Easy Money From Dave

TO WIT

February 09, 1992|By DAVE BARRY

Today, as a leading presidential contender, I am pleased to present my economic package.

I realize I'm late. The other 53 leading contenders turned in theieconomic packages weeks ago. But I have an excuse: The dog ate my economic package.

No, really, my excuse is that I've been busy trying to notify the government that I'm running for president. I thought this would be a simple procedure. I mean, look at the other contenders. These people are not all nuclear physicists. Some of them aren't even vertebrate life forms.

Anyway, I called the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C., and told the person who answered the phone that I was running for president. I figured she'd just make a note of this, then assign some Secret Service agents to follow me around, beat up people who cut me off in traffic, maybe do some work on my yard, etc.

Instead, she mailed me some forms, which demanded to know the name of the committee that handles my campaign contributions and the bank where these are deposited. I frankly had not thought a committee was necessary, since my contributions consist of about $30 in small bills and coins.

But in an effort to satisfy the FEC forms, I tried to open a bank account, but the bank -- and you wonder why our banking system is in trouble -- refused to take the money. The bank person said I couldn't have an account because I didn't have a federal identification number. The irony here is that I'm located in Miami, where banks have a tradition of accepting huge cash deposits delivered in trucks that say "Acme Cocaine Dealership." But God forbid they should take money from a declared presidential candidate.

So I applied for a federal identification number, which you get from the Internal Revenue Service by filling out Form SS-4. Here's an actual quotation from the instructions:

"6. With respect to which there are reasonable arrangements designed to ensure that (a) residual interests are not held by disqualified organizations (as defined in section 860E(e)(5)), and information necessary for the application of section 805E(e) will be made available."

The instructions also say: "If you have . . . suggestions for making this form more simple, we would be happy to hear from you." My suggestion is, "Shoot the extraterrestrial being who wrote these instructions." Of course I wouldn't tell the IRS that, because I'd probably be selected for the Special Audit, which involves fire ants.

My point is that there's a lot of tricky paperwork involved in running for president, which is why I'm late with my economic package.

I've studied the other candidates' packages, and they're all designed to appeal to middle-class Americans, technically defined as "Americans who own VCRs but cannot program them." Most of the packages involve "tax breaks," which is when the government, amid great fanfare, generously decides not to take quite so much of your income. In other words, these candidates are trying to buy your votes with your own money.

Well, as Abraham Lincoln once said: "If you're going to take a bribe, hold out for top dollar." Which is why I'm proud to present:

My Economic Package

1. Every middle-class American will receive $10,000 cash from the government.

2. Make that $20,000.

3. Sometimes, without warning, U.S. Air Force bombers will fly over randomly chosen middle-class communities and drop bales money.

4. I see no reason why the IRS has to know about any of this.

Also I would create jobs. As president, I'd gather up the top U.S. auto executives, and I'd depart for Japan as the head of a special trade mission. Midway across the Pacific, these executives would be given parachutes and life rafts, and be shoved out of the plane, thereby freeing up millions of dollars in salary money that the auto companies could use to hire people to make better cars.

Then I'd continue on to Japan, where, in tough, high-level talks with Japanese officials, I'd demand that they make VCRs that a normal human could program. Then I'd attend a formal dinner where I'd suddenly fall under the table and barf, but the members of my official entourage would just leave me there because they'd be used to it.

Coming soon: The Federal Budget Deficit -- Let's Let Our Children Worry About It.

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