Have you been paying attention to the "town meetings" that have been held in preparation for the big election less than a year from now?
If we are to believe the candidates (and we have to because they are honorable men), there isn't a single candidate who isn't a blackguard or a womanizer, or unbelievably incompetent for the position of president of the United States.
Why are we wasting time on an expensive election if none of the opposing candidates could do any better or worse than President Obama?
The only ones who will make out like a tall dog in short grass are the people who develop and run the advertising campaigns.
I like it when people talk in terms of billions of dollars.
I will say this for Obama, he sure sounded good while he was making all those promises, and in his defense, I will say that we gave him a very small teaspoon to clean out all the muck that we call Washington. We never gave him a chance to succeed.
This election has become "Ho-Hum." This election lacks a catchy one-liner that would give it "identity."
In the past we had "Tippy Canoe and Tyler too" or "The Buck Stops Here," "There is nothing to fear but fear itself" or "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." All of them were "catchy" for their "eras."
Maybe we could modify some of those old slogans to fit new circumstances.
In the case of our banking community we could propose "The muck started here."
Or, "There is nothing to fear but the people who are loaning out money to people who could never repay it."
How about, "Ask not what you can steal from your country but what we can steal working together"?
To really get the economy rolling we need to get money back into circulation. The simple answer is to raise taxes.
Now, I know that as soon as you read that you are going to mumble "NO WAY!" The answer is to raise taxes in such a way that nobody notices it, and to have a tax that is the same for everybody _ rich and poor alike.
Look at your telephone bill or your cable bill. Besides the cost of "service provided" that is the bulk of the bill, and which we all accept as being a part of doing business, there are a whole bunch of "surcharges." These surcharges are small, like 5 cents for a FCC fee or better yet, 3 cents for a "LNP recovery fee." Who is going to quibble over a few pennies?
On my bill I have a charge of $5 for seasonal services; a charge of $5 for seasonal RR service; but no charges for a blocked third party. (I thought that the block party was a good idea but at no charge it probably would be a cash only bar and there goes the potential for a good time out the window.)
Without boring you to death I think you get the drift of things. We should follow the example of our industrial brethren and levy taxes that do not look like much until you multiply them by a million users and then you have real money.
How about a BREATHING TAX? Everybody has got to breathe and there are no alternatives except death and we've already got that taxed.
There are an estimated 311 million people in the United States. If we charged a dollar-a-day per person just think of the tax money we would get. ($365 x 311,000,000 = $113,515,000,000) (That's trillion, folks.)
One thing to consider is would we want to charge less for children and seniors over 65? In one case they have smaller lungs and in the other they are gasping for air.)
How do we address the problem of people who would breathe very slowly or even hold their breath to get a lower rate?
Another area to consider is a GROUCH TAX. Anybody caught not smiling would be fined $1 per frown per minute. This would ensure that people would smile even if it was killing them.
I have no idea what this would be worth but the end result could be worth a small fortune. (This would be a real incentive to those people who are constantly reminded to "Wipe that frown off your face.)
There is another area that we could tax and that is a Politician Tax.
Any time a politician is caught not representing the best interests of their constituency he/she would be fined $10,000 per lapse. (It must come out of their salaries.)
We'll let the newspaper industry seek out the offenders on a commission basis.
Here's a real winner how about a tax on every politician who fails to pass an ontime state budget and triple the amount for a national budget?
I'll let you set the amount.
Let's face reality.
We will never get resolution on a national income tax reform. We can accept this new system and phase the old one out.
Take another sip of coffee and I'll bet you can think of a whole bunch of new taxes.
Wait! I just thought of a slogan that started all the previous slogans.
It is, "No Taxation without Representation."
We all know that we haven't been represented by them for years.
Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. 'Senior Scene' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/seniorscene.