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Copyright © 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.


State budget shortfalls predicted for the next few years will be absorbed by cutting unnecessary fat and government administration in order to minimize the effect on public services.

The Governor told reporters at the state capitol today that he would lead the cost-cutting effort. "As Governor of this great state, I feel that it is incumbent on me to lead the cost cutting effort and set the example for other state employees," he said.

"The fifty million dollar shortfall that we can expect to see for the next five years is going to force us to find innovative ways of saving money," he told the assembled newsfolk, "and I expect the members of this administration to be in the forefront of that movement."

The Governor said that he and his immediate staff will take pay cuts of twenty percent, both houses of the legislature will reduce their salaries by fifteen percent, and all other state workers will have their pay reduced by at least ten percent.

"The first thing I am going to do," the Governor said, "is close down one wing of the Governor's mansion, reduce all utilities by at least twenty-five percent, and cut the staff by a third. And I will expect all other members of this administration who live in public-financed housing to do the same."

All state employees agree with the Governor, and all of the employee unions have endorsed the cuts, according to Ima Liar, president of the State Employees And Consolidated Omnibus Workers (SEACOW), the largest organization representing state workers.

The Governor also mandated that all state limousines will be replaced with economy cars, and all unneeded cars, boats and airplanes will be sold. First class air travel will be eliminated, lunch hours will be limited to one hour for all state employees, and the cost of tickets to sporting and cultural events will be borne by individuals instead of the state.

"These cuts are necessary to minimize the impact the budget shortfalls have on the public services provided by the state," the Governor said. "We must continue to serve the needy and the disadvantaged in our society -- and it is up to us as public servants to lead the way in cutting unnecessary expenses."

The Governor closed the press conference with a pledge that "no essential public service will be cut to any degree while any public monies are being used for state employee salaries, benefits, or creature comforts. All budget cuts will be absorbed by cutting or eliminating non-essential services and salaries."

   This is a work of fiction. Any relationship between the people described here and those in the real world, living or dead, has never been established. Belief could lead to bridge and/or swamp salesmen knocking at your door.

Copyright © 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.