Last week we received a rather odd message on our answering machine. It was made to sound like that we were being privy to a press conference of our beloved senator. In that press conference, Red, a farmer from central Texas, asked the senator about the estate tax (which, if you are unaware, will return in January if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire). Unfortunately, our answering machine cut off too soon, and we didn’t get to hear the senator’s answer. But I’m pretty sure it would have gone something like this:
Red: Senator, my wife and I started with nothing in 1958 and over the years we acquired some property. We’d like to leave it to our 4 kids who are in the ranching and farming business. At least they will be. Right now they’re in FFA.
Senator: Good for them. They are the salt of the earth.
Red: As I hear it, the estate tax will take away 55% of our property before the kids get it.
[(in background, teenager’s voice) I don’t want a farm. I want a drum set!]
Senator: First of all, Red, it’s not an estate tax. It’s a death tax. It doesn’t affect your heirs. It’s all about you. If the Bush tax cuts expire, funeral homes will be required to collect a death tax before they bury or cremate you.
Red: Well, we just won’t pay it.
Senator: That would be even worse. President Obama will send Government agents to the funeral home where they will go through your pockets to get any leftover wallets, loose change and even extract gold fillings from your mouth. They will then shakedown everyone at the funeral until they get the death tax. And you know what they’re going to do with that money?
Senator: Give it to Cadillac-driving welfare queens and drug dealers to ensure that crack babies get free health care.
[(in background, teenager’s voice) I want a cadillac!]
Red: What happens to our property?
Senator: Have you seen the pictures of Michelle Obama working in the White House Garden? She wants to be a farmer, and if the Bush tax cuts expire, she’s going to get your farm.
Red: Well, I’ll be.
Senator: Red, do you have cancer by chance?
Red: Nope. Fit as my John Deere tractor.
Senator: I’d advise you to spend as much time as possible in the sun. I have two words for you: melanoma.
Red: Is that a new cantaloupe disease?
Senator: Live as recklessly as you can. Don’t wear a seatbelt, drive while texting, run with scissors. You have three months to die without the death tax or say hello to Farmer Obama.
Red: You’ve got my vote senator!
Senator: Thanks, Red. And to help me get this message out to everyone, I want you to make a pledge to my team motto: “I’d rather die in 2010 than pay the death tax in 2011.”
As for an opposing point of view, I anticipate something like this on our answering machine next week:
Francois: Good afternoon, senatorial candidate. I’m an unemployed haberdasher who also happens to have lung cancer. I hear republicans would like to repeal President Obama’s healthcare act. Is that true?
Candidate: First, it pains me to hear of your unemployment and ill health. If elected, I promise to end unemployment forever and keep healthcare legal. Sadly, the republicans would like to outlaw healthcare.
Francois: Wow, I hadn’t heard that. I thought maybe if I could find a job, I may get healthcare again.
Candidate: Not likely if the republicans have their way. In fact, they don’t want to just repeal healthcare, they want to kill you.
Candidate: Yes, and all the other sick people who are a drain on the system. They intend to set up an organ farm where rich people will get to harvest the organs of poor people so they can live longer and enjoy tax breaks which keep the economy humming.
Francois: I’ll never go to the hospital again!
Candidate: And that’s what they want. For you to die alone out of view of the rest of us. With the abolition of healthcare, republicans will once again encourage children to smoke cigarettes and more people like you will get lung cancer.
Francois: I’ve never smoked a day in my life.
Candidate: Exactly! Had we eliminated second hand smoke earlier, maybe you could have been saved.
Francois: I worked most of my life in a coal mine.
Candidate: Did I tell you I love unions? They are the antidote to the evil mine owners who smoke big fat cigars made of hundred dollar bills only to get lung cancer themselves then harvest your organs to prolong their lives.
Francois: Why would they harvest organs from someone who has lung cancer?
Candidate: I’m sure you have other valuable organs which may not be killing you at this time like the republicans are. Have you heard about how they’re doing face transplants these days?
Francois: A rich person might buy my face one day? That’s something to consider. Man, I could be a movie star yet!
Candidate: And that’s what republicans want you to think when in reality they’ll probably just put your spleen in some CEO's poodle.
What’s on your answering machine?