Friday, October 10, 2008

Three Little Pigs and the Fire Truck

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs who were trying to waste millions of dollars of public money converting a decrepit 125-year old department store into a City Center. The courts had already declared the city’s purchase of the decrepit store illegal, and a few years later angry voters turned thumbs down on the building by a 3 to 1 margin. That’s when one of the three pigs came up with a great idea.


“Hey," he said, “everyone loves a fire truck. Let’s increase property taxes from .7 to 3.1 mills, or 440%, to buy a fire truck.”


“A fire truck?” the puzzled second pig said.


“Sure. It will be like a stalking horse.  Once we have that one-year 440% property tax increase on the books, we’ll  continue it for another 30 years to pay for the renovation of the department store.”


“Brilliant," the second pig said. “We can tell the public there won’t be any new taxes because we’re just continuing the old Fire Truck Tax.”


“Right," the first pig said. “We’ll tell them ‘Your vote for the Justice and City Center will increase the value of our city, not your taxes.’ We’ll tell them it’s not going to cost them a dime.”


“But do you think they’ll fall for that?” the third pig asked, expressing his doubts.


“Sure they will," the first pig said. “People aren’t like us pigs. They’re so stupid they don’t even know how to set an alarm clock.”


“You know there’s still something that confuses me," the third pig said.


“What’s that?” the first pig said.


“What’s a stocking horse?” the third pig asked.


“It’s not a stocking horse, you dope," the first pig said. “It’s a stalking horse. S-T-A-L-K-I-N-G.”


“What’s a stalking horse?” the third pig asked, still confused.


“A stalking horse is a horse you hide behind when you’re hunting," the first pig said.


“So you can sneak up on them?” the third pig asked. 

“Yes," the first pig said. “So you can sneak up on them and tax them to death.”