Fixing Government, Hold the Swiss Cheese

This article was originally published on Humorality, on September 21, 2009.

You Should Probably Lay Off the Pork as Well

Over 200 years ago—or 634 years when adjusted for inflation—our founding fathers established a nation based on the principles of individual liberty, guaranteed God-given rights, and the elimination of government tyranny. They called this new country “The United States of America.” Unfortunately, that country was captured by the Swiss during World War I, requiring President Woodrow Wilson to improvise a new country on the fly.

Despite this change, today’s America bears a striking resemblance to the system founded by Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin, with just three minor modifications: (1) it has a few more states, including newcomers Alaska, Hawaii, and North Mexico, (2) the Chicago Cubs are not permitted to play in the World Series, and (3) in matters of social and fiscal policy, politicians are given decision-making powers at a level normally reserved for the Greek pantheon. While the first two changes are praised by Americans of all faiths and body mass indexes, many citizens take issue with the increase in government intrusion in their lives. And with the elimination of the death penalty in some states, elected officials are scrambling for ways to quell this uprising.

I became concerned about the unrestrained power of American politicians soon after the 2008 presidential election. In one of his first acts as president, Barack Obama moved his small family into a plush 55,000-square-foot house on Pennsylvania Avenue, in one of the most well-known sections of Washington, DC. That house is huge! It’s this type of political largess and corruption that has citizens up in arms over the role and size of government.

The problem is not with the politicians per se; their per se‘s tend to be on the small side. The problem is with the lack of restraint and the ease with which political power can be abused. Fortunately, there are things that we, as citizens and illegal aliens, can do about it. To start the ball rolling, I propose the following changes to our system of government.

  • All elected officials must pay double the tax rate of the general public, an increase of nearly thirty times what their lobbyists currently pay for them.
  • The existing ten-year term limit on the office of president will now extend cumulatively to all elected and appointed officials. Every governmental leader, from city councilmember to Supreme Court justice, can serve up to ten years before being required to find a private-sector job. Exceptions are made for United States senators, who must work one year as an official Washington, DC tour guide for each year served in the senate.
  • When not actively working in the capital, all members of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches must work at a customer service counter for their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Before being allowed to vote on a piece of legislation, elected officials must copy out in longhand every word of the bill. Lobbyists who wish to influence votes in Congress must spend 200 hours each year grading these papers with red pens.
  • A copy of each legislator’s personal credit card statement must be mailed each month to the voters in that official’s district.
  • No public item—including bridges, government buildings, sandwiches at the congressional cafeteria—may be named after any elected official, a ban which remains in effect until the person’s death. After that time, members of the opposition party may name five public items after the late politician.
  • All political leaders and appointees, including the ambassador to the United Nations, must wear uniforms with cheery colors and a happy-smile badge.
  • Municipal leaders must commute by car to work daily at least thirty miles in each direction, and at the height of rush hour, even if this means riding around in circles for a while. One member of the city’s traffic engineering department must ride shotgun.
  • Elections for all federal offices, including cabinet appointments, will be replaced with a nationally televised Dancing with the Politicians show, hosted by Tom Bergeron and Jim “Sweet Puppy Dog Eyes” Lehrer.
  • The annual budget of any government agency or department may be increased each year by using a complex formula that considers the previous year’s budget, the rate of inflation, the population growth of the relevant district or jurisdiction, and the percentage of citizens who voted in the last election. This number is then multiplied by zero.

By implementing these simple changes, it would take no more than a decade to return this country to its rightful place as the undisputed leader of the free world, assuming that the Swiss are content with their last acquisition.

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick is an author, software developer, and the host of Japan Everyday. He has published a dozen books and hundreds of articles covering technology, current events, and life in Japan. Find his latest books at

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