I'M NOT saying I plan to run for office, but if I do I think I know how to get your vote. Because I'm an ordinary, taxpaying citizen and not a professional politician, I know what you need and want from government. So here's a list of what I'll do for you if I run, and you vote for me, and I get elected:
1. I'll cut your taxes and raise everyone else's. That's right, friend. I'm going to give you -- and you alone -- a tax break. Anyone older than you or younger, or richer or poorer, will pay more. I know you have special burdens your neighbors don't share, so you deserve tax relief more than any other American. Vote for me, and I'll make sure you get it.
2. I promise to increase government spending, but only on those projects that benefit you personally. All other expenditures are, of course, nothing but waste and pork-barrel garbage hypocritical politicians push through to gain favor from self-seeking constituents. I vow to cut them from next year's budget, so that your favorite projects will be amply funded.
3. I'll give you better police and fire protection. In fact, I'll assign two police cars to sit in front of your house 24 hours a day. We'll build a fire station next door. And, as a free bonus, a road repair crew will check in with you every day to make sure the streets on which you drive are always smooth and well-marked.
4. You want public transportation? I'll give you mass transit directly from your door to where you work, with extra lines to your favorite shopping mall and anywhere else you want to go.
5. If you have children, I'll build a brand new school for them, stocked with every learning lab, current textbook, computer and other instructional aid ever invented. Class sizes will be small, perhaps 10 or 12 teachers per pupil. And because only your children will attend this school, we won't need metal detectors or special security measures -- unless your kids are unusually rowdy. If they are, we'll send a specially trained team of counselors to straighten them out. After all, your kids aren't really bad, are they? All they need is better guidance.
6. I promise to listen to you, and do whatever you want. Unlike other politicians, who only return calls from lobbyists and TV reporters, I'll be accessible to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Why, if you're having a nightmare, feel free to call me! I'll come over and hold your hand until you're ready to go back to sleep.
7. If any of your relatives have trouble finding a job, call me! I'll hire them as "special constituent service representatives." That's a lot better than having them leach off of you or going on welfare, isn't it?
8. I'll make America No. 1. Yes, I'll order every factory in the U.S.A. to increase quality, cut executive salaries, raise workers' pay and stop moving plants overseas. (If you're an executive, I'll cut worker salaries, relieve you of burdensome regulations and make it easier to move plants overseas.)
9. I'll make your personal environment cleaner and safer than it's ever been. While I'm in office, no horrid prison halfway houses will be built in your neighborhood. All odorous industries will close their doors immediately. Special crews will clean up your favorite beaches, streams and forests before you take your vacation. Air pollution-removal equipment will be installed near your house, so you and your family can breathe freely, no matter how smoggy it is in the rest of the world.
10. You -- and your family -- will receive free health care at the finest hospitals, at the hands of the world's best doctors. You will never cool your heels in a clinic waiting room again! You won't have to pay a cent; the government will take care of it all. Best of all, if any doctor or other medical person ever irritates you in any way, you can sue for $10 million and win, because I'll make sure your case goes to trial in front of a judge who owes me political favors.
So there you have it, my friend: a recipe for a cleaner, better, more beautiful America, just for you. Has any other candidate ever promised to give you so much -- and asked for so little in return? I didn't think so. Just remember, on Election Day, to pull the lever with my name next to it.
Robin Miller drives a cab in Baltimore.