The International Writers Magazine: Comment USA
Solving Some of the Nation's Problems
It has come to my attention that despite our astute politicians having avoided going over the fiscal cliff there are still a few problems confronting our nation. Some of these are the federal budget, the federal deficit, airport security, immigration, realty television, vampire movies, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and as ever, Lindsey Lohan.
To begin with, I have come up with a neat solution to take care of the federal budget and federal deficit: appoint a bipartisan congressional committee (we can call it a “super committee”) to come up with an equable solution. Furthermore, make the penalty for not coming up with one horribly onerous, like doubling everyone’s taxes; cutting every federal agency’s budget in half; banning texting while driving, walking, running or sitting; banning any mention of Kim Kardashian or Lindsey Lohan in the tabloids; canceling the pro-football season; maybe even canceling the Super Bowl. In other words, the penalty would be so bad that even our congresspersons couldn’t fail to come up with some kind of solution.
Wait a minute. What’s that you say? Establishing such a super committee is the reason we almost went over the fiscal cliff in the first place. Okay, let’s put that one on hold for a while. We still have to reduce the federal deficit so it would help if we had more money coming in. We know multi-millionaires (or multi-billionaires) like Warren Buffet are itching to pay their fair share, or more, so let’s set up a federal agency to which they can donate all the money they want. In return, they’ll get all of the things that the hundreds of organizations asking for our donations provide: free mailing labels, ballpoint pens, note pads, even free calendars. How could any multimillionaire resist that?
How to get even more money? Let’s see. There’ll be a White House rummage sale, of course. Everyone in the country will be asked to send in his or her old items of clothing, appliances, furniture, books, etc. Michelle Obama will organize it, people can buy online as on eBay and I’m sure millions of dollars will be generated. What else? Well, our elected officials can cut down on their lifestyles. Air Force One will be replaced by a Cessna. Maybe congresspersons and federal agencies can even give up all those junkets to foreign places and meetings in places like Hawaii and Las Vegas. No more government cars. Let them take cabs, boosting the incomes of taxi drivers.
We’ve officially designated anyone with an income of over $400,000 a year as being wealthy. So let’s look at all the athletes and entertainers making more than that and take any excess for the government. They will still be wealthy so how could they object to that? And speaking of entertainers, let’s levy a fine on any movie or television show using obscenity or showing nudity. This would enhance the federal coffers and also raise the standard of morality. While we’re at it, we can also levy a fine on any media mentioning Kim Kadashian or Lindsey Lohan (and Donald Trump). More money pouring in.
What other problems can we solve? There’s immigration. Let’s have a softball game between members of the congressional Black Caucus and also Hispanics and a representative squad of white members. After the game they’ll all adjourn to a nearby bar, and in the comradery engendered by hard-fought competition they’ll settle the problem over a few rounds of beers.
I mentioned the problem of airport security. The solution here is simple. Let the Walt Disney organization handle it. As anyone who’s visited Disneyland or Disney World knows, they are experts in moving people along. And while people are being moved along they can be entertained by Disney persons dressed up as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Snow White and the rest.
What problems are left? Oh, yes, amid all the discussion of taxes and deficits, there’s the little matter of high unemployment and while insurance for those out of work was extended there was little or no talk about putting people back to work. How to do this? One way is to go back to the good old days and replace all of those computerized or digital gadgets with real people. These would include: telephone operators, elevator operators, typists, stenos, bowling alley pinboys, gas station attendants and the like. Along the way, we can dispense with all automated phone systems and thus rid society of one its greatest ills (maybe the greatest). I’m sure readers can think of other occupations that have disappeared over the past few decades and can be reinstated. Hat makers! President Obama starts wearing hats and hat factories will spring up all over to supply all the men who will want one.
As for the federal budget... What do most people do when they find their expenses exceeding their budgets? They cut down on eating out. They put off buying that TV set. They stay home instead of going away for vacations. And so on. I’ll be thinking about how possibly we can apply this to our friends in Washington. Meanwhile, I think we’ve gotten off to a pretty good start.
© Martin Green
Enough to drive you to drink - a short story by Martin Green