Main Street by Roger Allen — June 25, 2009

Roger Allen, publisher.

Roger Allen, publisher.

Big worry, short fingernails

A lot of people worry about the national budget deficit. The idea of the government spending borrowed money goes against the grain. But, on a personal scale, we Americans did the same thing with our unrestrained credit card binge and mortgages we couldn’t afford. Let’s not get all moral about the national budget deficit.

But the deficit problem is real and the facts aren’t simple. President Clinton was relatively frugal, so George W. Bush inherited a small surplus. Then, under the Bush administration, Congress actually reduced taxes (with most reductions going to the already wealthy) while embarking on two wars. This combo of lowering taxes during war had never been done before. (Wonder why.) The result was a gigantic budget deficit made to seem only huge-because (holy moley!) the Bush folks didn’t include the costs of the two wars in their budget numbers.

President Obama inherited a uniquely ghastly fiscal fiasco; he and his team of advisers, including the respected Warren Buffet, decided on the stimulus package to try to fend off a total meltdown. We’re printing money like crazy and selling bonds to foreign governments to back it up. No wonder we Americans are biting our fingernails down to the first knuckle.

On the other hand, we Americans are still buying loads of stuff from China and putting it on our bill. Way to go, Wal-Mart! Bet the Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank.

Ye gods. What happens if we can’t pay those bonds when they come due? Do the Chinese get to foreclose on us? Are we going bankrupt? I can see where the Feds might have to sign over Boulder Dam to the Chinese to help cover our debts. And how about Connecticut? Will the Chinese demand ownership of some small state to cancel our debt?

I think about these things as I nibble away at
my fingernails.

Momentary worry

A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him. She says hello. He’s rather taken aback because she looks familiar but he can’t place where he knows her from.

So he says, “Do you know me?”

She replies, “I think you’re the father of one of
my kids.”

Now his mind travels back in time.

“My God,” he says, “are you the stripper from my bachelor party?”

She looks into his eyes and says calmly, “No, I’m your son’s teacher.”

Not to worry #1

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, “How do you expect to get into heaven?”

The boy thought it over a minute and then said, “Well, I’ll run in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, “For heavens sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!”

Not to worry #2

Notice: No animals were mistreated in the preparation of this column.

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