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Saturday, March 05, 2011 ISSUE #645

Arithmetic skills lacking in Washington; common sense missing in Hollywood
March 5, 2011

    COLUMBUS: Washington claims they are getting serious about the budget deficit of $1.6 Trillion. Republicans scoured the budget appropriations and found $0.06 Trillion they can cut without destroying the country. President Obama and the Democrats searched through the same appropriations and could only find $0.01 Trillion that is unworthy of being added to the Visa card. Then the President proudly announced that his offer met the Republicans "half way". Even a second grader knows that half of 6 is 3, not 1.

    And today I read a newspaper column by Paul Krugman saying we should be spending even more, going deeper in debt. To think he received a prize for his knowledge of economics.

    Fellows, suppose you told your wife that last week you made $600 and spent $1000, and next week you’ll make $600, and to make up for your previous overspending you will only spend $995 of it. An iron skillet to the noggin would be the likely result. It seems a bunch of folks in Washington need to be hit over the head, perhaps repeatedly, until they learn arithmetic.

    Some state Governors are showing their math skills. Florida decided they did not want to accept a down payment from the US taxpayers for a train from Disney World to Tampa Bay. You will note it was only a down payment, and the state would have to finish paying for it and cover all future operating losses. Ohio turned down the same offer for a train from Cleveland to Cincinnati, and Wisconsin did the same for a Milwaukee-Madison Express. Now right there, the President had a perfect chance to reduce his budget by $0.036 Trillion. But instead, he sent the down payment money to other states for more trains that people don’t want to ride at full fare, and local taxpayers don’t want to subsidize.

    Congress decided to postpone their budget vote for two weeks, perhaps giving them time to dig up an old copy of Ray’s Arithmetic. The National Football League put off a week their deadline for a union decision. For some folks, the prospect of losing a whole season of  football is more worrisome than the country going another Trillion dollars in debt. These NFL owners can estimate their income for next season, and there’s no way they will agree to pay 140% of that amount to the players.

    With all the news today from Libya, Wisconsin, and the budget in Washington, the TV news shows always find time to squeeze in the latest tidbit from Charlie Sheen. You would think from their reports that Hollywood had never before seen such a train wreck masquerading as an actor. But debauchery is no stranger to Hollywood. Will Hays was hired in 1922 to clean up Hollywood, and he did. But nothing lasts long out there, especially good behavior. Look at Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Natalie Portman, even Miley Cyrus. The only cure is to ignore them. And their ability to avoid being ignored is what makes them Hollywood stars.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

    "Actors are like politicians, they never grow up."
DT #1892, Aug. 28, 1932

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