Don’t Answer The Phone, Bill, It’s That Telemarketer Again

Just dip into the Permanent Fund and forget it.

June 1, 2003 in New Mexico Politics | Comments (0)

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In a converted warehouse full of dark cubicles somewhere in New Jersey, a silver-toungued telemarketer with a gravely voice scrolls through a data base of confidential credit reports. He dials a number in Santa Fe.

“Hello. Is this Mr. Bill Richardson of No. 1 Mansion Drive. . . ?

“Yes, sir, I can certainly understand your not taking calls from telemarketers. But if I could look you in the eye right now, Mr. Richardson, I could tell you I am not a telemarketer. I am a congratualter. Congratulations! You have been chosen for an exciting new card. Bad credit? No credit? No problem. . . .

“Yes, Mr. Richardson, I can understand that, and I want you to enjoy your valuable dinner hour with your guests from North Korea. But if you will let them wait, I can guarantee it will be worth your while. Because if you take advantage of this offer within the next 30 minutes, you will get free our Five-Step Debt Planning Workshop. Step One is to refinance. . . .

“Well, of course! I should have known that an intelligent manager like youself would already be thinking about refinancing in today’s low interest environment. And we’re sorry to hear that you have assumed, as you put it, ‘a mortage on the whole damned highway system for a generation to come.’ Road language! Very colorful, Mr. Richardson. . . .

“Well, sir. That too is colorful language, but I’m sure you know it is a physical impossibility for me to do that. Now, back to our Workshop opportunity. Second Step: consolidate. . . .

“You’re doing that too? Good. But remember, refinancing and debt consolidation are no good without Step Three: ‘Budgeting ahead. . . . ‘”

“Well good for you, Mr. Richardson. Excellent idea. Have a plan for that ‘pork,’ as you put it. Very colorful. ‘Pork.’ Heh. Heh. You’ve already admitted your impulse buying tendencies. . . .”

“Oh. It’s not you? It’s your family of ‘porkers.’ And you say you have created a ‘Finance Council’ to refinance, consolidate and make a master plan for everything from ‘highways to housing.’ The two ‘H’s,’ Mr. Richardson. You have a gift. You really do.

“And when you say you rule by ‘executive order,’ I like that. Families need a strong authority figure. Particularly a family like yours. I assume you were exaggerating when you said they financed $90 million in ‘pork’ already this year. But it makes your point, Mr. Richardson. You ought to go into politics, sir. But I’ll bet you have not considered Step Four in our plan: revenue enhancement. . . .

“Well, yes, it can be ‘taxing,’ as you put it. And it’s good that you have created what you call a ‘blue ribbon commission’ on this too. You must have a very large family, Mr. Richardson — what with all those porkers and executive orders and councils and commissions. Hey! It’s different in New Mexico. I’d like to visit, maybe relocate our business. . . .

“Well, thank you, sir. We’d appreciate a tax break and a job-training program. But back to you. Mr. Richardson, I’m looking at your recent financial data. You have decreased income and increased spending. And that’s what qualifies you for our unique new card. It’s not a credit card. It’s not a debit card. Mr. Richardson, please welcome — dah-dah! — the National Deficit Card! The card that let’s you spend with absolutely no plan to repay. . . .

“What? But why do that? Why dip into what you call your ‘Permanent Fund’ — colorful, Mr. Richardson! — when you can use our card. . . .?

“Deficit spending is against the law? Hey, it’s different in New Mexico. . . .

“Well, yes, Mr. Richardson, this ‘goofy idea,’ as you put it, was inspired by Republicans. But they have a vision! The New Deficit Economy! Economic recovery through the magic of spending what’s not there. The tax-and-spend Democrats labored for eight years to end deficit spending, to work hard and make montly payments. And what did it get us? Impeachment . . . .

“That’s not fair, sir. It was about sex. We did not deserve it. . . .

“Same to you, Mr. Richardson. And with your retro views of economics, all I can say is: Get a better job, man. . . .

“Well go ahead, report me under your so-called telemarketer law. I know about that one. Politicians are excluded. And me, I’m a politician. Ever heard the name William Jefferson Cli. . . .?

“Hey! Richardson? That’s you? I heard you did so much negotiating for me with Third World countries that you went and bought one. Hey, buddy, got any high paying jobs out there?”