Our leaders have failed us, as promised. So it's up to We, the American People, to revive our faltering economy while ensuring our long-term financial health. It's a bit of a pickle, but I'm sure if we all roll up our shirt sleeves--
I'm not wearing a shirt! Woo!
Be that as it may, we've made it out of worse scrapes than this. As my father used to say--
Your father is a foreigner!
Yes, he was a hard-working Irish immigrant.
A legal immigrant. He was natural--
Show us his birth certificate!
I'm not sure that's--
How do we know he wasn't secretly born in the United States?
If we could put that issue aside for the mo--
Hibernian cover-up! Freemasons!
And concentrate on the matter at hand. We need to find jobs for 14 million people and cut $9 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade. Let's start by making a list of priorities--
Why do you get to hold the pencil?
I brought it from home.
You're just going to erase my priorities when I'm not looking!
All of our priorities will take a hit, I'm afraid.
You'll have to pry my Social Security and Medicare benefits from my cold, soon-to-be-dead hand! I paid for it!
Well, actually you're getting more back than you paid in. But let's not turn this into--
It's Socialism Security, people! It's right there in the friggin' name!
Let's table that. Why don't we take a look at our biggest budget item: Defense.
Traitor! Spawn of a foreign intruder!
Please put down that chair. Listen, we need to cut something.
Cut all those wasteful programs I don't use!
Yeah, like teachers!
Hey, pal, my brother is a teacher!
Take it outside, ladies. Okay, if we don't want to cut anything, we'll need to raise revenues.
Tax the rich! Tax them and then beat them!
If we tax the rich, they'll punish us! Tax illegal aliens!
Most undocumented workers already pay taxes, including Social Security, which they can't collect, so--
Hey, it turns out if you decode "Doyle," you get "Black stranger"! It's on the Internet!
That's the Gaelic translation, yes.
You're a secret gay black!
Even if that were true, how is that relevant?
It's not. What's relevant is you lied about it!
Can we please get back to fixing the country?
Are you insinuating there's something wrong with America?
No, no. As you were.
Originally published in a different form at Time.com, November 29, 2011
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