Weekly Comments: Will is returning to the old joke factory
#593 March 7, 2010
COLUMBUS: I’m flying to Washington for three days to check in on the old joke factory. I’m with a hundred farmers calling on Congress and the Department of Agriculture.
In the old days farmers were asking Congress and the President for relief. And to some extent they got it. What they’re after today is relief, but it’s relief FROM the EPA and IRS.
The EPA wants them to stop stirring up dust. Now, farmers are against dust as much as anyone. Especially the women, because they’re usually the ones stuck with cleaning it up. Out in the country things are just naturally dustier than in town. Take roads. There’s nothing a farmer would like more than having a paved road everywhere he has to drive. Gravel and dirt roads kick up dust when it’s dry. If your streets were gravel instead of asphalt, you wouldn’t like the dust either. Spraying old engine oil on the roads can stop the dust, but EPA frowns on that, too.
The beef with the IRS is over the inheritance tax. In the old days that never bothered a poor farmer because he had nothing left to inherit. Today, there’s a few that have scraped together enough land that when the grim reaper arrives the tax man is right behind him. Giving up half the farm makes it tough for the heirs to keep on farming. Even with the whole farm, it ain’t easy.
Climate change is another thing that’s got farmers riled up. But with all the rain, floods and snow in the past couple of years, they’re not against changing it as much as they used to be. If the government could guarantee the climate would change for the better, they would be for it. Farmers aren’t convinced that adding a $5 tax on diesel fuel is going to assure them of good weather.
In New York, they are having a tough time hanging on to their Congressmen and Governors. No sooner does a man get in there than he is found out. Of course Charley Rangel has been in a long time and heads up the Ways and Means Committee. I said one time that’s the committee that is "supposed to find the Ways to divide up the Means." Well, Charley has become an expert at finding the ways, but he don’t like to divide it with anybody.
Charley owns half an island in the Carribean, and New York wants their 10% share of any profits. He claims he don’t make nothing on it. In fact he says he is so poverty stricken the only way he can even get down there to check on his holdings is for some company to loan him an airplane.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
"We cuss (Congress) and we joke about ‘em, but they are all good fellows at heart; and if they wasent in that, why, they would be doing something else against us that might be worse." May 18, 1926
"They are voting in New York State whether to keep a Governor two years or four... I think a good, honest Governor should get four years, and the others life." DT #405, Nov. 8, 1927