Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Look At Me Folks! I’m Fixing the Economy!

The Governor of New York isn’t taking the economic disaster laying down.

Governor David Patterson knows how to get things moving again.

The simplicity of his plan is genius.

Basically what Patterson proposes is this: Screw stimulus. Let’s tax stuff!

The plan is based on sound historical precedent. Way back in the early part of the last century Russia’s economy was circling the drain. Things were bad and getting worse, people were hungry and jobless and homeless – so Tsar Nicholas the Second (Little Nicky to his friends, Nick the Dick to just about everybody else) embarked on a couple of wars and raised taxes. And it worked like a charm, in short order Russia got a whole new government and everything was peachy keen for a while, Nick and his family got new jobs as fertilizer and all the unhappy people found exciting new career opportunities in Siberia.

Fast forward a century, New York’s economy is in the crapper. The state’s budget shortfall is like a giant 13.7 billion dollar sucking chest wound. The government has to shut down state functions. They’re scaling back on road maintenance, and public services, and assistance to the poor, and going away parties for Hillary Clinton. State workers are getting pink slips in record numbers. The State could actually go bankrupt.

And while all of those things are pretty terrifying by themselves, the main fear here is that pretty soon it’s going to be difficult to tell New York from California. Chaos cannot be far behind, the two coasts are separate for a reason. If this keeps up, New Yorkers will suddenly find themselves with a craving for bean sprout tofu tacos and a loathing for gay marriage.

Enter Governor Patterson and his inspired leadership. The governor’s proposed budget plan includes a bunch of new taxes levied primarily against the service industry – including haircuts and massages.


Yep, you read that right. Massages.

Now, while it is true that a certain, very small, percentage of massages are actually legitimate medical procedures administered by trained sadists and pretzel makers (or maybe that’s chiropractors, I forget. Just go with it) – I think we all know what “massage” means in New York (pretty much what it means anywhere else) - especially when it’s billed to your corporate expense account under “Business Lunch” and administered by a naked girl from South East Asia with really strong, uh, hands and huge tracts of land. Wink, wink.

Now don’t confuse my sarcasm for … uh, well, sarcasm. I’ve long held that if we legalized and taxed massages in this country, we wouldn’t have a national deficit and frankly I’m all for it.

And the new tax on haircuts? Equally brilliant. See, we need a good way to tell hardworking employed Americans from the damned deadbeats. The governor’s plan will do far more than bring in additional revenue, it will provide an easy way to separate those who are contributing to our economic recovery from the parasites feasting flea-like on our quickly thinning national blood.

Short hair, well groomed, relaxed from recent massage = Patriot.

Long hair, unshaven, tense from standing in the unemployment line = blood sucking parasite.

The Governor should be commended for discovering this herd of heretofore untapped cash cows (and I should be commended for actually finding a way to use "heretofore" in a sentence correctly). This is the kind of outside the refrigerator-box thinking we need, and frankly Governor Patterson’s example has inspired me to think up a few sacred cows of my own:

Street Mimes: Seriously, how irritating are these people? They should be paying taxes just for annoying the crap out of me. Lock ‘em in invisible debtor’s prison if they can’t pay I say. Also other so-called street artists. Anybody doing The Robot to Rap music on a public sidewalk, or those break dancing kids who spin like tops on their heads, or those guys who paint pictures on the street with chalk, or all those guys doing really bad House of the Rising Sun covers with a guitar and a harmonica and a dancing monkey – all of these people are “performing” completely tax free. Who do they think they are? Massage therapists?

Lemonade stands: Kids are part of this economy too, and it’s about time they starting carrying their own damned weight. The little fantasy of a responsibility free childhood is as dead as Eliot Spitzer’s political career (speaking of massages).

Breathing: Millions of Americans actually have the gall to expect free air. This is simply another manifestation of the entitlement many spoiled Americans feel they deserve, and one we can no longer afford. We pay for electricity, we pay for water, we pay for sewage, we pay for food, we pay for gas, we pay for internet porn, i.e. we pay for all the essentials of life, except air. Like gasoline, air is a natural resource that belongs to the whole country – if you’re going to use it, you should pay the American people for it. Farting, halitosis, BO, and wearing the Britney Spears perfume Curious would automatically put you in the 99% tax bracket – though I suppose you could earn carbon credits for holding your breath, or being dead – providing you don’t go stinking up the place.

Spam: A lot of folks are getting the benefit of free Viagra advertising and Male Enhancement advice delivered right into their computers and the government is not making a dime off it. Hell the amount of spam I get each week, if properly taxed, could probably pay Sarah Palin’s monthly stylist bill with money left over (Then again, maybe not).

Homeless People: Millions of former tax-payers are giving up their staid and restrictive lives for the freedom of life on the street. They get free food from top quality city dumpsters and a carefree comfortable place to sleep in state and city funded parks. These people are living the life of Riley while the rest of us are stuck with the tab. Frankly I don’t think the homeless lifestyle would be so attractive if we started taxing it – maybe that would encourage more people to keep working.

Logic, bitches, it will boggle your mind.

Ask Governor Patterson, he understands.

Maybe we should proclaim him Tsar.


  1. Maybe we should declare him fertilizer, instead - I'm all about skipping the middle man.

  2. Janiece, we have a process for a reason. No shortcuts. Shortcuts get people killed - at the wrong time.

    Plus, keeping the middleman, keeps the middleman employed.

    Ahhhhh, didn't see that coming, did you. Dumb, but not so dumb, am I?

    Stick to the procedure, first we declare him Tsar, then fertilizer.... and, well, then revolution, I suppose, followed by sixty years of standing in line for toilet paper and shoes.

    Hey, I didn't say it was a good procedure.

  3. Hey! I'm getting a massage tomorrow!

    And a manicure!

    Only no nail polish. That's all girly.

    Then Friday? I get a hair cut!

    Or more properly I'm going to get my hair thinned.

    You guys losing you hair? Want me to collect some to send out? I've got plenty!

  4. I have nothing to say about this on so many more levels than any of you can imagine.

    But I do wish Michelle a happy ending.

  5. Hmmm... when I raise taxes in Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom to make up for budgetary shortfalls due to my own stupidity in not setting up trade properly, the populace gets irritated and eventually burns down my governmental buildings. Ah, life imitating art imitating life. :D

  6. So let's ferment revolt and suggest that government buildings be burned in the process.

    Tsar Patterson, here we come!

  7. I have nothing to say about this on so many more levels than any of you can imagine.

    That's got to be the single best line I've heard in a long, long time. Nathan, you win a free massage, or a haircut. Your choice.

  8. Actually, Vince, I think we have to wait until October.

  9. Not October. If you're going to have a revolution, you have to pick an original date. No poaching -- the people will think you're unoriginal, and the people HATE unoriginal revolutions.

    There's still two weeks left to February. They could be Februaryists. Or in the spirit on modern marketing, we can create a new shortened logoname: FebIsts.

    They'd be Febulous. Or Febulist. Or... never mind. (mumble-mumble)

    Dr. Phil (who is tired of having trouble breathing with this sinus infection and so doesn't even want to think about being taxed for gasping like a landed fish.)

  10. Perhaps this was a way to get more tax money from his predecessor?

  11. Well, as I'm sure you know, Jim, in much of Asia, the special barbershops (the ones with the pretty neon butterflies out front) give a, erm, massage with your trim. Which kind of haircut did Nathan win? :D

  12. Dr. Phil, the Kerensky government already has dibs on February. You'll have to wait until March.

    Oh, wait, Brutus has dibs on March...

  13. Yeah, but the February people got replaced before 1917 was even over. No points for second place. I mean, if you're gonna have a revolution, make it stick for a little while. Otherwise, it's just a co-opted uprising. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  14. Great editorial - where can I get a massage?

    I'm sorry I don't have anything pithy to reply with. (Assuming I used "pithy" correctly-which I probably didn't and am far to lazy to google and find out) but I am really dissapointed in our government leaders.

    Perhaps its naive of me, but shouldn't SOME of them have good ideas on what to do. Maybe some do and we just don't hear about it due to all the noise, I don't know.

    This morning the paper reports that in the midst of the state budget crises and reports that the number of people able to afford a college education is at an all-time low, Washington State Rep Dave Quall is sponsoring a bill to give free college educations to illegals, because "it wouldn't be right to deny aid to qualified illegal immigrants"

  15. Mark - Since about the first generation after the founding fathers, government has been the refuge of the mediocre. You are just not going to get good ideas out of these people.

    With the exception of a very, very few altruists, the really talented people in this country have been in the private sector. Of those, most who have done any public service at all have done it in the military.

    The best we can hope for out of those in government is that they have good advisors. This bill is being pushed through too fast to get any good input at all, even if those advisors were in place, which they are not.

  16. Does that mean people being taxed for breathing get tax credits for having to breathe in polluted areas and developing brain damage from lack of oxygen?

    Enquiring minds want to know...

  17. No, you get taxed extra for using the contaminants, Wendy.

    They're sort of like vitamins...

  18. well, nothing from nothing is...let's see, carry the nothing...
    [credit to "Firefly"]


  19. ...and just so you know, having been born in New York, I get really embarassed for my native state when they jump up and lead the stoopid parade.

    Geez guys and gals, you're better than this!


  20. Wait, he's taxing happy endings? Oh man, that's so unfair. What's next, taxing do it yourselvers? Man, the kids are going to be so broke.


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