Will 2010 mean turkey sandwiches for the masses?
Let’s look at the reviled and revered of the year just past, along with projections for the one now under way.
Good riddance, some say, but my take is that the year just ended was both a wowser and a bow wowser. For example, it gave us partial bank and stock market recovery but continuing economic jitters. Filet mignon for Wall Street, turkey for Main Street.
We inaugurated the first half-black, half-white, all-smiling and ever-present president. Kudos to columnist Kathleen Parker, who recently said on TV that President Obama’s 2010 New Year’s resolution should be to make himself scarce. Enough ubiquity already.
In Nevada, the year found Gov. Jim Gibbons building on his reputation for anti-tax messages … and pro-text messages. Dawn of a new day, however, brought a divorce settlement rather than a trial and its added tribulations. Good show, governor, though I’m betting you would prefer a win more than a place or show.
Said year gave us the spectacle of Sen. Harry Reid, at the pinnacle of his power, spending political capital on the Senate passing health “reform” of questionable quality. Health insurance looks more deformed than reformed. But maybe Congress will get this two-headed monster fixed yet in reconciliation, as in: The fix is in.
We also got the scramble of so many Nevada Republicans eyeing the GOP Senate nomination—hoping to win it and challenge Reid—that you could field them as a football team. Being Republicans, perhaps they could mount a better defense than the UNR Wolf Pack gridiron 11. But they don’t yet resemble team players.
In addition, 2009 gave us special legislative session fixes that weren’t for a state budget that wasn’t. Why? Because gaming revenues fell off the futon that once was Nevada’s bed of roses. Gaming helped make Nevada barely a taxing place for residents, but now the Silver State is becoming a services free and fees for services zone.
Last year also brought my favorite, one more whoopee cushion from Time Magazine. It named Helicopter Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, Person of the Year. That’s akin to Sports Illustrated naming Tiger Woods Husband of the Year. Profligacy pays only for awhile, never forever.
Now we go to 2010, which sparks just a few thoughts because these reviled/revered projections are yet to materialize:
The year just started will give us either health reform that isn’t or send Congress back to the lobby for another grab bag of goodies. My bet is the president will sign something into law, but only if chief of staff Rahm Emanuel rams it through reconciliation over House-Senate egos. I’d prefer nothing to Rahm’s ram.
This year will stick another two-pronged fork in our economic turkey, offering drumsticks for fat cads and leftovers for the rest of us. We once called them fat cats, but cats are cool, and cads are just cold. Bernard Madoff comes to mind. He shattered the law even while others bent or circumvented it. Madoff won’t ever get pardoned. Neither will our economic turkey—thanks to foreclosures and unemployment—until 2011.
This year in Nevada will bring another special legislative session to wrestle with fallout from Nevada lagging the national economy when the nation finally makes real progress toward recovery.
But nationally and in Nevada, the boss returns this year. You’re the boss.
In democratic representative republics, voters rule. Officeholders hold sway most of the time, but voters can change the cast of characters by casting ballots.
Cast wisely, please; toss out the turkeys.