THE BLOG

Layoffs for Leaders

04/04/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The official unemployment rate is 7.6%, but that's not reflected in the unemployment rate of officials. Before the economy tanked, the U.S. had 435 House members, 100 senators, and 50 governors. After the tanking: 435 House members, 100 senators, and 50 governors. What's wrong with this picture?

I'll tell you what's wrong. Many of those 585 bigwigs (especially the Republicans) share some blame for our nasty recession, but they aren't getting laid off at the same rate as everyone else. As a matter of fact, they're not getting laid off at all. Where's the shared sacrifice?

Sure, voters can electorally remove these politicians, but the deposed pols would just be replaced by other pols. What other workplace is doing ANY replacing these days?

Some quick math indicates that 7.6% of 585 is roughly 44 (I hope that's correct because my calculator was laid off last week). So 44 officials need to get the boot.

This, of course, leads to the question of which 44. I favor taping to a wall the names of every Republican who voted against the stimulus package and pink-slipping the first 44 hit by taxpayer-tossed darts. This elegant approach jibes with the way many corporations randomly fire workers.

Other people might have different downsizing suggestions -- such as laying off the 44 oldest white-male senators in the hopes of diversifying that august club. Meanwhile, people who dislike reruns of TV's Eight Is Enough might want to oust 44 of the 50 governors because, well, maybe six is enough.

One last thought. If the unemployment rate ever soars past 40%, that profound tragedy would have a silver lining: layoffs for four members of the U.S. Supreme Court. No darts needed to choose the men who would be in THAT canned quartet.

This Blogger's Books and Other Items from...