Dear Secretary of the Treasury
Henry J. Paulson
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 by Ron Cruger
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Dear Secretary of the Treasury Henry J. Paulson,

      I am writing to you to request a bailout for me and my family. I have been reading about your generosity with firms like Goldman Sachs, Citi Corp., Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Bank of America and the insurance giant, A.I.G., among others.
      Our family is not really in dire straits, as I gather neither are the above mentioned firms. The reason I am asking you for a bailout is because during the past six months or so we have not been living like we want to. You see, both my wife and I are retired and, although we live fairly comfortably we have held back on making any big purchases, things like a new car for the wife and a table saw for me. We even got the children and our grandchildren together and we all agreed that we will have to cut back on our Christmas giving this year. The news about the American economy plain and simply scares us – and it must scare you too, considering all the money you are giving to all those companies. We keep hearing about how things are going to get worse before they get better. Some of your experts say that things won’t improve until some time in the year 2010. With our stock market way below where it was a few months ago and the news about how you are divvying out billions of dollars to these giant companies in order to save them, we get more frightened every day that our way of life is going down the tubes.
      One of the things that we wonder about is where all the money you are handing out like candy on Halloween is coming from. Our friend, George, who lives up the street, said that you guys just crank up the presses and print more dollars to hand out. Florence, the checker at Ralph’s market said that you guys will just borrow more from Japan and China. She said that by the time you’re done handing out the billions of dollars to the banks and insurance companies we will owe China, Japan and other countries trillions of dollars and that our grandchildren’s children will still be paying off our debts.
      So, Mr. Paulson, I’m writing you for a bailout before all the money is spent.
      Compared to what you’re handing out to those big companies, my request is peanuts. All we need is enough to buy the little lady a new car, me a nice Craftsman table saw and maybe a few new clothes for me from Penneys. My wife has her eyes set on a nice outfit or two from Chico’s.
We’re also looking at getting a new couch for the living room. Maybe enough for a vacation in Hawaii too. Like I say, we’re not asking for much.
      If the whole idea of you handing out the money is to get our economy rolling again I think that if we had the money to buy the new car, the table saw and the other stuff we would be doing our part in helping our economy.
      If you give us the money you can be sure we won’t be spending it on expensive fun meetings at fancy schmancy hotels. We won’t be giving millions of dollars in bonuses to our children and grandchildren. We’ll also give you receipts for every penny we spend.
      I’ve read that our country’s deficit this year might reach over a trillion dollars. That sounds like an awfully large amount of money to owe. We’d appreciate getting our bailout check soon, before all the money is gone. We’d prefer that you didn’t go to the trouble of cranking up the presses and printing more money as I’ve heard that that would lower the value of the few dollars we already have.
      I know that all of this seems kind of trifling to you. You’re used to dealing with things like bilateral agreements, futures contracts, interest rate swaps and derivatives but all we really want is a nice check from you so we can buy some of the things we want.
      I’ve tried to figure out who you are giving those billions of dollars to, but I can’t keep up with it. I know that you gave A.I.G. a few billion dollars, then a few more billion dollars and then another few billions. I’ve read that you’ve given money to Citi Corp. to save it from something or other, but I can’t tell how much you handed over to them. Same with those other billions you gave those other big companies. Nobody I know can tell where all the billions are going. I know how busy you must be, but it would be nice if you told us Americans who you’re handing those billions to. It would also be nice if you told us what these companies are going to do differently now that they have all of that tax money. Are they just going to keep running their businesses the same way that they always have? Shouldn’t they give some kind of promises that they’re going to do better? It would be a crying shame if you gave out all those billions and nothing changed. I’d bet that a lot of Americans would be real mad at you if that happened.
      I hope that you send us the money while Mr. Bush is still President, because I hate to see the new guy, Mr. Obama, blamed for all the spending you’ve guys have done. After all, it was you guys that got us into this mess in the first place.
      Oh, yes, one last thing, could you put a little extra in our check. Just a few hundred dollars more. My daughter wants to buy a new outfit for Christmas.


Ron Cruger