The Wasatch Behind: If uncle Spud were king
"Holy Cow," I said as I turned off the TV in disgust. "This country is sure in a mess. I can hardly stand to watch the news anymore."
"I could fix it," Uncle Spud smiled.
"You could fix what?"
"I could fix everything," he said. "Make me king for a week and I could fix it."
"Okay," I said, "I hereby crown you king. Now what?"
"My first act as king is to reinstate sovereignty over our borders. Anyone coming here illegally will be considered an enemy alien. They will be jailed, fined, and deported immediately. Repeat offenders will be sent to penal colonies on the fringes of that arctic paradise called ANWR. Those who hire illegals will be deported with the illegals they hire."
"Career criminals will become career prisoners. A third felony conviction locks the door for 20 years with no possibility of parole. A fourth felony is a life sentence."
"I hereby declare a new criminal justice system," he said. "We are going back to something similar to the 'eye for an eye' standard that Moses used. If a person steals something, he must give it back - all of it - with interest. No more fat cats looting companies and getting to keep the mansions and airplanes after doing six months of house arrest and 40 hours of community service. Under the new system, robbers get robbed, muggers get mugged, terrorists get terrorized, and murderers get murdered."
"And we will have two sets of penal codes," he promised. "Politicians, judges, and cops will be held to a higher standard than the common folk. There is no excuse for those who make laws and enforce laws, to ever break the law. For them especially, punishment will be sure and swift."
"And I hereby declare a new social order," he smiled. "We will skip a generation when it comes to child rearing. Grandparents will raise their grandchildren while the parents work. Parents will raise their grandchildren in turn. Call it an investment in the family and the future of the country. Some Indian tribes actually practiced this in the old days. It's a great way to keep the youngest and strongest citizens in the workforce while giving the older generation something critically important to do to earn their keep and keep them occupied. It's also a great thing for the kids."
"I also declare that in matters of war, politicians must lead the charge," the Spudster giggled. "No more sending other people off to fight unless the president and his cabinet are with the first Marines to hit the beach. Call it an investment in commitment. Is the fight really worth the cost, or not?"
"I hereby declare that all sports heroes, movie stars, and musicians will be paid union scale. We will divert the big bucks to the people who really earn and deserve them: the cops, soldiers, firefighters, and EMS workers who put their lives on the line for us every day. Schoolteachers, too, will have their wages raised substantially.
"I hereby declare that everyone will pay an equal share of the tax burden. Ten percent of annual income with no deductions and no excuses. And if you take your money out of the country to shelter it from taxes, your citizenship goes with it."
"I hereby declare that politicians must live by all of the rules and regulations they impose upon the rest of us. And we will make them retire with social security benefits and with Medicare and Medicaid as their primary health insurance. I predict that we will see some big changes in those programs when this goes into effect."
"I hereby declare that every citizen will be required to give a minimum of one year of service to the country. They can serve in the military, the Peace Corps, as social workers, sanitation workers, community volunteers, or in any number of other, useful programs. To most people, citizenship holds little value when it is a free gift. We value things more when we earn them."
"What type of crown will you wear as king?" I asked.
"Old King Tut never had a crown any better than my Stetson," Uncle Spud grinned. "I'll just stick with that."
"But I thought Roy Rogers was the king of the cowboys?"
"Shut up and hand me that branding iron," he said. "I'll use that as my scepter."