Black and White Program

Letter to Hank Paulson Jr.

September 17th, 2008 by John Eastman

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September 17, 2008

Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury
United States of America

Dear Hank:

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Hank. You seem to be such a nice guy and so friendly with businessman types that I thought I’d be rather informal with you right from the start and be your buddy if you will. I’ve been reading quite a bit about you lately Hank, and I think it is just great that you are coming to the rescue of all of these private companies who have financial problems, even if you are sometimes taking them by force like with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and even if you are using my taxpayer money to do so. It seems like you have the “country first” bigger picture in mind. I think I understand the idea that if one of them fails, many more people will feel the pain, even though you didn’t think that the brothers over at Lehman deserved the benefits of your funds (excuse me, taxpayer funds).

So I own this small gas station. It’s in a rural stretch and it’s been in my family for nearly 160 years. While it’s no big insurance or mortgage firm, it is important to me, and my family. But it is most important to the hundreds of customers and taxpayers that count on me to be open every day to serve them gas, coffee, and a friendly smile. The reason for my letter, Hank, is that my gas station needs help with some short-term bills and I simply don’t have enough cash to get by. Opening the station with $50.00 in the cash drawer may not happen in a few days if I don’t get help, so I need a small loan to get me through the rough patch. I promise I will pay it back with interest, but boy, that 11.5 % rate you gave AIG is a bit rough!

There is no other gas station within a 35 miles radius, so our presence is very important. Since the price of gas is now over $4.00 now-a-days, it could cost someone nearly $10.00 just to get to another station, or worse yet, run out and get stuck in the middle of nowhere, creating other rippling events. I figure that our customers, who, by the way are all U.S. taxpayers, truly benefit from our presence. Quite frankly, we are too important to fail. If we fail, the station 35 miles up the road may fail also, and then the one after that as well. Pretty soon, a pandemic could develop and affect many more taxpaying gas station customers for miles. I can’t imagine that you would want that to happen, would you Hank?

If you want, please feel free to install your own manager to oversee things, even if he never ran a gas station before. My wife could use a break anyway. I do have some things out back that we could sell to raise cash. They consist of a stack of old tires (some have pretty good tred left on them) and I have some tools and old signs to sell as well.

I do have a slight confession to make though, for something I did that was almost a one-time thing that may have weakened my cash position. I just love the gambling tables, and over the years I have lost a few hundred here and there. I am sorry to say that this debt is unrecoverable. But I promise that if you give me this loan, I will not undertake this type of risk again ever. In fact, you can send one of your regulators around every so often to examine my books. I’ll even give them some free coffee while their here if that is okay with you Hank?

Please let me know soon as we may not have enough money to put in the cash register to open by Monday. Maybe we can meet and pull an all-nighter to work this out, then, announce it the next day before the other stations get wind of it?

Yours truly,

A taxpayer in need

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5 responses so far.

  • james shadeest - Sep 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    This is I am sorry to say so accurate and a perfect satirical piece on this subject. The Bush Administration is determined to set the country ablaze before it leaves office. In today’s news conference the idiot says “we have to act now”. What the hell has he been doing for the past several years when all of the warning signs have been there? While my anger may not seem to accomplish much, maybe the anger of millions will in November. McCain. Not hardly. Wasn’t it he who said “I really don’t understand the economy”?

    Great. Maybe he and Sarah Palan can both run Alaska, chase some moose and shoot guns for a bit and brush up on some things for the next 4 years. But then again, he will be like 90 then and won’t even remember his VP’s name!

  • General Pattyn - Sep 22, 2008 at 10:43 am

    What are you doing running a gas station about forty years before the first automobile is built? And, Sarah’s last name is Palin not Palan. Facts do matter.

  • James Tower - Oct 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I just found this. Too, too funny. I wonder if Hank gets to see things like this.
    It is a shame but true. As the Senate passes the bill along to the House, and they too will now buy off on it, the Wall Street Execs go free. Last night Warren Buffett was on Charlie Rose and despite his assertations that this was the right thing to do, I think there were other options. Since when do you just consider one solution to resolve a maximum sixe problem like this. Warren should have kicked in a Billion or two if his funds, then decided to tell us that this is a good idea.

  • Kathy Immel - Oct 29, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    John Eastman, your letter to “Hank” is priceless. But then… as far as priceless goes… who knows the value of anything .. anymore? Bush.. you can go to hell. Oh wait. You actually brought hell here. McCain… you can take Palin and follow Bush out. There is NO place for any of you here. I’m in need of some money too. Wish I had someone just hand me a wad of cash…. and say, do whatever with it. Give your employees the raises they want, and here take some for you too. Have a great time. Paulson… you’re an ass but I’m sure deep down, you’re aware of that.

    Nuff said!

  • Wanda - Nov 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Hay Hank! Could you please explain to me why the “Chief Risk Officer” at the now debunk Bears & Stern, Michael Alex is getting a pass on failing to do his job?
    In case you haven’t noticed he was just given a nice
    Sr. VP position at the Federal Reserve!
    How does this work exactly?

    He gets paid enormous amounts of money to >NOT WARN <anyone that the ship is sinking and then reward him with a SR. position guarding the money at nations money institution?

    People, this is how the current administration works.

    Keep the same people in the same positions, just change the names of the institutions.
    This Michael Alex must have had some really good “get out of jail paper” since he is moving up the money guarding ladder!

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