OLIVER FINDS A MONEY TREE?

I sat and stared out at the cold driving rain from my window table at Starbucks 11th and Grand. Eric Everhard the porn star crossed the street with his smoking hot girlfriend Kim. I was sad to see them leave—although pleased that Eric had returned the bail money I had lent him. Nichole’s words, “I can’t do this,” were still fresh in my head. Why can’t I just get a nice girl like Eric has?” I was thinking when the phone rang.

“You promised to come to my press conference, Oliver.”

“Sorry Mr. President. Oh, and sorry about the crack about having a hire GPA than you—even though it’s true.”

“Oliver, maybe if you weren’t so smart you’d be more successful.”

“Food for thought Mr. President. I’ll try to dumb it down and be more responsible so as to improve my income potential.”

“Good. So what did you think?”

“Mr. President, you know how you said at your news conference that Japan didn’t spend enough during its recession of the 90’s, so it lead to what they now call the lost decade because there was no growth?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, that’s absolutely not true. They spent so much money that they quadrupled their national debt. And it had no effect. In fact it made things worse.”

“I’ll talk to my speech writers on that one. They’re not as sharp as they were during the campaign.”

>“And you know the part of your press conference where you mentioned that there are now people out there that think that FDR’s New Deal didn’t work…and the argument over this was settled long ago?”

“Yeah?”

“Well usually during 6th grade all American children are taught about FDR and The New Deal…um…IT DIDN’T WORK. In fact every textbook ever written is pretty clear that only World War II pulled the country out of The Great Depression. The best The New Deal did was lower the unemployment rate from 25% to 15% after six years.”

“I didn’t go to school in America in 6th grade Oliver, you know that. Could you please stop showing off your mastery of the facts, I won, the people have spoken. Now what should I do?”

“Hold on, I’m getting another call.” I hit the swap button on my iPhone. “Hello.”

“I finally get this whole blogging thing,” said Ed, my millionaire buddy who had just barely recovered from our dinner at Fleming’s. “But if you were going to write about our dinner at Fleming’s, why didn’t you describe the food? That Ahi Tuna was fantastic.”

“I’m a storyteller, not a restaurant reviewer. Besides, it’s not like the meal was comped, I did dishes.”

“Hey sorry about that. I didn’t realize you didn’t have any money on you. Do you need me to loan you some cash?”

“No, I’ve found the answer to my cash crunch.”

“Really, what is it? I need to get some money coming in.”

“Hey, I’ll get back to you, I left the President on hold.” I clicked over. “Mr. President?”

“One of your girlfriends?”

“No.”

“How did it wind up with Nichole, anyway?”

“Well it turned out that she wasn’t going to see the guy that lives next door to my friend Jeanine to have sex—she was just borrowing a corkscrew. Ironic.”

The President laughed. “And you think I’m gullible for trusting Geithner.”

“No. I think it makes perfect sense to put a guy who didn’t pay his taxes, ran the New York Federal Bank, which helped to cause this crisis, and who doesn’t even own a home in charge of the Treasury. Did I mention that he doesn’t even have a net worth above a million dollars? Now that’s a financial whiz if ever there was one.”

“The girl.”

“It lasted another week. But my overactive sex drive has apparently ruined the relationship…something about fornicators going to hell…Besides she was too old for me.”

“I thought you mentioned that she was twenty-one?”

“Yeah, I should have known better…Nineteen is really the best age for someone with my libido…and of course you never have to take them anywhere that serves alcohol, which saves a bundle.”

“Well sorry to hear that it didn’t work out.”

“Listen, suspend gas and payroll taxes for a year. Also, lower the capital gains tax rate to zero for three years and cap personal and corporate tax rates at twenty-five percent. If you do this the economy will start to roar overnight…hold on I’ve got another call.”

“You bastard! You’re dating a cancer patient??? I bought us a house!!!” It was April The Stripper calling from Vegas.

“It was a two week thing…She doesn’t even like having sex with me, which is strange because I’m incredible in bed…I’m going to come back…”

“She doesn’t like having sex with you? That bitch, nobody rejects my man. Give me her number.”

“I miss you too. I’ll call you back. I can’t keep putting the President on hold.”

“Where was I?”

“Tax cuts,” reminded the President.

“If you want to stimulate the economy tax cuts are the best way to do it. I know you like to spend money, but when you spend money that we don’t have it causes inflation and bubbles and what not. It’s time to let the country get to its economic equilibrium.”

“I don’t get the last part.”

“Real wealth is only created by making products or providing services at a price that the marketplace is willing to pay. And people can only afford what they can afford from this type of income. Passive income is great if you can get it, but it doesn’t create real wealth—only products and services do that. And finally, people have to make enough to live. You can’t legislate that. And you can’t use credit and inflated prices to get around the fact that people make way less now than they did in 1972, inflation adjusted. Since wages haven’t gone up, no matter what you do it’s inevitable that prices will come back down to what people can truly afford.”

“Oliver, I can’t stand by and watch people suffer—I have to spend a few trillion and see what happens…”

“Nice chatting with you Mr. President.”

No sooner had I hung up than, “Oliver it’s Lee.” That would be my very dedicated Korean accountant on the iPhone. “How did you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Make a deposit for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. You wiped out almost half your deficit in one week.”

>“Lee, you’re not going to believe this but remember my buddy Josh Johnson?”

>“Good looking young guy that you met at Hard 8 Lounge.” The Hard 8 Lounge where I often go dancing and listen to music is a clothing store for those of you who are not acquainted with this fact. They’re open to the public on Saturdays, if you feel like a little trip down to 12th between Hope and Grand.

“That’s the guy. Well he’s the one who set the whole thing up…it’s like having a money tree on my balcony.”

“Is it legal…”

“One hundred percent, Lee.”

“Well what is it?”

“Damn.” Looking at my watch. “I’m late for a wind tasting at Ralph’s…”

“Wait Oliver…”

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