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Sunday, November 13, 2011 ISSUE #681
 

Will we follow Greece and Italy?
Nov. 13, 2011   

    COLUMBUS: That so-called Super Committee in Washington has banged up against a rock wall. They are supposed to cut a few Trillion dollars out of a federal budget that will likely spend $50 Trillion over the next ten years. At least 10 to 15 Trillion of the 50 Trillion will be borrowed, but they can’t identify even half a Trillion their constituents can do without.

    We’re partly to blame for this fix we’re in. Folks are living longer but still want to quit work at the same age. We then expect to receive the best possible medical care in our old age no matter what it costs. Medicare and Social Security are stretched thin.

    We seem to be on the same path as Greece and Italy... and maybe our leaders should follow their example. Papandreou and Berlusconi both told their legislatures, "If you pass this austerity budget bill, we’ll sign it, then resign."

    Why not do the same here. President Obama should go into a huddle with the four leaders of Congress: McConnell and Reid, Boehner and Pelosi. He could say, "This country is more important than any of us. But we spend way too much, borrow too much, and don’t collect enough taxes. Let’s tell the super committee to cut spending by $3.5 Trillion and increase revenues $1.5 Trillion by cutting deductions for the wealthy. You don’t like the plan and I don’t like it either. But it might cut our deficit by ten percent. I will announce tomorrow that I will refuse to run for re-election; turn the whole Democrat party over to Hillary. I’m expecting you four to also step down from your leadership positions. Give the country a fresh start. Are you with me?"

    Will it happen? Not a chance.

     A Canadian friend of mine, Bruce Lee, told me he will be in Washington later this month teaching business leaders how to be more effective and productive with less resources. Imagine that. Do you suppose we can get him to address Congress on the same topic?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

    "I called at the Capitol to see what our hired help were doing. It's almost superfluous to tell you they were doing nothing.  I wish we could get them interested in something."
Apr. 28, 1926
    "Both sides are going to straddle the thing, if they have to split their carcass clear up to their neck to do it." DT #1441, March 6, 1931
    "When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it." Democratic Convention, June 29, 1924
    "The country's in bad shape when there ain't nobody spending any money but the government.  But what you going to do about it? Course, one remedy would be for the people that have money to start spending it instead of the government." Radio, April 7, 1935


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