So let’s see. AIG gets a bailout. Banks get a bailout. The Big 3 automakers get a bailout.
If Larry Flynt and our old friend and alleged tax evader Joe Francis have their way, it would be porn.
Flynt and Francis have penned a (no jokes, please, remember that my mom is reading) letter to Congress asking for a $5 billion bailout to save the porn industry. I’m sorry, I meant the adult entertainment industry.
Neither Flynt nor Francis claim to be in financial trouble (despite Francis’ tax and other legal woes). They note that while DVD sales are down, growth on adult entertainment web sites has been steady. Yet, Flynt believes that a porn bailout would do the country good, saying: “People are too depressed to be sexually active. This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”
Francis released a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.” Cherished? Really? He’s such a wordsmith.
Congress has not responded to the letter.
My take? You’re expecting me to be indignant, I’ll bet. Only I’m not. It’s rare that I find myself in Larry Flynt’s corner but today I do. I get the absurdity of it all – which is exactly the conversation that he’s trying to start. The string of bailouts at the expense of taxpayers (though I’m not thoroughly convinced that Francis can count himself among taxpayers considering his pending charges for federal tax evasion) is making us weary. The numbers are starting to blur. What’s $5 billion anymore? We don’t even blink at those kind of numbers now that Congress is handing out $700 billion “virtually no strings attached” checks – remember, that’s our money. Ours.
So maybe we should spend it on things that make us happy – the folks at AIG certainly did.
Or maybe we should think a little bit harder about where our money is going and why.
With that, if you need me, I’ll be sitting at my desk drafting my own appeal to Congress for the tax blogger bailout…