David Reynolds | August
Oh, what a miserable month! Even in paradise. There is little good we can say when we think of August. It is a month that is too darn hot and 31 days too long. It has only one purpose – a better appreciation of September which is now upon us.
Of course, this review of the calendar’s most unwanted month does not apply if (a) your travel agent has ordered up something cool or (b) you have a cottage in Maine. Sure, August can be tolerated if you have air conditioning, but that was not the case for this Great Depression baby. As a kid I spent the month watching double-feature movies while taking full advantage of Mr. Carrier’s new invention.
Nonetheless, August has one redeeming value. The U.S. Congress is seldom in session during the month. When Congress is shut down no new laws are passed. No new laws equals no new lawyers. And a nation’s productivity and its GDP are inversely related to its number of lawyers. By golly, I think I got it — the key to ending the recession — shut down Congress.
Unfortunately that may be hard to do with the health-care debate (excuse me, the health-insurance debate) over who should pull our plug. Should we grant government the same power we have always granted a higher authority? I know that our current contract with the Almighty is often quite expensive, especially for our last year of life. But I’m satisfied. There are no additional taxes.
But if Washington continues to fool around with our lives, may I suggest we pull the plug on Washington – cut off all air conditioning in government buildings during August. This would help close the deficit. And think of what that would do for the economy. The Dow would top 11,000.
But such steps may still not be enough. It is hard to convince a drunken sailor not to spend. Many conservative commentators have been calling Mr. Obama’s big government agenda “socialism.” This one does not. I do not see a current spending problem. However, I see a future one. You and I will soon be out of money. As Margaret Thatcher observed, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
So please be patient. Change takes time. However we are making good progress towards a government run economy. It was slowed down this past week due to the president taking a well earned August vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. When Mr. Obama returns to DC spending should speed up. The White House staff has plans not yet announced. One reason is the staff is too young to know Margaret Thatcher.
One plan has both Washington auto works, Government Motors and Fiat, producing little green cars in Mexico, China and Italy. Yes, the cars are truly green because in order to pay for everyone’s doctor visits all cars will come in just one color. I’ve heard that the UAW isn’t too happy with production lines outside the USA. But labor was bought out when it was deemed to be management. So what choice does the UAW have? Vote Republican? Get serious.
Then there is Cap and Trade, a bill that only a mad dog in August could design. It raises tons of money without reducing tons of carbon. When it is discovered that its taxing objectives are being met – and little has changed in the air – we will demand a true environmental bill. Cleaver legislative policy; these Obama kids are smart.
Folks, what this all boils down to is that the August heat has gotten the best of D.C. There is a terrible fog over the Potomac. I can see only two choices – inflation or higher taxes, that is, cheap dollars in our pockets or more dollars in theirs. I favor inflation, cheapen the U.S. dollar. Since over 1,200,000,000 Chinese lean the other way, I’m outnumbered. The Chinese don’t like be repaid in cheap dollars. No one does. But, in this case, I think it is fair. For decades China has been shipping us cheap toys. It is time we shipped something equally cheap back to China.
Whoa there! We better stop. The White House may cancel their subscription to this paper. And considering the plight of newspapers these days we need every subscriber we can get.
So let’s drop politics – as well as August. Would not the world be a happier place if we went from July straight into the September. We could make Labor Day the real New Year’s Day. Buena Vista would be especially happy. Its parade and other political festivities would be bigger than ever. This year I will again be having breakfast with the Democrats! Surprised? Don’t be. They still have the bigger tent. Its up at the high school. So maybe this right leaning scribe might sneak in and go unnoticed. But if you spot me please say hello. This is still a great country. And we are still united.
– Column by David Reynolds