Monday, February 28, 2011

Federal Government Bloat -- Duh!

I guess we needed a formal study by the Government Accountability Office (GOA) to determine that the federal government has excessive bloat.

The 340-page study "Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue" examines waste in agriculture, defense, economic development, energy, general government, health, homeland security/law enforcement, international affairs, social services, and training/employment/education.

The U.S. government has:

-- 15 agencies overseeing food-safety laws
-- 20+ programs to help the homeless
-- 80 programs for economic development
-- 82 programs to improve teacher quality
-- 80 programs to help disadvantaged people with transportation
-- 47 programs for job training and employment
-- 56 programs to help people understand finances

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who pushed for the report, estimated it identifies between $100 billion and $200 billion in duplicative spending. The GAO didn't put a specific figure on the spending overlap.

Government and waste are synonymous. Congress and government oversight are an oxymoron.

Now that we have an official report, let's see if anything happens. My guess is nothing. When we do this study again in 20 years, provided we still have this government, what do you bet we find the the problem of waste and bloat to be even greater?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

There is a gem in Southeastern Arizona: the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

The San Pedro River flows north from Sonora Mexico and eventually into the Salt River near Phoenix. For most easterners, it would be considered a slow moving creek. But for this part of AZ, a stream that runs year round is welcome.

The slice of riparian terrain in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert in Cochise Country is an ideal habitat for migratory birds. It is a birders paradise, especially in March and April.

There is a hiking trail -- in many places it is rather formal -- that goes for miles. We hiked 2-3 miles, getting a good taste of the environment during a cool but pleasant winter day.

A good starting point is the San Pedro House. As this is managed by birders, there a plenty of feeders and birds. At any one moment there are dozens of species in the trees and shrubs around the House. I was fortunate to see a Vermilion Flycatcher, a favorite of mine. There is also a huge cottonwood tree there, allegedly the third largest in AZ.

The San Pedro riparian way provides a lovely habitat for flora and fauna that would have a tough time in the high desert if it were not for this constantly-flowing river.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bisbee Arizona - Miners Meet Hippies

My wife, youngest daughter and I spent a day and night in Bisbee, Arizona. This is a town founded by miners but now owned by hippies.

A conservative has little in common with most of the current residents. Thirty plus years ago, as mining took a dive, hippies from the 60s snapped up properties for next to nothing. Today, many are still there, as are some of their children and some retired residents.

Set in a tight valley, the homes are wedged-in on both sides of the valley. Lots of steps and steep roads are the rule. It must be quite the ordeal to see how a large moving van loads or unloads. There is little space to turn around. The residents certainly get good exercise walking up and down steps and steep roads all day.

There are lots of touristy shops and some interesting art shops (photo is of plumbing art from a Bisbee home). There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and interesting buildings and homes. Many look like they are ready to fall down at any moment.

We stayed at the Bisbee Inn. A nice establishment; plenty of rooms, simple DIY breakfast, and a nice owner (he's trying to sell it). While there, the nightly ghost tour came through. Fun to talk about ghosts but I would not spend a dime on any official ghost tour. Unfortunately, we slept sound.

Bisbee is one of those "nice to visit, glad I don't live there" towns. I can only take liberals for so long (24 hours is too much). The anti-Bush/pro-Obama stickers are prevalent. Looking through the police blotter, it was full of animal disturbance calls. What's up with that?

This is the most non-HOA town ever created in America. Houses are on top of each other. Everyone does his or her own thing. While some don absolutely nothing. When you put a bunch of hippies on top of one another, tempers are bound to flare. They can only love their neighbors so much until life catches up.

Bisbee's best days are well behind it. But it can be a nice diversion, especially if you are into gay pride celebrations.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Boot Hill Cemetery - Tombstone

A bit touristy but the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, AZ made me think about the history of the area and those that lived there.

This graveyard was neglected for decades but some inspired western lore lover / anthropologist / entrepreneur was able to do some excavation and plot labeling. There are a 150 or so grave that have been identified. Most notably those of Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury, the three men killed during the famed Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

But more interesting to me were four markers:

-- "Two Chinamen"
-- "Here Lies Lester Moore Four Slugs From A 44 No Less No More"
-- Here Lies George Johnson Hanged By Mistake 1882 He Was Right We Was Wrong But We Strung Him Up and Now He's Gone"
-- "Hayes" (my last name)

Tombstone was certainly a rough town. It liked up to its reputation. Scores of saloons, brothels and establishments for vice fulfillment. Today, it is a tourist town but for those interested in the wild west, worth the trip. Eat and the Longhorn Restaurant -- excellent western grub.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jazz Trade of Williams Had to Happen

Smart Jazz fans realize this trade had to happen. The Jazz are going nowhere with this roster. They have no real leader. Williams was not the answer in Utah. Best of luck New Jersey.

The Nets sent past lottery picks Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and $3 million in cash to Utah for Deron William.

The problem with William is that he is not a leader, at least for the Jazz. He is not a team builder. He tears people down. He is not one that is capable of carrying a team. He is more of a legend in his own mind. He is a good point guard but you don't want him taking the last shot.

The NBA is a league of a few super stars. Williams is not a super star. The Jazz will have better luck playing the lottery and hoping for a superstar.

The current Jazz roster will look nothing like it does today in two years. I would bet that in two years only 2-3 current players will still be on the Jazz.

Deron Williams puts forth effort about half the time, probably closer to 25 percent. Fans also know he had a role in Jerry Sloan's retirement. (Although in hind-site, it was time for him to go.) In Utah, the fans want to see effort, a love of the game, a desire to build and win. Williams did not bring that to the table.

After a good start to the season, this bunch has all but tossed in the towel. At least now we will not have the overly critical Williams trying to pretend this was his team. We will see effort and for Utah fans, that has some merit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Anti-Israel Rhetoric Trumps All

Last week
The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal, saying that while it agreed that the settlements are illegitimate the resolution harmed chances for peace talks.
A reasonable question to ask is why does Israel continue to build housing settlements in the West Bank area of Israel?

Most in the international community feel the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel counters and says it is within its rights as they entered these areas lawfully in self-defense.

The Obama administration and the U.S.'s Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice are against continued Israeli settlement activities. The U.S. was the only veto (of 15 members (and one of five permanent members) stating the resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides and could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations.

Few pro-Israel groups chastised the administration for singling out Israel. Israel has is share of blame in the mess but they are the only party that repeatedly has offered a peace deal, that offered a ten month freeze, and that engaged in direct negotiations. The Palestinians who walked out of talks, refuse to recognize the Jewish state, and continue to incite terrorism.

It is not as if we needed a reminder that the U.N. is anti-Semitic. We also know that according to most, they are also the cause of all of the ills and pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. Anti-Israel rhetoric trumps all.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It Is Not About the Children

This week in Wisconsin the teachers, among others, are protesting against the newly elected governor Scott Walker, a Republican, for trying to strips public workers of their collective bargaining rights.

You'd think America had become France or Greece politically. It appears to have done so in some parts. Socialists and those the live on the backs of the taxpayers have a tough time understanding what a level playing field is. They think it is their "right" to dictate their taxpayer derived benefits and wages. They fell that those of us not on the government payrolls should be thankful for what they do for society and pay according to their demands.

Wisconsin protests have reaffirmed some key economical and political principles:

1) The governor wants to remove the ability of government employees (except local police, fire fighters and the State Patrol -- Obama did not know that) the collective bargaining rights for their benefits, and to tie their wage increases to the CPI. He wants state employees to pay a higher percentage of their medical and pension benefits. These percentages are still significantly less than what non-government workers pay. For those of us in the real world, those increases are greater than pay raise percentages. Government workers are not entitled to these compensation deal.

2) Socialist societies have a large portion of their citizens working on government payrolls. They are able to vote themselves pay raises and benefits by voting in liberal politicians. The financial weight crushes the system. With the middle class bearing the brunt of the burden, it cannot be sustained.

3) Most people do not understand what democracy actually means, including these protesting teachers. In Wisconsin, the voters voted in a conservative governor that promised to address the fiscal problems of the state. The unions are trying to trump the will of the people, just like Obama, Pelosi and Reid did with health care.

4) For the teachers, it is not about the children. With 40 percent of the Wisconsin teachers not going to class, it shows that teaching is just a job for most, they could really care less about the impact to their students. Lets see how long they are willing to stick by their guns and stay away from school. Of course, they are still entitled to the pay for those days they were away.

5) Unions are at a breaking point. Their relevance has all but disappeared. Governor Walker would do away with collecting and redistributing union dues, pushing that back on the unions themselves. He would also require unions to be re-certified by its members annually. Unions are fearful of accountability to their members.

6) The NEA has never been about "advancing the cause of public education," rather advancing their power, ideological agendas and compensation. They just do it in the education field.

7) The Democratic Senators in Wisconsin are cowards. There is no honor in running and shirking their duties. To them this is such a breaking point that they will do things previously unheard of.

8) Obama is again sticking his nose into matters he does not belong. Why is he doing this? Why is the DNC getting involved in this issue? Because the core to the Democrat Party is unions and this will diminish their value significantly.

What to take sides? Look who is with the teachers: Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, the usual cast of liberal/union characters.

This is budget, union, state/federal rights debate is great. As it spreads to other states (Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota) a significant point in American history unfolding before our eyes.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Government-Back High Speed Rail Is Bad Government

Ask any Jane or Joe if they thought a high-speed rail system in their state connecting points A, B, C and D would be a nice thing. Nine out of ten would say yes. Ask them if they would use it and they will also say yes, some would use it more than others. Then ask them if they'd be willing to pay the non-subsidized ridership fees. No one would answer yes.

High-speed rail in America is a "nice-to-have" thing, not a necessity. During times of economic recession, now is not the time to use federal subsidies for high-speed rail.

So why have some states told President Omaba "thanks but no thanks," and refused the federal gift? Because the federal earmark will require the states to sinks millions every year into managing and maintaining it.

It is interesting that the states that are in the largest financial disarray are trying to grab the money that the states with adult leadership are relinquishing. New York, California, and other blue states are trying to grab the "unclaimed" federal earmarks.

The federal and state budgets are disasters because their leaders do not know how to prioritized between needs and wants.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

President Flimflam Obama

American or not, was President Obama really born on Planet Earth? I do not get how he thinks that given the dire straits we are in as a nation, financially, he can propose a budget that continues to grow the federal deficit to levels that will bankrupt the nation. Are his advisers extraterrestrial also?

The argument that this current budget situation can be blamed on the GOP is an argument that does not fly. Sure Bush violated every conservative principle with respect to the growth of government (with help from a Democratic Congress), but that is no license for Omama to trump him many times over.

His proposed $3.7 trillion budget does not demonstrate any leadership. He is unwilling to make the hard choices. He punted -- a shank at that -- forcing the GOP House to do the dirty work. Obama is basing his deficit-reduction plan on future economic growth, starting in 2016. Economic growth? Based on what motivation and factors?

He left Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid untouched, allowing them to approach insolvency and creating some very pissed off elderly in a few years.

Obama's deficit-reducing budget depends on a 4 percent growth. Again, he's dreaming. With an incompetent like him calling the economic shots, doomed is the condition that comes to mind. What is going to turn this economy around? Higher taxes? More people on government payrolls? The economic growth principles are non-existent.

Obama does not want to be the bad guy. He hopes to blame the GOP in two years when he runs for re-election. He's a true flimflam man -- a real con artist. The bulk of the American people will not let him get away with it this time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Persian Quarter

This evening, I watched The Persian Quarter put on by the Salt Lake Acting Company. It was pretty good.

I was not all that impresses with the first act -- an American guy and gal engaged in new boyfriend/girlfriend (Mike/Ann) conversation inside an American compound in Tehran in 1979. Ann, despite the fact she is living in Iran, could not handle being told how to live, dress and act by the virtue and vice police. Turns out Ann is a CIA informant posing as an English teacher. Mike was living in Iran for the experience; he understood the Persians.

It picked up in the next act when they became two of the 52 hostages taken by the "revolutionaries" during the Iranian Revolution. The dialog between Ann and her captor/guard, Shirin, is engaging. The two young females cannot relate to one another, one not understanding why she was held for 444 days and the other thinking that the revolution would result in a Persian utopia.

Fast forward to the present and the daughters of those two (Emily/Azadeh) meet accidentally in New York at Columbia University during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit in 2009. The two modern girls cannot relate to one another, but seem to respect one another in the end.

Meshed throughout is Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, the 13th century Iranian poet. Both Iranian mother and daughter see life through Rumi's poems.

The author, Kathleen Cahill, does a good job showing how two very different women and their daughters, thirty years apart, see the world so differently. But at the same time, realize there are many things in common.

Both actresses performed admirably. The arguments they had with one another were so engaging. Those issues between America and Iran are still there today. Americans and Iranians still do not relate to one another. America is so new; Persia is so old. The cultures are so different. Regardless, there are things we can learn from one another if given a chance.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hope For Federal Budgetary Discipline

Listening to our elected officials, you'd think there is hope for fiscal restraint. But with a federal debt that should reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, this will be 102.6 percent of the entire national GDP. This will be the first time since World War II that the debt will be this high.

All of the discussion is on discretionary spending. Important but nothing compared to the entitlement programs -- the trillion pound gorilla in the middle of the room. How do we continue along this path, trying to fill a leaky bucket with an eyedropper?

Politicians are unable to deal with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security with any reasonableness. Instead they focus on cutting programs like NPR and PBS. Certainly there is waste within discretionary spending but it dwarfs the entitlement programs.

Add to this the interest payments, and the nation is heading towards bankruptcy. The politicians know this but the sense of urgency is not there.

Great will be the politicians and bureaucrats who solve this problem. The know-how is there, the political will is not. I pray that the libertarian aspect of the political parties bring sanity to the problem. This ship is sinking and has been for over a decade.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Carra" and Some Observations

I just finished reading Carra: My Autobiography. It is Jamie Carragher's story thus far (he's in his early 30s). I read it because he is one of the core leaders of my favorite football (soccer) team: Liverpool Football Club.

What make his book good is that he writes it from a local perspective. In Britain, the local team is integrated into the local culture. In Liverpool, there are two teams: Liverpool and Everton. One cannot be a fan of both; it is either one or the other. For most Brits, local football trumps national football. Jamie was raised in blue (Everton) but as a teen and professional, his employer and eventual loyalty became red (Liverpool).

The book provides a great overview of the more recent history of Liverpool football. It gave me some great memories of some of the great matches and cups Liverpool has won these past ten years. It also gave me time to ponder on some issues Jamie raised, directly or by accident. Here are three:

1- Passion In Athletics -- We see passion in sports all the time -- the NFL, college football and basketball, NASCAR, the NBA. From eight until 30, if Ohio State lost a football game, I'd be ill for days. Today, that sick feeling rears its head on occasion. The last time was in 2010 in the NFC Championship when Farve threw an INT just as they were about to kick the winning field goal. I still have my teams but I just accept that a championship is very rare and if they do not win it all, I can have joy in a good season. I do not get worked up over a loss, disappointed, yes, but I get over it quickly.

The problem with obsessive passion in sports, or in anything for that matter, is that it becomes a form of personal deity. Sports are for entertainment, not for worship. Most people cannot relate to the love people have for their team. It is ingrained into their personal if not community culture. Jamie indirectly points out that for most of those in the Kop (not just a location but a term associated with the most passionate of Liverpool followers), their passion is second to none. For them it is their place of worship.

2 - Money In English Football -- today, when Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1, that was the most expensive two teams that have ever played one another. Think Yankees-Red Sox and double it. The problem in the English Premier League (and in the Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A) is that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. 75 percent of the teams have no chance of winning the league title or playing in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League. Today in English football, it is ManU, Chelsea, Arsenal, now Man City followed by Liverpool and Tottenham. There is no coincidence that the teams with the most money play for the most cups year after year. I have a problem with this.

3 - The Concept of Family -- What struck me as I read Jamie's words is that his concept of family is the way most Brits view family. It is totally normal for a man and woman to have children prior to marriage. The institution of marriage is still practiced but its meaning has diminished. Having children prior to marriage is the norm.

The Mormon way (that which is supported by Biblical teachings) is the exception in the Western world. The British way has become the norm. Sexual abstinence until marriage is unheard of for most. Marriage is nice but not essential for a "happy" family. It makes me realize how uniquely refreshing it is to be LDS. The principles are true and will stand the test of time.

If you like or want to learn about Liverpool football, then this makes for a great read. I'd also be interested in your "observations."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Egypt Crisis Shows American Incompetence

American foreign policy in the Middle East is a two-edged sword. On one side, we have supported with word and dollar the stability afforded by autocrats. On the other side, we talk of and praise democracy.

Obama did his best to demonstrate how little he knows about foreign affairs. Our State Department and CIA were not much better, caught off-guard by the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. We'd probably be better served by scrapping all of the bureaucrats and leveraging some political think-tank.

The West is happy for the Egyptian people and their 2011 revolution -- the ouster of a greedy dictator with little bloodshed in that part of the world is rare indeed. The post-celebratory task of governing will be difficult as best.

Obama spoke today about revolutions in modern history. There have been some 80+ revolutions in the recent past but less than half have resulted in what political scientists would considered democracies. Even with those that are considered democracies, there is little redeeming value in these nations. They are not bastions of industry. Few people, less some communist ideologues, would consider them places of destination or capital investment.

With over 30 percent of Egyptians on the government payroll, there is little hope for serious growth. Mubarak, earlier this week, promised a 15% raise for civil servants. That is Obama/Bernanke/Geithner policy at its finest -- just print more notes. Autocrats are good at playing the populist hand.

American leaders have no idea what will fill the Egyptian political void. There are few good examples of positives coming out of military coups. Military leaders know how to fight war, not lead economic development. Time will tell but history is not on the side of democracy as the West knows it in the Middle East.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Over the past few weeks, when I had a couple of hours free at the end of the day, I would watch Ken Burns's 2009 six-part documentary: The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

When I was 18 years old, I spent four weeks backpacking in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The next summer I spent four weeks backpacking in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and a week in Yosemite National Park. Both were asspoicated with a field biology class I took at Fullerton College. My professor the first year was Mark Parret, a botanist, while my professor the second year was Alan Schroner, a zoologist. It was through these two experiences and men that I developed my love affair with backpacking, the study of flora and fauna, and the National Parks.

Burn's program made me think back on all for the Park, National Forest and wilderness experiences I have had and will yet have. I hike and backpack still to this day. I still plan my annual hiking/backpacking events, key to my work vacation / days off. I have been to National Parks and National Forests through the West, some in the Midwest, East and South including a number of Revolutionary War and Civil War sites. My love is in the West.

I live in Utah and have been to all of the National Parks and Monuments in Utah on multiple occasions, almost always with at least one family member: Arches, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon, Natural Bridges, Rainbow Bridge, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Cedar Breaks (probably 50 times), Timpanogos Cave, Dinosaur, Golden Spike, Hovenweep, Pony Express, Capital Reef and Grand Staircase-Escalante (these last two are my favorites).

As I watched the documentary, I knew I was being bombarded by liberal commentary; i.e., Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, etc. I am sure that just about all of those involved in the film are politically Democratic. So, just like listening to NPR, I watched knowing the political bias of the interviewees.

I am convinced the National Parks turned out to be one of Americ's great idea, just below the Constitution. I wonder if left alone, without federal government involvement, what would have happened to these locations? They'd still be there but they would mostly likely would be marred by commercialism.

When a National Park is set aside, it automatically places it on millions of people's radar -- a place they need to visit. Most people will never visit these locations. When the Parks were created in Alaska, President Carter did it unilaterally, invoking the Antiquities Act, just like other Presidents have done. It created an uproar in Alaska. When President Clinton did this in Utah in 1996 and created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, there was also an uproar. The residents felt the government was stealing what was not theirs to begin with. But these designations do is create awareness and tourism that did not exist prior. It adds budgetary requirements to support them -- through higher taxes.

Most few people who visit Parks and Monuments, are car visitors. They see the highlights as determined by the infrastructure and guidebooks. Visits are measured in hours, not days. People tend to be one-trip Park baggers, then onto the next one.

It was sad to hear the comments of some of the interviewees talking about their visits and life-long memories. Because most of these people live in the East and in urban/suburban settings, these visits are once or twice in a lifetime. For me and my family, these are multiple visits each year. That's why we live where we live.

Most people will never see these places. For them, America consist of the little community they live in: the same work, places to shop, TV programs to watch, places to eat, activities to do. Yes, America is much more. I am not sure if I want them to see these places because it tend to spoil it for the locals. Crowds at the visitor's centers, on the hiking trails, in the rivers, in the backcountry are not things I want to see more of.

What The National Parks: America's Best Idea caused me to think about is how can I, as a libertarian -- one who believes in less, government and low taxes -- and as a lover of nature, reconciles with the traditional environmentalist?

I would love to participate in environmental causes but I would be a cast-off in their presence: the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance would not have me. Maybe Ducks Unlimited might have me?

As shown in this film, for many of these people, this task of creating National Parks and the National Parks Service was a religion. I have a religion and it is not environmentalism, though I love wilderness. This is my dilemma.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

White House and the Middle East

Why does any nation in the Middle East pretend it is an ally of the USA? Foreign aid and the financial benefits of the consumption of oil.

Whenever there is talk about Israel and Palestinian Authority peace talks, it is a exercise in politicians pretending like they are accomplishing something.

Whenever some Middle Eastern autocrat visits Washington, the White House and Congress would be well advised to hold onto their wallets instead of picking up the tab on his pet projects. Projects that allow him to maintain his authoritarian rule.

When we hear the White House and State Department comment upon the conflicts in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Tunisia, etc., one wonders whether the revolutionaries actually hear or care what they say.

Secretary Clinton calls for "orderly, peaceful transition" in Egypt. President Obama said the transition "must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now." Shortly thereafter, all hell breaks out.

We keep hearing the Leadership say that it is up to the Egyptian people to determine their form of government. Yet those same people want a democratic nation to emerge. An American's definition of democracy is very different than an Arab's. It is unlikely but what if the Egyptians want an Islamic caliphate?

We should appreciate what Michael Medved wrote today:

1) No Amount of Foreign Aid can redeem a deeply dysfunctional society.
2) The chaos in Cairo shows the limited value of agreements with corrupt, autocratic governments.

Despite what America says, hopes for, or believes, these nations will never like Israel, America or the West. They will use us for what they can but beyond that , they would relish in our destruction.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"Thank You," No, "Thank You"

Of all the pet-peeves I have with the mainstream media, there is one mannerism that bugs me more than any. This is when someone thanks the one who is thanking them.

Quite frequently, ok, just about every interview I have listened to on NPR, be it Morning Edition, All Things Considered or Weekend Edition (Saturday or Sunday), at the conclusion of the interview, the NPR host will thank the person whom they just interviewed and that person will respond "no, thank you."

Is this a case of oneupmanship? Is one person trying to be more humble than the other?

When someone offers their thanks, that person must believe that the other has done something for them. As such, the proper response is "you're welcome."

Next time you listen to an interview, note how many times a "thank you" is answered with a "thank you."