After a week of hectic talks and money matters, it was time to pack up again. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving Kathryn, Sue and Pete behind in this current mess that the USA got itself into. Friends in Nebraska fully agreed. Law abiding and straightforward, nature lovers and good farmers, moneymakers (Warren Buffet lives there) and smart insurers in the Heartland don’t like the freewheeling spend and tax freaks of East and West. They all said that their current administration was a train wreck in the making and were looking forward to changing the dynamics in November real fast.
We attended a selective July 4th grill party on a wide terrace with friends at a corn and ethanol estate where I had parked my space scooter. From a far, fireworks lit up the red glowing evening sky in an eternal widescreen of Technicolor along the horizon. We even saw some UFOs looking on.
“You live well here,” Kathryn said to the host, whose real name is withheld for security reasons and whom I’ll call Bob for the occasion. “You’ve mastered the art of making money and keeping it.”
“We’re grateful for what we got, Kathryn,” Bob said. “Through hard work the old American way. We don’t mind paying taxes on the condition it’s not wasted for political ends. That’s why our Democratic Senator got in hot water here with that one hundred million taxpayer money bribe he took to get him to vote for that stupid health care law.”
“I heard that Mr. President plans to make a recess appointment of some guy nobody trusts to head the Medicare system, “Pete tuned in.
“Nobody wanted a confirmation hearing,” Bob said. “Democrats didn’t because they hated to reopen the healthcare debate, which is a loser for them, and Republicans considered the guy rightly a leftwing bum and unworthy of confirmation. So the Administration was afraid he wouldn’t make it and delayed till everyone went on their July 4th vacation.”
“Bush did that too,” Pete mumbled dryly. “Remember Bolton at the UN?”
“Bolton proved the only one whom they were scared of at the UN because he saw right through their funny tricks and said so. He is still head-on on geopolitics. But this new fellow at Medicare is a so-called honorary Harvard professor. He likes the flailing British health care system and wants to copy it.”
“I fail to see why they like to repeat these socialist things here that don’t work elsewhere,” Sue said, munching on grilled rib, rolling her deep blue slanted eyes.
“Hubris,” Bob said, taking a rib himself. “Absolute hubris. The present group that came to power – and God forbid it won’t be too long – really believes they know better and that it’s only a matter of doing it right. Of course, the other fools elsewhere in the world believed that too. That’s why they are being voted out in Europe.”
“But I can go on vacation to Paris again,” Sue said, grinning broadly. “The whole fiscal turmoil over there lifted the dollar from its morass.”
“Better grab it while you can, my girl,” Bob said wryly. “It will soon be worse here than in Europe and then your beloved green buck will be back in the doldrums.”
“Wall Street’s hoping for total gridlock in Congress come November,” I said, “so that the highfalutin thinkers in Washington can’t get anything done. That’s the only way to save America.”
“Lawmakers don’t understand economics,” Sue intoned and, as a lawyer, she knew. “Laws are written and applied, even when they are wrong. The laws of economics are hidden and only appear in textbooks they haven’t read, like their bills. If you don’t apply them you see them when it’s too late.”
“Let’s hope for gridlock,” Pete prayed.” It looks Wall Street is already betting on it because the stock market’ s back in the ten thousands. They expect that the overreaching financial law the House democrats approved will hit dirt in the Senate and not make it.”
“For the last few years I’ve kept my money in cash and gold and am not buying stocks right now,” Bob said. “It worked out well so far. I don’t see any improvements in the fundamentals.”
I didn’t tell him we were hoarding gold on Mars, too.
“I still keep my faith in the unrivaled American dream,” I said, “and that its independent forces will toss out the current keepers to revive the spirit of its Founders. I just have to, for the sake of Pete and Sue.”
“At least we’ve clearly identified who and what these keepers are,” Kathryn said, “so that we won’t elect them again.”
* * *
It was time for me to go. Bob drove us in his open Jeep to my improvised landing and launching site. After saying farewell to Kathryn, the siblings and Bob, I changed into my space suit and entered my space scooter.
“Don’t let them waste my tax dollars, Sue!”
I waved, closed the cabin, and was off back to Mars, my tank full with borrowed ethanol.