Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, February 21, 2010
ISSUE #591
#591 Feb. 21, 2010

Weekly Comments: Congress, Canada and curling for gold  COLUMBUS: President Obama announced he will meet with Congress this week on the health care bill. So many have announced they are leaving, he is hoping they still have a quorum. Senator Bayh of Indiana is the latest. He wrote a column in the New York Times saying that he will not run for re-election because the Senate is not like it was in the old days. He says that filibusters and political bickering get in the way of passing good bills today, and he wants to help reform the Senate to make it more like it was years ago. (See historic quotes) Most of the bickering and discontent today is from a lack of money. A politician at any level, whether Democrat or Republican, likes to play Santa Claus and pass out the presents. But it’s no fun to play Scrooge, and say, “No, the well has run dry, and the feed trough is empty.” The Governors are gathered in Washington this week. They arrived in their red suits and sleighs, hoping to return home with a bag full of presents. Everybody in the country has heard the news that the federal government is broke, except these governors. We know states are in a quandary. In Ohio, for example, the Columbus Dispatch says that the budget must be cut by $7 Billion, and that if the governor were to fire all 58,000 state employees he would still be $2 Billion short. It’s pretty bad when an Ohio governor might have to lay off all his state workers, and then have to borrow 20,000 employees from Michigan and fire them too, just to balance his budget. The problem is a matter of distribution. In Ohio 85% of state money is passed down to local governments. So local units get their money from the state, states get theirs from the Federal, and the Federal government get theirs from, who else, local individuals and businesses. (Except for what they borrow from China.) The solution is for each level to collect just what they need. See, when most of the money gets collected in Washington, then shuffled back through the state capitals, and eventually to the ones that paid it in the first place you’re lucky to get back a nickel on the dollar. We’ve been working for months on an important trade deal with Canada, and tonight we messed up and made them mad. Our young hockey team went up to Vancouver and knocked out the veteran Canadian team. Now, Canada is still in the hunt, but they’ve got a better chance of winning gold in curling than in hockey. Historic quotes from Will Rogers: “The Senate is having what is called a filibuster. The name is just as silly as the thing itself. It means that a man can get up and talk for 15 or 20 hours at a time, then be relieved by another, just to keep some bill from coming to a vote, no matter about the merit of this particular bill, whether it’s good or bad.” WA #12, March 4, 1923 “Anything that has to pass by that Senate is just like a Rat having to pass a Cat Convention; it’s sure to be pounced on, and the more meritorious the scheme is the less chance it has of passing.” WA #385, May 11, 1930 “Cussing Congress was never as popular as it is now. They are not doing the best they can, but they are doing the best they know how.” WA #492, May 29, 1932


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