Cut air-conditioning to solve debt impasse
#664 July 17, 2011
COLUMBUS: The boys in Washington are still arguing over the debt. They can’t seem to agree on how to reduce spending by 40% (as suggested by Republicans) or increase tax collections by 40% (suggested by Democrats). What was true in 1931 is still true today: "A debt is just as hard for a government to pay as it is for an individual. No debt ever come due at a good time. Borrowing is the only thing that is handy all the time."
If you are looking for a way to reduce costs, here’s an idea. Shut off the air-conditioner in every federal building in Washington, and force them to stay in there until they agree on something. Not only would they save on the electric bill, Republican Congressmen might see that eliminating mortgage deductions on half-million dollar mansions, including their own, ain’t unreasonable. And Democrat Senators might see that since folks are living longer, maybe raising the age for Medicare and Social Security to 70 ain’t so bad either. If the Oval Office got up to a hundred degrees, the President might be more inclined to offer some of his favorite programs for the chopping block. Spending a Trillion dollars on high speed trains that run 39 mph may lose its luster. And maybe all of them together can agree on doing without a few new tanks, fighter jets and Humvees.
I read where some women’s groups claim that the ladies are getting a raw deal from Washington. That raising the retirement age to 67 is not fair to the so-called weaker sex. Well, since women are outliving men by 4 or 5 years, maybe they ought to work longer than men; let men retire at 67, but women work till 70 or 71. Of course no Congressman (or sane comedian) would even raise that possibility. We all know that women never really get to retire, and when the husband retires their work just gets harder.
Here are two closing thoughts from the 1930s. "By the end of next year, 1936, our per capita debt will be $270 each... It costs ten times more to govern us than it used to, and we are not governed one-tenth as good."
Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (from Weekly Article #664)
"These little towns and cities in Alaska have mighty fine little papers. They take all the big news and whittle it down till you can read it and understand it... They cover about all of Congress that is fit to cover; you see, we cover a lot that we shouldent...
That Yukon (River) that you have read so much about that is formed away in the Yukon Territory of Canada. We flew down it from the head, and it winds and twists till it comes out away down near San Marchiel, in the Bering Sea, 2,000 miles away...
You look on a map and all the country that is north of the real mainland of Canada, all those tremendous Islands and gulfs up there, a white man is not allowed to fish, hunt or trap in. It's entirely for the support of the Indians that live up there. We never had thought of that. And say, the old Injun and the Eskimo is a mighty smart trader up there.
One thing I don't believe I could ever be (is a trapper.)... The hospitality and generosity of a trapper, or a man that lives way out, would put us to absolute shame... They would mush through the Winter 50 below for days to help a friend." WA #664, written about Aug. 13, 1935