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Bush's secret plan to win in '04
by Harley Sorensen
Posted: Wednesday, May 21

On Smirking Chimp

[To fully enjoy the following Harley Sorensen column, you might try listen as you read to "Republicans Rule The World," a ditty by Scott Morrison of Petaluma, CA.]

In his weekly radio address a few weeks ago, our esteemed president, His Royal Highness George W. Bush (Ruler of the Known Universe, King of Kings, Master of All He Surveys, Scion of the House of Bush, long-term supporter of the House of Anheuser-Busch) urged Congress to cut taxes by $550 billion.

That tax cut, as everyone with an I.Q. higher than 75 knows, was designed to further enrich the rich of America, who are also known as "the plutocracy," a term derived from the Greek word "Pluto," or "god of the underworld."

In order to sell his tax cut to the handful of Republican voters who are neither rich nor convinced they'll win the lottery next week, Mr. Bush said his tax cut would create a million jobs.

A million jobs! That's an awful lot of hamburgers to flip.

The New Yorker magazine was so impressed by Mr. Bush's proposal that it did the math. And the way the math comes out is one job for every $550,000 of rich-folks tax cut.

I'm impressed! And humbled! You mean those rich folks would actually do that for us? For every half million dollars or so we shove into their pockets, they'd create one whole job?

Such generosity! You rich folks are just too good to us.

(Those one million jobs would replace the one and one-half million jobs that went down the drain since Bush's last big tax cut, according to The New Yorker. According to less optimistic sources, they'd be replacing the seven million jobs lost since Bush took office.)

As everybody with an I.Q. of 76 knows, America's states, counties and cities are in dire financial straits. They're all spending more than they have, borrowing money and betting the economy will improve soon.

How would it work out, I wonder, if instead of providing a tax cut for the rich, Bush's Congress instead continued to tax the people who have used America's economic system to amass wealth, and then give $550 billion of their tax dollars to the states?

(Rich people who don't like paying taxes in the country that gave them the opportunity to make their fortunes should be encouraged to move to other countries more suitable for them. I could suggest a few, but won't.)

If $550 billion of federal dollars were passed along to the states, the average state would get $11 billion as its share. Do you think states like North Carolina or Minnesota could use an extra $11 billion? If they had it, they might be able to keep their schools and libraries and hospitals in full operation.

California's share of that $550 billion, based on population, would be roughly $55 billion. Do you think California could use an extra $55 billion these days?

Or should that money go to the rich, who will (heh-heh-heh) "create jobs" with it?

Almost two years ago, on July 23, 2001, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered around 10,400 and the experts were still two months away from declaring a recession, a wise man asked what the government was going to do when it found out unemployed people don't pay taxes.

Okay, the writer wasn't a wise man, it was me, lamenting the economy's free-fall and government's lack of acknowledgment of the obviously failing economy.

Only in recent months have politicians started to rein in spending. Now, finally, with not nearly enough money coming in, they're starting to lay off employees, cut wages, and trim services.

And guess what, folks? We have a huge shock awaiting us. On July 1, 2003, we're going to experience what may be the largest single-day layoff of workers in American history.

July 1 is the day the new fiscal year ends. It's the day when tons of government employees will be dropped from the payroll.

I don't have any statistics available (I doubt anyone does), but I'd guess from 5 to 10 percent of all government employees will lose their jobs and start collecting unemployment insurance on July 1.

That's the bad news. The good news is that George W. Bush is still president and he has a secret plan to lead us out of the recession and into prosperity, full employment, lasting peace, and another four years in the White House for him and a bright future for an as-yet-unnamed future Bush president.

I'm not kidding. Much as I dislike Bush, I have to give him credit for manipulating the public in a way that would bring tears to P.T. Barnum's eyes. This man is good at what he does.

Here's his secret plan. He will, sooner or later, continue to crush his Axis of Evil, which, at last report, was Iraq, Iran and North Korea. However, axes being what they are, Syria may join the club soon . . . and then there's the problem of Lebanon. You get the picture. What needs to be destroyed will be destroyed. Today Iraq, tomorrow Saudi Arabia? Who knows?

What gets blown up must be rebuilt, so Bush's success at destroying things will lead to many, many new labor opportunities. Before long, American contractors will have jobs all over the world, which will mean a fat handful of new jobs for American experts (and millions of new jobs for local people beaten down by war and willing to work for peanuts).

Finally, Bush will discover -- much to his surprise -- that all the countries he's pulverized have riches under their soil, most often in the form of petroleum. So some day he'll come to the stunning realization that the United States controls most of the world's petroleum sources. Goodby, OPEC. Look out, Norway and Venezuela.

What that'll mean, come election time 2004, is that the U.S. will control oil prices. That means you and I will be able to fill up our SUVs with fewer dollars. Those dollars, now going to Arabian countries, will suddenly flow into the American economy.

Creating jobs.

Everybody will be happy. Republicans will run around saying, "I told you so," and thumbing their noses at Democrats. Joe Lieberman will become an historical asterisk. Al Sharpton will become an asterisk to the asterisk, and so on. Peace and glory and sunshine will reign, and there will be dancing in the streets (provided the dancers don't touch; John Ashcroft will still be around).

Of course, I could be wrong.

Harley Sorensen's columns appear most Mondays on SFgate.com.


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