Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● What do Barack Obama and TV newscasters have in common? Both speak words on current events that don’t reflect their beliefs. “We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences; as if waste doesn’t matter; as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money; as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation” he emoted. “We can’t.”
● I’m sick of public officials who exploit the perks of office, especially the little stuff like cars and gasoline. DeKalb School Superintendent Crawford Lewis visited one gas station three times in one day, using his district-issued credit card to buy gas in the sums of $32.83, $32 and $50. Explanation: He accidentally put premium in the tank, pumped it out and refilled with regular, drove to visit his mother in Monticello, and then refilled. If I’m on the DeKalb school board, he’s outta here. I’m fed up with public officials who treat public office as a lifestyle enhancement.
● Praise be House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) who, when asked whether there’s “any place for revenue enhancement” on this year’s legislative agenda, replied: “ ‘Revenue enhancement’ is just a way of saying a tax increase …” So “no.” The first indicator that conservatives in public office are slipping over to the dark side is when they start picking up the language of those who wish to grow government. Ralston, encouragingly, did not take the euphemism or the bait.
● One way to determine whether you’re drawn left or right in politics is whether you wish to dictate behavioral changes or to incentivize them. One involves government control of lives and lifestyles. The other doesn’t. On water conservation, for example, Gov. Sonny Perdue proposes a touch of each, which is probably an accurate reflection of where he falls on the ideological spectrum. State Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) files a bill to prohibit outdoor watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Control their lives, control their lifestyles. Just what Washington was trying to do with health care and cap-and-tax.
● Career choices I wish they hadn’t made: Sarah Palin, TV commentator. Herschel Walker, mixed martial arts fighter. Nancy Pelosi, politician.
● Only in America could illegal immigrants declare health care to be a “right” and insist that the taxpayers of Fulton and DeKalb provide them dialysis treatment at Grady Memorial Hospital. Only in America. Atlanta truly needs a charity hospital — no entitlement, no false claims to nonexistent “rights.”
● The libs, you knew, would seek to abandon “don’t ask, don’t tell” at the earliest opportunity. If one believes that the military is a social club to be employed primarily for humanitarian, policing and engineering purposes, there’s no harm in changing the policy. If, however, it’s to be used as a combat force, it’s foolish to add a romantic / sexual element to life in the foxhole. Unit cohesion will suffer. Bet the farm on it.
● Who knew, when Congress hastily approved $700 billion in TARP funds to prevent the implosion of the nation’s financial sector, that repayment would give the president a slush fund? He’s proposing to use $33 billion of it to be given to community banks to lend to small businesses. But, as the AJC’s business columnist Thomas Oliver pointed out Sunday, access to credit is not the main problem facing small businesses. It’s a lack of customers. A squirrelly Congress and a populist president creating tax and regulation uncertainty is the problem. (Incidentally, every dime of TARP unspent or repaid should be applied to the deficit.)
● Headline: “Stimulus credited for 24,103 Ga. jobs.” Whatever. Pick a number. They’re all make-believe.