Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The season of giving

Last night I got an email from my pal Troy Clarke, the president of GM North America. Troy says he needs my help. He wants me to write to Congress and ask them to give him a measly few billion, just to tide him over. He says it's a "bridge loan." He promises he's good for it.

"Despite what you may be hearing, we are not asking Congress for a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid."

Troy says that very bad things will happen if I don't do this. Personal income in this country will be reduced by $150 billion, and tax revenues will decline over three years by $156 billion.

Troy thanks me in advance for "helping keep our economy viable."

Poor Troy. These are tough times and he's doing his best. His letter touched my heart and I really wanted to help him out, but then this morning I was reminded why I can't.

I got another email--this time from my pal Eric Garris, the webmaster at Eric pointed out that this whole war thing has me just about tapped out, and the bills are going to keep rolling in. It looks like I'm around $3 trillion in the hole. Amazing the way it adds up, huh?

Of course, Eric hit me up for some spare change while he was at it, and I may be able to swing that. I sorta think of it as payment for his services as financial adviser and all-around messenger of bad news. And I appreciate the frankness of his appeal; i.e., no empty promises to pay me back.

St. Martin and the Beggar, Unknown Master (Hungarian), c. 1490. Image from Web Gallery of Art.

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