Saturday, September 3, 2011

Not In My Back Yard

      According to an old joke, a Missouri mule-skinner was called in to train a very recalcitrant mule. The first thing the trainer did was to take a 2x4 and hit the mule over the head. When asked why he did that, the trainer replied, “Well, first I have to get his attention.”
     If it served any useful purpose, the “tea party” managed to get the attention of the American public regarding the national deficit. Although the timing is bad, the concept of deficit reduction has been accepted by the majority of people. That's “the concept,” but according to a recent Gallup Poll there is very little agreement on the details. In fact, the only item which garnered a majority of public approval for cutting spending was foreign aid.
     The pollsters asked the persons in the sample to “please say whether you favor or oppose cutting government spending in each of the following areas.” Here are the results:

Category
Favor
%
Oppose
%
No opinion
%
Foreign aid
59
37
4
Funding arts and sciences
46
52
2
Aid to farmers
44
53
3
Homeland security
42
56
3
The military and defense
42
57
1
Anti-poverty programs
39
55
6
Medicare
38
61
1
Social security
34
64
2
Education
32
67
2
     Probably most of us expect the savings to come from areas which constitute a relatively small per cent of the total budget. For example, most of the public believes that foreign aid makes up ten percent of the budget. It doesn't; foreign aid, combined with the entire budget for the state department, makes up only one percent of the total.
     The GOP is planning to save trillions of dollars over the next ten years without any revenue increases. The chart indicates that their favorite programs for drastic cuts, i.e., Medicare, Social Security and Education, are the most popular. Good luck with that. NIMBY.

     The dare and double-dare contest continues between the President and the GOP. House Speaker John Boehner has refused President Obama's request to speak to the House to present his jobs program on September 7. The speaker told the President that several votes were scheduled for that time, but it would be OK to speak on September 8. Historians say no previous speaker has ever refused such a request.
     Several major GOP presidential candidates have scheduled a debate on the seventh, and it is believed that is the reason for Boehner's action. But really, a debate among candidates for an election 16 months away takes priority over the President of the United States speaking about job creation during a recession. Give me a break.
     Of course, the GOP is pushing the President around because he allows it. His campaign slogan was, “Yes we can.” We should have asked, “Yes, but will we?”

      Today's newspaper has another case of presidential caving in: At the demand of the GOP and business leaders he has halted the issuance of tighter smog rules that were unanimously approved by a panel of scientific experts. Please, please Mr. President, grow a pair.

      You may have noticed a recent addition to “Thoughts Before The Alarm Sounds”: a weather gadget in the right sidebar. While it gives the forecast for Lititz, where I live, you can get maps, forecasts and radar information for any continental area by clicking on the links beneath the graphic. I hope you will enjoy its many features.
                                 ******
     My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback, or at the Kindle Store.

No comments:

Post a Comment