May 27, 2012 in Opinion

Smart Bombs: Greatest generation? Not us

By The Spokesman-Review

The Congressional Budget Office toted up the consequences of the scheduled year-end budget cuts and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, then delivered the bad news. The economy would probably sink back into a recession in the first half of 2013 and then snap out of it in the second half. The spending cuts and tax increases are on autopilot, so Congress need not act. You can bet it will.

On the other hand, if Congress were to let this happen, it would reduce the federal budget deficit. Delaying action on that front would ruin the economy for future generations, because they will be forced to raise taxes and cut spending to avert the fate of Greece and other overextended nations.

The solution is up to politicians. Will they join forces for the greater good to gradually raise taxes and cut spending to pay overdue bills, so that our children and grandchildren won’t have to? Not much suspense there. It’s more likely that Democrats will cherry-pick the report and note that spending cuts would be ruinous (except for those related to defense), while Republicans will do the same with tax increases (except for those on the working poor).

Then, when the next generation faces up to our dithering, we can blame them for ruining the economy and “stealing” our benefits.

MOP And gown. At a recent speech at a Florida high school, Vice President Joe Biden said, “The incredible cost of college education is for the first time crushing hundreds of parents.” Hundreds, eh? If only. In fact, it’s millions of parents who are under this thumb, and in a few years I’ll be one of them.

When my oldest child was born (1997), resident tuition at the University of Washington was less than one-third what it is now. That would be acceptable if my income had tripled, but … not quite. And he’s the bargain baby. My youngest child is seven annual tuition increases away from her freshman year at college. But it doesn’t end there. Unless she turns Running Start into Running Finish, we’ll endure more price hikes.

As Alicia Hilberg, an intern for the Seattle Times, wrote recently: “The cost for a full quarter of tuition in my final quarter at the UW is $3,449 – that’s 55 percent more than I paid in the first quarter of my freshman year in 2008. If I were to take a fifth year – as many of my peers are forced to do with required courses cut – my tuition would be 88 percent more than my freshman bill.”

Maybe my kids can land jobs as university janitors, like that Eastern European immigrant who got a free education at Columbia University. They could get paid nothing, and it would still be a steal.

The TRUTH Expedition. Been quite a flap over that Farleigh Dickinson University study that purports to show that regular Fox News consumers did worse on a current events test than regular listeners of National Public Radio.

To me, the problem in measuring such a thing is the quiz itself, which asks questions about mainstream news developments. I perused the questions and there was nothing on topics that light up “news” sites like World Net Daily, NewsMax, American Thinker and those viral emails informed readers send to me.

Clearly the “lamestream media” fix is in. Think I’m wrong, then how would you do on this quiz?

How is U.N. Agenda 21 a threat to Spokane and all U.S. communities?

In what state did the secretary of state request proof of President Obama’s place of birth before putting him on the ballot?

Name the computer graphics expert that America’s investigative sheriff, Joe Arpaio, relied upon to “establish” that Obama’s birth certificate is probably bogus.

True or false: This same expert contends that Obama was Photoshopped into pictures of the Situation Room at the time of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Who really wrote Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams Of My Father”?

What country is the beneficiary of Obama’s “giveaway” of oil-rich islands?

Stumped? That’s because the mainstream media have dammed the tributaries of truth. To become better informed, you need to portage around this censorship and bravely paddle into the currents to reach the fetid backwaters.

It’s a long, strange trip, so pack a lunch.

Associate Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at or (509) 459-5026. Follow him on Twitter at @GaryCrooks.

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