Deficit Reduction 102: End Political Prostitution

RANCHO SANTA FE, CA., February 14, 2011 – It’s only been a few days since Deficit Reduction 101: For inept Politicians was published, but the President’s 2012 budget not only confirms the need for that course but begs for its companion: Deficit Reduction 102.  This could have been avoided had the President just followed Rule #5:  “When in doubt, call the Common Sense Czar.”   He would have been told to review Rules 1 through 4 before drafting a budget that is tantamount to “political prostitution.”

Rule #1:  “Politicians must recognize that the government is a consumer of cash that does not contribute to the Gross Domestic Product in any way.”

Rule #2:  “The government can’t spend more than it takes in.”

Rule #3:  “You can’t keep taxing a higher percentage of people’s income to support your spending habits … even if you limit such increases to an inconsequential number of people in a way that secures the votes of a more significant base.”

Rule #4:  “Start internally and eliminate all unnecessary expenditures.”

Just to be clear:  “Political prostitution” differs substantially from traditional prostitution.  Traditional prostitution involves a transaction in which cash is exchanged by a willing buyer for sex with a willing seller.  In political prostitution, cash is taken from a potentially unwilling participant and redistributed to someone who is expected to provide services (in the form of support) for the Party Initiating Meaningless Programs (or “PIMP” for short).  However, in some ways, “political prostitution” is similar to traditional prostitution because, in both cases, the person providing the cash gets … well, you know!  Given the Republican Party’s recent interest in distinguishing forcible rape within the context of government-subsidized abortion, there is a possibility that “political prostitution” will fall under similar semantical scrutiny to better appeal to the Republican base.

The President’s latest budget is an example of “pimping” at its finest.  It totally ignores the reality of Rule #1, which is the first step toward recovery; it superficially pays homage to Rule #4, but in a way that is so inconsequential as to be pointless; and it tries to overcome Rule #2 by exaggerating its disregard of Rule #3.  At best, the proposed budget represents a “trickle-down” approach to reducing the deficit just when we thought that water torture had been banned.

Cutting the Defense budget and calling for increased taxes on “the rich” panders to the President’s base and underscores the fact that his re-election campaign has been unofficially launched.  Of course, the departure of Messrs. Axelrod and Gibbs should have already put us on notice.

In his State of the Union address, the President stated that “we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in.  That is not sustainable“(i.e., Rule #2).   Part of his solution is to “call for a freeze on annual domestic spending over the next five years.”  Let the record show that our country’s current domestic spending is at an all-time high.  To quote Benjamin Franklin, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The President assures us that “this freeze would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade.”  History tells us that we should pay particular attention to promises that extend well beyond a politician’s term in office (in this case, four years beyond the longest period the President could possibly serve).  Why not tell us what the initiative will save between now and the 2012 election?  Okay … that’s obviously just a rhetorical question.

In his recent speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the President said, “We’re trying to run the government more like you run your businesses.”  He can’t be serious.  Then again, maybe he is.  After all, many businesses spend money in expectation of favorable results (“betting on the come” like the government).  Then, they try to recover from their ensuing losses by raising prices (just like the government raises taxes to reduce debt).  And finally, they fail (… just like the government).  Perhaps the Administration should only try to emulate successful businesses.

President Obama is also “convinced that if we out-build and out-innovate and out-educate, as well as out-hustle the rest of the world, the jobs and industries of our time will take root here in the United States.”  He left out the phrase “outspend,” but it can be reasonably inferred within the context of the budget he offered.

As an example of “savings (that) will come through less waste and more efficiency,” the President tells us that the government will be “getting rid of 14,000 office buildings.”  Here’s a common sense question:  Who will buy them?  China is beginning to try to divest itself of some of its dollar-based debt, the International Monetary Fund is trying to eliminate the dollar as the world’s reserve currency (more on that issue in one of The Common Sense Czar’s advanced courses), and the mortgage banking industry isn’t likely to loan money on unoccupied buildings no matter how much bailout money they’ve received.  The only possible purchaser on the horizon is Donald Trump, who might want to acquire them at bargain-basement prices and flip them to fund his presidential run.

If the government can dump a few thousand buildings, why stop there?  If you’ve read The National Platform of Common Sense, you know that our government also owns about 30 percent of the land in the United States.  That’s the equivalent of 15 States (if they were all the same size), which would reduce our “inventory” of States to 35 if we were to liquidate them (or 58 by the President’s count).  Hey … maybe he’s on to something!  The government could just carve out an undesirable area, redefine a few State lines (like it does in gerrymandering Congressional Districts), and sell the resulting parcels to interested parties.  There could be an “open border” State for “undocumented workers.”  There could be a multicultural State in which that European experiment could fail again.  There could be an atheist State, devoid of any crosses, so as not to offend residents.  There could even be a terrorist State; possibly the one with the most abandoned federal buildings.  Then, the residents could train to their hearts’ content and have a bunch of buildings to blow up in the name of their cause.  The possibilities are endless!

Correspondingly, as a certain percentage of our residents migrate to these Non-United States, our country’s operating expenses would go down.  Assuming a normal population distribution (so as not to be “politically incorrect”), we’d experience a raw decline in the cost of homeland security, the penal system, welfare, etc. … and we’d have 30 fewer Senators and a lot less House members to support.  We might be able to balance the budget after all!

The Czar takes it all back.  The President is a genius and his new budget just may work.  He can skip Deficit Reduction 102.  Perhaps this will also end the speculation that the President never released his college transcripts because of poor grades in math, economics, and finance.  With this type of strategic thinking, understanding how many zeroes there are in $1 trillion and how hard it is to earn enough money to cover a $15 trillion debt (via taxation) is almost irrelevant.  Besides, if for any reason the President fails to win re-election, he could always get a job as a community organizer in one of the Non-United States.


T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.


This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, The Common Sense Czar, in the Communities Section of The Washington Times.