Thursday, January 06, 2011

Tea Party Slim's budget worries

My old pal, Tea Party Slim, told me that he had a great time at this week’s inaugural festivities in Cheyenne.

“Now that Republicans rule the roost, the days of government throwing money at problems are a thing of the past.”

“What’s the government throwing money at?” I asked this in all sincerity.

“Education, for one. We throw more and more money at the public education system and still get the same results. Why not cut funding and see if that helps.”

“Why not just eliminate public school spending?” I said. “Home-school all the kids. Put those overpaid socialistic unionized teachers out of work.”

Slim smiled. “Sen. Hank Coe has those socialistic unionized teachers in his sights. He’s proposing a bill to end teacher tenure.”

“That’s one way to save money. Get rid of all those highly-paid experienced teachers and replace them with low-paid inexperienced teachers. Better yet, just close all those expensive schools and do that book-learnin’ at home. If it was good enough for pioneers, it’s good enough for us.”

Slim chuckled. “If this wasn’t such a great all-Republican week, I might take offense at that.”

“What other ways will the Legislature save money?”

“Glad you asked. End Obamacare. It’s expensive and unconstitutional. Gov. Mead says that we can do health care better in Wyoming because we have true grit.”

“Didn’t a legislator propose a bill that would earmark $2 million for that lawsuit against healthcare reform?”

“It’s not an earmark. And you know as well as I do, Mike, that lawyers cost money.”

“But it’s the Wyoming Attorney General’s office that’s doing the suing. Aren’t those AG attorneys state employees getting paid at the high end of the scale?”

“Sure, but you have expenses.”

“Lots and lots of trips to D.C. Phone calls. Photocopies.”

“Research, too. Lots and lots of research.”

“Still, $2 million is a lot of money for a lawsuit that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.”

“Says you. “ He chuckled again. “You’re not going to ruin this week for me. I’m feeling good and I plan on feeling this way right through the next presidential election.”

“When Sarah Palin gets elected?”

“She supports the Tea Party. She’s from Alaska – and an N.R.A. member. She’d be a great president.”

I could have fallen off my chair laughing. But I let it go. “What other cost-cutting measures are in the works?

“I have two words for you: illegal immigration.”

I waited patiently for more. When nothing was forthcoming, I had to ask how stopping illegal immigration into Wyoming would save the state money.

“Illegals are taking our jobs. Those jobs should go to Americans. We have unemployed people in this state.”

“We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. Jobs go begging at fast-food joints and motels and farms. Illegals do the jobs that we don’t want to do.”

“We educate their kids too – and teach them English. That’s expensive. And don’t forget law enforcement. You’ve seen what those Mexican gangs are doing in Arizona. Cutting off people’s heads! You don’t want that here, do you?”

“Gov. Brewer invented the story about headless corpses littering the Arizona desert.”

Slim removed his hat and placed it over his heart. “Gov. Brewer is our hero. Don’t say anything bad about that great lady. She’s saving her state by kicking out illegals and stopping unnecessary heart transplants.”

“Not to mention head transplants.” I laughed this time.

“You Liberals think you’re all so smart. But you’re a dying breed in this state.”

“Don’ I know it. What are you going to do when all the Liberals are gone and this is the only one-party state in the U.S.A.?”

“Have a party,” said Slim with a grin. “And put up a big fence.”

“Won’t that be expensive?”

Slim looked thoughtful for a minute. “Unemployed teachers can build it. We’ll pay them Wyoming’s minimum wage, which is the lowest in the country.”

It was my turn to be thoughtful. “That would save the state money.”

“And we’d all sleep better at night knowing that we live in the safest and most secure place on earth.”

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