Budget Balance Blues. (Quotes, Notes & Anecdotes)

Article excerpt

I hope a state goes bankrupt. I hope a state has real troubles getting its act together, so that the other 49 states can say, "Let's not do that." We need a state to be a had example, so that the others will start to make the serious decisions they need to get out of this mess.

Grover Norquest, described as "a prominent conservative strategist who works closely with the White House," sees benefits in budget problems facing the states: it will force them to spend less which will mean less government which is viewed as a good thing.

"Does Pain Make States Stronger?" New York Times, April 27.

Dangerous rulers

The most dangerous rulers are those who are clever enough to think they know it all. Give me a leader with a sound moral compass. The brains can be hired.

Gordon Gibson, Canadian columnist and political commentator. "Canada is on the edge of history," National Post, December 31.

Tax the rich

There is something fundamentally American about the notion that what people do with their lives is more important than the station of birth.

William Gates Sr., Seattle lawyer and father of Microsoft founder William Gates Jr., urges retention of the U.S. inheritance tax, which falls almost entirely on the affluent and wealthy. Without such a tax, he fears the creation of a permanent aristocracy.

Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, 2002.

Win an earthquake

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Jeanette Rankin (1880-1973), teacher, social worker, Republican politician, first woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. "First Words, "Utne January/February.

Days and years

The days are endless and the years fly by. Author Stacy Schiff, speaking "only as a parent," on the challenges and tribulations of child raising. "Because I Said So, "New York Times Book Review, April 27, 2003.

Moving on

To dwell on mistakes I made is a waste of time. I know what I know, I move on. You get slapped enough and you realize that you've been a buffoon and an idiot. And I was a buffoon and idiot until age 40. Madonna (1958-), U.S. singer. Observer (London), April 13, 2003.

Forgive: be happy

Moral emotions motivate our moral behavior not just, and not even predominantly, through the way the emotions are experienced but through the way they are remembered.

Avishai Margalit, philosophy professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says it is the memory of past humiliations and wrongs that give rise to negative moral emotions such as "resentment and the desire for revenge. Those are poisonous attitudes and states of mind." Tough though it might be, he says we should forgive those who have wronged us, not for their benefit but for our own, since our lives will be less happy and rich if we are dominated by such negative moral emotions.

The Ethics of Memory. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Sex and the single senior

"Before I turn 67 -- next March -- I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me."

From a 1999 classified advertisement in The New York Review of Books placed by retired English high school teacher, grandmother, and divorcee Jane Juska. The ad drew 63 responses in the first month and Juska spent most of a year following them up. The resulting sexual exploits are recounted in her book "A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late Life Adventures in Sex and Romance" (Villard). …