Satire by Dave Firmage
I need a favor. It seems that in my patriotic enthusiasm
to support our failing economy in the days following Saddam's
attack on the World Trade Center I, well, I overspent a little.
I was just doing my part for the war effort. At the time it
seemed I could handle all the expenses. There was plenty of
work to be had and the construction field was still strong.
Then came the job loss. It wasn't a direct "hey, your
fired" thing. It came slowly, winding it's way through
all the economic levels supporting my paycheck. I guess you
could say that it trickled down.
During the following year I remained optimistic that things
would change. After all I knew that this was just a delayed
cyclical reaction to the unrealistic two percent unemployment
during the Clinton regime. I could take one for the greater
economic good. I thought about joining the military but alas
I have sensitive sinuses and the whole middle east thing would
have been one bloody nose after the next.
Anyway, I kept my hopes up and found piece work here and
there to get by. My wife was working full time and together
we felt things were going to turn a corner, things had to
Well, I'm still optimistic that our finances are turning
that corner, however some of our creditors are losing their
usual zen-like patience. It seems that they've lost some big
investments in the energy and telecom industries over the
past few years so in an effort to bail out sinking balance
sheets they are redoubling efforts in consumer debt departments.
So it seems anyway.
So with all this in mind I wonder if you could put in a call
to some of my creditors and just let them know that the economy
looks bright, unemployment should be dropping any day now
and you personally are working on a comprehensive plan to
address some of the complicated underlying issues that drive
economic swings like this.
I've got a great idea that could meet everyone's needs if
I may share it.
The Federal Reserve could issue a United States of America
national credit card to every U.S. citizen, 18 and over. Any
card member would be able to consolidate all their debts onto
the new card and then the total amount would just be rolled
into the National Debt.
This of course would come with a higher interest rate but
we could structure it as a multi-generational payment program
so we wouldn't get stuck with unmanageable monthly payments.
This in turn would allow continued if not expanded consumer
support for our economy and the overall war on terrorism.
We could call it the Patriot Card.
Now I realize that two immediate problems jump right up.
First, how to get this through Congress. Being an election
year, representatives are eager to gain favor in their respective
states. If we allowed individual states to issue their own
private-label cards, like the commemorative quarters, and
then shave off a point or two for their own needs, I think
we could get some support. At least in the lower house. It
could be called "The National Taxed And Spent Consolidation
Act Of 2004."
The second problem we might face is overspending on the
part of consumers. I think this one is easily managed. The
program would be a function of the Treasury and as such it
could utilize all of the existing mechanisms of government
to safeguard against irresponsible spending.
I know realistically this may require a few months to take
shape, but don't worry about me. There is still work out there
and if this mad-cow thing doesn't get any worse then manufacturing
should stay strong. I'll be ok.
Anyway, I appreciate your attention to these matters and
Iím sure we'll talk soon and thanks again.
Salt Lake City,