>Marley was long dead, but this was fine with Scrooge. Scrooge had managed to make himself complete beneficiary of Marley’s will and, due to the repeal of the Estate Tax, Scrooge was able to pocket a nice hefty sum from Marley’s estate and put it right into the bank, where rich people like him always put their money.
Sitting at his lonely desk by himself was Bob Cratchit, the sole remaining employee at “Scrooge and Marley”, since Scrooge had laid off the rest of the staff and outsourced the rest of their business overseas. With profits through the roof, productivity at an all-time high, Scrooge had more time to blame the economy on why he hadn’t hired more employees. Cratchit easily did most of the work, but the gap in pay between the two of them was over 500%, since Scrooge was the CEO of his “small business”.
Leaving for the day, Cratchit tipped his hat to Mr. Scrooge, “Happy Holidays, Mr. Scrooge!”
“Holidays?” Scrooge said, “Bah, humbug! It’s ‘Merry Christmas’, and how dare you even attempt to include others in this time of year. How dare you not validate my religious beliefs for me or attempt to include those of other faith into this time of year. By not recognizing only my faith you are completely disrespecting it. This War on Christmas has gone on too long!”
On his way home, Scrooge drove his Hummer through the streets shivered at the sight of all that snow. It was cold out, and that was all the proof he needed that Global Warming is a hoax. Besides, most scientists made less money than he did, so how smart could they possibly be?
As he drove, he listened to his favorite AM talk radio show where he got the “news” that told him what he wanted to hear. He heard something about the cost of the wars in the Middle East, but didn’t pay attention to it. Ever since his bank was bailed out and he didn’t have to worry about his losing the money he gambled in the Stock Market, Scrooge had turned his attention to really important matters…like big government spending and the deficit. He had no time to even think about the wars and hadn’t thought about them since around January 2008. That was around the time he decided that spending was out of control.
Oh, he was very angry about spending when Bush was in office for eight years…he just never told anyone about it. He told people that he was critical of Bush, despite the sweet tax cuts he received during that time…he just never said anything during the eight years Bush was in office. When January 2008 rolled around, he finally had to start telling people how upset he was. Sure, Scrooge always voted straight down the Republican line, but he firmly considered himself something different and told people he was critical of Republicans, too. Mostly, though, Scrooge just didn’t like Democrats. He didn’t call himself a Republican, but he still voted and acted just like one.
That night, as he lay in his bed, Scrooge was visited by The Ghost of Jacob Marley.
“I wear the chains of my greed,” said Marley’s Ghost, “I was greedy and selfish and uncharitable.”
“I give to charity all the time,” Scrooge said, “especially if I can use it as a deduction. What’s more Christian than that? Besides, I want to choose which charities I tell people I’m giving to, rather than have the Government do it for me. The Government would just ruin everything and give it to people who are nothing like me! Why would I want that?”
“You pay less in taxes than Americans ever have,” said Marley’s Ghost, “yet you started complaining in 2008 that it’s unfair to be you. You never complained about big government when it was bigger than it is now.”
“But I love my country,” Scrooge said, “I just hate paying taxes to it. This country made me rich! I love that, I just don’t see how I owe it anything in return. I love being American; I just hate most other Americans. That makes sense, right? Right?”
Marley warned Scrooge that he would be visited that night by Three Spirits, and so he was. The Ghost of Christmas Past came to Scrooge and showed him what his life had been like as a young man. It was then that Scrooge saw his former boss, Mr. Fezziwig. Fezziwig had given Scrooge his start in business, and was known to be a fair and giving employer.
“Bah, humbug,” said Scrooge, “That no good Socialist! He could have made more money if he’d laid off half his staff, shipped the jobs overseas, and convinced his remaining employees to vote against their own self interests. Then, he could have had half the staff do twice the work. Profits would have gone up and he could have complained that the current administration wasn’t creating enough jobs. Then he could have asked for more tax cuts and put that money in the bank.”
The Ghost reminded Scrooge that, when he was younger, Scrooge wanted to help others and had a kinder heart.
“Bah,” Scrooge said and proceeded to mis-quote Churchill, “‘Anyone who is Liberal and over 30 has no brain.”
Soon after, Scrooge was visited by The Ghost of Christmas Present. The Spirit showed Scrooge the home of Bob Cratchit and his ailing son, Tiny Tim. Cratchit was on hard times, trying to raise a family on the salary that Scrooge always refused to raise.
“Not my problem,” Scrooge said, “if he’s not making enough money he can go work at Starbucks part-time.”
“But Tiny Tim is very ill,” The Spirit said, “And the benefits you provide do not cover most medical expenses.”
“So I suppose that health care should just be free for people?” Scrooge asked, “Then immigrants and pathetic drug addicts and welfare mothers will overrun our emergency rooms. People will expect my taxes to go to pay for the well-being of people nothing like me. I’ll have to care about others I don’t know and pay taxes while doing it. What’s Christ-like about that? Besides, the government can’t do anything right. I love America, remember? I just don’t believe in anything the government does. Except the military. I love that. In fact, I hear there’s a war going on somewhere. I think. But, other than that, the government sucks. The government has no right to tell anyone how to live their lives…unless we’re talking about gay people.”
“Tiny Tim gets no help from your insurance company because he has a pre-existing condition,” said the Spirit.
“There’s going to be flaws in the system,” said Scrooge, “Doesn’t mean we should all be Communists. Besides, why should I be made to care about some sick kid I don’t even know? It’s not like he’s an unborn fetus!”
“You could pay Cratchit a more respectable wage,” said the Spirit, “and hire more help with the profits you have made. You could boost the economy by creating jobs within your company and making a smaller gap between your salary and that of your workers.”
“Look, you Socialist Liberal,” Scrooge said to The Spirit, “Don’t make me draw a Hitler mustache on this photo I have of you on my protest sign.”
The Spirit said, “You misspelled ‘Socialist'”.
After that, Scrooge was visited by The Spirit of Christmas Future. Immediately, Scrooge was suspicious because he was pretty certain that the Spirit could not provide him with a long-form Death Certificate. When the Spirit rolled its eyes at the very question, Scrooge muttered about “wanting his country back”.
Then the Spirit showed Scrooge the future. There, he saw that there was no Middle Class. There were enormous banks and corporations that paid almost no taxes. There were wealthy CEOs who gave themselves enormous bonuses after begging for taxpayer money so they wouldn’t fail. There were judges who invested in insurance companies and made profits based on medical earnings who were busy declaring Health Care Reform Unconstitutional. There were old people working up to the age of 75. People screamed that their guns were being taken away from them while legally carrying the very guns they screamed about. And people everywhere were angry at paying taxes without realizing that their taxes had gone down and had been going down for years.
“Actually, I’m still here,” said the Ghost of Christmas Present, “You were looking at right now.”
And so it was, as Tiny Tim coughed shortly before dying, “Merry Christmas to all. We’re f*&%ed.”