As everyone knows, President Obama is a gifted orator who has voiced several rousing, meaningless, and unmemorable riffs on abstract concepts like hope and change. But he’s never been as inspiring as he was yesterday, when he told the nation how we won’t be raising taxes on our super-rich.
To hear the president, in a time of desperate need, let Americans know that our nation’s millionaires and billionaires won’t be providing any extra help — well, heavens to Betsy, I quickly found myself covered in goosebumps of red, white, and blue.
And the inspiration didn’t stop when the president’s lips stopped moving. After his speech, I sat there thinking: given that even people who make upwards of $250,000 each year can’t be asked to pay more taxes, isn’t it time for the rest of us be looking for public goods and services we don’t really need?
Just to start the brain-storming, I’ve started building a list of government-provided goods and services that, for the good of the country, us San Diegans can just let go.
For starters, let’s take a good, hard look at Balboa Park. What purpose does it serve? Balboa Park is just a bunch of people walking around, looking at stuff, and doing it all for free. It’s so communist, we should change the name to Red Square.
Let’s shut down Balboa Park to the public immediately, or at the very least, let’s stop using the park to hand out freebies at taxpayer expense. For example, the drinking fountains at Balboa Park currently dispense water without charging a fee — clearly a symptom of the culture of entitlement that has taken hold of America. There is nothing in the Constitution that says we have a right to drink water wherever we go. If you’re going to get thirsty, you should carry a bottle of water in a fanny pack, like our founding fathers envisioned.
Moving on, there’s the long stretch of boardwalk that runs from South Mission Beach to La Jolla. Why are we letting people — including some who don’t even have jobs — traipse up and down the coast free of charge? In tough economic times, our coastline should be enjoyed by people who can afford to pay for it, like the Chinese.
Speaking of beaches, let’s talk about lifeguards. San Diego has already scaled back lifeguard protection, but not far enough. The ocean is the ultimate libertarian vehicle of justice: nobody forces anyone to swim in it, so why should anyone expect to be pulled out? Actions have consequences in this world, and Americans need to be reminded of that instead of being spoiled by a nanny state. Big government shouldn’t be in the business of separating struggling swimmers from important life lessons.
After dropping lifeguards, we should consider firing more teachers, too. If you look at the numbers, only about half the kids are graduating from high school anyway. And even the ones who go to college will mostly just end up with debts and drinking problems.
Let’s scale back public education further. Maybe we can start by getting rid of public high schools. If you’re not smart enough to get a scholarship to Bishop’s, what good will it do you to learn stuff like algebra and punctuation, anyway? You need to be out in the real world learning valuable skills like aluminum-can gathering. That’s how we did it in my day. (Actually, when I went to San Diego public schools in the 1980s and 1990s, the schools were better funded than they are today. But like Ocean Beach, that’s beside the point.)
Hey, on the Point Loma tip, I used to see city buses running all the way down to Sunset Cliffs. What’s up with that? What business does anyone who can’t afford a car have at the cliffs? If those bus routes are still there, let’s get rid of them. I realize the local cleaning lady community will be devastated, but that’s okay because we should be seeing a flood of new cleaning lady jobs now that the tax cuts to rich are here to stay.
And there’s the magic word: jobs. Jobs! Jobs are so good! But San Diego is beset by too many growth-stifling socialistic welfare hand-out programs that prevent would-be entrepreneurs from sowing jobs all over the countryside like modern-day Johnny Appleseeds.
Take the “Women, Infants, and Children” program, a.k.a. WIC, which provides free food and other basic essentials to children in need. Sure, kids sometimes get hungry. But once you give them food, they come at you with a long list of other demands — clothes, medicines, literacy, and on and on.
Thankfully, you and other conservative voices have explained how the economics work, Mr. President — and San Diegans get it. The taxes necessary to pay for goodies like WIC are costing us jobs. Let me repeat that: jobs. Jobs!
There is nothing more important than jobs, as every American knows. Even the kids will need those jobs if/when they survive to adulthood. Let’s not put food in kids’ bellies today if it might to leave them unemployed tomorrow. We’ve got to be thinking long-term, people!
Finally, let me shift gears and talk about one part of San Diego to which our taxpayer commitment should never waver: professional sports stadiums. We’ve got one masterpiece in Petco Park, and we need another one for the Chargers, post haste.
Sure, cynics might argue that other uses of cash might be more worthy, and might point to the fact that, this past season, Petco was only pulling in 10,000 fans per game with the Padres in first place. But these nattering nabobs of negativity should zip their lips. What if, in the midst of our economic doldrums, the Chargers were to leave town? That would feel worse than being swept by the Raiders, and I’m not sure America’s Finest City could bounce back.
So there you have it, President Obama. You’ve told us just how bad things are, and in San Diego, we’re ready to rise to the challenge. We recognize that it’s just not right to raise taxes on anyone ever, so we’re ready to continue forfeiting public goods and services — and we’ve already got some ideas of where to begin.
I hope you’ll consider these ideas, Mr. President. Or at least pass them along to the Republicans with a note asking if, when they have a chance, maybe when they’re done compromising, they’d be kind enough to take a look.