So let's all do our parts, Blue and Red, mixing together in a Purple Solution that would, by my expert calculations, bring in at least $101 billion each year.
Politically Neutral Contributions:
Dismal Science Dividends $1,000 per flawed economic prediction made by an economist in popular media. $20 billion.
Brat Attack Tax $1 per uncorrected child outburst in restaurant or other indoor space. Add $9 if outburst involves running, and $19 if it involves throwing food. $10 billion.
My Way or the Highway Bills $2 per utterance that someone else should do something you enjoy doing/believing/eating. $10 billion.
Stupid Animal on TV Fees $5 per appearance, to any advertiser using talking, dancing or singing animals. $10 surcharge added for anyone ordering anything on TV after viewing stupid-animal ads. $10 billion.
Grumpy Geezer Burden-Sharing $1 per utterance of "Things just ain't the way they used to be!" Add 25 cents per usage of the following: "back in my day," "those kids today," or "What is the world coming to?" $5 billion.
The Doofus Dividend $1 for each backward baseball cap or droopy drawers on men. Extra 50 cents if combined with use of word "dude." $1 billion.
The Booty Check $1 per visible butt cleavage on women who bend forward while wearing hip-huggers. $1 billion.
Keep Butts in Car Levy Unrelated to previous revenue stream. 50 cents per coffin-nail tossed from a car window; $1 if it's in front of my car. $1 billion.
The Hairspray Offset 25 cents per pundit appearance on television. $500 million.
The Sucker Surcharge $5 per auction on eBay for lint, used bubble gum or snowballs. $500 million. May be combined with Stupid Animal on TV Fees.
Subtotal: $59 billion.
The God Is a Republican Fine $10 per assumption that the Almighty picks favorites. $10 billion.
Look-at-Me Fees $5 per appearance of Ann Coulter in tight clothing; $1 per incidence of drool by conservative men; $10 per for nonconservative men. $8 billion. May be combined with Booty Checks for additional revenue.
The Hillbilly Philosopher Tax $5 for every prediction about the future such as "The yellow man is gonna rule the world!" Add 50 cents per usage of "Lemme tell you sum'fin," "Hoo-Whee," or "Old Son." $2 billion.
The Pretzel-Logic Windfall $1 for every statement that deficit spending and debt are irrelevant. $500 million.
Low-Ball Bonuses Accompanies Pretzel-Logic Windfall. $5 for each erroneous estimate given regarding costs of the War on Terrorism. $500 million.
Subtotal: $21 billion.
Full-of-Self Tax $25 for every celebrity who denounces President Bush during a nonpolitical appearance; $100 if made during Oscars ceremony; $40 for each prognostication by Michael Moore that is demonstrably inaccurate. $10 billion.
The Lone-Star Penalty $10 for every instance of messing with Texas. $5 billion.
Self-Righteous Bumper Bonuses 25 cents for every simplistic slogan on a sticker. $1 for screamers such as "Animals Are People Too." $4 billion.
Middle Finger Users' Fee 50 cents per salutation to SUV drivers. $1.5 billion.
The Phony Foucault Fine $1 for every French literary theorist's name dropped by speaker who does not begin to understand the theory; $5 if speaker has never read the theorist's works. $500 million.
Subtotal: $21 billion.
GRAND TOTAL: $101 billion.
These estimates are based upon careful calculation by a think tank of experts working pro bono, namely the three guys with whom I play Dungeons and Dragons one night each week. Our deliberations, carried on at Willow Lawn's Food Court, already have proven effective in getting no one else to sit near us. We are already calculating a Purple Solution for the next fiscal year, including a $1,200 windfall from a Willow Lawn Nerd-Night Tariff.
Implementation and enforcement of the Purple Solution would be no harder than reforming Social Security, and it would involve a similar investment in stocks. Those not paying would be placed in them, thus providing yet another revenue stream, the Debris Dividend, a charge of 25 cents per item hurled at those pilloried for nonpayment. An additional $2 billion per annum could be realized.
Meanwhile, Jim's commander sent me a list of everyday items the men need, so my part of the war effort will be to ship phone cards, chewing gum, plus cases of Burt's Bees lip balm and sunscreen to the Sunni Triangle. I'm taking collections to cover postage; in fact, the first shipments are courtesy of Style Weekly, consisting of my Crackpot Columnist's Fee for wasting your time today. S
Joe Essid teaches English at the University of Richmond.
Opinions expressed on the Back Page are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Style Weekly.
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