American Consequences - December 2017



Now I’ve spent $190,159.95. That leaves me $99,999,809,840.05 to go. I’d better get busy. A private plane? A luxury yacht? I have an old friend who’s a pilot and a sailor (and who’s been divorced three times). He says, “If it flies, floats, or... [let’s not go there with what his third f-verb is] rent it !” A pied-a-terre in the city. For Mrs. O’Rourke and I to go to town and have some fun! (A small place so we can’t bring the kids.) The Pierre hotel, at 5th Avenue and 61st Street in New York, is selling a four- room condominium apartment on a high floor overlooking Central Park – so that’s $5,000,000. A beach shack to escape New England’s lousy winters, big enough for family, friends, dogs, friends’ dogs, etc. I like Sanibel Island on the Gulf Coast – unspoiled “Old Florida.” And here’s just the thing on Zillow... 11,000 square feet with seven bathrooms and 700 feet of private beachfront for $22,000,000. Oh yeah, college for my children. It’s not the tuition. That’s a drop in the bucket. It’s getting my kids into college. My kids are – like everybody’s kids – brilliant, of course. But, like their old man, they... um... to quote from a recent parent-teacher conference, “have tremendous potential but with room for considerable improvement in effort, concentration, and study habits...” B A

In other words, they ain’t getting into Harvard. Unless ... maybe ... I match or exceed the largest-ever gift to Harvard – $400 million donated by hedge-fund billionaire (and Big Short beneficiary) John A. Paulson in 2015. But who the hell wants kids who go to Harvard? As if they’re not smartasses enough already... I have no desire for children like Al Franken (Class of ‘73). Instead, I’ll send them to a good state school such as Miami of Ohio, where I went. “Or,” my wife will say, “a better state school, such as Indiana University, where I went.” (Hah! Ben Roethlisberger played for the Miami RedHawks. Who’s in the NFL Hoosiers “Who’s Who?” Babe Laufenberg... starting quarterback for the 1988 San Diego Chargers. He threw four touchdowns and five interceptions in six games before being sacked by the Saints and getting his ribs crushed.) But I digress... The new gym at Miami cost $14 million. Title IX probably means they need another one. “The O’Rourke Family C-Students Sports Pavilion.” I can get my kids into Miami for 3.5% of what it cost John Paulson to get his kids into Harvard. Grand total of expenditures so far, in round numbers: only $41.2 million. Naturally, I’ll give money to worthy causes. There are plenty of worthy causes. Such as my cousin Mikey-Mike. He spent Thanksgiving in jail after his seventh DUI arrest. It was just too cold to walk to the trailer park from the bar – half a block away. Maybe Mikey-Mike B

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