got me thinking, if some President a few years ago had been smart enough to appoint Sarah Palin, or someone like her, to the Board of Fannie Mae and Freddie, we could’ve saved the country $700 Billion. Except of course for the portion set aside for rum, wool, arrows, fish and bicycles.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on restoring confidence)

“America already holds the record for freak movements. Now we have a new one. It’s called “Restoring Confidence.” Rich men who never had a mission in life outside of watching a stock ticker are working day and night “restoring confidence.” Writers are working night shifts, speakers’ tables are littered up, ministers are preaching statistics, all on “restoring confidence.”

Now I am not unpatriotic, and I want to do my bit, so I hereby offer my services to my President, my country and my friends to do anything (outside of serving on a commission) that I can in this great movement. But you will have to give me some idea of where “confidence” is. And just who you want it restored to.” DT #1035, Nov. 19, 1929

“I have been trying my best to help (the President) and Wall Street “Restore Confidence.” Confidence, is one of the hardest things in the World to get restored once it gets out of bounds. I have helped restore a lot of things in my time, such as cattle back to the home range. Helped to revive interest in National Political Conventions. Even assisted the Democrats in every forlorn pilgrimage, and a host of other worthy charities. But I tell you this “Restoring Confidence” is the toughest drive I ever assisted in. When I took up the work two or three weeks ago, confidence was at a mighty low ebb. Wall Street had gone into one tail spin after another…

I am telling (folks) that the Country as a whole is “Sound,” and that all those who’s heads are solid are bound to get back into the market again. I tell ’em that this Country is bigger than Wall Street, and if they don’t believe it, I show ’em the map.” WA #362, Dec.1, 1929

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