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Sunday, January 18, 2015 ISSUE #820

Harvard professors riled up over Obamacare

Mitt Romney is pondering a third run for President. He’s kinda taking after William Jennings Bryant who ran in 1896, 1900 and 1908. Do any of you remember reading about President Bryant?  Well, no, because he lost each time, to a man from Ohio.  Bryant was a good, honest man and so is Romney, but whether he could win in 2016 I’ve got my doubts.

The Affordable Care Act has riled up the professors at Harvard.  The same elite faculty that helped write it and get it passed through Congress are now complaining because their health insurance costs went up.  The university pays 90 percent of it, but they object to kicking in their 10 percent share.  If those cantankerous professors teaching such essential classes as Ancient Greek or English Literature or something called Women’s Studies are not satisfied with their current status, Harvard may cut ‘em back to 29 hours a week and not pay any of their health costs. Anyway, when it comes to Women, a man can study women for fifty years and still not understand enough to get even a D minus.

The State of the Union speech is this week. I heard President Obama will propose that 2-year community colleges will be free to the students. It won’t get passed by Congress so I have a better idea: let high schools and vo-tech schools teach the same courses as those community colleges. Teach ‘em common sense and something useful to get a good job. Skip ancient Greek. Any student that feels compelled to learn Greek can pay his own way to Harvard. Or to Greece.

I wonder if President Obama will talk about Social Security and other entitlement costs. Most of us old folks don’t want to hear any bad news about Social Security, including what year it’s projected to go broke.  We paid into it so we ought to keep getting our share.  The only problem is too many of us are living a long, long time, and way beyond 65. I read in the newspaper that we have been adding a year to our lifespan every four years. We like living longer but no one wants to work longer.

When Franklin Roosevelt started Social Security in 1935 about a third of workers lived long enough to collect a check. And we have stuck with 65 as the retirement age, except lately nudged it to 67. Here’s something for you to ponder: if the other President Roosevelt (Teddy) had started Social Security the age to collect would have been about 58. Or suppose Lincoln had included a retirement plan in his Emancipation Proclamation; the age to start collecting retirement checks would have been around 40. Of course back then almost everybody was a farmer, and it wouldn’t matter because farmers seldom retire.

Football season is winding down.  Ohio State beat Alabama and Oregon for the college football championship. And in the NFL the Seattle Seahawks return to take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.  East Coast vs. the West Coast for only the second time in 30 years.  

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

            “My old friend William Jennings Bryant is the greatest character we have in this country today.  No one has ever been able to understand the unique and uncanny power that he seems to hold over the Democratic Party. Since 1896 he has either run himself or named the man that would run.” Convention Articles, July 10, 1924

            “Mr. Hoover delivered his prescription to Congress yesterday on the ‘condition of the country.’ It was 12,000 words long. That’s how bad shape we are in.” DT #1048, Dec. 4, 1929

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