OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - “Patty’s Stimulus Package”

(02/04/2003)

By Tony Russell

Patty has been following the debate over the President’s economic stimulus package closely, and this morning she announced that we needed to make some changes in our household.

“Ace,” she said, “our budget is pretty tight. The credit card bill is in four figures, the bill for car insurance just came yesterday, and I’ve got a wisdom tooth that has to come out.”

“Ouch!” I said. “I don’t know how we’re going to swing all that right now.”

“No problem,” she said. “I’ve been watching how the administration thinks, and we should be okay if we just follow their lead.”

“Sounds good to me,” I said. “What’s first?”

“The first thing is to cut your income. They want to reduce government income by slicing taxes, so we need to reduce money coming into the house. Can you see if they’ll cut your wages back about 20%? That should help.”

“I think the boss would be willing to do that. What next?”

“We need to take 42% of that money we’re not getting anymore, and arrange for it to go to my Uncle George.”

“Your Uncle George! That old coot! He already owns a third of Calhoun County, and he’s a greedy, money-grabbing so-and-so. I know plenty of people who could use the money, but he’s not one of them! Why the devil would we give him a red cent?”

“Will you stop being difficult, Ace? That 42% break needs to go to the richest one per cent, and Uncle George is the only person we know in that category.”

“Patty, once you get into the details, this doesn’t sound so great.”

“Ace, if we’re going to do this right, we need to follow the administration’s lead. Are you in or out?”

“I guess I’m in. But are you sure you know what you’re doing, Patty?” I said grudgingly.

“I listened to the President’s State of the Union address, and I’ve been following all the White House press releases. I’m sure I’ve got the gist of it,” she said.

“You’re a heck of a lot better with figures than I am. Is there anything else?”

“One more thing. We need to increase spending. The government spent a ton of money on arms and security. Would you like any more rifles or shotguns to add to your collection?”

“Hot damn!” I said excitedly. “You mean I can buy that turkey gun I’ve been wanting?”

“Sure,” she said, “but that doesn’t cost nearly enough. What about that antique Ithaca single gauge of Tom’s you wanted to buy? And that laser pistol sight?”

“I’m out of here!” I shouted, racing for the door. Then I skidded to a stop. “I only have twenty bucks in my pocket,” I protested. “How am I supposed to pay for all that? ”

“No problem,” said Patty. “Borrow it from the kids.”


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