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Sunday, March 01, 2009 ISSUE #540
 

Weekly Comments: A $3.5 Trillion budget, and no Paul Harvey to explain it

COLUMBUS: This country was sure glad to see February end. Bad news all around. President Obama told Congress the economy is in the dumps and what the country needs is "shared sacrifice." He wants the top taxpayers to sacrifice, and the other 95% to get their share. Then he announced that next year he wants the government to spend $3.5 Trillion. He didn't say where the money is coming from, but it's about a third more than they took in last year. Those of us among the 95% expecting a payment, don't bother putting it in your pocket; it's going right back to Washington.

Now, I've been working with you folks a few months, trying to get a handle on exactly how much is a Trillion. The way I figure it, if Adam and Eve had each started spending $100 an hour, and kept at it until today, they still would not have reached $3 Trillion. Yet, our president is confident that 565 Senators and Congressmen, with the help of a few million federal employees and 150 million who don't pay income taxes, can go through $3.5 Trillion in only 365 days!

The stock market losses for the month of February were the worst since 1933, mainly because of Citibank and other big banks. Of course in March 1933, Mr. Roosevelt took over and the first thing he did was close all the banks. Gave 'em a holiday. In March 2009, Mr. Obama, instead of closing these banks, wants to give 'em $350 Billion.

General Motors had a rough month. They say they need another $16 Billion, or $59,990 for every car sold in February. AIG asked for $30 Billion more so their executives can go to a Honolulu resort. They haven't been there since January.

Perhaps the most lasting (bad) news of the month is the passing of a fellow Oklahoma radio man, Paul Harvey. He started on a Tulsa radio station in 1933, at age 15, and he kept at it for 75 glorious years. Listeners of 1200 radio stations will sorely miss his voice of reason and optimism.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"I have heard every kind of reason given for our hard times and as causes of our slow recovery... The banks all failed because the interest people owed 'em was larger than the principal. What would be the matter with banking on a real percentage of business? The banker receives interest in accordance to what the borrower makes on the loan. If he don't make anything, he don't pay anything.
Well, that's about all for today. Be busy tomorrow reading telegrams from bankers."
DT #1975, Dec. 2, 1932

"(Roosevelt) was inaugurated at noon in Washington, and they started the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, and before it got half way down there, he'd closed every bank in the United States. Now a Republican woulda never thought of a thing like that. No, he'd of let the depositors close it. And mind you, Mr. Roosevelt was just two days ahead of the depositors himself." Radio broadcast, April 30, 1933

#540 March 1, 2009


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