No holding back about withholding
If there’s one thing that could radically transform America, it would be the elimination of the system by which the government “withholds” the taxes you owe from your paycheck. No more “take home pay” versus “gross pay.” You’d get paid all the money you earned and then you’d turn around and write a check to the government for “their” portion.
It would take a month, maybe — then you’d see a wholesale tax rebellion in the United States.
If you’ve never paid quarterly withholding taxes, let me tell you, it’s a gut shot every time you write the check. The money is yours — it’s in your checking account and everything — and then you write a check to the IRS. Poof. Gone. Oh and did I mention those four checks will be the biggest checks you write all year? It’s quite lovely.
There’s no need, however, for tax withholding or a revolution, because I can solve the government’s need for so many tax dollars through some common sense budget cuts. I now present to you … the Alexander Budget.
First, there’s the military: Okay, that’s money well spent. Have you ever been on the firing line with an M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank? I have and it’s awesome. Take that mammajamma and multiply it by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and we are now talking about value. I ain’t a fan of President Obama, but we have one thing in common: We both get giddy when we think about a president being able to deploy aircraft carriers, fighter jets, cruise missiles, three divisions of Marines and an entire Army with a phone call. However, there are people in the armed forces called REMFs, who serve in the rear and man typewriters and such: Although I honor their service, everyone not involved in hurting people and breaking things would be eliminated. I just saved us a boatload of billions.
Next biggie is Medicare. Medicare is expensive because lots of old people want to avoid dying and they want Uncle Sam to pick up the tab. This is … well, understandable. I’m not really old yet, but I’m getting there and upon my arrival I’m guessing I’ll want to extend my stay as long as possible. Since I’ll have blown all my money by then, somebody’s gotta pay for it — might as well be you. However, under the Alexander Budget there will be a societal value test: If you’re a veteran, a dog-lover, a good parent or a church volunteer, or served as a teacher, social worker, or in the medical field — you are considered “of value to society” and get the coverage. For the rest of you … well, no one here gets out of alive anyway.
Now comes an easy one: Social Security. Have you ever met anyone who can live a decent quality of life on Social Security? Me neither. So Social Security is history. But anyone wishing to retire will be put on the military payroll and put to work. Older ladies will be employed to dote on our much-deserving troops and older men will be deployed to the front lines and told, “Everything you see in that direction is now your lawn.” I wish good luck to any enemy who thinks they can go trampling over an old dude’s lawn. I’d rather face down a Navy SEAL.
When someone gets really, really old? Too old to dote or carry out lawn enforcement? They become our enhanced interrogation secret weapon.
CIA Operative: Gertrude? Mohammed here would like to know how you’re doing. Every ache and pain, about the grandkids, what’s wrong with society today … and he’s got all the time in the world.
Mohammed: I’ll talk! I’ll talk!
The next step is to eliminate some of the expensive “departments” the feds are so fond of. Let’s discuss a few: Department of Labor — last time I checked, a lack of paying labor gigs was our big problem, so someone’s asleep at the switch: Labor is gone. Department of the Interior —The Grand Canyon can do just grand without our help: Interior is gone. Department of Education — the School of Hard Knocks might be just what our pampered little snowflakes need: Education is gone. Small Business Administration — as a former small businessman, I can assure you that bureaucrats and regulations are not part of the solution: SBA is outta here.
Hey, here’s an easy one. We could give Homeland Security to AARP and gin up some records that show the top 1,000 terrorist leaders are turning 55. We’d have their addresses in a week. On that same line, we could get private sector endorsements into the mix: Extreme astronauting brought to you by Red Bull. Unmanned drone strikes brought to you by Halliburton. A joint session of Congress brought to you by the Mustang Ranch. You get the picture.
Okay, maybe I haven’t balanced the budget yet, but I have a plan for deeper cuts by forcing government agencies to do business with each other. If, say, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms wanted to throw a party and add drugs into the mix of awesome stuff they already enjoy, they could make a trade with the DEA. If the Department of Treasury felt guilty for causing the destruction of the world’s most valuable and secure currency, they could trade for a not-guilty verdict from the Department of Justice. If the Department of Education needs school buses, a few trades with Department of Transportation and the problems are solved!
As I review the economic genius that has flowed forth from my fingertips, it occurs to me that I’ve solved most of our budget problems, but I haven’t managed to get us out the economic depression that currently covers our land. For that, I need a second stimulus plan, but for a second stimulus plan, I need to raise money.
Here’s the idea.
Tomahawk Tuesday will be a weekly lottery open to all Americans, five bucks per ticket. If your ticket wins, you will be flown to the Pentagon for an all-expense paid four-day weekend. While there, the Joint Chiefs will brief you on the top 50 terrorist training camps and you get to spin a wheel that selects the one that gets smashed with a Tomahawk missile. On that Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., you get to push the button that launches said Tomahawk, while a pay-per-view video feed provides real time video as the missile ogres into the terrorist training camp.
Between Tomahawk Tuesday ticket sales and pay-per-view fees, I anticipate raising more than enough money to balance the budget. How hard was that?
Prioleau Alexander is a writer and aerial drone videographer. He may be reached at CharlestonSkyShots@gmail.com.