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Sunday, July 08, 2012 ISSUE #715
 

Drought and health debate heat up the country
   

    Most folks have the electric power back on, but the heat and dry weather are still scorching much of the country. Of course, a hundred degrees and no rain is kinda normal for Oklahoma and Texas. But around here, it’s enough to send people scurrying inside if they can find a cool place.

    It’s even worse for the crops, especially corn. This year is shaping up to be drier than 1988 for the Corn Belt states. It might be the hottest summer around here since the 1930s. Some folks are blaming it on global warming, but really it fits a pattern. My friend, Elwynn Taylor, at Iowa State University, says that the Midwest has had a severe drought about every 19 or 20 years going back over 500 years. Now, neither one of us is that old, but he uses geological records based partly on the width of tree rings. We’ve been overdue for a bad one, and if this is it, why, the prospects for the next several years will be rosier.

    Another contributor to the heat is the campaign. Both sides are spouting out more heat than reason. 

    In 1923 I said, “If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics.”
The new health care law is exhibit #1 for 2012. The Supreme Court approved it only after scratching out “penalty” and writing in “tax”.  But President Obama says it’s not a tax, it’s a penalty because Mitt Romney said one time it’s a penalty. Now I blame Chief Justice John Roberts for this confusion. Instead of rewriting the law himself, he should have called up the President and Congress, and told ‘em, “If you want us to say this law is constitutional, first you have to go back and present it as a tax and vote for it as a tax. If it’s still a penalty, it’s unconstitutional.”  Of course, there’s about 20 other or additional taxes in that law, and anyone fortunate to be employed with an income will be paying ‘em. Probably.

    Then along comes the idea for “single payer” health care, which sounds terrific, like a children’s bedtime story. Does it mean that all 300 million of us could get sick, and there would be a “single payer” for all the bills? Who is this generous wealthy benefactor? Santa Claus? Well, no, it’s the government, which already overspends by 40 percent. This generous debtor-benefactor will have to collect more income taxes from those already paying income taxes, meaning that 10% would pay about 70% of the total health care costs.

    The health care law will create a need for way more doctors. Did you notice the provision in the law to recruit, train and hire thousands of new... IRS agents? No mention about where the thousands of doctors might come from.       

    Regardless of who gets elected Nov. 6, he is in for a terrible jolt. Expiring tax cuts, automatic cuts in federal spending, economic slowdowns in Europe, China and India.  I heard John Stockman on a TV show say, “When the winner sees the problems facing the country, he’ll probably ask for a recount.”

Historic quote by Will Rogers:
    “We shouldn’t elect a President; we should elect a magician.” 
DT #1196, May 26, 1930


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