I will call this the mailbag but I'm not claiming that it's an actual mailbag.
First up is Anonymous (I wonder if that is his/her real name?) who writes:
"It's about time that we got more real journalists like you and fewer traitors like Helen Thomas who have the nerve to ask our Dear Leaders real questions."
Don't be too hard on Helen. She's a doll. She's just a part of the old media.
Next up is KarmiCommunist who chimes in with this comment:
"Perhaps you should stick to asking questions, since your reports on the SOTU lacks a lot."
KC (can I call you that?),
I've always considered myself sort of a double threat. I think that I have the ability to ask great questions and then report the answers myself. It separates me from all those Lefties who are, in my opinion, quite bonkers. The SOTU was different in that it wasn't really due to a question I had, but rather a constitutional requirement. However, I will keep your critique in mind next year and try to improve.
Another one from Anonymous:
"1 Are you now, or have you ever been a journalist?
2 Does Karl drink pine-apple juice or does he taste salty?
3 Do you prefer Baghdad Jeff or is there a different name that works better for you?
4 Is your mother proud of you or did she raise you to be honest and is highly disapointed in you?
Thanks in advance."
2. I don't understand. I think your sentence structure is off. It doesn't have to be either or.
3. A few relatives used to call me that during the build-up to war because I was a whiz at explaining all the reasons we needed to protect ourselves and go to war.
4. See my answer to number 2.
Good friend Tomato was kind enough to share this painful, personal secret:
"My grandma was in a union all her life and she lived to be 92. In hindsight, it appears she was probably a communist, too."
My prayers go out to you and your family. Well, everyone but your communist grandma.
"Do you think old people will taste like chicken or more like beef?"
I understand you're upset at your communist grandma, but you really shouldn't.
And finally, more Anonymous:
"Let me just lay this out: The Social Security payroll tax is something you dislike because they take your hard earned dollars and give them to old people. Well, gee... by that rationale, shouldn't we be looking at the uses of all of the taxes you pay? How about: the income tax is taking your hard earned dollars and building roads and providing defence (offense??), among other things, for many people other than you. Gee, maybe we should destroy those programs, too.
Social Security is an amazingly efficient "Poverty Insurance". If we had no Social Security, we would have many more people in poverty. People in poverty are going to cost the government much more money than the cost of Social Security. Well, then you say, "why does the government have to take care of people that can't take care of themselves?" Good question. Actually, wait... no, it isn't. It's in everyone's best interest to provide a minimum level of support for people. It provides stability to the economy. Sure, the economy won't have the highest possible highs, but it certainly won't ever reach great depression levels, either. People, for lot's of reasons, just never get enough money set aside to take care of themselves until the day they die. Sometimes they get sick, sometimes markets change (jobs move overseas, new technology makes their expertise obsolete, etc.), sometimes they get swindled, sometimes they have their money invested in Enron then it turns out the company was a giant Ponzi scheme and there never was any money. The CEO walks a multi-millionaire, but they are destitute. If there were no Social Security, these people would have to rely on their family (if available) or they would be homeless. Homelessness leads to all sorts of social ills- from the festering and spread of communicable diseases (assuming we don't provide them with emergency room crippling free medical care) to increased crime.
So, perhaps that paltry payroll tax- which will also provide YOU with poverty insurance- isn't such a high price to pay to avoid recessions, depressions, epidemics and much higher crime. And, as for having these nice young men at Wall Street manage their money... give me a break. The government handles the money in SS at a cost of 2%. Even very conservative estimates say that the cost of having brokers handle the money will be much closer to 20%. Imagine the rate of return one would have to achieve to eclipse that difference! We already know from Argentina and England that those types of social security programs are utter failures."
If I wanted the Lefty talking points I'd read the New York Times and watch CNN.