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THE ONLY WAY BUSH CAN BEAT CLINTON IS TO KEEP FORKING OVER LOTS OF DOUGH

A gang of the cultural elite was sitting around drinking margaritas and eating refried beans when Lacey came rushing into the bar. "Have you heard the news? Bush is giving away millions of dollars in a desperate bid to win back the disillusioned voters."

"That's just for the people in Florida," Total said."It started out in Florida, but he then handed out millions to the farmers in South Dakota, and he dumped a ton of cash on the aerospace workers in Texas. He's behaving like a drunken sailor."

Lampner asked, "How can he do that and balance the budget?"

"He is giving up balancing the budget," Healy declared. "His sole concern is beating Clinton, and the only way he can do that is to give away the store."

"I thought his main argument with the Democrats was that they were the big spenders," Total said.

"It's not really new money he's giving away. It's funds already allocated for programs by Congress that Bush refused to spend because they were wasteful. In a close political race a president has the right to change his mind."

Lampner then said, "Hey, wait a minute. If Bush is handing out money to the voters, maybe we can get a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts."

"They turned us down when we submitted plans to build a statue to Jane Fonda on Pennsylvania Avenue," Lacy said. "Even after we promised she would be fully clothed."

Healy suggested, "If we promise the president he can count on us on Election Day he might reconsider honoring Jane."

I admitted, "I'd rather get a grant to study why Hollywood deals in sex and violence."

"You can't get one for that because all the people who make the films on sex and violence are working to re-elect President Bush. He's not going to write a check for someone who wants to expose Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Selleck and Chuck Norris."

"You are probably right," I agreed. "But I sure would like some of that Bush money while it's available. I wonder how much my vegetable garden is worth in agricultural subsidies?"

"Thousands," Lampner replied.

Healy said, "There is something wrong about Bush using my tax money for his re-election."

"All presidents do it," Lacey claimed. But Bush's mistake is to hand it out too early, because then the voter forgets who gave it to him."

Healy said, "Let's think of something we need federal money for and then set up a photo opportunity his political people can't resist."

"It's worth a try. If they turn us down, we'll propose the Quayle Center for Remedial Television Disabilities."