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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The 15 Minute Solution

Know how to Balance the federal budget? Hand the bill to six female Baby Boomers having lunch. They’ll get it balanced in fifteen minutes and include a tip for the Secretary of the Treasury.
The discussion might go something like this:
“Ladies, as your designated accountant, here’s where the budget stands.  We have seventy-five billion dollars to divide up between us.  Mary, you ordered the extra asparagus so you need to give up three billion of your Agriculture Dep’t. dollars and give them to Susan for her Dep’t. of Energy.”
“Why should I be penalized for having an extra vegetable? That’s not fair.”
“Yes, it is fair because the asparagus was imported from Timbuktu instead of grown here. You should’ve stuck with the corn. Susan ordered the protein shake, so she needs the extra money for her Dep’t of Energy.”
“Sally, you got the low-cal lunch – good job. As a bonus, we’re deflecting seven billion from the Dept’ of Education over to your Dep’t. of Health & Human Services. Obviously, you’ve educated yourself enough on health issues and are doing your best to defray Medicare expenditures.”
“Linda, you drove all of us here, so you get a boost of ten billion to your Dep’t. of Transportation allotment to cover your gas and carpool pick-up costs. And let’s not forget we need to set aside an extra 15% of the total budget to give to Trixie and her Dep’t. of Labor for waiting on us. Sally, you have a question?”
“I object. We didn’t get good service. Why should Trixie get a full 15%? That’s over eleven billion dollars. I don’t think we should give her department extra money for poor service.”
“Good point, Sally. But fiscal trends point towards twenty percent labor charges now - bad service or not. Why don’t we compromise on 17%. That gives Trixie a bit less than thirteen billion?  All those is favor?  Good.”
“Last but not least we have to determine which department gets the overflow billions. Personally, I think it should go to Anne’s Environmental Protection Agency. She did some amazing research to find this restaurant that specializes in organic food.”
“Excuse me, Madame Accountant, but Jane’s pick for next month’s luncheon location has the most divine décor. I think we should award her Dep’t. of Interior the extra billions.”

“Great suggestion, Linda.  All those in favor? Good, that was easy. Budget balanced. Shall we order dessert?  It’s on the House.”

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