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What Happens if America Goes Broke?

Maybe we could sell other countries our celebrities — as long as they promise to take good care of them and groom them and give them walks every day.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

November 10, 2009 - 12:37 am

I think we’ve all been broke before. Large men come and break your thumbs and threaten your family, and then you hide out in a dumpster until it all blows over. That’s all well and good for an individual, but what happens if our entire country goes broke?

Robert J. Samuelson raised this concern in the Washington Post, and it got me worried, even though I didn’t quite understand it all (which perhaps actually increases the worry). We can’t just hide America in a dumpster (and even if we could, I bet that goody-two-shoes Canada would rat us out); we need a real plan for if the U.S. were to go broke. So is this a real concern?

I believe so. Our president loves spending money. He just loves it. Now, he’s really smart — much smarter than even a border collie — but I just don’t think he understands basic economics. His solution to everything is “Let’s spend more money on a giant new government program!” And while he’s spending the money, he has this big, happy “I’m spending money!” smile on his face. It’s adorable. That’s why I don’t think anyone has the heart to tell him we don’t have any money left to spend. Think of the sad frowny face he’d make if he was told he couldn’t spend any more money; we’d all be heartbroken.

Still, with America going broke, it’s a huge problem. Just the other day, Obama heard some people don’t have health care, so he was like, “We need a giant new government program to get everyone health care!” People even told him, “But that will cost a lot of money.” But Obama said, “No, it will save us money!” And when people asked how, Obama said, “Because of these magic beans I bought!”

Again, no one had the heart tell him those beans weren’t really magic (and were actually a type of dried pea) and were just a mean trick Dick Cheney had played on him, so now it looks like we might get this giant, new, expensive health care program. And even if we financially survive that, what happens if Obama hears that not all children grew up with a pony like he did and decides to make an expensive “Ponies for Children” government program? Creditors will come banging on our door any day now to break America’s thumb, which would mean snapping Michigan in two or something.

I know some of you are thinking we can just wait out Obama until 2012 and get a new president who won’t get so sad if we tell him not to spend money, but the way things are going, by then we’ll be too broke to afford having another presidential election, which will mean we’re stuck with Obama until the country gets to the point that it’s begging Mexico for spare change. So we’re just going to have to find some way to cope with Obama’s spending and not go broke.

The obvious solution, one even Obama will seize upon, is to raise taxes. The problem is there’s not much money left to tax. Many people are jobless, others are living paycheck to paycheck, and even Bill Gates has had to run a kiosk in the mall to try and sell his Windows 7. If Obama raises taxes, the economy is just going to get worse, and eventually everyone will go after Obama with torches and pitchforks (which will be a boon for hardware stores), and then Obama will get scared and hide under his desk crying, and we’ll all feel awful. No one wants that.

That means we need some creative solutions to raise some dough. So what is America good at? Well, we’re pretty good at invading countries. Or at least we’re getting better at it. Maybe there are some countries that aren’t strategic for us to invade but that would be worth something to another nation. For instance, I don’t think a lot of countries like Belgium. Maybe it would be worth a lot of money to another nation if we invaded them and installed a government less Belgianian. Or maybe people are okay with Belgium and don’t like Finland. We could totally crush Finland for them. Whatever the customer wants.

Also, with fewer people going to the movies and cheaper reality TV replacing scripted shows, we have a lot of spare celebrities these days. I think we have more than we can afford to take care of right now; we might have to put some down. The thing is, though, other countries really like our celebrities. Maybe we could sell them our celebrities as long as they promise to take good care of them and groom them and have people give them walks every day. Or even if they aren’t going to take good care of them — what do we care? Just think of how much Germany would pay us for David Hasselhoff.

Furthermore, you know how Iran and North Korea are trying to get nuclear weapons? Let’s face reality. The Obama administration is not going to do anything about that. So if we accept the fact that Iran and North Korea are going to get nukes, we might as well make some money off of it. Let’s sell them some of ours. Right now, America has enough nuclear weapons to nuke everyone in the world more than five times, but strategically we never need to nuke everyone in the whole world more than two times. Thus we might as well sell some of the excess. Yes, maybe other countries will get in on this deal, but we have an advantage: We’re the only country that’s nuked another. That means people know our nukes work. That’s worth a premium.

If none of this works, though, there is one final plan — and it also involves nukes again because they’re so useful. What we do is send out a broadcast to the world that we just can’t take it anymore — that a broke country is a country not worth existing. Then we totally nuke ourselves.

We’ll hit ourselves with nukes all over (don’t forget Hawaii and Alaska). Then all the other countries will cry over the tragedy and kick themselves for not being nicer to America. But the thing is, we’re careful to only nuke ourselves in non-vital areas. We actually fake our death. And guess what: America is insured with Lloyd’s of London for ten trillion dollars. We have America’s widow collect the money, and then we all secretly relocate to the moon. One more thing: we tell Obama we’re relocating to Mars. Yeah, it will be pretty sad with Obama all alone on Mars asking, “Where is everybody? Don’t they need someone to lead them? Hello?” But politics is a harsh business.

Frank J. Fleming is the author of Punch Your Inner Hippie, coming November 11th, and the science fiction novel Superego, coming later this year, writes columns for PJ Media and the New York Post, and blogs at IMAO.us, and if he were president, he'd never be seen on the golf course during international crises, because he'd be in the White House basement playing video games.
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