Thursday, June 30, 2011

State Government Can Shut Down, But Family? Never

The state government is about to shut down. The politicians keep using the family budget at the kitchen table image.

In honor of the looming shutdown and in the spirit of the times, I’m going to call the family together tonight—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—all of us—to make a few cuts and look for ways to increase revenue,

My wife and I will propose we stock fewer treats like popsicles and ice cream bars in the freezer. We’ll float the idea of a gasoline conservation program too. You know—fewer rides to the mall and to friends’ homes. We’ll encourage alternate forms of transportation, including walking and bicycling as well.

The fourteen year old wants to be a lawyer when he grows up. He’ll oppose the reduction in treats, and suggest we conserve gasoline by having him mow the yard less often—without a correlating reduction in allowance, of course.

He may even introduce an expert witness—his buddy from down the block, who is in no small part responsible for our excessive spending on popsicles and ice cream bars in the first place.

His buddy will testify that activities like mowing, and walking or biking to the mall are both unsafe and nerdy.

Our son will then close by pointing out that mowing, walking and biking burn calories, leading to even higher rates of popsicle and ice cream bar consumption.

We will roll our eyes, sigh, and turn to the older kids—the ones who drive already—and suggest they pay for their own gasoline. They will whine and cry as if we were suggesting they pay 90 percent capitol gains tax. Especially our son the Ron Paul Libertarian

And so it will go, back and forth, cut spending, raise revenues. Right there at the kitchen table. At some point, someone—my guess is the fourteen-year-old’s buddy—will get up, go to the freezer and return with popsicles and ice cream bars for everyone—popsicles and ice cream bars he didn’t pay for.

Talks will break off around ten o’clock. No deal will be struck and we’ll all go to bed to sleep secure in the knowledge that unlike Minnesota, the family can not and will not simply shut down.