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Smart Bombs: ‘Lucky Duckies’ Lazy?

In his Smart Bombs column, Gary Crooks of the SR Editorial Board, tells of the dilemma that many hard-working Americans fund themselves in as the collateral damage from the Great Recession continues:

So, you’ve cobbled together unemployment benefits, help from family, food stamps and other assistance to keep your household afloat in the dim hope that a thoughtful employer might throw you a lifeline. Then last week, you learned that presidential candidate Mitt Romney grouped you with all Americans who pay no income tax, and he assigned your motives to malingering and mooching. This, by his definition, made you an automatic vote for President Barack Obama. He wasn’t feeling sorry for you; he was feeling sorry for himself. How can he win you over with an income tax break when you’re not paying that tax at this time? To put it in the terms of an obnoxious Wall Street Journal editorial, this makes you one of the “lucky duckies.”

Question: Which presidential candidate — if either from the major parties — is more likely to feel your pain?

Trib: No Future For Idaho Teachers

Newly minted teachers: Bring your degree to Idaho's classrooms. Spend a couple of years here. Gain some experience. Then leave. Look for a state that values you and your profession.Or find something else to do. If you don't know this already, pay attention to the Legislature's public school blueprint. It increases the minimum salary for starting teachers by $500 to $30,500. Actually, that's just making up for lost ground. Before the Great Recession kicked in, Idaho insisted on paying all new recruits $31,750. It got as low as $29,655 in the 2010-2011 school year. That had better be enough, for awhile.Under Idaho's pay grid, it may be eight years before you're entitled to more. In fact, 31 percent of Idaho's teachers are in the same fix - caught in a compensation package twilight zone/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Has Idaho become a training ground for teachers, who will jump to other states for better pay?

Dow Jones Closes Above 13,000

The Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008, four months before the financial crisis. Preliminary figures show the Dow closed up five points Tuesday to finish at 13,005. The average is up more than 6 percent this year, mostly because of enthusiasm about the building U.S. economic recovery. The Dow first broke 13,000 on April 25, 2007. The last time it ended the day above 13,000 was May 19, 2008. The Great Recession was six months old/AP. More here. (AP photo: A board on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the Dow Jones Industrial average today)

Question: What will have to happen before you believe the Great Recession is officially behind us?

Herb: Quit Whining, Tighten Belts

Herb Huseland: We are all going to have to tighten our belts. The gravy train is over. Tough times are ahead. Tough times that the last several generations have not had to face. Every faction that is affected by the income shortfall is in denial. We are going to have to do more with less, become more inventive and stop throwing spears at each other. Luna did not invent the budget he is faced with administrating. The legislature did. I suspect he is doing the best he can with very little help from the funding end.

Question: Do you think we're facing a long-term recession that will last up to a decade?