Fall 2011 issue -- Seems like these days I hear a lot of whiney whiners whining about “out of control government spending” and “insane deficits” and such, trying to make hay out of a bunch of pointy-head boring finance hooey. Sure, $3.7 trillion of spending sounds like a big number. “Oh, boo-hoo, how are we going to get $3.7 trillion dollars? We’re broke, boo-hoo-hoo,” whine the whiners. What these skinflint crybabies fail to realize is that $3.7 trillion is for an entire year—which translates into only a measly $10 billion per day!
Mister, I call that a bargain. Especially since it pays for all of U.S.—you and me, the whole American family. Like all families, we Americas have to pay for things—health, food, safety, uncle Dave America with his drinking problem. And when little Billy America wants that new quad runner they promised, do Mom and Dad America deny him? No, they get a second job at Circle K, because they know little Billy might have one of his episodes and burn down the house.
So let’s all sit down together as an American family with a calendar and make a yearly budget. First, let’s lock in the $3.7 trillion of critical family spending priorities; now let’s get to work on collecting the pay-as-we-go $10 billion daily cash flow we need.
12:01 AM, January 1
Let’s start the year out right by going after some evil corporations and their obscene profits. And who is more evil than those twin spawns of Lucifer himself, Exxon Mobil and Walmart? Together these two largest American industrial behemoths raked in, between them, $34 billion in 2010 global profits. Let’s teach ‘em both a lesson and confiscate it for the public good. This will get us through . . .
9:52 AM January 4
Okay, maybe I underestimated our take. But we shouldn’t let Exxon and Walmart distract us from all those other corporate profiteers out there worth shaking down. In fact, why don’t we grab every cent of 2010 profit made by the other 498 members of the Fortune 500? That will net us another, let’s see, $357 billion! Enough to get us to . . .
2:00 AM February 9
So we’re running out of corporate cash, but look—it’s Super Bowl time! As we all know, the game has become a crass disgusting festival of commercialism. So let’s take all the TV ad money spent on stupid Super Bowl ads, and apply that to government needs. That would be $250 million, enough to fund us for, let’s see . . . 36 minutes. The half time show, at least. But why stop there? Let’s take every cent of ad money spent on all 45 Super Bowls, a cool $5 billion, which would cover us until . . .
2:00 PM February 9
Speaking of sports, why should the players be immune to our pressing public needs? Lord knows professional athletes make obscene salaries for playing a dumb game. So let’s take the combined salaries of all players in the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NHL. Hey, they’ve got endorsement deals, they’ll hardly miss it. Throw in the total winnings of everybody on the PGA tour and NASCAR, and we get $9.4 billion, enough to get us through until . . .
1:00 PM February 10
Okay, it’s time to stop messing around. Athletes aren’t the only ones greedily raking it in. What about America’s rich—those fancy pants fat cats living the high life in the above-$250,000 income bracket? According to IRS statistics, these 1.93% of U.S. households are hogging 25% of U.S. income. And why do they need it? For crying out loud, they probably stole it anyway. I say let’s take 100% of every penny they make above $250,000. They can use the rest to pay their state and local taxes. Now we’re talking big bucks, brother. How much? Let’s see . . .
A: Number of U.S. households: 116,000,000
B: Average U.S. household income: $68,000 (median = $52,000)
C: Total U.S. household income (A x B): $7.89 trillion
D: Percent of households above $250k income: 1.93%
E: Number of households above $250k income (A x D): 2,238,800
F: Percent of national income earned by households making $250k or more = 25%
G: Total income of households making $250k or more (C x F): $1.97 trillion
H: Total income of households in excess of $250k (G – E x $250,000) = $1.412 trillion
Alright! Take that, fat cats! Our $1.412 trillion windfall has us covered for the next 141 days, or until . . .
6:00 PM July 2
Well, I guess maybe there are a few items we can cut from the budget. Those quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example. Why don’t we end all funding for those wars, and bring our troops home to march in the Fourth of July parade? That would save us $105 billion in Afghanistan and $159 billion in Iraq, a total of $264 billion—enough savings to cover us until . . .
4:00 AM July 29
Summer blockbuster season! And of course the biggest blockbuster of all time was Star Wars. To punish George Lucas for those stupid sequels, let’s confiscate every penny of revenue generated by the Star Wars franchise since 1977—movies, TV rights, books, toys, action figures, everything—which nets us $25 billion. Enough to keep the lights on until . . .
4:00 PM August 1
Well, there’s plenty more money in Hollywood to go after. So, for the national good, let’s evict everyone in Beverly Hills and sell their homes at current market value. Fifteen thousand homes at $2 million per gets us another $30 billion, paying the bills through . . .
4:00 PM August 4
The kids will be going back to school soon, so we’re gonna have to bring out the big guns and really go after those moneybag plutocrats like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Between ‘em, those two bastards have amassed a combined fortune of $100 billion. What kind of jerk needs that kind of money? The worst thing is they’re shielding it from the public treasury using the oldest trick in the billionaire playbook—by continuing to live. Once they kick the bucket, and after we close the estate tax loopholes, the American public will get the 50% of their ill-gotten loot we so richly deserve. So let’s say we arrange a couple of unfortunate “accidents” for Mssrs. Gates and Buffett. Now we’ve got another $50 billion for the U.S. coffers, enough to get us to . . .
4:00 PM August 9
Aw, screw it. There are plenty more American billionaires to go after—398 more to be precise, according to the latest Forbes 400, with a combined total net worth of $1.29 trillion. 398 more “accidents,” 398 more estates taxed at 50%, and we’ve got another $650 billion to tide us through . . .
4:00 PM October 13
Crap. Okay, let’s just kill all the billionaires and take all their money. Add in another 100 or so of the almost-billionaires, and that buys us an additional 73 days until . . .
4:00 PM December 25
Merry Christmas! Just one more week to go. In the spirit of the season, let’s give the surviving conservative wingnuts a few of the budget cuts they’ve been bitching for, like getting rid of foreign aid. This saves $50 billion—getting us to . . .
4:00 PM December 30
Only 32 hours to go! To cover the remaining $12.5 billion vital federal program tab, let’s pass the cash bucket and demand that every surviving American man, woman, and child kick in another $40 bucks. I’m pretty sure they will, after all those previous “accidents.”
12:00 AM January 1
Happy New Year!
See? Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Time to do it all again, except this time we’ll need to come up with $11 billion per day. I’m sure we’ll figure it out somehow.
Do you know where we can get some more plutocrats?
David Burge blogs at http://iowahawk.typepad.com. His Twitter handle is @iowahawkblog