Energy prices and government spending continue to rise and guess who's paying the price? You and me. That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

On the left, we have the liberals who don't care if government programs work, they just want to continue to spend billions of dollars on compassionate dreams. On the right, we have conservatives who want billions of tax dollars to build a missile shield but are fuzzy when it comes to just how this technology would work. In the middle are working Americans who are getting hammered by high taxes and rocketing energy prices so their take home pay is shrinking faster than Bill Clinton's legacy.

Talking Points has just one question, is there anybody looking out for us? This missile shield thing is interesting. In theory, America needs it. The Chinese are a definite threat. They have missiles in central China that can reach us. If they ever invade Taiwan, a possibility, all hell will break loose unless America backs down from an iron clad treaty.

Also, China at any time could begin selling nuclear weapons to countries like Iran, Iraq and Libya, not a nice picture. So the shield in theory would be a positive.

But nobody knows if the technology will work and it's foolish to spend hundreds of billions on a project laced with insufficient data. The taxpayer has already been burned to the tune of $30 billion on the Osprey helicopter. If they can't get that bird to work, why should we think the missile shield will be a success?

So, a step-by-step approach is needed here, not a massive intrusion of tax money right off the bat. On the other side, the left has been completely silent on the massive failure of public education for the poor. $125 billion targeted towards poor children has produced reading scores that are scandalous and many inner city schools are falling apart. Federal Title I spending has been a colossal failure and the big spenders in Congress like Ted Kennedy have a lot of explaining to do.

And then there are energy prices. In just a few moments, we'll ask Newt Gingrich what he would do about the problem. But it is clear that both the Clinton and Bush administrations have been ineffective in this area. The tragedy here is that it is difficult to protect your family from misfortune if you don't have much money and every week it seems working Americans are hit with more expenses. Something has to be done.

But Talking Points is not seeing any white knight or even much clear thinking among the leadership here in Washington or in the media.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

John Wayne Bobbitt, who made headlines when his former wife performed unwanted surgery on his vital area, has now petitioned the court to get possession of the knife the woman used.

Bobbitt wants to auction off said knife on eBay. He wants to start the bidding at $3 million Bobbitt is not only ridiculous, he is well, out there if you get my point.

Sorry.

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