A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: To create jobs, cut retirement age temporarily

-A A +A

You know, gentle reader, the longer we live the more we become convinced that the Founding Fathers should have made it one of the prerequisites of being President of these United States that all candidates there for must be foundlings.

In our own time we have seen how John F. Kennedy’s presidency was shaped and moulded by the influence of his father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy.

George Herbert Walker Bush was pushed and shoved by his mother to be an image of his father, Senator Prescott Bush; and George Walker Bush’s major blunders, into which he led a hapless nation, were chiefly caused by his father, George H. W.’s failures and shortcomings, coupled with the need to avenge the plot to kill him hatched by Saddam Hussein. Either John F. or the two Georges might have been decent presidents had they not carried into the oval office the weight of their respective fathers’ ambitions, aspirations, and most important, failures.

We are led down this speculative path by the pitiful images projected by Mitt Romney in his pursuit of the nation’s highest office.

We suspect that he, though not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, is smart enough to know that he cannot possibly emerge from this campaign, and the way it’s being run, with his reputation unscathed, but in his desperate need to vindicate his father’s image, he must keep on running, despite the damage done to his own image.

Younger readers may not know whereof we speak in reference to Mitt’s father, so we will sketch in just a bit.
George Romney was an industrial leader, having been chief of the old American Motors, from which he went on to dabble in politics, with some success.

However, he yielded to the siren call of pursuit of the presidency.

This was during the Viet Nam war, and as was considered necessary for any successful Republican candidate at that time, he undertook to go to Viet Nam to check out the conduct of the war. While there he gave several remarks to the accompanying press corps, which, upon his return to the U.S.A. seemed to be of doubtful value, and not the sort of comments a potential president should have been making.

On being broached with this notion, he gave the famous, or infamous, explanation for his remarks that he had “been brain-washed!”

His viability as a potential presidential nominee ended by the time the last syllable of “washed” left his lips, and he became the butt of comedians, and an object of pity by the political class.

Mitt has been trying to do what his daddy couldn’t do ever since.

Surely there’s a better reason for running for president, isn’t there?
Perceptive reader, have you begun to suspect that our member of congress in the 4th Congressional District, Scott DesJarlais, has decided to run for re-election?

If you have been bombarded as we have with a half-dozen or so invitations to listen in to several telephone “town hall” conference calls, and high priced mailers, you would be justified in so concluding.

The first invitation to listen in on the telephone “conference” intrigued us enough to listen for a few minutes, but we can only take a brief period of listening to right-wing rants from people whom one would like to ask, as Barney Frank once did, “just what planet do you live on?’

Although in view of some of the remarks made the question might better be, “what rock did you crawl out from under?”

So, we are not in a knowledgeable position to judge the content of all the other “telephone town halls” ole Doc Scott has conducted. But we have no such impediment to judging his latest mailing, which you too may have received.

This mailer is printed in full colour featuring 5, count ‘em, 5 photos of Doc Scott his ownself.

The mailer is printed on both sides of heavy card stock of at least 30 pound weight, measuring 11 by 22 inches and folded in what is, we believe, called a quatrefoil, so that it is folded into a five and a half by 11 inch size for handy mailing.

Although most of the self-laudatory commentary is set out in at least 12 point size type, including the words, “PUBLIC DOCUMENT - OFFICIAL BUSINESS,” there is a small subscript in about 6 point type reading, “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

Although this document is ostensibly a “Constituent survey,” the 12 survey questions are in even smaller type and all are what are commonly referred to as “loaded” questions, and all calculated to elicit answers supporting Doc Scott’s right-wing anti-government, pro-corporation positions.

And they take up only one-eighth of the mailer, i. e. 5 ½ x 11 inches. The rest is “Puffing” Doc Scott, whose name appears 17 times, not counting his name in his web address, (5 times.)

Wouldn’t you think that a fellow who falls all over himself to tell how he wants to save the taxpayers’ money would be embarrassed to put his name to a production like this that was “prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense”?

Doc Scott, do you understand why some of us brand you as a hypocrite?

And why so many people, both Republican and Democrat, are lining up to try to send you home to Jasper, just as soon as the Republican General Assembly finally gets around to drawing the new lines for the 4th Congressional District?
Much of the noise emanating from Washington City recently has been about creation of jobs, and about part of the Soc. Sec. payroll tax collections being foregone for another year or so.

Well, we have a proposal about these issues, which would, we believe, add a large number of jobs, to-wit:
Were we to lower the Soc. Sec. retirement age by three or four years for some limited period, say 6 months to a year, we think it most likely that a great number of people who have just been counting the days to retirement would jump at the opportunity to move up their retirement.

Thus the jobs they have been holding would need replacement workers to fill the gap created by their early retirement.

Raising the Soc. Sec. retirement age as some propose, would hurt the job situation by requiring people to work longer, and thus hold jobs that would otherwise need to be filled.

If holders of jobs are needed by their employers, but are induced to retire early by SS change, most if not all of the vacancies created thereby will have to be filled by new workers.

As to solutions suggested by the Republicans, remember, employers do not hire because of some benign empathy with labour; they do not hire out of charity; they do not hire out of a feeling of patriotism; they do not hire because they have amassed huge additional sums in their bank accounts; they hire only because they either need employees to maintain their present level of income, or in the expectation that the hiring of new employees will increase their future level of income.