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Monday, January 21, 2008 ISSUE #486

Football, politics and women stimulate the economy

#486, January 21, 2008

COLUMBUS: The presidential campaigns are chugging along. Let's see, out of fifty states, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Michigan and Nevada have voted, and half of South Carolina. Some television folks can't understand why the election is still undecided.

In football terms this election is about five minutes into the first quarter. Do they expect a team that's trailing to give up? Besides, if the candidates all dropped out but two, what would these commentators argue about for the next six months?

The Republican candidates have moved from South Carolina to Florida. Of course Rudy Giuliani has been there all winter. Rudy has been campaigning on lower income taxes. He wants to cut income taxes. And every speech he gives in Florida, he always gets the same question: "What's an income tax?"

The wackiness of the college football season infiltrated pro football. Of course the undefeated Patriots won, but the Giants? Playing in a sold out Green Bay stadium with temperatures below zero (degrees F, not C), two things were clear: on Sunday, the Giants' Eli Manning was a better quarterback than Brett Favre of the Packers, and the debate on global warming got muddled. The Super Bowl will be a great game, especially big for folks in the northeast who can't get enough of watching New York play Boston. The rest of the country was pulling for Green Bay to take on the Patriots.

Congress and President Bush say they are ready to stimulate the economy. They want to give us a hundred fifty Billion dollars with the proviso that we must spend it quickly. You can argue the merits of whether it should go to poor people for food, or business for investment, or as a refund to taxpayers. But if they really want it to be spent in a hurry, give it to women.

Where is the money coming from? Will China and Europe and Saudi Arabia go along and loan it to us? Regardless, the government had better act fast. By the time you read this, Wall Street may have taken more out of the economy than what Congress is proposing to put in.

Historical quotes from Will Rogers:

(The President and Congress) "are working out a lot of beneficial things. The only thing is it took 'em so long to think of any of 'em. We ought to have plans in case of depression, just like we do in case of fire, 'Walk, don't run, to the nearest exit.'" DT #1659, Nov. 16, 1931

"The budget is a mythical bean bag. Congress votes mythical beans into it, and then tries to reach in and pull real beans out." DT #2047, Feb. 24, 1933

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