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Geiger’s Counter: A couple of interesting quotes

I’ve gotten the e-mail several times over the past few weeks. I’m sure you have, too. It bears a photo of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and attributes to her the following quote, ‘The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.’ I did not go to snopes.com to verify whether or not Mrs. Thatcher actually uttered those words. In fact, I’m not real sure who Mr. Snopes is or who died and left him in charge of online information verification. If Mrs. Thatcher did not actually make the statement, she should have for it is an absolute truth. The e-mail arrived as the so-called stimulus bill was being debated and subsequently signed into law by President Barack Obama. The bill is a combination of tax cuts (one third) and spending initiatives (two thirds) totaling some $787 billion designed to jump start the economy. It purports to put money back into the pockets of consumers and businesses and create millions of jobs – most of them on public works projects to rehab the nation’s sagging infrastructure. There is also a component that directs millions to making the USA more energy efficient. The fund also adds some $20 billion in funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is what used to be called food stamps before it underwent a socialist extreme makeover. Now, instead of food stamp fraud and welfare queens, we can have SNAP beans. Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsap says the money will help feed families and boost the economy. Critics say it rewards the least productive members of society at the expense of the most productive. Certainly, we need to create our own energy and kiss the mideast oil barons goodbye. We should harness the power of clean coal, wind, solar and even methane in this battle. That will help. We also need to rebuild infrastructure. No one wants to see another bridge loaded with rush hour traffic fall into a river. But, all these jobs are temporary. What happens when the government runs out of other people’s money? When it got back to work this week, Congress started debating another $410 billion in spending just to keep government functioning. Those of us who work to pay for all this are, quite frankly, tired of carrying the chronic layabouts who refuse to work for even a minute but demand equal compensation through government handouts. Which brings to mind another quote. ’The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.’ Those words were delivered by the Roman philosopher Cicero in 55 BC. Cicero was a firsthand witness to the decline and fall of the Roman Republic. It is a shame he is not around to advise President Obama during our own great national decline.

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