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Sunday, April 26, 2009 ISSUE #548

Weekly Comments: Ideas for keeping your head above water.

COLUMBUS: President Obama asked for my advice Saturday. Yes, he's looking for ideas on how to reduce government spending.

Well, I'll jump right in with a big one, and gladly give him full credit. Raise the retirement age for collecting Social Security to 75 by 2020. This is a tough one, but do it gradual and give a bonus for these deserving old folks: once you reach 70, you can stop paying into it. People are working longer anyway. With this idea, everybody will want to live longer just to get even with the government. They'll eat better, drive careful, maybe even stop smoking and drinking. So not only will it save on Social Security, but Medicare, too.

Now here's one for you personally, Mr. President. Stay in Washington. Just because you have Air Force One, and limos, and a helicopter, it don't mean you need to use them every week. Naturally it's fun to fly to Des Moines or Tucson to make an announcement standing in front of local scenery and politicians. But a trip that any of us could make for a few hundred dollars, when you go it costs at least a million. Washington has some lovely scenery you can try out. Maybe no corn fields or cactus, but cherry blossoms along the Potomac are more than acceptable.

And these foreign trips to shake hands with various dignitaries: let 'em come here to meet you. Don't fly off to Europe or South America and sit there and let everyone poke fun at America. Invite 'em here where you've got home field advantage.

Here's one for Congress: stay in session two weeks at a time. Instead of flying home every weekend, work straight through, then take off a week. That way we only pay for about 20 round trips instead of 40 or 50. Why, just imagine the savings from Speaker Pellosi alone.

I don't know if this will make a dent in your Trillions of deficit spending, but it's a start. We've got to do something or, as I read in the newspaper this morning, "the taxpayers will be drowning in debt for ten years." While we can't even pretend to drown a terrorist, drowning a taxpayer is not only legal, it's encouraged.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"People don't change under governments. Governments change, but the people remain the same... What does it matter who is in any four years? You got to get out and hustle for it or you don't get it, no matter what Government is in." Saturday Evening Post, Dec. 4, 1926

"There's the one thing no nation can ever accuse us of and that is Secret Diplomacy. Our foreign dealings are an Open Book, generally a Check Book." WA #45, October 21, 1923

#548 April 26, 2009

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