Monthly Archives: February 2015

IN & OUT BURGER: WTF?

Six months ago I made my first (and final) visit to a Whataburger. I’ve been in TX 10+ years and decided to find out what the fuss was all about. Alas, not much, unless you own stock in Morton’s.

The cheeseburger (my standard) was greasy — not moist, mind you, but greasy, and so over-salted it was rendered inedible. That so many Texans find it irresistible is probably a key factor in this state’s life expectancy trailing the national average.

This occurred about the same time the iconic California chain In & Out Burger arrived in North Texas. The first few openings were incredible – half mile long lines and rave reviews from long-standing fans. Maybe, just maybe…

Waiting for a few more units to open and the ensuing lines to subside, I finally made it to In & Out for, yes, a cheeseburger.

The product was moderately moist, not greasy, and in that regard an improvement over the Whataburger product. But…

If I were a betting man, I would wager that salt was the primary ingredient, with a little beef thrown in to enhance the flavor. Again, I gave up, leaving half a sandwich behind. What has happened to burger chains, and the American consumer for that matter?

Look – I add salt to many of the dishes I cook, and have a real affinity for many salty snacks. I am not anti-salt. I am, however, anti-salt as a main course.

I quit McDonald’s 20 years ago, and they both make McDonald’s look almost gourmet. In a way, this is probably for the best. I will never be tempted to stop in either of these chains rather than going home and cooking my own (much better) burger.

As for the taste of Texans? Well, they did elect Bush and Perry back to back.

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How Did We Allow This To Happen?

In 1999, then President Clinton, a Democrat, proposed a budget for the United States government of $1.7 Trillion. That is a huge amount of money, and undoubted more than was needed in order for government to fulfill its principal obligations to the American people, namely to protect their lives, liberties, and justly acquired property.

I mention this quaint historic fact because our present feckless leader, President Obama, just presented his 2016 spending plan to Congress. In it he calls for outlays of, get ready, $3.99 Trillion — over two and a third times more than the aforementioned Clinton budget. Two and a third times more!

Well, of course, there is inflation, the prices government pays for things and people goes up over time, I get that. In fact, prices today stand just under forty percent higher than they did in 2000.

Which begs the question, where in the name of h-e-double hockey sticks did the other one-hundred and ninety percent come from, or, more to the point I suppose, where in the hell is it going?

I don’t care how liberal you are, or how big a defense spender for that matter, there simply is no way such an increase can be justified. None.

Progressives and others lament things like growing income gaps, a shrinking middle class, and the largest block of workers who have given up on looking for a job in American history. Well friends, look no further than your spendthrift President and his Congressional enablers! (Including most of the GOP, which although saying many of the right things, continues to shovel money into the central government pit as though feeding an angry, hungry god.)

Government creates nothing but laws and regulations, Every dollar given over to government is a dollar not available for economic growth and job creation. It is the U. S. government, through the industrialized world’s highest marginal business taxes and unnecessary and burdensome regulations, that has driven good-paying jobs offshore, not greedy capitalists. Greedy capitalists get richer when more people can afford their goods and services, they have no reason to abandon American workers except in reaction to the machinations of government. Indeed, American workers remain among the most productive on earth.

Increasing the tax burden on America’s top ten percent of earners, who already pay more than forty percent of all income taxes, is not only not the answer, it is digging an already deep hole deeper. Ripping a trillion and a half or more dollars than necessary out of our economy to lavish it on already overpaid government employees, and/or those Fortune 500 companies with the best lobbyists, will not create one additional good paying job nor lift a single family back into the middle class.

There was a time when government played a far more minimalist role in our economy and lives. That was a time of incredible economic expansion, as well as the birth of the American Middle Class. We cannot expect the very thing that broke our system in the first place to fix it now. Or ever.

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