President George Bush sat at a window seat of Air Force One as it flew over New Orleans. Next to him was Bill, one of the Assistant to the Joint Chief of Staff holding a stack of papers.
“The figure is now 289 billion, sir,” said Bill.
“The city doesn’t look that bad,” said Bush as he was glancing down at the city below.
“Yes, sir. Anyway, the way things are going, I think the Iraq mission will pass the 300 billion mark by late September,” said Bill.
“300 billion. Sounds like a good number. You want to join me after we land? I’m going to have lunch, get some gumbo. A little local color,” said Bush.
“That’s kind of you, sir, but I have to report back to the Army Chief of Management and Budget. He is concerned that you are not fully aware that we have spent close to 300 billion on Iraq, sir,” said Bill.
“Yeah, well, tell him I know it. Money well spent. I hear they got some of the gambling casinos up and running down in New Orleans. These southerners are very resourceful. I knew they would be up and running, getting their feet wet in the economy. No pun intended, there, Bill,” said Bush.
“Yes, sir. My boss wants you to know, or wants to make certain you know that the 300 billion is actual cash money that has been spent, sir. That it is not just appropriated for future spending. That money is actually spent,” said Bill.
“Yeah, yeah. Those damn Iraqis just gobble up money, don’t they. But look down there, Bill. Those people in New Orleans have not spent all the money we appropriated. Those people are on their own doing what Americans do best. They are resourceful and don’t ask for help. I am proud of them. We hardly have spent a dime down there, and those people got their casinos running already. And the Astrodome is open, I think. Almost, anyways,” Said Bush.
“Yes, sir. That’s good, sir,” said Bill.
“Yeah, it sure is, Bill. It sure is. Sure you don’t want some gumbo? It will be on me,” asked Bush.
“No, sir. I really have to get back to the Pentagon. We are budgeting for the next six months,” said Bill.
“Okie dokie, there, Bill. You do your thing. And I will do mine. I will do mine. Have a big New Orleans meal, that is” said President George W. Bush.