Bob Franken

Taxes. Who Needs Them?

Sometimes an idea is so obvious we can feel foolish that we didn’t think of it until now. This is one of those.
Get ready to slap yourself on the forehead.

Assuming Barack Obama is elected President, we can forget about who gets taxed, and maybe do away with taxes. When the government needs money, he simply raises the funds.

This is a man, after all, who has been able to accumulate $600 million from campaign donors. Surely, he could get people to send even more when he needs to save the country from collapse. Consider it seed money. It could retrieve some of the ill-gotten gains by financing the lawsuits and investigations that grow out of this debacle.

For that matter, there’s no way in the world Obama can spend all he has left in the next two weeks. Once he’s purchased every single moment of TV time, there should still be gazillions remaining.

Maybe even John McCain could kick in. If he did, Phil the Bricklayer, Jane the Waitress, Heather the Stripper, and all those other middle-class symbols he’s conjured up would probably clamor to do their part. To honor the guy who began all this contrivance, we could call it “Joe the Plumber’s Slush Fund”. If that one doesn’t grab anyone, how about the “Friends of John McCain”?

If McCain’s publicly financed campaign ends up as an exercise in futility, it would appear he too would want to turn over what’s left. Hasn’t he always been the one to rail against government waste? I rest my case.

This could create a totally new mindset. Think how useful all those contributions the fat cats make to the so-called 527’s could be. Instead of paying to spread distortions and extreme ideology, they would be using their idle wealth to create badly needed jobs. Think what that would mean to the laid off innocent victims of this economic mess.

Or they could privately fund a stimulus plan that wouldn’t explode the deficit even more.

Didn’t I tell you this had great potential? All we have to do now is devise the mechanisms for raising these funds. Obviously the internet is an awesome tool, and robo-calls seem to be popular. But let’s not forget how to make money the old-fashioned way.

I’m talking about telethons. And not those highly irritating ones we suffer through on PBS. This even more ambitious.

How about one every week? Saturday night at 11:30? It could be live from New York.

Before you scoff, remember that was the time slot, more than any other, that determined the outcome of the election.

The added advantage is it would give Sarah Palin something to do so she wouldn’t have to go back to the frozen tundra. The ratings would spike thanks to all those sexist dudes who are so turned on by her. They’d watch. It would be putting lipstick on the male chauvinist pig.

You must admit, this is all really creative. Ridiculous too. I admit it. But haven’t we gotten used to that from our leaders? Otherwise, why would we be in such a mess?

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