Don’t bet Obama will get them. At a fundraiser in Philadelphia two weeks ago, Barack Obama apologized for not accomplishing more of his goals. “I know there are some of you who are frustrated because we haven’t gotten everything done that we said we were going to do in two and a half years,” our Orator in Chief said. Then, he added, “It’s only been two and a half years. I got five and a half years more to go.”
Some Dems aren’t that optimistic. Obama might tell the crowd (and himself) that he’s a shoo-in to win another term. But some powerful Democrats aren’t so sure. They’re hinting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire now, so the President can nominate her successor. They don’t want to run the risk that a Republican President (and a conservative one at that) might get the opportunity after 2012. It’s such a good idea that Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy says Justice Stephen Breyer should also step down now, rather than risk illness (or death) with a Republican in the White House.
This year’s most stupid proposed bill. Actually, there are a lot of candidates for that dubious honor. But my favorite this week is H.R. 2411, the Reduce America’s Debt Now Act of 2011. If passed, the law would require every business in America to offer its employees a payroll deduction plan so workers could designate a portion of their paycheck to be sent to Washington. The money would be applied to help pay off the national debt. The cost to businesses to do this is almost certain to be more than any contributions the program would raise. Oh, and get this: You won’t get a tax deduction for your gift! Anyone want to bet on how much money this will bring in?
Washington’s most absurd subsidy program. Remember the Golden Fleece awards? My first nominee would be the subsidy for mohair farmers. It was started in World War II to make certain the military had enough wool for all those uniforms. Although uniform-makers switched to synthetic fabrics more than 50 years ago, the million-bucks-a-year subsidy has never been canceled. A government subsidy is the closest thing to immortality you’ll ever see.