first bank  

Chris Graham: Yes, I am, and thanks for asking

“But there’s no way you’re better off than you were four years ago.”

“Um, well …”

“Seriously. You just can’t be.”

“But I am.”

The script on his computer screen didn’t have any direction for what he was supposed to say next.

Dangerous, having him wing it.

“You’re … lying. You have to be.”

“But I am doing better than I was four years ago.”

Another call, another day.

“Well, no, I wouldn’t say that it was anything your side did, necessarily.’

“But you just said you’re better off than you were four years ago.”

“That’s what I told the other guy, too.”

“The Republicans called, too, then?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“And you told them that it was thanks to …”

“Hard work. Guile. Luck.”

“But the president …”

“Has done his best to fight through partisan gridlock. I get that. But really, whether or not I’m better or worse off from four years ago has to do with a lot more than who’s in charge, don’t you think?”

“Well …”

“My sentiments exactly.”

“But Democrats …”

The first call.

“They’ve put a debt burden on us that our grandchildren won’t be able to pay back.”

“So did your side. Tax cuts for the superwealthy in the middle of two wars don’t make a lick of sense.”

The second call.

“It took me six months to close on my house. I made $120,000 last year, and it still took forever and a day. The banks are still way, way too tight with loaning out money.”

I could hear, literally, the crickets chirping outside, it was so silent on the other end of the line.

“And what that’s done … I’ve been waiting since May to start a new business, and couldn’t, because I had to wait for the loan to get approved.”

“Ah …”

“Yeah. I want to expand my business, and I’ve been on hold.’

The first call.

“So what you’re saying is, the president has been ineffective …”

“I’m saying your side hasn’t helped out small-business owners like me. You keep talking about how bloated the government bureaucracy is. A big holdup on my home loan was understaffing at a federal loan program. It took them weeks to review the loan application. Weeks that I could have been engaging in economic activity in my new business venture.”

The second call.

“So you’re buying a new house …”

“Just closed on it.”

“Congratulations. Just closed on a new house. And starting a new business. And four years ago …”

“Four years ago I was thisclose to filing for bankruptcy.”

“Things are better now.”

“Things are indeed better now. Your side has been helpful, which is why I’m voting for your side in November. I wouldn’t gloat about it, though. The other side gives me no reason to have any confidence in what they want to do. Yours gives me a smidgeon. Ergo you win.”

The first call.


“You familiar with the phrase, There are no atheists in foxholes?”

More silence.

“Just pretend for a second that you are. Well, there are no socialists in business, either. Thanks for your time.”

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Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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