That money talksI'm a little worried about my money these days. Not looking so good. In fact, not looking good at all. I went to visit it this morning and was shocked to see its condition.
I'll not deny,
I heard it once:
It said, "Goodbye."
"You look terrible," I said.
"No worse than you," it replied. "You look like death warmed over."
"Touch of bronchitis. Nothing serious. What's your excuse?"
My money, stacked morosely in small denominations in the back corner of the credit union vault, gave me the slightest ghost of a smile. "Well, I could blame everything on the economy, of course, but I'm afraid it's worse than that."
"Worse than the economy?" I asked. "How is that possible?"
"The Feds are after me."
Of course. It all made sense to me then. With the passage today of the so-called "Stimulus" bill, money all over the country would naturally be living in mortal fear of becoming fodder for pork barrel spending. Probably sooner rather than later.
"But how do you know the Feds won't spend you wisely?" I asked earnestly. "Certainly they couldn't do any worse than I have?"
My money actually laughed at me. "You're kidding, right? How much do you think I'm worth to you right now?"
I did some quick calculations. "Well, I know what your face value is. That can't have changed too much since last summer, could it?"
A few loose dollars fell to the vault floor. "I guess you haven't noticed yet. Can't you see how much weight I've lost since the Inauguration? I'm literally worth only pennies on the dollar right now. You just haven't caught on yet. Bet you haven't done your taxes yet this year, have you?"
I had to admit he had me there. "Well, no. Seems like I just barely filed my return from last year, what with the extension and all."
I've never heard money sigh before, but it had a somewhat chilling effect. "That's what I mean. You'll find out soon enough anyway. I guess you should know the whole story. You see, I've been called up by Congress and I expect to be deployed any time now."
"Of course! Don't you get it? Obama's majorities in the House and Senate have already earmarked me for some pork project in a town neither of us has ever heard of! I'll be shipped off to buy toxic assets from heaven only knows where, or, worse, be put in the pockets of corrupt union officials in (here it shuddered visibly) Michigan."
"Surely the Republicans would have tried to eliminate all that pork," I rejoined. "I can't imagine them letting the Democrats have their way without a fight."
A shrinking stack of ten dollar bills actually made a sound of disgust. "You weren't paying attention to the Three Stooges, I take it."
"Larry, Moe and Curly?"
"Collins, Snowe and Specter. They sold me out. Helped craft the 'bipartisan' spending package and threw me under Obama's bus."
"Ouch. I had no idea."
"Neither did anyone else. We all assumed that, being Republicans and all, they would stand firm with the House Republicans and vote against this nonsense. Instead they betrayed good conservative dollars everywhere and voted to appease the Congressional Demagogues. Had they toed the line like they should, we might have been able to force Obama's water carriers back to the bargaining table. Instead, I'm hiding out in this musty vault, hoping against hope that they'll somehow overlook me."
"There's still a chance you could get a plum assignment. I hear that NASA gets a billion plus in this package. Maybe you could even go to Homeland Security..."
"To help build the Fence in Name Only? May as well convert me to pesos now and be done with it."
"Oh, quit worrying. You're still here and I'm not going to throw you to the wolves just because some politician sticks his hand out. Hey, I'm still here, right? And I still have my health."
"And Obama wants to socialize health care in this country."
Suddenly I don't feel so good, either.