"Are you better off than you were four weeks ago?" Obama asked with a chuckle.

Painting imagineered by Portland artist Lukas Ketner and published in Willamette Week, (our local alternative newspaper)

Barack Obama made us smile when he posed this well-worn question today on the campaign trail.

If you are old enough, you'll recognize that it's a riff on the original question posed in 1980. In the last Presidential debate, Ronald Reagan asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Here's our answer...

Dear Senator Obama,

The last four weeks have been horrible. We just backed out of the stock market yesterday. We put the fleeing remainder of our nest egg into Fidelity Investments CASH RESERVES to stop from going completely broke in this financial collapse.

We don't expect you to repay us -- we didn't really ever own the money, anyway. You only get the money when you cash out. Thankfully, we won't have to pay taxes on it. Because we are elderly, we probably won't have to pay much in the way of taxes this year. That's a good thing. We have to do more belt tightening, but it will be worth it.

To help us keep clear mentally, here's how we figure it:

We donated this phantom money to YOUR ELECTION.

It seems as if it is taking this woeful financial crash, the worst since my father's generation, to lock in your candidacy.

We know it's a paltry sum to you -- that $125,000 we have hypothetically lost somewhere. We lost it to someone, but we don't know exactly who. However, you probably won't miss it when it doesn't show up in your coffers.

We're still talking up your candidacy as we have since you won the primaries. It's becoming more clear that many others are taking up your cause. As we said, as good citizens trying to stay up with our expenses, we had nothing to do with the increase. We thought we were just being prudent to try and keep up with inflation through our elder years.

We had nothing to do with the loss. But we will have something -- EVERYTHING -- to do with your election. We await our mail-in ballots in just a few days. Good luck in the upcoming election!


Ellen and Al in Oregon

Two of the Yuppie Elderly and, theoretically, a couple of the top donators to Barack Obama's campaign.

**Go here for a true analysis of the differences whether YOU are better off than you were in 2000: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/print/36628