Take this simple health test:
Do you suffer from persistent recession?
Do you experience a burning sensation in the portfolio?
Have you ever had the feeling that someone wanted to keep records of your library books, tap your phone, or seize your property without cause?
Do you have hallucinations in which an Austrian bodybuilder is running for governor of the world's fifth largest economy?
If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may have contracted EDD, Economic Deficit Disorder.
Hi, my name's Joyce McGreevy. I'm not an actor or I'd be running for office too. Three years ago, I was struck down by a debilitating catastrophe. It was November 2000, I'd left my options open, and someone brutally assaulted my national election. Overnight, my once happy life became a living nightmare. It cost me my livelihood, eroded my ability to experience civil rights, and even threatened the fiscal health of my children and unborn grandchildren.
I thought I was alone. Then I found out about a national network called Citizens Anonymous and met millions of people just like me. Just knowing that many of us suffered the same injuries boosted my uptake of serotonin. But it didn't last. I just couldn't hand my life over to a Higher Power. Besides, no one could decide if that meant John Ashcroft or Karl Rove.
So I left Citizens Anonymous and checked myself into the Elaine Chao Clinic for Infectious Unemployment. Like countless others on the donor list, I was hoping to qualify for a job transplant. What I witnessed there was not for the squeamish.
A 47-year-old college instructor was given the part-time hours of an 18-year-old Slurpee clerk. Thousands of factory jobs perished during a re-sect that left one CEO with a grossly enlarged bonus. A mom and pop of a former mom-and-pop bookshop were dragged out of bed every day and ordered to spend to keep their children from going into irreversible anti-consumerism. A 61-year-old woman was rushed in for a radical pensionectomy following loss of blood flow to her insurance agency. Countless others on the donor list succumbed to terminal bleakness when their jobs were airlifted to other countries.
Meanwhile, my condition worsened. Diagnosed with an occluded cash flow, foreclosure of the domicile, and a cyst on my résumé, I was treated with a mild application of disdain and released. With little hope of a cure, all I wanted was relief.
That's when my spin-doctor recommended Taxium.
So easy to swallow it only takes 231 members of Congress to shove it down your throat, Taxium has a bitter aftertaste that lasts for generations.
How does Taxium work?
This miracle compound, now 99 percent compassion-free, coats the brain in a thick, protective layer that inhibits painful critical thinking and replaces it with irrational optimism. Just look at this abstract from the Journal of the American Maniacal Association: "With regular use of Taxium, patients who previously showed difficulty just trying to pronounce the word 'nuclear' developed ease in articulating such bromides as 'We believe that the tax relief plan we have in place is robust enough to encourage job growth.'"
Before Taxium, I couldn't even look at our nation's disastrous economy without retching in fear. But now that I'm on Taxium, I'm able to see that offering no viable initiatives for improving the economy is actually the best federal policy since, well, since the hemorrhaging of one million jobs after the nation was pronounced "in recovery."
That's right, it turns out I was in recovery and didn't even know it! Admittedly, I still can't feel any sensation in the job sector, but thanks to Taxium, I occasionally get a phantom itch where the jobs used to be. And while some people dismiss that as cancer of the prospect, I say it's a sure sign of impending growth.
"Jobs and growth, jobs and growth." It's the mantra I chant every morning as the medicine courses through my deteriorating infrastructure. Thanks to Taxium, I feel confident that any day now the pattern baldness of the national economic landscape will start sprouting jobs faster than you can emerge from a meeting with top economic advisors Treasury Secretary John F. Snow and Joshua B. Bolten, the new White House budget director, and announce, "We believe it is more likely in the upcoming year that people are going to be able to find a job, and that's exactly what -- where we focused our policy."
Yes, the focusing of unspecified policy, developed at the What-Where School of Psycho-Economic Medicine, on the afflicted regions of the body politic is ongoing even as we speak. No, wait a minute; the speaking is pretty much it. But haven't you ever caught an old rerun of "Marcus Welby, M.D." in the middle of the night and thought, "Hey, thanks to all that pseudo-diagnostic dialogue, and the vague references to candy-coated placebos I feel like going back to sleep now"? Exactly.
That's the beauty of Taxium, my friend. So what if the only significant job growth is a Snow job, complete with company bus and a tri-state sales territory for peddling shoddy excuses? With Taxium in your system, that nasty condition will feel as if something positive is happening. And if you squint your eyes and look at the economy upside down, it will appear every bit as beautiful as a $2,000-a-plate fund-raiser juxtaposed with a cancelled voucher for the school lunch program.
But wait, there's more. Thanks to Taxium, I prevented my own convulsive episode this very morning when George Bush finally checked in on us here in Oregon -- the state that leads the nation in unemployment and hunger -- as part of a caring economic plan to ask us for money. Money to be used, not for job creation, education or healthcare, but as a down payment on four more years of his proven commitment to nurturing a massive deficit. Good thing I always carry an emergency kit of Extra-Strength Taxium, a fifth of Thunderbird, and a sledgehammer for my carotid artery. Ah, that feels better.
Of course, Taxium is not for everyone. Do not take Taxium if you are pregnant or exist as the result of a pregnancy. In the event of a heart condition, up the dosage until it ceases to be a factor. For maximum benefit, supplement Taxium with diet, exercise, and a place on the Fortune 500.
Side effects from Taxium may include loss of function, housing, motor skills and motor vehicle, military fatigue, blackouts, and hypersensitivity to the continuing employability of Stephen Glass, Anna Nicole and the guy in the Verizon Wireless commercial. Some Taxium users may experience difficulty swallowing a pretzel, making it all the more unlikely that they will be able to digest economic realities or read the handwriting on the wall.
Isn't it time you tried Taxium? Your free trial is already on its way and operatives are standing by to shut down whatever resources might still remain. With Taxium, you'll learn how to double your productivity and still end up unemployed. How to operate a household on 60 percent less. How to exert overtime while keeping your salary level at recommended minimums. And if you've already lost your job, with Taxium you can still pay proportionately more taxes than major corporations. Best of all, you'll develop the unshakable belief that things are actually getting better.
So take Taxium today. Start kidding yourself tomorrow.