[Dateline London – One Year from Now] The U.S. Administration of Barack Obama is reportedly reeling over the potential impact of a number of mysterious vanishings by high profile business people and entrepreneurs.
The disappearances began four weeks ago when noted conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh ominously closed his radio show with the phrase, “Who is John Galt?” Since that day, the whereabouts of Mr. Limbaugh have been unknown even to his closest colleagues and friends.
His perplexing disappearance follows on the heels of months of criticism of the radio talker by the Obama administration over Limbaugh’s outspoken concerns of the Financial Bailout, the automotive bailouts, the airline bailout, TARP I, II, III, and IV, and the institution of the Radio Equality and Airtime Parity Act (sometimes referred to as the fairness doctrine).
Several days after Limbaugh was reported missing, it was learned that Mr. Limbaugh had liquidated most of his assets and sold his residence along with most of its furnishings. Almost everything not liquid was left behind with the notable exception of his multiple sets of golf clubs and his state of the art humidor.
The Obama administration initially saw Mr. Limbaugh’s disappearance as a victory and touted it as evidence that he could not compete in a “fair” radio environment. But that initial euphoria turned to concern after a series of embarrassing incidents with signs containing the phrase “Who is John Galt?” marring public appearances by the president. This was followed by so called “Galt Graffiti” appearing on public institutions all over the country, and most striking, even the White House itself.
In the weeks following Limbaugh’s disappearance, dozens of key business executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs have mysteriously vanished in similar ways, with assets liquidated and businesses closed. Each of them leaving behind only a note that reads simply “Who is John Galt?”
While it is not being widely reported in the U.S., sources reveal that key members of the administration are gravely concerned with these developments. One high ranking administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity told us “Who is supposed to run all the businesses left leaderless? We are overwhelmed. Tax revenues are plummeting and we don’t know what to do. Perhaps, we went to far with our plans. Maybe we should have left these people alone.”
While it has been reportedly right-of-center men and women who have disappeared, the Republican leadership in Congress is baffled by the disappearances with one high ranking Republican saying, “We don’t know where these people have gone, but rest assured that the House and Senate Republican leadership will continue to work with the President on the serious issues facing our country. Fortunately, none of us in the leadership has disappeared.”
In the absence of Mr. Limbaugh, the listening audience of radio on the AM band has rapidly dwindled. The FCC quickly stepped in and replaced Limbaugh with the more moderate voice of David Brooks. Despite the quick reaction of the FCC, it is estimated that more than 70% of the former afternoon talk radio audience has simply stopped listening. Ad revenues have almost completely dried up and some speculate that unless there is a government bailout the up until recently thriving industry of talk radio may be dead.
Beyond just the disappearance of key business owners and entrepreneurs, economists and financial experts are equally troubled by the growing trend dubbed “shrugging” in which highly compensated key business producers do only the minimum required. Tom Galvan was ranked top in sales in his industry for four years running, but that has changed this year. Galvan says, “Normally I would work 70+ hours a week to land those key accounts. But the government takes so much of what I make beyond modest base salary I figure, why should I bother? So I shrugged.”
So far, President Obama has been silent on the vanishings, however he did call an emergency Cabinet meeting on Thursday. He is rumored to be considering the nationalization of many industries in response to the crisis as well as another “rescue package” for those companies impacted by the vanishings.
Also rumored to be under consideration is an executive order freezing the assets of anyone worth more than $1 million as well as restricting travel on those who reported an adjusted gross income of more than $250k on their 2008 tax returns. A source close to the President assured that if enacted, these executive orders would merely be temporary and in no way compromise the liberties most Americans hold dear.
At present it is unknown if Rush Limbaugh is in any way responsible for the other vanishings or if he was simply the first to disappear. What is known is that if Limbaugh and the other business leaders do not return soon, even more Government intervention will be needed.