Weekly Comments: Our New Year Prophets are not Optimists
#584 Jan. 3, 2010
COLUMBUS: This is the time for reflections and predictions, and even the optimists are having a tough time finding something to cheer about. Unemployment is over 10 percent and it may drop to 8 or 9 by Christmas. The stock market rose to 10,500, but it is still a third below 2007. Even if it don’t go up, you can bet on Wall Streeters collecting million dollar salaries.
Predictions say the deficit will get worse. But nobody knows how much worse because it depends on how much China will lend us. The Chinese are getting concerned about the worth of our collateral. Half of our states are broke and looking to Washington for help. President Obama should say to the Governors, "Make your case directly to China; I don’t need to be a middleman."
Even global warming. Ever since that conference in Copenhagen, the weather has gotten colder. Yes, it’s supposed to be cold in January and we’re accustomed to it. But these global warming proponents got us excited about the prospects of vacationing at home instead of Florida. We should have suspected it was a trick when the President booked his vacation in Hawaii.
One good thing that 2010 has brought us: the end of the inheritance tax. You would be surprised at the number of rich old men who have been hanging on for the last month or two just to avoid paying this tax. In your hometown newspaper, right beside the story about the first baby of the new year, you’ll read about a local millionaire passing away after a prolonged illness. The story will say, "Mr. Jones left a thriving business valued at $50 million to his offspring. He couldn’t take it with him, but he made sure it wouldn’t get auctioned off to Washington either."
Since the death tax returns next January at around fifty percent, 2010 is liable to go down in history as a record year for the high number of our wealthy men and women passing on.
Speaking of old men, did you see Bobby Bowden coach his last football game for Florida State? It was the Gator Bowl against West Virginia, and I think they should have arranged it so he went against Penn State instead. Bowden vs. Joe Paterno. Two 80-year old coaches going at each other. And to raise interest they could have agreed that the loser retires, and the winner has to keep coaching. Dadgumit, that would have been a Classic.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
"Won’t 1933 see a change for the better? I don’t think so. We haven’t suffered enough; the Lord is repaying us for our foolishness during prosperous days. He is not quite ready to let us out of the dog house yet." DT #2002, Jan. 3, 1933
"If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." DT #1453, March 20, 1931
"Now they got such a high inheritance tax on 'em that you won't catch these old rich boys dying promiscuously like they did. This bill makes patriots out of everybody. You sure do die for your country if you die from now on." DT #1767, March 23, 1932