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Bailout mail not really a stimulus package for me

October 05, 2009

o If you like reading Tim Rowland, you'll love watching him. See what else Tim has to say

With everyone else getting a bailout, I've been wondering where my own assistance might be. Well, these weeks of waiting patiently have finally paid off.

In the mail last Thursday were no fewer than four official-looking envelopes offering me, Tim Rowland, Timothy Roeland, Tim Ruland and/or Jim Howland, my very own economic stimulus money. For a fee, obviously.

Actually, some of the notifications were more official-looking than others. One (Economic Stimulus Information Enclosed) had a Statue of Liberty on it, with the stern warning of a "$2,000 fine 5 years imprisonment or both for any person interfering or obstructing with delivery of this letter U.S. Mail TTT.18 U.S. Code."

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Pity. I would almost pay someone $2,000 to interfere with these mailings, but never mind that.

Another letter (2009 Economic Stimulus Notice) came in a government-brown envelope, with the return address listed as: Department of Notification, Financial Services, Eastern Region.

I wish I could recall who Obama named as Secretary of the Department of Notification, but the name escapes me. Some socialist, no doubt.

I couldn't help being a bit disappointed with the letter (Economic Stimulus relief is now available in your area) that listed a return address as Athens Ave. Suite 250, Lakewood Ohio, 44107.

That was it. No brown envelope, no government emblem, nothing. Now I imagine it is possible, the way the nation is going into debt, that the federal government is indeed now operating out of a suite in Lakewood, Ohio, but I have my doubts -- and frankly, I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed in the lack of effort.

At least the fourth (Additional And Important Economic Stimulus Notice For Homeowners! Do Not Throw Away!) had an important-looking logo with the words "federal" and "institution" in it. The rest was illegible.

I suppose some people must respond to these mailings, or else no one would bother -- just as a percentage of people must actually believe in the "tasteless crystals" that will instantly dissolve 25 pounds of fat that "some experts say are trapped on the colon walls like spackle or paste."

But there's a big difference between laying out a few bucks for some sugar pills and trusting your financial future to a company whose envelopes advise "Do Not Throw Away!"

And near as I can see, there's only one solution. The remedy would take the form of some kind of financial Darwinism.

If you have maxed out all of your credit cards; if you have taken out one of those freakish housing loans; if you have tapped out all your home equity; if you have dissolved your 401(k); and now you answer one of these scamograms -- well, one day they will come for you in a wire bus and take you away to a place where, for the rest of your life, you will have to sit out capitalism.

That's it. You will be given a decent condo in a clean high rise, with a plain, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, no tinkering allowed. Your salary will be paid in coupons that can be used for subsistence-level purchases but cannot be invested in any cockamamie investment scheme or renegotiated to pay for a 62-inch flat-screen.

It may seem harsh at first, but pretty soon you will get used to living around other people who are incompetent to handle currency, such as drug addicts, shopaholics and major bank CEOs.

Unless, of course, it turns out that all of these offers are legitimate. My luck, there probably is such a thing as the Department of Notification.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324 ,or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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