Jeff Ackerman: Alright already – I’m stimulated!
I finally got my letter indicating that Bush and his people will be sending me a check in hopes it will stimulate me. For a while there, I thought I’d never get stimulated.
“Dear Taxpayer,” it began (GW must have forgotten my real name). “You are entitled to an economic stimulus payment of (none of your business) as provided by the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.”
In case you missed it, the Economic Stimulus Act was passed earlier this year when the White House went into foreclosure. Its value has dropped 263 percent since Bush leased the joint almost eight years ago. In fact, there is supposed to be a new real estate reality show coming in January called, “Flip This White House.”
The letter went on to say that when I get the money, I should spend it on something that will help the economy get through this “downturn,” or “stagflation,” or “economic bump” that is causing most of us to drink vodka and cuss more than we did when you could buy a house with just a wink and a smile.
“What should we do with the money, honey?” my wife asked. She gets the mail before I do and doesn’t mind opening envelopes with my name on them, especially if there appears to be money inside.
“I don’t think the president is trying to stimulate you, sweetie,” I told my wife. “Otherwise he would have put your name on the check first. I think he wants me to spend it.”
“I thought we were in this economy together?” she asked. “What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine?”
My wife isn’t familiar with Executive Orders, or the notion that when ordered to do something by the Commander in Chief, I have no choice.
“This is different,” I said. “This isn’t our money. It belongs to the president. It’s kind of a loan. He gives it to me, I spend it, and then it gets taxed and eventually makes its way back to him.” If I spent all the money on gasoline, it would probably get back to him much quicker, since he’s in the oil business.
“The check requires two signatures,” she reminded me. “And I’m not signing anything until you tell me what your plans are.”
I actually thought about using the money to pay off a couple of bills, but then realized that Congress wanted us to spend the money on stuff we don’t need.
My garage is filled with testimonials to better times, when we bought a lot of things we didn’t need. I have a ping-pong table where my car is supposed to go and we bought two doves that have since hatched 367 others. If you want some doves, just call. I’ll throw in a ping-pong table.
So far the government letter had only stimulated a headache.
“Why don’t we use the money for a mini-vacation?” I asked. When you have more animals than Farmer John, you can only take “mini-vacations.” We’ve yet to find a hotel that will take a dog, cat, three rabbits and 3,000 doves.
“Good idea, but aren’t you president of the Chamber this year? We ought to spend the money locally,” said my practical wife. She’s always looking out for my political career and knows how serious I am about this “Shop Local” campaign.
“But there’s no beach here,” I said. “No ocean, either. I was thinking we could go to Mendocino and get away from the smoke.”
“I was thinking we need a new microwave,” she countered.
“Sounds exciting,” I muttered. “Maybe we can stay home the rest of our lives and eat popcorn.”
The government was also stimulating an argument.
“Who’s going to watch the doves?” she asked.
“I don’t care,” I answered. “I didn’t want the damned doves in the first place. Who would take care of the doves in the wild?” I knew the answer, of course, but my wife didn’t need a lecture on the Circle of Life. “Once upon a time there were 3,000 doves and six hawks …”
“I need a new iPod,” my son offered up, sensing an opportunity.
“You don’t need another iPod,” I snapped back. “Between you and your sister, you’ve already downloaded $3.4 million in iTunes.” It’s actually closer to $2 million, but I needed to make a point.
“I didn’t say anything!” shouted my daughter. “Why’d you drag me into this?”
“I think we ought to just send it back,” I said. “It’s not worth all the stress. We were better off poor.”
“We can’t just send it back. That would screw up the whole system,” my rational wife countered. She was right, of course. I can imagine the havoc it would cause if a check was returned with a note asking Congress to keep it.
“We have a smart-ass out there,” the government check-givers would say. “Maybe we ought to audit them.”
We decided to wait for the check to arrive and maybe take it out for dinner and a movie. If we did that twice, the money would be gone and our troubles over.
Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 477-4299, email@example.com, or 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945.
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From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.