All right, here it is. The long-awaited (ha ha) entry on the letter I got from Bush/the White House.
I came home from work one day last August and found this manila folder in my place at the dining room table—the usual way my mom sorts and doles out our mail—addressed to me, from the White House. For a split second I thought, Oh no, one of the petitions I signed must have pissed off someone and now I’m on the FBI’s list!
Mum and C came up to me ’cause they were wondering what in the world the White House could be sending to me. I told them it must have been a response to some petition that I’d signed online. Opened it up and yup, the letter was about preserving our oceans.
I guess the White House does keep track of e-mails it gets ’cause I couldn’t recall recently signing a petition to Bush about oceans and figured I must have been on some list. Either that or bureaucracy is really really slow and it took many months to send my letter.
I’m inclined to believe the latter because the letter was about something that Bush had done to Save Our Oceans back in June. What was this action that he took to ensure that our oceans would be around for generations to come? Why he declared June 2008 as National Oceans Month! Yes sir, he took action that was not at all proactive and then decided to spend $1.17 telling me about it months later!
See, that’s the real kicker. If I’d received an e-mail from the White House (even months after the fact) I would not be as annoyed as I am right now. (Which honestly isn’t all that much on the annoyed scale. Maybe a little miffed. But I thought this was … unique … and should be commented on.) I’m used to getting “Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message” auto-responses.
But this time, someone(s?) in D.C. thought it was worth $1.17 to inform me of past acts of “preservation” which I am concerned about? The petitions I sign usually get somewhere around 5,000–20,000 signatures, but let’s assume an absolute average of 10,000. If I got a letter, doesn’t that mean that 9,999 other people also got the same letter? The White House wanted to spend $11,700 sending out information when they could have sent out e-mails?
Or even just send it in a regular business envelope. Why spend a whole $1.17 when postage was about $0.43? Just so I get a flat piece of paper that hasn’t been folded? And I’m sure even the feds can get discounts from the post office if they’re sending out enough pieces of mail—$0.27, right? They spent basically three times more so I get a fancy, special letter about Bush tooting his own horn.
How many meals can $11,700 cover? How many doctor visits? I know the U.S. has a budget in the billions, but come on, every little bit helps!—Oh wait, no, we’re now $10 trillion in debt, so a few measly thousand doesn’t count for much there. Thanks, Bush.