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Finally, this Obama kid gets it and honors Older Americans

May 5, 2009 |  3:08 am

Originally, we were going to write this morning about the behemoth gun that the National Rifle Assn. is giving Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin so she can kill something soon after Mother's Day.

Then, we thought we'd rather write about Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary who messed up so badly on his overseas eA future Older Americanarnings reports that he dodged thousands of dollars in taxes back home suddenly deciding to crack down on corporations earning large sums of money overseas and dodging paying taxes back home.

Now that he's paid up, Geithner wants to hire another 800 IRS agents.

It makes sense in a Washington kind of way, since Geithner had to hand over something like $140G's to get his job running the IRS, among other things.

Why shouldn't these big kahuna companies fork over a nice chunk of change too?

And it fits with the new administration jacking taxes on evil rich people because they consume more air or something and haven't created enough jobs.

But then we saw the big news that simply must be written:

President Obama in a bold stroke of 21st century change leadership and recognizing the important contribution of a large, vital sector of American society, has issued an official proclamation declaring May as OLDER AMERICANS MONTH. (LARGER type just for them.)

Sure, it's probably because his mother-in-law lives with him. But it's about time these young whippersnappers realize the import (and voting power) of the generation of Americans with all the little pill bottles on their dresser.

The couples on TV discussing with their eyes when the time is right. The women confiding about bone loss and guys running to the men's room all the time. Enough with the world's Hannah Montanas.

We'll publish the complete text of this historic OLDER AMERICAN document below. But here's....

...just a sample taste of what the intelligent young fellow in the White House so wisely said in his memorable proclamation about Older Americans, who are so hardworking, kind, decent, honest, loving, gentle, generous and loyal:

Older Americans have carried our Nation through great challenges and triumphs. They have enriched our national character and strengthened the Republic for those who have followed. During the month of May, we pay tribute to the wisest among us. (italics added for emphasis for the benefit of future Older Americans)

Throughout the land, Older Americans are strengthening our communities and the American way of life. Many senior citizens remain in the workforce to support themselves and their families.

Finally, long overdue official recognition for that crucial generation of spoiled Americans who had absolutely nothing to do with World War II's glorious victories for democracy except to be conceived during home leave or the first night after their father got back off the ship.

The generation of "Duck and cover!" (If you don't know what that means, you don't belong in it anyway.) The Howdy Doody crowd. The Fess Parker fans in the coonskin caps. Elvis. Kim Novak. James Dean. Natalie Wood. William Holden. Kim Novak. Sid Caesar. Jackie Gleason. Kim Novak.

Now, nowhere in this presidential proclamation is "OLDER AMERICAN" actually defined. Not even in really small type like this. Older than what? 47? Older than they should be? Or want to be?

Sure, they drive slower than a baseball game and take all the parking spots by store doors. But it's a very smart political move by this Chicago youngster.

It's true that a fair number of these Older Americans won't be around come November 2012. But in Chicago, death is no reason not to vote. And the Older Americans still breathing then will, as always, be more diligent about casting their ballot. And a lot of these diligent folks last November went with the fellow old guy. Something about the wisest among us.

Actually, come to think of it, so did Obama. He picked an old geezer as his first VP running mate and the nation's 47th. Joe Biden. One more Senate term and Biden would be older than the older guy so many older Americans preferred.

Biden was born in 1942. The smoke was still clearing from Pearl Harbor, for pete's sake. Biden still rides trains, like Truman and Lincoln. He's probably got a Packard garaged somewhere. Biden was in the U.S. Senate when Obama was organizing a sixth-grade PAC, back before the future ex-senator from Harvard via Illinois knew that Arugula is a Caribbean island.

Everybody knows these government proclamations aren't worth the paper they're not even printed on anymore. But each one of them makes a little segment of society feel good for a few minutes. Well, seconds. And ever since Victor Borge died and Obama began presiding over the evaporation of so many 401(k)'s, the Aleve Generation doesn't have much to hold on to.

So give him -- and them -- this one lousy month. (And stop honking when we fall asleep at the light.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

If you are a member of OLDER AMERICANS, have a kind young person show you how to click here to receive automatic Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item, even if you don't have a clue what this cockamamie Twitter thing is. Or follow us   @latimestot

OLDER AMERICANS MONTH, 2009
- - - - - - -
A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Older Americans have carried our Nation through great challenges and triumphs. They have enriched our national character and strengthened the Republic for those who have followed. During the month of May, we pay tribute to the wisest among us.

Throughout the land, Older Americans are strengthening our communities and the American way of life. Many senior citizens remain in the workforce to support themselves and their families.

Others are embarking on second careers and exploring new interests and fields of knowledge. Inspiring citizens of all ages, many serve as advocates and volunteers in community service roles. In this important work, they make a real difference in the daily lives of fellow citizens of all ages, while promoting and strengthening the American spirit of civic participation.

My Administration is working to create opportunities for older Americans to share their skills and wisdom with younger generations. One of the bills I recently signed into law, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, expands and improves service opportunities for older Americans.

Our Nation can benefit greatly from the experience and hard work of our older Americans, and I am committed to providing service opportunities to achieve this end.

We owe Older Americans a debt of gratitude and must work to help them age with dignity. Through home- and community-based services, including health promotion and preventive care programs, many older Americans are able to live more independent and healthier lives.

This year's theme for Older Americans Month, "Living Today for a Better Tomorrow," captures the importance of helping seniors today so they can enjoy the years ahead.

My Administration is committed to supporting Older Americans and is working to strengthen health care, retirement, community involvement, and other programs vital to their interests and beneficial to all of us. Older Americans have earned this support, and we owe them nothing less.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2009 as Older Americans Month.

I invite Americans of all ages; representatives of government at all levels; businesses and communities; faith-based and neighborhood organizations; and health, academic, and recreational institutions to acknowledge the contributions of older Americans during this month and throughout the year.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

/s/ BARACK OBAMA

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