‘Wimpy Economics’ at Work in Nation’s Capitol
A Wikipedia entry describes him as “very intelligent, and well educated, but very lazy and gluttonous” and as “something of a scam artist” who “can be shockingly underhanded at times.” While a handful of people — including, but not limited to Al Gore, Barack Obama and Bernie Madoff — seem to fit that description, it was first used to describe “J. Wellington Wimpy,” a character best known as “Wimpy” in the old Popeye cartoons.
Wimpy is most often remembered for the pledge he uttered for the first time in 1934:
“I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
As a kid, I remember watching Popeye cartoons and laughing on each occasion when Wimpy would make his hamburger-payback pledge. Of course, loyal Popeye fans like me never expected Wimpy to live up to his oft-offered pledge — and he didn’t.
Fast-forward to today when Americans find themselves watching a seemingly-endless stream of bankers, insurance executives and Big Three automaker CEOs stand before Congressional committees and make pledges similar to Wimpy’s. The difference between them and Wimpy is that they are borrowing billions of taxpayer dollars instead of hamburgers. And that, my friends, is the problem with bailing out American companies with less-than-stellar track records of performance.
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Editor’s Note: David Donar and I disagree on many political issues, but I think the Political Graffiti cartoonist’s observation about the current bailout frenzy in the nation’s capitol — as evidenced in this cartoon — is right on target.