Time To Shuck The Titles

Now that we are heading squarely into the 2012 campaign — did a hear a collective groan? — I need to unburden myself about one thing that I just hate:  when politicians who no longer occupy an office still are addressed by the title they once held.

If you see Sarah Palin being interviewed, you’re likely to hear her addressed as “Governor Palin.”  Alan Simpson, once a Senator from Wyoming, still gets called “Senator Simpson.”  Why?  This is America, where we don’t have hereditary titles.  If you occupy an office, of course you should be addressed by the appropriate title.  But if you’ve left the job, in my book you’ve left the title, too.  It’s like the scene in the John Adams mini-series where Adams, having been defeated in his bid for reelection, boards a common coach and tells the surprised fellow passengers that he is just “Mr. Adams” now.  If only the less accomplished members of the modern political class were as willing to assume the role of a mere American citizen again!

So as this campaign season rolls onward, don’t expect to hear me referring to “Governor Romney” or “Governor Pawlenty” or “Governor Huntsman” (or for that matter “Ambassador Huntsman”).  In the land of the free, “Mr.” is what they are, and “Mr.” is what they should be called.

Fickle Finger of Fate

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Back in the late sixties and early seventies there was a television show called Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. During the show they would often give the award shown above, the Fickle Finger of Fate award to some government entity or some famous person based on their dubious achievements.

Anyone who reads our blog with any regularity knows that one of Bob’s biggest concerns is the deficit and government spending. Keeping this in mind President Obama is in agreement with Bob on this issue and has appointed a Deficit Commission. The commission is to report its findings to the president on or before December 1.

With December 1 rapidly approaching I have already decided that the Fickle Finger of Fate award goes to …….. both Alan Simpson, former Republican Senator from Wyoming and Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to former President Clinton. In case anyone doesn’t know these two gentleman are leading the commission charged with identifying policies to improve the United States fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve financial sustainability in the long term.

Earlier this week a poll was done asking Americans their opinions of some of the ideas that have been floated by the two gentlemen. First of all, only 25% of respondents thought the commission was a good idea and forty percent thought it was a bad idea, not a good sign. Two thirds of respondents said that they wanted government spending cuts made though and said that was the major reason why they voted the way they did.

Unfortunately when pressed respondents decided on the following:

70% were uncomfortable with cutting spending on Medicare, Social Security and defense,

60% were uncomfortable with raising taxes on gas, limiting home mortgage deductions and changing corporate tax rates,

and 60% were uncomfortable raising the retirement age to 69 from 67 over the next sixty years.

Well there you go, we want spending to be cut, but we don’t want any of the programs that are causing our debt problem to be cut. Oh and by the way 50% of respondents want the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. If that’s the case then on January 1 more of Bob’s hard earned money will be going to help the government reduce the deficit, I hope !