Of late, I have been giving serious thought to simply giving up. It occurs to me that I could be wrong about my philosophy of life and economic policy of the United States. I’ve always thought that if you infused enough money into the lower end of the economic spectrum, rich folks would figure out a way to end up with most of it. Alas, perhaps there is some chance that the Koch brothers, right-wing nuts and other Republicans are right. Maybe, if we take care of the very, very rich, the multi-billionaires, they will somehow allow enough to trickle down to take care of all the poor folks in the country.
Further adopting the thinking of the current Republican establishment, including the nation’s Supreme Court, I’ve thought of an idea that would allow us to be more realistic in the current Court’s approach to politics and at the same time eliminate the nation’s deficit.First of all, we would need to create a new agency of government called the USA National Lottery Commission — Not for having anything like a state lottery, but in order to create a draft similar to the nation’s NFL, NBA or MLB professional sports leagues. The lottery would gather all who had wealth enough to participate in the new system and allow them to draft particular players based on a drawing that would assign each billionaire a standing by chance. Each billionaire would then have the right to purchase an officeholder outright. The money would then be used to defray the national debt, and billionaires could then own a politician and be up-front about it. This would at least do away with the current myth that politicians who accept millions from billionaires are still their own man or woman, as the case may be.
Instead of wasting money on TV ads, newsprint, robo calls and such, the billionaires would own the politician outright, and the money would go directly into the treasury to pay off our national debt. I would think United States senators would be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $2-3 million each; congressmen, at least $1 million; state senators, somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000; and state reps would be evaluated based on the size of the budget they help control in their particular states. New York, California and Texas state reps, for example, should be worth at least a half million. For a state like Montana, the figure might be only $100,000. Aside from helping the national debt, this would completely remove hypocrisy from the current system in which our nation’s Supreme Court has declared that corporations are people and that spending money in elections is the same thing as free speech.
I recognize the danger in offering such an innovative program — that there are people who will ridicule or even think I am serious. This brings to mind the words of Bob Eckhardt whose idiotic bill I once defeated by the use of satire while in the Legislature. The senator from El Paso had actually passed a bill through the Senate making it a crime to show or display the U.N. flag in on or around any public building and accompanied the prohibition with a mandatory $50 fine. I laid one amendment on the speaker’s desk and the House sponsors then fled from sponsoring the measure. My amendment simply provided that instead of a $50 fine, it carried a mandatory death sentence. My thought was that if flying a U.N. flag was considered treasonous to the United States, the punishment should be appropriate to accompany the crime. State Representative, and later Congressman Eckhardt, warned me that even in the time of “Gulliver’s Travels” author Jonathan Swift, he was certain some people took Swift seriously when he suggested that in order to alleviate the famine in Ireland, that Irish babies should be served up for dinner. Hopefully, the above scenario will be food for thought — at least for thinking people.
Carl Parker has practiced law in Port Arthur since 1958. He is a 1958 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1962 and the Senate in 1976, Parker continued to practice law while writing and sponsoring hundreds of bills that became laws relating to every aspect of life in Texas, including many regarding consumer safety. His e-mail is cap1934 [at] aol [dot] com.