I intended this bit of tongue-in-cheek cynacism as a letter to the editor of the Deseret News, but I realized that it was much too long to for that purpose so I publish it here.
November 17, 2008
Have you purchased gas lately? Don’t you realize what is happening? Our oil companies are going broke! What is needed is an immediate, massive, unprecedentedly huge, government bailout to save our oil companies. To get the ball rolling I contacted all of our political leaders. Of course, I was unable to speak with them directly but their assistants assured me (under conditions of anonymity, of course) that their sentiments were exactly the same as their boss’s and I could, therefore quote them as if coming straight from the boss himself.
Senator Hatch was all in favor of the bailout. He said it reminded him of his efforts some years ago to save our textile industry when a company from some small Asian country began dumping textiles on the American market. It turns out that they had been able to make these textiles because they had made pirated replicas of an American Spinning Jenny that they had copied from the display model at the Smithsonian Institute.
I was somewhat hesitate to approach Senator Bennet because I remembered all those ads he had done in his first campaign about how concerned he was about the National Debt, but when I finally did get up the nerve he just laughed and said he hadn’t thought about the National Debt for years. He said he is all in favor of the bailout, no matter how expensive, as long as it can be pushed through before President Bush leaves office. With a Democratic administration in office he said he is going to have to start worrying about the National Debt again.
Congressman Bishop was skeptical about a bailout until I pointed out that it would mean there would be no more jet fuel. With his usual insight, he realized immediately that this bailout was therefore a key component of his ongoing effort to keep Hill Field in Utah.
Congressman Matheson said he was unalterably opposed to any bailout for any private companies, but when I pointed out that what with regulations, subsidies, wind-fall profit taxes, etc., the oil companies were essentially a branch of the Federal Government, he agreed that by all means we should go ahead with the bailout. He even thanked me for bringing a bailout to his attention that he could wholeheartedly support.
Jason Chavetz said he would support a bailout only if it included a condition that the oil companies could not hire anyone who speaks, reads, or writes Spanish. He did say that he felt that we should not be hard-nosed about conditions like this and that he would agree to an exception if the employee could prove that he learned his Spanish at a junior high named after an American President.
I also contacted the economics and business professors at the U of U. They said that they were always in favor of any measure to increase government spending but they were particularly excited about this one so long as it includes some very harsh language about the almost criminal behavior of the oil company executives. They said that this sneaky lowering of prices is just one more proof--as if any more were needed--of the irresponsibility, mismanagement, and greed of corporate officials.
But, this is so serious that not only our political and intellectual leaders, but the average citizen must get involved as well. They can begin, if they buy their gas with an oil company credit card by adding an exact amount of dollars, in increments of $10 up to $2000, to their credit card payment. The oil company will then realize that this is a charitable contribution and will use it to help them raise gasoline prices to a more reasonable level. This effort is so important that a non-profit organization called, Save the Oil Companies/Corporations & Energy Resources (SOCCER), has been formed with Gov. Jon Huntsman as Chairman. He says that as long as they can get a person from the East with a Utah reputation to back him up, he will put all the resources of the Utah State Government behind this effort, no matter how many people in Utah oppose it, because SOCCER is something he really believes in.
As you can see, this bailout is critical, it may already be too late. Unless we get an immediate, gargantuan, government bailout of our oil companies our whole free enterprise system may be in peril!