My husband is attending a conference where George Will was speaking. He sent me some excerpts from his talk. They are gems.
Event: Keynote Session: George Will
* 3 presidents have not been elected consecutively to back to back terms since Jefferson, Madison and Monroe – our 3rd, 4th and 5th presidents. If Obama is re-elected it will happen again with Clinton, Bush and Obama
* 22 million Hispanics in USA. Polls show Romney getting 27 percent of their vote. McCain got 31 percent. Bush 40 percent. If Romney only gets 27 percent of Hispanic vote he loses.
* If Obama carries the 18 states and DC that have voted Democratic the past 5 elections he will have 242 electoral votes. You need 270 to be president. He would only need to pick up 28 more electoral votes.
* The GOP ceiling of what is attainable is only 300 electoral votes – that only is a 30 vote cushion
*The Governor of NV is a Hispanic and he only got 30 percent of the Hispanic vote. Hispanics in USA are fairly diverse – a Cuban Hispanic is different than a Mexican Hispanic.
* No president has ever be re-elected if unemployment is higher than 7.4 percent
* Right now Obama’s approval rating is 48 percent. Historically a president gets the same percentage of vote on Election Day as his last approval rating number.
* U.S. government borrows half a million dollars every 10 seconds. At one point in time the richest American was John D Rockefeller. He could have written a check and retired the country’s entire defective at the time. Today the richest is Bill Gates. If he wrote a check of his entire net worth it would only pay for 2 months worth of interest payments of our national debt.
* There are 1.4 billion credit cards in US – that is 9 cards per every American
* Today we are more and more dependent upon the government. 1 in 7 people who work – work for the government. 1 in 7 are on food stamps. 1 in 6 on Medicaid. We are a welfare state that is working hard on transferring wealth.
* 10,000 Baby Boomers go on Social Security every day. Since 1935 we have been building rapidly a welfare state.
* In 1940 there were 40 workers per every retiree. Today there are 3.1 workers for every retiree.
* If Congress had indexed retirement age in 1935 when they created SS – it would have raised from 65 then to age 74 today before you were eligible for SS benefits
* Medicine is what is really driving the deficit. Modern medicine was not created until 1941 with penicillin. Take for example President Calvin Coolidge’s son died from a blister on his foot from playing tennis.
* In 1960 6 percent of our GDP was spent on healthcare. Today we spend 18 percent of our GDP on healthcare.
* We have a 12 cent problem. Today 12 cents out of every dollar spent on healthcare is spent by the patient. 88 cents of every dollar is paid by someone else. When Kennedy was President – the patient paid for a majority of healthcare costs. No one cares today how much a test costs or how expensive a prescription drug costs. No one washes a rental car – you only take care of what you own.
* For America to avoid what is happening in Europe we have to cut entitlements – but that is very unpopular. People want high services and low taxes – that is impossible – diametrically opposed.
* Fewer and fewer Americans pay income taxes. The top 1 percent pays 40 percent of all our taxes. The top 5 percent pays 60 percent and the top 10 percent pays 70 percent. The bottom 50 percent pays 3 percent of our income tax.
* 48 percent of Americans pay no income tax. 60 percent pay 5 percent or less. They are not paying taxes so they have no incentive to reign in the cost of government. We have a bigger and bigger government and fewer and fewer people paying for it.
* Obama wants capitalism without casualties. That is not possible.
* 2 big issues in America are equality and freedom. Liberals push equality and want more entitlement programs while conservatives push freedom and want fewer entitlement programs
* Our Founding Fathers did not define an efficient government. They would have been aghast at the concept. They designed a safe government. They put in all sorts of blocking mechanisms and checks and balances to create a safe government not an efficient one. Gridlock is not bad.
* “Capitalism doesn’t just make us better off – it makes us better.”
* Take any 3 letters of the alphabet and arrange them in any order and it represents an acronym for a federal program we an do without.
* On speaking too long – a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox told his coach when became to the mound to take him out ‘Skipper i’m not tired.’ coach said, “I know you aren’t tired but our outfielders are.”
* On how much money we spend on campaigns – we spend more money on potato chips in America than we do on every race combined from dog catcher all the way up to President.
* “Congress shall make no law . . . The 5 most beautiful words in the American language.