President Obama motions in the aide, who enters the office with alacrity.
Jimmy: Mr. President, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
Obama: Well, Harry Truman said if you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the sausage factory, so I’ll take both.
Jimmy: The goods news, Mr. President, is great news. Oil prices are plummeting, which will provide nearly every single American a sudden increase in disposable income. Unless you happen to work at Exxon, this is the single most exciting economic development in years. Not only is gas at the pump cheaper, you get reminded of it every time you drive past a gas station and see another price cut. Unlike the higher stock market, this will provide a tremendous boost in spending power for middle America. The economic recovery had already been slowly shifting into a higher gear, but this should get our country roaring ahead.
Obama: So what’s the bad news?
Jimmy: Oh, your environmental policies are completely discredited. The idea of “peak oil” now seems ludicrous. The biggest problem with oil is we have too much of it. And subsidies for alternative energy will only become more expensive relative to fossil fuels. People aren’t stupid: it’s hard to argue the economy would be better off switching from carbon at the precise moment when the plunge in oil prices is so beneficial it almost seems like a Christmas miracle.
Obama: Well, at Columbia the professors used to say, “It may work in practice, but will it work in theory.” Being right intellectually often means being wrong empirically. Plus, what about global warming?
Jimmy: Mr. President - or may I call you Barry – trust me, by the time you leave office after two more years of this turbo-charged financial rocket boost, you will be going down in the record books as presiding over the greatest economic expansion of any modern president. Is shredding a few million more birds in wind turbines really worth it? Mr. President? Mr. President? Why are you looking out the window at the White House lawn? Um, never mind, I’ll just tiptoe right back to my cubicle sir.
Jimmy departs, making to mental note to pick up Excedrin on the way home for his girlfriend.