We arrived early for the event, along with the hundreds of eager Chamber of Commerce invitees who lined up for more than a city block to pass through security checkpoints. We couldn't remember the last time we'd seen so many white people in business attire in one place, and the sight was stunning, especially when the chief executive strode onstage and was greeted with a thunderous ovation. The effect on us was so strong that if there'd been a Dixie Chick within arm's length, we shudder to think what might have happened.
What really impressed us was the higher math that 43 has mastered during his term. His rousing address was full of meaty nuggets proving not only that his tax cuts were the salve this country needs but also that they came just at the right time.
Our heads spun when we considered what sort of quadratic equations must have been required for the prez to figure out that, had it not been for his 2001 tax giveaway, 1.5 million people "who went to work this morning would have been out of a job."
Just to silence those critics who might have claimed that such a theoretical number pales in comparison with the 3.2 million actual people who have lost their jobs during the Bush II administration, the Shrubster deftly whipped out a local example to illustrate how his brand of cipherin' works.
Omaha-based Nebraska Furniture Mart, the president said, had been planning to hire 550 local workers for its new Kansas City, Kansas, store, which opened last month. But with money burning holes in our pockets, locals swamped the store in a tax-break fever, forcing the NFM to hire an additional 450 workers -- employees who now have Mr. Bush to thank for their livelihoods.
OK, so maybe the president should have put in a little disclaimer. Turns out Nebraska Furniture Mart's success has less to do with Bush's tax cuts than with sound business practices. NFM Executive Vice President Bob Batt tells the Pitch that his company carefully scouted out Kansas City before investing a dime here. For a major city, he explains, we were "extremely underserved" by furniture sellers. On top of that, the Mart is a hoot. We spent an entire afternoon there recently, looking at acres of bedroom sets, some of them actually made out of wood.
As for the president using Nebraska Furniture Mart's success to prove that his tax cuts are doing more than creating a massive federal deficit, Batt said he had no comment.
But we have to hand it to Duh!bya. It might not have occurred to the Star's scribes, but we didn't need a wink from the president to understand why he'd dropped the Nebraska Furniture Mart into his barn-burnin' speechifying. After all, Nebraska Furniture Mart owner Warren Buffett was one of the biggest critics of Bush's tax cuts before they passed into law.
Payback, as they say, is a bitch.