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Monday, March 17, 2008 ISSUE #493

Politicians and J. P. Morgan haven't changed much

#493, March 17, 2008

COLUMBUS: Eliot Spitzer, governor of New York, kinda got caught with his pants down, and resigned. The scandal reminded me of something I wrote eighty years ag "Today they are voting in New York State on whether to keep a Governor two years or four. I think a good, honest Governor should get four years, and the others life." (Nov. 8, 1927)

I included that line in a talk Saturday in Wickenburg, Arizona. Afterwards a ranch lady who had seen Spitzer with his wife on television, told me she was tired of seeing these various wives have to go endure such embarrassment with their scandalous husbands, "Just once, I would like to see the wife haul off and slug him." You know, that might be as good a preventive measure as the threat of a life sentence.

J. P. Morgan stepped up again to save the country, like he often did in the 1930s. JP Morgan Chase volunteered to pay a couple of dollars for Bear Stearns if the government committed thirty Billion to make sure they didn't lose any dough on the deal. Some homeowners behind on mortgage payments are complaining: why should a big investment bank getting bailed out, but not us. Well, I can assure those distraught folks that Mr. Morgan will be happy to take the house off their hands if they are willing to accept two cents on the dollar. He won't even ask for a government guarantee.

Just when you figured Florida democrats had figured out a compromise, they announced, "No, we'll sit this one out." Only chance for those Democrats is to find a state that ain't voted yet (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan??), and move there for the summer.

One thing you can count on, whether Republican or Democrat: taxes are due in a month.

Historical quotes from Will Rogers:

"You can tell this is an election year from the way these appropriation bills are passing. It will take the taxpayers fifty years to pay for the votes in this election. Our only solution seems to be to fix it so people who are in a hole through borrowing can borrow some more. Borrowing, that's what's the matter with the world today. If no individual or country could borrow a dime for five years that would be the greatest five-year plan ever invented." DT # 1717, Jan. 25, 1932

"The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. (President) Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickled down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the driest little spot. But he dident know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow's hands. They saved the big banks but the little ones went up the flue." WA # 518, Nov. 27, 1932

"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make one out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr. Of course, people are getting smarter nowadays; they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guides. There is some talk of lowering it, and they will have to. People are not making enough to pay it." WA #17, April 8, 1923

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