But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that these ideas aren't left or right wing -- they're just common sense. Besides, none of my friends have shirked from posting their views on politics or issues, and why should they? This is supposed to be a place of ideas and opinions. We're all reasonable and intelligent people.
All I ask is please, please, if you're of thin skin, don't read this; and if you do read this, agree or disagree but be nice -- let's leave the nastiness to the other candidates.
SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
Okay, so I've decided to run for President. Sure, it may not seem like I've got a chance, but that's what they said about Jimmy Carter, and look how great of a job he did!
I'm creating the TBO party. For most politicians, that would stand for To Be Announced, because Heaven forbid they should actually take a stand. For me, though, it stands for Throw the Bums Out. I might change the name in four years, when I become one of the Bums. For now, however, it'll make a great campaign slogan. It'll be like Obama's "Change" thing, except I'll actually tell you what the change is.
The first thing I'm going to do is pick a Vice-President who can handle the social and ceremonial tasks around the White House. I'm thinking maybe Oprah, who's a bright and amiable person, and pretty good at the whole making people feel good thing. Maybe she can tape little presents on the underside of the chairs at state dinners:
"Look – the Queen won a new car!"
I'll be busy. First I'm going to go around to each federal office in the country, from the White House right on down to the Federal Division of Earthworms in Ottumwa, Iowa. At each desk, each worker will have five minutes to tell me what they do, and why it's important. If they can't answer, they don't need to be on the taxpayer's payroll.
Then I'll go to every place in the country that has "classified" information. Various agency heads can accompany me, once they've explained why the average Joe should be paying for their agency.
My question will be simple: "Why is this classified?"
"Um, well sir, this is a top secret flying wing we were working on in 1948."
"Uh-huh. And is it in production?"
"Well, no, we found this model wouldn't work …"
"So a sixty year old abandoned weapons project that doesn't work is still filed in a sealed, climate controlled, guarded room – why?"
That should free up some climate controlled rooms, which we'll use to lock away dangers to America, such as Britney Spears.
Then I'm going to go to every American military facility in the world. The commanders will have five minutes to explain why that base is necessary to national defense.
"Oh, this is an important chain in our border defense."
"Just in case Canada attacks Kansas? This was built as a fort to protect settlers from Indians. When is the last time there was a problem with that?"
"Uh … 1883."
On to the IRS, where they'll have five minutes to explain why the immense cost of their bureaucracy should be borne by the taxpayer, when we could go to a flat tax, save big middleman dollars, and give the public a tax cut.
"A flat tax would be unfair to some taxpayers! Plus, hundreds of IRS employees, accountants, tax lawyers, and tax preparation experts would be out of a job."
"Make a certain amount of money, a certain percentage is taken out. Make more money, the same percent is taken out. Find out how that's unfair, and get back to me."
Then I'll take all the military resources freed up by base closings and use them to protect the borders, because that's what the military's supposed to do. By "protect the border", I mean nobody gets in who the law doesn't allow in.
"But that's unfair to undocumented aliens who just want to support their families!"
Undocumented aliens? Isn't that a catchphrase for "illegal immigrants"? Well, they're – wait for it – illegal. On a related note, any illegal alien already in the country who's caught breaking any law will be immediately and permanently deported, period. If the American people are expected to obey our laws, everyone else should, too.
However, I'll also be going to INS headquarters, where they'll get five minutes to give me their ideas on how we can fast track legal immigration, to allow in people who are willing to obey our laws and who are needed for our economy. The person who gives me the best idea will be put in charge of that entire organization. I'll guarantee he'll be someone from the bottom tier – probably a border patrol agent, or the janitor.
Then I'll gather all the federal law enforcement agents together: FBI, CIA, NSA, the whole alphabet. They'll have five minutes to give me a good reason why they shouldn't all be combined together into two services, one for internal law enforcement and one for external security. They will fail. They will then be combined into two services working in the same office building, pooling their resources and knowledge to save money and protect the country.
Then I'll contact the leaders of every nation in the world. I'll politely – because they're not taxpayer employees, after all – inform them that the USA is broke, and we need to cut back our spending. All federal spending, I'll explain, will go directly toward benefiting the American people, or humanitarian aid if that aid actually has a chance of reaching the people it's intended for. I'll also explain that we will vigorously defend any free nation against attack by outside forces. Dictatorships will be on their own.
I'll then address the United Nations, and tell them to do something useful or get out. Knowing their normal speed, I'll give them five weeks to explain what the point of "resolutions" is if no one enforces them. After five weeks I'll withdraw all US funding from the UN, identify which useful projects they're actually involved in, and invite the other nations of the world to help provide the assistance directly, thus avoiding still another layer of bureaucracy.
Then I'll appear before a joint session of Congress. I'll read off a list of every single wasteful, tax sucking, pork barrel spending project each Congressman of any party has ever voted for.
Now, the President doesn't have the power to do anything more than embarrass them, and I realize Congressmen are not easily embarrassed. However, my announcement that I will veto every bill that contains a wasted dime, regardless of how much chaos it causes, should at least get their attention.
I expect all of this to take about, oh, four years. I think Oprah's up to running the rest of the country while I'm gone.