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Sunday, February 08, 2009 ISSUE #537


Accomplished actor James Whitmore died Friday. Among all his other great talents, for about 30 years he did a one-man show as Will Rogers. I met him once at Claremore. Here's a photo of him on this website: http://willrogerstoday.com/photo_gallery/WillRogersTodayandFriends.cfm#9

Weekly Comments: Let schoolchildren and China weigh in on stimulus

#537 February 8, 2009

COLUMBUS: Congress and the President are close to a compromise on the big spending bill. Everybody agrees it's a spending bill; the argument is over who gets to do the spending. Democrats say that since they won the election, they should be the ones to play Santa Claus. Republicans say, "No, let the taxpayers hand out the presents."

Some Democrats even insisted that all the money the government will spend on products like steel or cars can only be spent on American products. That sounded fair, until word reached China. Then the whole plan fell off the cliff. Congress forgot to ask where's the money coming from. Well, the money is coming from those that have got it. That means China, because we sent all our money over there, mostly by way of Wal-Mart. So China says, since we're providing the money, we want a fair chance to provide the steel, copper, computers and other goods.

Now if you're going to listen to the ones lending the dough, how about the ones that will eventually have to pay it back. I say arrange it so all our school children can give an opinion on the plan. After all, when you add up what this stimulus bill will cost them over the next fifty years, they had better get well trained to earn big salaries.

Of course our children and grandchildren may vote no on this tremendous financial burden. No stimulus, no more debt to pay back in the future. And if having no stimulus money means school has to be cut short by a month or two, why, that's a sacrifice we're willing to make.


One good idea that will stay in the bill is more payments for folks out of work. I propose that if you are laid off or your hours were cut, to collect the benefits you have to show up and keep working. Many of these job cuts were practically forced on employers, not because there was no work, but because they had no money to pay with. If nothing else, go to work and take along a mop or paint brush or snow shovel. There's bound to be something to work on that'll keep you in the habit.

I'm not so sure about President Obama's plan to limit salaries to $500,000 for anybody getting this government money. And Congressman Barney Frank went farther and wants it applied to almost everybody. Even baseball players, Hollywood actors, and college presidents. He did not include lobbyists and former Congressmen because that would be meddling.


Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"People that pay for things never complain. It's the guy you give something to that you can't please." WA #160, 1926

"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

"The only problem that confronts this country today is at least seven million people are out of work. That's our only problem. There is no other one before us at all. It's to see that every man that wants to is able to work.... These people that you are asked to aid, why they are not asking for charity, they are naturally asking for a job. But if you can't give them a job why the next best thing you can do is see that they have food and the necessities of life." Special radio broadcast, with President Hoover, Oct. 18, 1931

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