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I was lounging in my Malibu beach house and the University of Alabama cheerleaders were dropping grapes in my mouth……, oh wait, that’s a different dream. My bad.

In this dream, I was giving a speech on the National Mall. Needless to say the crowd, two million strong, was mesmerized by my mellifluous voice and country boy charm. At first, I couldn’t make out exactly why I was there and what I was saying that so captivated the throngs of admirers. As my dream came into sharper focus, I noticed I had these laurel and olive leaves in my hair. Suddenly, I realized that I had just been coronated Emperor of the United States. And just as suddenly, I woke up, clammy and disoriented. Since I am universally acknowledged as the smartest man in the world, it seemed perfectly natural to me that my countrymen would want me driving the big USA Bus. I began to ruminate about what I would do as Emperor (besides of course having a harem of supermodels, front row Lakers’ tickets, and free coupons to Chic-fil-A).  Then, like John of Patmos himself, my vision became crystal clear!

Chartwell

Number One on the Benevolent Dictator list is to defund all public education. One of my ancestors,  a stodgy Scots Presbyterian preacher, taught James Madison his Greek, Latin, Philosophy and Classical History. This was in Nowheresville Virginia 260 years ago.  Ever wonder why the American Founders, the greatest collection of thinkers ever ( sorry Athens) were so smart! I’ll tell you why, they didn’t have government run schools! In 1750, 11 year olds in Lancaster County, Virginia were translating Greek and Latin to English with no mistakes. Today, a 22 year old college grad writes sentences with no punctuation or capital letters.  I can hear you whiners now, “Oh Mr. Handsome Benevolent Dictator, we can’t not educate the children!” And my response to you is, “you don’t understand America!” Read de Toqueville. The vacuum created by eradicating government schools would be instantly filled by the genius and industry of a free people.  Your Emperor believes in liberty, but what the hell, I don’t need y’all’s approval. I am the damn Emperor, I am defunding the schools.

Number Two. I’m fixing the tax system. I will have a head tax on everyone. For simplicity, we’ll call it $1,000, so a family of 5 pays $5,000/year in head tax. Everybody needs to have skin in the game. So if you are a low life bum, pouring Sterno into your orange soda and watching the Simpsons, perhaps you will think twice about bringing additional low life bums into the world if you have to educate them and pay the head tax on them. No more free lunches baby. Don’t bitch, or I will feed you to the lions.

Part and parcel of my plan is to go from a progressive income tax to a regressive one. The more money you make, the less your tax rate will be. Your Emperor wants to encourage work and discourage slothfulness. Besides, rich people are rich because they provide goods and services that people want. The more money they can keep, the more societal benefits they will create. I’ll admit it, if this tax money goes into my coffers, I’ll blow it all on cheap tarts and tacky statues of myself at every county courthouse in America.

Naturally, I would cut federal spending by 40% and eliminate multiple departments of government and a few cabinet positions as well. No one could be a federal bureaucrat for more than 5 years. Virtually, everything the government purports to do, the private sector can do better and cheaper. I trust the genius of my fellow citizens.

Immigration. As I just fired over 1 million federal employees, I would swap them for immigrants from other countries. For example, I would trade 10 State Department employees for one Mexican brick layer. Once Northern Virginia is depleted of 1 million blundering blobs of banality, we can repatriate it with the United States. The remaining federal employees can be sent to re-education camps to learn something useful, like how to roast a pig.

Lotteries. All of these statewide lotteries are offensive to me. The government should not be supporting a vice. (Gambling is a vice. I know, I lost a ton of money at the gladiator fights last week). Your lottery tickets will now give you ownership in penny stocks and venture funds. I want my people to be thrifty and self-reliant.

Attire. A pet peeve of mine. I am so sick of seeing my people walk around in tank tops and  nylon shorts with their ass cracks showing. The bedraggled and dingy way many of you present yourselves is embarrassing.  As Emperor, my first impulse is to issue a dress code decree, but as one who believes in individual liberty, I will check myself. My aforementioned reforms will inevitably fix this problem. You see in a world of private commerce, self-reliance and industry, citizens need the respect of one other. Take a look at the crowd in a Yankee Stadium photo circa 1967, before federal entitlement programs exploded. The fans look like they are attending a ball at Downton Abbey. I have confidence my reforms will change our culture for the better.

There is a bunch more I am going to do to fix things, but right now I have to run over to the Coliseum and kick things off. There’s a Monster Truck Tractor Pull starting at noon! In the meantime, enjoy the golden age of American revival under the “Pax Robana.”

Robert C. Smith is Managing Partner of Chartwell Capital Advisors


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