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The Journal
Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
71 Webb Lane, Buena Vista, GA 31803 • Phone & Fax: 229-649-6397 • Email: tjournal@windstream.net

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Forget Santa, I'm writing to Uncle Sam
I know this is the time of year when you’re supposed to write a letter to Santa Claus if you want some goodies, but I’ve decided to write to Uncle Sam instead. It worked for the financial fat cats and appears about to work nearly as well for the auto industry, so why shouldn’t I get in on the action? Below is my letter to Uncle Sam asking for a bailout of my business.

Dear Uncle Sam,
As you consider a bailout package for the nation’s ‘Big 3’ automakers – on the heels of the bailout of huge financial companies – I respectfully request that you also put my company’s name on the list. I would like for you to bailout my company, Harris Publications, Inc.

I will gladly settle for the same type of deal given to American International Group, Inc. (AIG), which received around $85 billion. Now I know that my company isn’t nearly as large as AIG, so I’m not asking for the same exact package. It would be an insult to expect you to consider giving Harris Publications the same amount of money that AIG received. Therefore, I am only asking for a proportional bailout. AIG employed approximately 116,000 people in 2008, while Harris Publications had just one full-time employee. So, let’s divide $85,000,000,000 by 116,000 to get the dollars-per-employee figure. It’s only $732,758 and while I know it will be tough for me to make ends meet with such a small check, I will settle for that amount.

I know that the good old boys at AIG didn’t help you very much after they received their deal. Your image took a bit of a beating when it was disclosed that a few days after you gave them an $85 billion package their top officers travelled to the posh St. Regis resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean where they spent $139,000 on rooms, $147,301 on a banquet, $6,900 on golf, $5,016 on refreshments from the Stonehill Tavern, and $1,488 on manicures, pedicures and hairstyling.

I won’t do that to you, Uncle Sam. I promise that as soon as our $732,758 check clears the bank we won’t travel to the West Coast for a fancy beach trip. We will merely head out for a weekend to Dollywood. Heck, we’ll even pack a picnic basket so we won’t have to buy that expensive food inside the park. It will be a sacrifice, but here at Harris Publications we are ready and willing to do our part for the good of the nation.

Should you feel the need to hold a Congressional Hearing on this request, I will be happy to make the trip to D.C. to testify. I can’t afford to fly in a private jet, so you won’t have to worry about the bad publicity you got when the carmakers’ bigwigs arrived to testify. If I can’t find a good deal on a public flight (coach seat, of course), I’ll be arriving in a Chevy Malibu Hatchback.

While my company may not be on the verge of collapsing, trends in the newspaper industry nationwide don’t look real good and you’ve shown in the past that you don’t mind acting preemptively, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

I urge you to act swiftly upon this request. Not because I think it would be in the best interest of the nation, but because I fear you may suddenly come to your senses and stop acting like Santa Claus.
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