I know how to end the government shutdown and the growing economic crisis that it is causing. My solution may seem drastic to some, but drastic times call for drastic answers.
Really, it is quite simple: Eliminate all nonproductive members of society. No more drains on the federal budget. We reverse the unholy dreaded deficit, and can get back to business as usual.
The criteria for elimination:
(Must meet both. We do want to be fair)
1. All who do not pay income taxes themselves.
2. All who receive government aid to survive.
My quick take is that the following will be eliminated:
All inmates in our extensive archipelago of federal, state and local prisons and jails.
All residents of nursing homes on Medicaid beds.
All elderly or disabled, who subsist entirely or partially on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income funds.
Any mother who is enrolled in Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides government-funded food supplements. Their babies would qualify as well, of course.
All those whose inadequate earning capacities means they qualify for Earned Income Tax Credits.
All veterans living on benefits from their service wounds.
Now, the following people also live off public funds: local, state and U.S. elected personnel, as well as those serving in the judiciary system. However, they are important, and their generous salaries mean they do pay as much as 1 percent of their income in taxes — after the multiple deductions they voted in, of course. Such clearly productive members of society get to stay.
Consider the economic miracle! Inventors and entrepreneurs develop efficient ways to eliminate those malingerers. Contractors bid for crematory contacts. The death industry engages in massive hires, who then pour money into the economy. Family members who currently care for their elderly, infirm or disabled relatives will find themselves free to go out and get productive jobs, like digging graves for the eliminated!
And consider this: With all those WIC-supplemented babies gone, we won’t have to build nearly so many public schools. More money saved! Lowered taxes all around!
Those remaining will keep a strong military as someone has to protect their privileges, after all. This may be a problem because some of the offspring of the lower-paid service people might be on WIC, and so might protest the disappearance of their children, but we’ll figure that tiny glitch.
Food procurement will grow difficult, however. Most food is grown, picked, preserved, delivered, stocked and checked out by the hands of those who will have been eliminated. Their low wages meant government supplements and no income taxes.
There also won’t be anyone to clean houses, keep lawns neatly mowed, freshen pedicures, launder clothes, and wait on tables at high-end restaurants, assuming the restaurants can get food to cook and serve anyway.
Best solution here: Reinstitute the practice of having privately owned slaves for all such menial tasks. Owners have privilege to eliminate any slave with lowered productive capacities. Also, slave auctions will spur local economies.
Wait — you think this a ridiculous scenario? No, it is not. Many societies have found it expedient to eliminate (or enslave) their poor and vulnerable. The current shutdown of the government is motivated by keeping those poor and vulnerable away from access to even basic health care.
It is the first step to eliminating them.
While I don’t think we were ever a “Christian” nation, we have been a nation that did believe liberty and justice were for all. Slowly, we have righteously expanded what “all” means.
We honored the common good. Guided by basic religious and ethical principles, we have been aware that those who have more do have a responsibility to aid to those who have less.
But now those who have the most thumb their collective noses at the least of these, the very ones who may have diapered their smelly little bottoms when they were infants.
THE REV. CHRISTY THOMAS is the pastor of First United Methodist Church of Krum. She can be reached at 940-482-3482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.