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Politicians grabbing commercial endorsements in post-term years

Jan. 24, 1997

The issue:

Politicians who cash in on their fame once they are out of office.

His view:

Get these people off the air by privatizing the government.

Edward Sanchez

Campus Columnist

Americans love to carp about politicians, the scandals they get into and how much money they waste. At the same time though, we love to plaster our cars with campaign stickers and stick up signs on our front lawns supporting them.

It seems like with the campaign season over, that juicy material would have dried up. But Washington seems to be the perpetual cesspool of corruption and scandal. The Paula Jones incident seems to have been miraculously resuscitated from near-oblivion, and Mr. Gingrich is sitting on the hot seat for 'ethics violations.'

There is one issue that has been completely ignored by the mainstream media. Politicians are now stealing free-market money from hard-working citizens to line their already gilded pockets.

The most blatant example of this is the latest invasion of retired politicians into advertising.

Let's see, there has been Mario Cuomo and Ann Richards that have gone to work hawking chips for Frito-Lay, and if memory serves me correctly, Dan Quayle as well.

Now, ex-presidential contender Bob Dole is touting the virtues of the Visa Card during the Super Bowl. I believe that the two previous commercials were aired during the Super Bowl as well. It is no coincidence that these are some of the highest-paying time slots during the year.

This, my friends, is simply a moral outrage. These Machiavellian schemers are getting away with blatant double-dipping. They are not satisfied with their taxpayer-subsidized six-figure pensions. No, they must enjoy the fruits of unadulterated, raw capitalism. I say they should stick to their day job. Well, I suppose they don't have a day job anymore. Surely there must be a way for our public servants to retire with dignity. Ah, but there is!

A simple solution that would forever solve this conflict of interest problem is to privatize the government.

Think about it. Instead of paying taxes, the government would pay us! The Internal Revenue Service would be replaced by the Profit Distribution Corporation. Citizens would be sent an annual prospectus.

The incentive to buy stock in the government would be very high; if you don't buy the stock, your roads don't get paved, and the fire truck won't come when your house burns down. That would ensure good compliance.

Of course, the media would be in utter anguish over the whole matter. No more ethics violations. All they could report would be a hostile takeover of the government by a corporate maven. Hmm. What about Microsoft ' Government 2000? Perhaps McGovernment? If the whole kit and caboodle is privatized, all the dirty deals could be justified in the name of profit. Man, it's great to be an American.

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