The G.W. Bush Severance Package
His stock is falling. He has lost the confidence of shareholders. So how much would it take to make him go away?
Dear Mr. Bush:
This memo sets forth the terms of the severance agreement reached this morning between your representatives and the Board of Directors regarding your contemplated departure as Chief Executive Officer of United States of America, Inc. (Hereafter: "USA, Inc.").
The Board acknowledges that you believe you are doing "a heck of a job" and that, if not for weak-willed defeatists in Congress, the White House, the news media, the Democratic Party, the military, Iraq, the G7, and the voting public, the rest of the world might agree. The Board acknowledges that your representatives have produced evidence that you believe supports your assessment of your job performance and challenges the expertise and motives of your detractors. Without passing judgment on such evidence, the Board will try to honor your request that it be made available to "patriotic" historians.
The Board agrees to accept any hypothetical resignation you may decide to offer. If you decide to resign, the Board understands that you will do so "for personal reasons" and "to spend more time with your family." The Board agrees that any such resignation would be voluntary.
Lastly, the Board agrees that, if you resign, Mr. Richard Cheney will immediately be sworn in as the company's 44th President. Mr. Cheney will issue two executive orders—the first anointing you the "Freedom, Democracy, and Victory President," and the second pardoning you. Having ensured his presidential legacy, Mr. Cheney will then resign, citing health reasons.
About Your Severance Package:
Your representatives provided the Board with a recommended hypothetical severance package developed by your severance consultants. The Board acknowledges that your severance consultants have extraordinary experience and expertise in this arena, having advised on 185 CEO departures in the last three years. The Board agrees that, should you resign, your Hypothetical Severance Package will become your Severance Package.
Terms of Your Hypothetical Severance Package
In gratitude for your past six years of service as the War President and your future years of service as the Freedom, Democracy, and Victory President, you will receive:
- A lump-sum equivalent to a modest 0.02 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of USA, Inc. in your six years of leadership (calculated by annualizing the final year), as well as an additional bonus of 0.02 percent of projected GDP for the next two years. Your severance consultants note that this percentage is less than half of that recently received by another departing Chief Executive, Home Depot's Robert Nardelli. (The Board thanks you for your sacrifice.) The special additional bonus will compensate you for the inconvenience of having to relocate two years earlier than expected.
- The Board recognizes that the above lump-sum payment of $21 billion will create a substantial tax burden for you and your family. The Board regrets that it cannot decree that income taxes on Chief Executive Officer severance packages "be temporarily waived to stimulate the economy and create jobs." As a result, the Board will accept your alternate recommendation that the sum be structured as a Special Ex-CEO Trust, from which you will receive interest and dividends tax-free. Your consultants estimate that this will produce a lifetime income of $1 billion per year.
- Because the above income may not support the lifestyle to which you are accustomed, you will also receive the following nonmonetary compensation: