What if Pat Buchanan were to win the presidency? That prospect intrigues me. Let’s assume that Pat wins, someday. What could he do to restore the American republic? A great deal. I therefore propose my version of Pat Buchanan’s first inaugural address.
It is a wonderful thing to be here in front of ail these television cameras and know that I will not be interrupted even once by Michael Kinsley. It has been said that my election constitutes a revolution. Not so. I am a conservative. Conservatives do not believe in revolution. We believe in slow, organic change. I propose only minor, technical changes. Nothing revolutionary here.
Let me explain this program. It is not an extension of the New Nationalism, the New Freedom, the New Deal, or the New Frontier. I call it the Old Truths. The two most fundamental of these truths are these: one, “You can’t get something for nothing”; and two, “If you play ball with the government, some bureaucrat will shove the bat down your throat. Or worse.” I have divided my program into 12 sections.
1. Executive Orders
Since 1862, this country has been increasingly governed by executive orders issued by federal agencies, not by laws voted for by elected officials. I will introduce legislation to Congress this week establishing that executive orders from now on will apply only to employees of the Executive branch of the federal government. As my first official act as President of the United States, I am hereby signing Executive Order 12,788, which abolishes all previous executive orders, starting immediately. Anyone outside of the federal government who is asked to comply in any way with a previous executive order is hereby free to tell the offending government agency to consult this executive order.
Should the federal courts somehow find a loophole in this executive order, I intend to spend the remainder of mv term of office signing pardons for private citizens convicted of disobeying executive orders. I call this program “Just Say No.”
It is my belief that the primary victims of the federal government’s intrusion into privacy ought to be other government agencies. I am therefore signing Executive Order 12,789, which establishes a board that will consider accusations from one federal agency that another federal agency has lied or misled any official under the authority of any federal cabinet member. If one agency can prove that another has lied or misled the President of the United States or one of his lawful agents, the offending agency will have its appropriation cut the following year by one percent, half of which will go to the agency that blew the whistle, the other half going to a tax-rebate fund for the general public. The employee who successfully blew the whistle will be granted a tax-free bonus of up to a half-million dollars, and his immediate supervisor will be given an award of half of whatever the employee gets. Some critics of this plan expect deals to be cut between employees of different agencies, with employees of one leaking information to employees of another in exchange for similar leaks. I hope the critics are correct.
I am hereby establishing a Board of Appeals that will consider all such accusations. It will be staffed by a minimum of 10,000 agents, whom I will have transferred immediately from the Internal Revenue Service. I call this program “Whistle While You Work.”
Federal elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. I will submit legislation to Congress that establishes the filing date for all federal tax payments as the day before the elections. I call this program “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
I will also immediately propose legislation abolishing the federal withholding tax. I call this program “Your Check Is in the Mail.”
4. The Federal Court System
I will propose legislation governing all federal lawsuits and executive agencies that establishes the obligation of the initiating agency to pay all court costs and legal fees of those defendants who are declared innocent. I call this program “You’d Better Be Sure.”
To follow through on this, I will propose legislation governing all cases appealed to a federal court. The plaintiff will henceforth pay all the court costs of a defendant who is declared innocent. Also, in cases where the plaintiff’s lawyer accepted the case on a contingency fee basis, the lawyer or his firm will pay the contingency percentage of the defendant’s costs. I call this program “Caveat Barrister.”
5. Health Care
I will propose legislation abolishing all regulatory controls by the Food and Drug Administration over medical treatments for AIDS. Anyone who thinks he has a cure for AIDS will henceforth be allowed to offer it for sale without interference from any federal agency. If it proves beneficial, fine. If it proves useless, no problem. If it proves harmful, the seller can be prosecuted by the victims. I expect no opposition on this matter from Congress, since the Democrats still control both houses, and they know that if AIDS is not stopped before the year 2000, their most vocal and active constituency will disappear. If this policy leads to a cure for AIDS, I intend to follow it with a similar deregulation over treatment for all other known diseases. I call this program “Bureaucracy Is the Real Epidemic.”
6. The Post Office
The U. S. Congress has its own postal system. Not many Americans know this. Congressmen and Senators are not required to send their first-class letters through the U. S. Postal System. I will propose legislation establishing this same freedom for every American. I call this program “Stamp Out Monopoly.”
From now on, every treats’ proposed to the U. S. Senate by this administration will have a self-destruct clause in it. If it is not proposed again by the President and consented to again by the Senate eight years after it becomes law, it automatically lapses. I call this program “No Permanent Entangling Alliances.”
8. Monetary Policy
Article I, Section 10 of the U. S. Constitution prohibits any state from making, and I quote, “any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” I will propose legislation that will apply this same prohibition to the federal government. If such a restriction is good enough for California, it’s good enough for Washington. If Congress doesn’t want gold or silver as legal tender, the U. S. monetary system can do without legal tender. Fiat money is always a false promise. No one should be compelled to accept it except the tax collector. I call this program “Let’s Hang Alan Greenspan From a Sour Apple Tree.”
I will propose legislation that limits U. S. citizenship to those children born of, or adopted by, a family containing at least one American parent and to those adults naturalized by law. This will end the eighth-month pregnancy flights from South America into the United States for the purpose of establishing U. S. citizenship for one’s newborn child. I call this program “It’s a Nice Place to Visit, but You Wouldn’t Want to Vote Here.”
10. International Organizations
I will introduce legislation establishing that the United States government must reduce its annual payment or so-called “contribution” to any international organization, including the United Nations, by whatever amount necessary so that its annual payment does not exceed the smallest annual payment required from any member nation of that organization. What’s good enough for Chad is good enough for the United States. I call this program “Low Bid Wins.”
11. Federal Real Estate
I am signing Executive Order 12,790, which requires every federal executive agency to pay to the U. S. Treasury a monthly rental payment equal to the established market rent for comparable property in the same business district. No more subsidies to the agencies. They will have to budget their rent payments just as any other organization does. Any agency that agrees to pay a higher rent to the Treasury will be allowed to occupy any federal building presently occupied by any other federal agency. Any agency that believes that it can save money by moving outside of Washington, D.C., will be allowed to exercise that option. I call this program “High Bid Wins.”
12. Bureau of Indian Affairs
I am signing Executive Order 12,791, which abolishes the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The money previously allotted for overhead and salaries to employees of the bureau will be divided equally between two funds. The first will be a tax-rebate fund. Money in the second fund will be sent on a per family basis to Indian families now under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. No further money will be sent to the tribal councils. One hundred fifty years of socialism is long enough. I call this program “Scalp Some Bureaucrats.”
Some of my friends have warned me that by proposing this 12-part program to restore the republic I will probably be assassinated by some incensed liberal. I worried about this until just fifteen minutes ago. But I shall worry about it no longer . . . not since the swearing in of Vice-President Schlafly.
In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural address contained two memorable phrases: “The only thing we have to fear is . . . fear itself,” and “We have a rendezvous with destiny.” In 1961, John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address contained one memorable part: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your country.”
I, too, want to be remembered for memorable statements. Therefore, let me end my inaugural address with the fundamental principle that has governed my thinking from my early days in the Nixon administration until today: You have heard it said that you can’t fight city hall. But I say unto you, “You can p– on the steps and run!”
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