Not only will Mitt Romney not retire gracefully from the spotlight after losing the presidential elections, even his former team won't leave us alone. The same guys who brought us some of the biggest political missteps in American history have now unveiled a chronicle of all the other missteps they had in mind but never got a chance to execute.
I'm talking about the Romney Readiness Project 2012, a 138-page report compiled by the Republican candidate's transition team about proposed changes to the White House and the country if he had won. Not only that but the report is actually being sold on Amazon for more than $15. Well, Romney always was a shrewd businessman.
Perhaps a better title for the report would have been 'How to fleece the American people if we don't get a chance to do it from the White House.'
Anyway, the report contains all sorts of ideas for enhancing efficiency in the government by creating silos, chain-of-command flowcharts, performance czars, and other consulting-style solutions, but I believe that it is important to look past the business school jargon and get to what the report is really all about (having come to know Romney as well as we did.)
And so here is the Romney Readiness Playbook, decoded and presented in 10 easy steps:
Step 1: Take over White House and beef up security to keep out the 47 percent.
Step 2: Rename Pennsylvania Avenue as Lobbyists Road.
Step 3: Declare national bankruptcy and sell the United States to an investor consortium consisting of Bain Capital, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and other big Republican donors, for one dollar.
Step 4: Incorporate the new country in Delaware as the Corporate States of America (CSA)™. Replace the American flag with a logo and charge licensing fees for use of the name or image.
Step 5: Load several trillion dollars of debt onto CSA™'s books and dividend out the proceeds to shareholders.
Step 6: Increase pay for the CEO (aka the president) to $200 million per year and throw in options for the land in New York City and Los Angeles. Cut everyone else's pay to save money.
Step 7: Shut down the Social Security office under a 'Starve them to death' initiative. If people don't receive their Social Security checks for a year, they will get the message and stop expecting it. Repeat the same exercise for Medicare.
Step 8: Declare all rich people and corporations to be 'special' non-profits under Section 501C of the IRS code and therefore exempt from taxes. Make up for lost revenues by taxing all other Americans at 99 percent.
Step 9: Declare all liberal Supreme Court Justices to be enemy combatants and transfer them to Guantanamo Bay for indefinite questioning. Immediately push for total repeal of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. Also institute tort reform to prevent any individual from suing corporations or anyone whose annual income is higher than theirs.
Step 10: Package the country for sale to China in 2016. Shut down all government programs, transfer all accumulated cash on the balance sheet of CSA™ to an anonymous bank account in the Cayman Islands, work out generous compensation packages for senior management, then retire to the South of France.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the long and short of what we were spared.
SANJAY SANGHOEE is a political and business commentator. He is a banker, has an MBA from Columbia Business School, and is the author of "Killing Wall Street". For more information, please visit www.killingwallstreet.com
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