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Sunday, July 03, 2011 ISSUE #662
 

Federal deficit debate obscured by murder trial
#662 July 3, 2011   

    COLUMBUS: President Obama went on television last week to tell how he would reduce the deficit by a Trillion dollars. All he could think of was to cut private jets and increase taxes on high incomes. The President thinks the economy will improve if company bigwigs fly commercial and spend more time waiting in airports. Meanwhile in China, businesses plan to buy thousands of those same planes so their executives can work more efficiently. "If your time is worth anything, travel by air. If not, you might just as well walk." (1927)

    One of the biggest drags on the economy for the past month or two is this trial down in Florida. Granted, it did create jobs for a slew of TV reporters and mediocre lawyers for three years. This young mom killed her 2-year old, and she’ll spend about 20 years in jail, but the whole situation has dragged on like a mystery novel with no end. But it will end. The jurors have been sequestered away from civilization for so long, that whenever the lawyers stop talking, in about half a day they will find her guilty of something, just so they can go home. [Added note: I clearly underestimated the abilities of the defense lawyers and overestimated the intelligence of the jurors.] 

    While the whole country was distracted by the murder trial in Orlando, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was tried and convicted. He was found guilty of 17 counts of... well, guilty of being a Chicago Democrat.

    You can tell the debt ceiling argument is coming to a head when a Congressman is willing to give up vacation days. If you think the debt ceiling ain’t important, imagine if your monthly bills were $5,000, and starting next month, you could only pay out $3000. Which $2000 of spending would you give up? Maybe stop eating out (buy bulk, and cook at home), no air conditioning, cancel the cable TV and cell phone, no new clothes, park the car, no vacation, no concerts, no movies. Could you do it? And not just for one month, for at least two or three years. Well, that’s what is facing Congress. What the President offered only adds up to about $200 a month in my little example. Even though this "family" was living on a little more than $3000 when he took over the finances, it ain’t all his fault. For too long the role model for Washington spending has been Greece.

    Enjoy the Fourth. It’s a great day to celebrate a country’s birthday.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (from Weekly Article #662)

    "Well, all I know is just what I hear when I talk to somebody and as I generally do all the talking, why I don't hear much. But I started out on this trip with the idea that I was going to do some listening.
    Rex Beach hit Juneau just before we took off. [Beach was an author/novelist famous for portrayals of life in Alaska.] Rex and his wife Greta are responsible for me in the movies. They was making a great Alaskan picture (in 1918), and the character was "Laughing Bill Hyde." It was one of his famous short stories, by that same name. I was playing that summer in the Follies, and they got the "Nut" idea that I could play the part. It was made at the old Fort Lee Studios, in New Jersey, just across the river from New York City. They used to make an awful lot of pictures there.
    It was made for Mr. Sam Goldwyn, who has all these years remained the famous producer.  With producers coming and going, and changing, he has held his own right at the top. He was my first picture boss, and we have remained friends all these years, a rare combination.
    I have always had a great respect and friendship for Rex and Mrs. Beach. Rex is an unusual man, outside all this writing. He is an authority on a lot of things... Well, Alaska was certainly glad to see him. They remember up here, none of this one-day sensation like down in Cuckooland.
    Well, Wiley's got her warmed up. Let's go."
  WA #662, written Aug. 9, 1935


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