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August 22, 2014
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The cost of freedom, now in easy monthly payments


(A scene from the near future...)

“Hello?”

“Hello, is this Mrs. Joanne Commoner?”

“Yes, this is Joanne.”

“Good afternoon, Mrs. Commoner, this is Staff Sgt. Mark Striker with the U.S. Army, 14th Fundraiser Battalion. How are you this afternoon?”

“Good afternoon, Sergeant! Thank you for your service!”

“At ease, Mrs. Commoner. You may be seated. And thank you for your kind words. By the way, Mrs. Commoner, I am required to inform you this conversation may be monitored or recorded for quality control purposes.”

“Of course, Sergeant. And do please feel free to call me Joanne.”

“Thank you, Joanne. Rest assured that this conversation will be held confidential. Protecting your privacy is a high priority for your armed forces. As you know, since the passage in 2017 of the Norquist Act, which eliminated all federal taxation, all agencies and departments of the United States government have been charged with raising their own funds through direct solicitation of the public.”

“Yes, Sergeant, I’ve been giving regularly.”

“Of course, Joanne, I see that on your records. And we certainly do appreciate your generous past support. But today I’m calling you because we have an immediate, urgent need. We need a special extra push right now, to enable the DRZ-87 ‘Guardian Angel’ Specialized Surveillance and Threat Elimination MultiDrone program to stay on track.”

“Ooh, I think I heard about that program on the news this morning, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did, Joanne. At 07:53 on the ‘Fox Homeland Bulletin,’ in fact, while you were having your coffee. And thank you for keeping yourself so well-informed. So you are already aware of how absolutely, inarguably vital this program will be to maintaining our national security and protecting our freedoms over the next five years. You do agree that it is very important, don’t you, Joanne?”

“Why, of course, Sergeant.”

“Then can I count on you—can your fellow citizens, and our boys and girls out there in the deserts of Mongolia, Bolivia, Algeria, and Portugal—can your country count on you for another $25 this week?”

“Oh, Sergeant, of course I would. Well, wait, oh dear, I do have to pay to renew my prescriptions this week.”

“I know, Joanne. Under the provisions of the Defense Fundraising Facilitation Act of 2018, I have complete access to your medical and financial records, which of course we do not release to any other party; protecting your privacy is a high priority for your armed forces. And I see that it’s your blood pressure medication that’s up for renewal, correct?”

“Yes, Sergeant, that’s right—Blobitor, 25 milligrams.”

“Tell you what, Joanne, if you will agree to an immediate withdrawal of just $25 from your account, I will contact your pharmacy and arrange for you to receive a 33% Patriot’s Discount on all your medications this month, and we’ll send you a certificate of appreciation personally signed by both Gen. Remington and the CEO of Lockheed-Boeing, suitable for framing, how would that be?”

“Why, Sergeant, that would be wonderful! Thank you so much!”

“It’s our pleasure, ma’am. Oh, and one more thing, Joanne—if you see your neighbors, the Paxtons—we haven’t heard from them for a while. Would you let them know we’re looking forward to their renewed participation in America’s defense?”

“Oh! Why, of course, Sergeant! Indeed I will!”

“Thank you, Joanne. Freedom bears a high price, and we all get to pay a part of it. You may now resume your normal duties. And have a nice day.”