The following document, saved under the title “2017 XMAS PARTY SPEECH,” was leaked to City Pages.
I want to welcome everyone to our annual office Christmas gala, and to thank you for your hard work this past year. In 2017, we soared to even greater heights: Our stock is up, expenses are down, and the lead plaintiff in that scurrilous lawsuit was too ill to testify.
[Pause for applause.]
We also lost some good people. That’s always sad, whether it’s just a few folks, or a few thousand, as you no doubt recently read in the Wall Street Journal. If you recall, that was a page 1 story.
[Pause for applause.]
Next year will be even better. The tax reform plans now working their way through Congress will do wonders for us, as the government’s annual robbery from corporations is set to fall from a rate of 35 percent to 20 percent. Our company will save many millions of dollars, which will be distributed in the only fair way possible: to our shareholders.
For you, our employees, I thought we’d celebrate with some Christmas gifts I have selected from my wife’s favorite store, Tiffany. Though it typically caters to a certain echelon of clientele, Tiffany has graciously come out with a signature line of “everyday objects,” and who better to receive them than the people who work hard for me every day?
First, to Barbara, our loyal receptionist. I know your husband Henry has been in failing health, and you were worried the company might change its insurance policy regarding dependents. That decision is, obviously, above your paygrade. But I know Henry will appreciate the “whimsical twist” Tiffany put on this sterling silver pillbox, perfect for storing Henry’s medications. I understand he takes quite a lot these days.
To Mark, our compliance supervisor. Mark’s wife works as a school teacher—at a public school! How brave!—and I’ve heard teachers will lose a tax deduction on supplies purchased out-of-pocket. Imagine the look on her face when she sees this sterling silver protractor! It’s worth $425; that’s 150 percent of the worth of that entire tax deduction! There’s only one, so the children will have to share.
To Christopher, our manager of warehouse inventory, I give you this striking tic-tac-toe set made from silver, walnut, and amazonite. I know you haven’t been able to compete in sports since your injury, which, as our attorneys have repeatedly informed you, was unrelated to all your hard work here. This board ought to be a nice way to ease yourself back into the field of play.
To Dawn, our brilliant financial strategist, I gift you this set of “luxurious alternative” ping pong paddles made from leather and walnut. They are in honor of the quite ingenious way you have our revenues bounce back and forth from here to Bermuda. And not because it’s a tax haven. My family has strong ties to the island. My grandfather’s brother was quite possibly conceived there!
To Geoffrey, our talented sales team leader, I know your oldest son is off at graduate school now, and that they’re one of the classes of people who stand to do slightly less well after the tax reform plan. Well, here I have for you a positively gorgeous sterling silver harmonica, in case he wants to learn how to play the blues. Doesn’t your family like blues music?
[Pause to ensure the question is not interpreted as racist.]
To Scott, our top accountant, I give you this yo-yo. This marvelous toy is to signify how, for people like you, income taxes will drop slightly under the Republican plan, before bouncing back up in just a few years. Scott’s 13-year-old daughter will love this yo-yo right away and, years from now, you can use it to explain why you can’t afford to send her to Northwestern, like you’d hoped.
To Matt and Eliza, sales duo supreme, and our most above-board office romance, I know you two like to entertain. My gift to you is these “paper plates,” which are actually made of (you guessed it!) sterling silver! There are only four of them, but I know the neighborhood you live in, and I can’t imagine you fitting more than two guests into your apartment at one time.
And finally, to our most valued employee, who has, remarkably, served as an executive vice president since the day he graduated from college: my son, Pierce. To you, I give this nest woven from sterling silver, and these three porcelain eggs. One could say this gift is impractical, but it’s worth more than all the others put together, which is why I’ve saved it for Pierce.
It is for you, my dear boy, that I have prepared this “nest egg,” if you will. This company has spent years lobbying the government and supporting politicians, at a cost of millions of dollars, all so you could someday inherit my entire fortune, untaxed, and a company that finally pays a lower corporate income tax than we did before this country was hijacked by socialism and Franklin Roosevelt. Merry Christmas, Pierce.
And a happy new year to all of you. Enjoy your presents, try not to break them, and I look forward to seeing as many of you next Christmas as the board of directors deems financially feasible, given the competitive marketplace and the horrendously unfair tax climate in this country.
[Pause for standing ovation.]
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