Mel Brooks produced many movies, such as The History of the World — Part 1,  Blazing Saddles, and The End, all poking fun at mankind, our ridiculous rituals, actions and attempts at governance that we’ve repeatedly fail at through the centuries. 

We propose that in today’s society, where one can’t even use a pronoun to describe our fellow man, that we should pay MR. Brooks big bucks to make another such movie and fund it through the omnibus of wasted dollars our leaders have just voted to print. Mel would have no trouble ridiculing $339.6 million to go to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for “non-detention border management requirements,” funds that are prohibited from being used to “acquire, maintain or extend border security technology and capabilities.” (This is copied from the bill.) Talk about oxymorons — OK, the last part of that word does apply.  

We are funding a walking track, a city water system, Salmon fish resorts and spas, opera fire alarms and border security for Lebanon. We are importing oil instead of maximizing our own supply, but in the bill, we borrow “$6 billion to help lower income households cover the rising costs of heating and cooling.” I could go on for pages with examples of how our government is printing and wasting our money. Every dollar they borrow and spend causes inflation and a higher price on items like our tractors and inventory that we have to sell to make a living and pay expenses.

OK, I wrote a fib; of one other thing I must inform you. The bill does increase defense spending, but I wish to inform you of our state of readiness when it comes to our main projection of power — super carriers. Now please google 'USS Gerald R Ford Issues.' Are you back yet? Hopping mad yet? 20 years in the making, building and de-bugging and it still 'ain’t right.' (We have a customer whose son serves on the ship.) AND we are building TWO MORE! These carriers cost $13 BILLION each and so far, can only fight at 80% capacity over the carriers they are replacing — if they can ever get the elevators to work. They can’t even launch our latest F35 planes! Let us also state the Navy doesn't even want them — but congress does because portions are built in every congressional district — imagine that. And one more thing, besides building ships that can't fight we are spending millions of dollars making our leatherneck Marines “more sensitive.”

Suppose our tractor suppliers provided US with a new improved high tech 100 horsepower tractor to replace an old faithful model that didn’t have computers, that had a huge 6-cylinder engine, that never had to have a software update, that would do 120% of what this new one will do and then they price the new one at over 5 times what we sold them for 20 years ago ... uh wait, they are doing that. Bad example, my bad. I guess it is contagious. 

So, for my new year's resolution, to lower the blood pressure, I vow to spend less time following current events and more time following the grandkids. More time reading non-controversial classics and less time reading idiotic posts on the net. More time exercising parts of the body besides the fingers as in typing. Less time complaining about things I cannot change and more time working on issues I can. Less time criticizing and more time building up ... Yeah right, I am just like Burt Reynolds in Brooks’s movie The End, where he says something like “Lord if you help me live, I will give you 50% of all I make,” then, 25% as he gets closer to safety and then, “well I made it on my own God, if I need you again I will call.”

After 60 years in this business, I am not going to change, who am I kidding. I can try, however — at least I know my weaknesses — and unlike Mel, I hope to have a Part II. So till next time, sneak in a Mel Brooks movie and laugh at ourselves, just don't do it with a PC friend …    

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



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