Tuesday, September 20, 2005
  Figgers in the Dirt
Me and the boys was sittin’ down at the courthouse talkin’ ‘bout President Bush tellin’ hows we’s gonna rebuild New Awleans. Fact is, we’s gonna rebuild the hold gosh darn gulf coast. Mr. Bush says we’s not gonna jist rebuild it, we’s gonna make it betta than it ever was afore. And he says we’s gonna do the whole thang without no raise in taxes. No wonder that man is president of these here United States. He’s gotta be some kinda genius to figure out how to do that.

Course, with all the money the govmint gets ever year I know they can squeeze out a measly 200 billion dollars. One of the boys said hows he read the other day that the federal budget this year was $2.56 trillion. I mean that’s like, duh (hold on a minute. I ran outta fingers – gotta take off my shoes.) Yeah, hey, that’s like 2560 billion; gettin’ just 200 billion from that should be no problem.

Let’s see now – another one of the boys said that 20% of that came right off the top just to pay the interest on money we already owe. Beats me why we owe money, us bein’ the richest nation in the world and all. I guess its ‘cause we give it all away in aide to them backwards countries. Anyway, let’s see now, that’s a, count the little toe, carry the thumb, umm ... Great Gobs of Greasy Goose Flesh! That’s $512 billion just to pay interest on what we already owe!

Well, that still leaves 2048 billion and that’s still more lettuce than a train can haul. Then the boys said it takes another 500 to 600 billion for the military to fight all them Communist or Terrorists or whatever it is we’re fightin’ to keep our land free from enemy inversion. That still leaves about 1500 billion.

Then, Mr. Dobbins who must be at least 85, said, “Don’t forget about Social Security. That’s another 500 billion.”

So, OK. That still leaves 1000 billion. Mr. Dobbins spoke again, “Medicare and Medicaid cost another 500 billion.”

“But ... but ....” I couldn’t believe it. That meant that we paid out 12 billion more in interest to foreigners then we spent to run the rest of the govmint of the United States including Agriculture, Education, Border Security, Homeland Security ...” Great Gobs of Greasy Goose Flesh!

And then one of the boys said, “A course, the U.S. ain’t gonna take in no 2.56 trillion this year. We’s gonna come up about 450 billion short.”

“But ... but ..., that means we’ll have to borrow that 450 billion. That means we’ll owe more next year and we’ll have to pay more interest. That means that ever year the amount we borrow will have to get bigger and bigger because the amount of interest we pay will get more and more.” My head was startin’ to hurt.

Then it hit me. At first I jist couldn’t believe it. I calculated my sums over and over again using my fingers and my toes. Finally, I sharpened a stick and worked out the figgers in the dirt. My stomach got sorta sour and sick as I sat there in the dirt gapping at the numbers. Sure nuff, by the time my boy Zeke got to be my age, all the federal budget would be going to pay interest with nothing left over for anything, not even to pay the politician’s salaries. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind that. Most of ‘em are rich and jist serve out of the goodness of their heart anyway.

But the numbers in the dirt held more bad news. We’d still be coming up short. I wondered who would loan us money then.

Well, I tossed down the stick and brushed the dirt from my hands. I’s sure glad it weren’t my worry. Like I said, that Mr. Bush has gotta be some kinda genius. I’m sure he’s already got it all worked out to where his numbers come out a whole lot better than mine. After all, he’s got a pencil – I just hope he’s got all his toes.
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Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.