By Joe Boyles
Editor’s note: “Stray Vectors” is the author’s byline for random thoughts on the passing scene.
There are now more than 46 million Americans who fit the definition of poor, but it all depends upon what criteria the Department of Agriculture uses to make that determination. It may not be much comfort, but our “poor” people are actually quite rich when compared to other poor people across the globe.
Emerald Greene recently wrote an editorial where she said that we need to return worship and God to the public square … and she’s dead-on right. We have paid an enormous cultural price since the Supreme Court decision a half century ago to create a “wall of separation” between church and state. We are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles and we need to return to our roots.
Health insurance in Massachusetts, where Romneycare served as the model for last year’s Affordable Care Act, is not only the most expensive in the nation, but is growing at a faster rate than any other state. Don’t tell me that Obamacare will cost less!
Speaking of Obamacare, next year the Supreme Court will review the legal challenges to the 2010 health care bill. The key issue is the “individual mandate” which requires all Americans to purchase a health insurance policy. Can the federal government require us to purchase something? If so, do we sacrifice all liberty to the will of Congress?
A recent news report indicated that Madonna feared for the safety of her children when a stalker broke into her home. I have a suggestion for the “material girl:” get a gun. Folks around here know that a .357 Magnum discourages home invasion.
A year after his death, John Murtha’s (D-PA) case file of political corruption has been released by the FBI. For years, he had been using his powerful House defense chairmanship to establish a cozy relationship between lobbyists and sham contractors to benefit family and friends. He banked millions in taxpayer funds for personal gain. The Justice Department ought to go after his estate … but they won’t.
Have you seen the video of the outdoor wedding where a gust of wind enveloped the wedding party in a cloud of dust? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer traditional weddings in places of worship where the religious symbolism is followed. The weather and elements are more predictable indoors.
The late economist Herbert Stein penned Stein’s Law: “Things that can’t go on forever, don’t.” I would amend that to say, “unless they are updated for the times and economic reality.” Social Security and Medicare are two that come to mind. In similar fashion, out-of-control pensions are exposing the inherent weakness in defined benefit plans.
“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to life himself up by the handle.” Winston Churchill
“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always expect the support of Paul.” George Bernard Shaw
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and the car keys to teenage boys.” P.J. O’Rourke
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Will Rogers
“Talk is cheap … except when Congress is in session.” Unknown
“You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
I think the government has a role in promoting the research and development of new technologies, but when it begins to subsidize production, that is way over the line. Spending money for R&D on green energy may be appropriate, but the Obamamites have far exceeded that with companies like Solyndra.
I had intended to write about the Keystone Pipeline this week, but the owners have decided to reroute the TransCanada pipeline away from the Nebraska Sandhills. But don’t be surprised if another opposition group arises to throw a monkey-wrench in this proposal. Welcome to the age of “paralysis by analysis.”
Speaking of keystone, the Keystone State is Pennsylvania, and it’s a sad thing to watch what is happening to Penn State. More bad news is on the way. The fall from grace of football coach Joe Paterno is sad. He stayed around too long. When a great institution is more known for its tenured coach, a crash is inevitable. Better to step aside gracefully on your own terms.