Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, October 12, 2008
ISSUE #520
#520 October 12, 2008

Comments from readers:

“One of your very best! Your original contributions exceeded WR ‘s stuff this time.”  Allan  S.
“Excellent!”  Cara
“Great article and ideas” Bruce L.

Needed: Fewer politicians, more engineers and accountants

COLUMBUS: Let’s see. The $700 Billion bailout was passed to “stabilize the economy”. Since it was first proposed, the economy has stabilized all right, about $7 Trillion below what it was at the time.

Gasoline is $2.80. It may go down to a dollar a gallon, but we won’t have a dollar to buy it with.

The Treasury Secretary put an engineer in charge of the $700 Billion program. He figured the economists let us get into this mess, may as well appoint an engineer to clean it up. You know, this $700 Billion is to be “invested”, and a few years down the road we’re supposed to get it back, except a few Billion thrown in the pork barrel for rum, wool, fish and a horde of other items no honorable Congressman would have dared attach to a smaller bill. So you can expect the first announcement from this engineer to be, “Nobody gets any pork from this bill until the $700 Billion investment is paid back in full.”

This financial mess was caused by banks being forced to give mortgages to people with no chance of paying it back. And who did the forcing? Mainly Democrats in Congress. You might ask, why are you blaming the Democrats? Well, can you imagine a conservative Republican ever demanding that banks make such loans? Regardless of party, what we need in Congress is fewer politicians and more accountants.

If Congress insists on a stimulus package for individuals, I propose this one: Whatever federal income tax you owe in December you get to keep. With this provis 50% of it must be put into a regular bank account or used to pay off your debts; 25% spent on Christmas presents made in America; and 25% donated to the Salvation Army or local charity to help the poor. That way, your bank gets some cash to loan out, the poor get to eat, and your family enjoys a holiday.

In the final debate this week, I want Bob Scheiffer to ask one question of the candidates. They have been asked it before, but promptly ignored it. “How will this financial mess we’re in change your plans as President?” Bob remembers the Depression and how long it lasted, and he may make ’em wrestle with this question and how they’ll deal with it, for the entire 90 minutes if necessary. Where’s Ross Perot when we need him?

On Wednesday I donated blood at the Red Cross. While I was laying there with a needle in one arm, on the television they were talking about AIG needing another $40 Billion, presumably for a few more executive retreats at a half million each. I suggested to the nice nurse collecting my blood that if we can’t send ’em to jail, at least they ought to be tied down and take out some of their blood. She snapped back at me,”But nobody would want it.”

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“When Wall Street took that tail spin, you had to stand in line to get a window to jump out of, and speculators were selling space for bodies in the East River… You know there is nothing that hollers as quick and as loud as a gambler.” DT#1013, Oct. 24, 1929

“Sure must be a great consolation to the poor people who lost their stock in the late crash to know that it has fallen in the hands of Mr. Rockefeller, who will take care of it and see that it has a good home and never be allowed to wander around unprotected again. There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.” DT #1019, Oct. 31, 1929

“Our whole Depression was brought on by gambling, not in the stock market alone but in expanding and borrowing and going in debt, all just to make some money quick.” Radio, May 5, 1935

“Candidates have been telling you that if elected they would ‘pull you from this bog hole of financial misery.’ Now is a good chance to get even with ’em, by electing ’em, just to prove what a liar they are.” DT #1334, Nov.2, 1930

“If you got a dollar, soak it away, put it in a savings bank, bury it, do anything but spend it. Spending when we didn’t have it put us where we are today. Saving when we’ve got it will get us back to where we was before we went cuckoo.” DT #1353, Nov. 24, 1930

“While the Republicans are smart enough to make money, the Democrats are smart enough to get in office two or three times a century and take it away from them… Now the Republicans admit that they’re rich and that they’re the smarter ones and can make money faster, so it’s a good thing the old Democrats come along and level ’em off every once in a while. If they are so smart, why let ’em go out and make some more because they’re going to have to pretty soon.” Radio, June 24, 1932

“The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.” WA #63, 1924

“We’ll hold the distinction of being the only nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile.” Radio, Oct 18, 1931

“Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers we can recruit with nerve, but we just can’t find one politician in a million with backbone.” DT #800, Feb. 18, 1929


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