20 September 2004

Letter from a Billionaire

We bought this Administration fair and square


I do appreciate your mention of the Billionaires for Bush. I am reminded so often of the fine work our people in the media do; it is always such a pleasure to see the chatty classes discuss the natty classes. I have told my assistant to clip your charming article for my scrapbook, and unless she wants to join the ill-dressed droves on the unemployment line it will soon be done.

It was terrifically sweet of you to note some of the talents of our little group. We are, indeed, accomplished event planners. I personally serve as social secretary for a number of worthy causes: Debutantes for Dick Cheney, Ladies against a Living Wage, and, most recently, Privileged Princesses for Privatization, a campaign to finally make public libraries for members only (thanks, Laura!). We are, indeed, sophisticates. And we are certainly seductive. I have used my charms to lure several CEOs to marry me, and scores of pool-boys and paparazzi to bed me. In fact, I am somewhat confused by your use of the word “spinsterism”—as Jane Austen reminds us, chronicling the activities of our ancestors, it’s rather difficult to keep wealth unattached.

So I’m awfully sorry to tell you there are a few other little infelicities in your little article. I don’t of course fault you personally: I am aware that education is a privilege and not a right, and I don’t doubt that you’ve been unable to avail yourself of the resources of such fine institutions as the alma mater my third through sixth husbands share with our fine President.

First, you refer to us as Wildean. Now, we the very wealthiest are not without affection for our well-dressed Irish admirer. We are nearly as tickled that Wilde knew the god of his century to be wealth as we are that his god still reigns in ours. Was it not Wilde who wrote that “charity creates a multitude of sins”? And did he not also recognize that “democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people”? It’s a sentiment we cherish as we promote the saving of time and effort by bludgeoning the people ourselves.

But though we treasure these nuggets of wisdom, and while we are frequently amused by Wilde’s satire of the lower upper class, there is something pernicious in his writing and his thought. Wilde wrote in Lady Windermere’s Fan that “life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.” My sweet scribe, we are deadly serious. It takes a great cause to lure a Billionaire back from the Hamptons in the sweltering heat of August, and this week, we found several.

We Billionaires marched (a painful proposition for this author, who has recently had her feet cut to fit her Choos) to preserve a way of life. These last few years have been good to the wealthiest one percent. Fifty-two percent of President Bush’s tax cuts went to my brothers and sisters at the lonely top. $986 million went to the Wal-Mart heirs (Hello John and Biffy!), and only $300 to the ordinary American. We think it ill-mannered to speak of “class war,” but if such a “war” exists, well, we’re doing just splendidly. But there are some battles yet to be won.

On Monday, we were forced to counter an “economic justice” rally with our vigil for corporate welfare. You see, the great unwashed middle classes have been led astray by John Kerry, a class traitor who will only increase our dependence on domestic labor. Kerry wants to take away the hard-won tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 a year—however will my legal team maintain their lifestyles?

In short: I am sure you said a good many other things in your little essay, and I assure you it doesn’t concern me very much. We bought this Administration fair and square, and we usually get what we pay for. You and your colleagues (Hi, Rupert!) have done a great deal to help the wealthy, and I’ve no reason to think that will change any time soon. To borrow Wilde’s phrasing once more: at one time we wealthy had the rack, and now we have the press.

One Dollar One Vote,
Dee Regulation (of the Industrial-Regulations)


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