I picked up this story of huffing and puffing Nevada politicians at ABC’s website.
It seems that all the politicians in Nevada are expressing umbrage at the President for saying the following:
“Responsible families don’t do their budgets the way the federal government does. When times are tough, you — you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices. It’s time your government did the same.”
Of course, the federal government should’ve tightened its belt, too, and that fact seems lost on Obama, but the rest of what he said is perfectly sensible. I said in September of 2008 that families should prepare as best they can for the worsening economy. The events of September 2008 are different than the events of today, but the prospects for continued and perhaps even worsening economic malaise are still staring us in the face.
But Nevada politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, are evidently irrational. They’ve built their state’s economic foundation upon the sand (see the economics explained here and here) instead of upon a rock, and when the economic storm blew in, their economic house was pulverized. Do they face the music of generations of bad decision-making? Apparently not. They are still in denial about what a prudent course of action should be. All they’ve done so far is shoot the messenger, in this case, President Obama, when the truth of the message is plainly evident.
I might add that there was never a time when it was OK to blow a load of cash in Las Vegas casinos at the expense of a college fund, not even in the good times.
President Obama sent a letter of clarification to Senator Reid. In the letter, the President still makes perfect sense:
“I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun.”
For the record, I like vacations. I like to travel. I learn many things about our world from my travel experiences. But I wouldn’t be able to afford much traveling or vacationing if I feed those one-armed bandits called slot machines. I certainly don’t see any educational value in making a casino my tourist destination.
Remember when Senator Reid was accused of making racist remarks? How many politicians came to the Senator’s defense? He made an apology to the President, and the President vouched for the Senator’s character, that the Senator was not a racist.
But, in this instance, no apology is necessary, yet Senator Reid, with lightning quickness, has thrown the President under the bus, even after the President reached out to him with a letter of clarification. I think the President would do well to file this episode of disloyalty in repayment of his own loyalty in a place where it can be easily retrieved in the case of a future dispute. Bad karma for Senator Reid. Bad karma.
One of Reid’s potential opponents for his Senate re-election, Republican Danny Tarkanian, isn’t demonstrating any more intelligence on the issue than Reid is. I won’t bother to quote any of the Nevada politicians, since their rants aren’t sensible enough to be worthy of repetition on my blog.
So, why all the nonsensical bluster? As I posted in the run-up to Ohio’s elections on the casino issue, GAMBLING BUYS POLITICIANS.