When we were kids our mothers sent us out to play and said not to get our feet wet in the stream down by Johnny's house. So sure enough we all went straight to Johnny's, but reminded each other of the prohibition along the way: We would just throw stones in the water, that's all.
This went well for a half an hour, and then someone got the idea to cross the stream on the tops of a jagged line of stones. It was briefly discussed among ourselves that there was a possibility of falling into the drink, but this was dismissed as an insufficiently serious consideration.
Jack went first. Halfway across he slipped and got one sneaker wet. There was a momentary gasp. But the fate of the second shoe now didn't seem to matter so much; he walked to shore. Then Johnny pushed Pete, who stumbled in up to his knees. In the mass euphoria that ensued, prohibition and sober judgment were cast to the wind, and at the end of the day, there was not a square inch of cloth or skin undefiled.
I was looking back at political scuttlebutt from exactly a year ago when it was President Bush proposing a measly little stimulus package. One pundit wrote:
"In a bold effort to deceive the public into believing that the United States Congress and lame duck president actually have the economic well-being of the nation's citizens, a $250 billion mortgage was placed on the future generations of this country. . . . Our government has asked our children to bail out a bad economy and foreign policy to the tune of nearly $1,000 a piece."
That business about mortgaging future generations is all forgotten now. We just plunge into the water with stimulus and pork galore, and a good time is had by all.
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