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Sunday, February 22, 2009 ISSUE #539
 

Weekly Comments: Congress vacations while President multiplies and divides

COLUMBUS: Congress is on vacation. Passing the big stimulus exhausted 'em, so they left town to rest up before returning for another crack at saving the country.

Most of these Congressmen and Senators went home to face the voters. Democrats explained why they are for the stimulus, but confessed they don't know when the money will show up. Republicans confessed they voted against it, but are willing to claim credit for any dollars coming to their district.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn't go home. She flew directly to Rome to see the Pope. While others did their confessing locally, but she went straight to the top.

With Congress out of town, Governors and Mayors converged on the White House to see how much of the loot they could carry home. Arnold Swartzenegger camped out at the gate to be first in line. President Obama has promised to give to each according to need, but they must spend it wisely. Arnold said after California gets all they need, what's left for the other 49 won't buy 'em bus tickets home.

President Obama announced that he aims to cut the deficit in half by 2012. Asked how he planned to accomplish that, he said, "First, compared to a couple of years ago, we're going to double it. Then cutting it in half won't seem so tough." He thanked President Bush for helping him with the doubling, and now he's looking to sign up folks to help with the halving.

The big banks are, well, they aren't as big as you might think. If you bank with Citibank or Bank of America, odds are your account in the bank is worth more than the total stock value of the bank.

All these banks got billions from the government, but they don't want to lend it. Even if they're willing to lend, nobody wants to borrow. We're learning how to make do with what we got, fix it up, repair it ourselves, or get along without. It was almost a lost art here, but we learn fast when the need arises. Why, the next round of loan requests will likely come this spring from folks to buy seed and fertilizer to grow their own vegetable gardens.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"I see where Jesse Jones and his R.F.C. (Redistribution Finance Corporation) are not satisfied with the way the banks are just sitting counting their money. So to make the banks ashamed of themselves the R.F.C. is going to make loans to industries. The banks will be so humiliated that they will be the first ones to borrow all that Jesse has. Jesse, you've been a banker yourself; you ought to know you can't shame a banker, especially a big one." DT #2301, Dec. 18, 1933

"Everybody is saying that the trouble with the country is that people are saving instead of spending... Since when did saving become a national calamity? Spending when we didn't have it puts us where we are today. Saving when we have got it will get us back to where we was before we went cuckoo." DT #1353, Nov. 24, 1930

#539 February 22, 2009


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