Minnesota’s plan to cut government spending

March 11, 2009

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Note: this is a work of fiction. A longer disclaimer can be found at the end of the piece.

The Soap Boxers was stunned to learn that the governor of Minnesota has suggested a radical cost savings plan – having the US Senate shrink its membership to just fifty members – one from each state.

We smelled a great story and sent resident bloodhound Scoop Chevelle to the frozen tundra to check the story out. Scoop arrived at the governor’s mansion on a snowmobile-driven carriage and was granted an audience with His Lordship, the Governor of Minnesota, Tom Lawplenty.

SC: My Lord Governor. It is a pleasure to finally meet you.

Gov: Scooter, let’s get rid of the formality. You may simply call me lord.

SC: Yes, lord. Some representatives of other states have suggested that this plan to reduce the US Senate to 50 members from its present membership of 99 is simply a ploy to return Minnesota to full representation in the Senate to avoid having the courts settle the Franken/Coleman election.

Gov: What a load of hogwash, Scooby. Obviously, the Frankenstein / Coolman issue will be resolved within the next few days. My only agenda is to reduce the cost of government to the fine taxpayers of the United States. I believe each senator is paid five million dollars per year. Cutting fifty senate positions would thus save taxpayers three billion dollars each year!

SC: Actually, I’m pretty sure they make $174,000. Reducing fifty senators would save $8,700,000.

Gov: Skippy, don’t try to confuse the taxpayers with that deceptive “new math” you New York folks are slinging around. Consider also that each senator has a staff of three hundred, eight chefs, a barbershop quartet, and a dog groomer. We’re a talking about tens of thousands of positions that could be eliminated, at a savings of seven trillion dollars.

SC: I think those numbers may be based on some inaccurate information, my lord.

Gov: Also, Sarah, this plan would finally put an end to the senate hazing.

SC: Hazing?

Gov: Oh, yes, Sally. You would not believe the hazing that occurs. The senior senators from each state treat the junior senators very poorly. The cut ahead of them in line at the cafeteria, steal their lunch money, flush their heads down the toilet, shove them into lockers. It really isn’t pretty.

SC: Well, this is definitely an, um, enlightened viewpoint. Do you have anything else to add?

Gov: Oh, yes, Wendy. We should not stop there. We should also reduce the House of Representatives by half.

SC: How would this be feasible? Some states have an odd number of representatives.

Gov: Well, Amy, we could handle this like King Solomon and chop someone in half. Ha. ha, ha. I’m just kidding. If a state had seven representatives, they would have four representatives during one session of congress and three during the next session of congress.

SC: How would you handle Wyoming, with its single representative?

Gov: Oh, that’s very easy, Jasmine. Wyoming would have one representative half the time and zero representatives half the time.

SC: Lord, are you seriously proposing taxation without representation for the citizens of Wyoming?

Gov: Ha, ha, ha. Where would you ever gets such a crazy idea, Crystal? Of course not. I’m Mr. e pluribus unum himself. Carpe diem and salve regina!

SC [visibly confused]: Well, there you have it, America. This is Scoop Chevelle, reporting to you from the heartland of America.

Note: This is a work of fiction. It has minimal basis in fact. I believe the only facts are that Norm Franken and Norm Coleman are indeed still locked in a court battle surrounding their senate race, and that there are snowmobiles in Minnesota. I have altered the name of the Governor of Minnesota to reflect the fictional nature (and to avoid having him hunt me down and punch me in the face). The character of Lord Governor Lawplenty does not share core values with the real governor of the state, nor does he represent the fine citizens of Minnesota in any way.

People of Minnesota (and Wyoming): please, no hate mail . Give me enough time, and I will eventually take shots at all 50 states. I have already written an Oregon article (click the “Humor” link on the right side of the screen)

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