Politicians might make better policy if their own money were on the line
It’s time to have a poker player run for President of the United States. Forget Joe the Plumber. How about Tom the Gambler?
I actually gave serious consideration to running for President in 2012. However, when I woke up, it didn’t seem like such a great idea. I thought what could a gambler offer that others can’t? I came up with several ideas and am going to share one here. This is not an article about bashing one side or the other. I’m trying to show how gamblers typically get right to the root of the problem by viewing the world differently than others.
First, I wanted to identify a problem that 95 percent of Americans would agree was a problem, thus removing all political bias. The Problem: Politicians lie, misrepresent facts and gamble with our money. Do you agree?
How do gamblers find the truth?
And if you make bad decisions repeatedly,
you are no longer gambling because you run out of money.
In a debate, if a politician sounds convincing, we believe him. He can’t be lying, he sounds so sure. The debate is concluded and the viewers have no idea that the bastard lied for an hour straight. He made up stuff and pulled answers out of his ass to avoid having to say, “I don’t know.” (Note: when pulling numbers out of asses, avoid the sharp ones like 4 and 7.)
When trying to get the Healthcare bill passed one Senator made a huge deal about the American Medical Association (AMA) supporting the bill, thus trying to make the public feel better since all doctors support it. Did you know that only 17% of all doctors belong to the AMA, because most doctors don’t like the political stands the AMA takes? Did you know that a significant majority of doctors were opposed to the proposed Healthcare bill? It is outrageously disingenuous to act like doctors are supporting the bill.
Our elected officials say that if we pass a stimulus package, we will create one million new jobs…oops, sorry, we were wrong. No big deal, we will try something else. They are guessing with our money. I like idiots in a poker game, but I’m tired of idiots in Washington. It’s like all of us voters decided to put the worst poker player in the biggest game. Unfortunately, unlike poker, these idiots can’t get lucky with our money.
How do gamblers find the truth? We wager. When sitting at the poker table, someone might say, “That’s a tall guy, he must be seven feet tall.” I say, “I don’t think so, how much would you like to bet.” That’s it. Gamblers engage in this kind of activity all the time, and if you make bad decisions repeatedly, you are no longer gambling because you run out of money. Unlike every other profession, our politicians get no credit for being right and no punishment for being wrong.
The Solution: As President, I would set aside $200 million for a “Required Political Gambling Fund.” This fund will be comprised of a couple great gamblers, a few CPA’s, an attorney, and a historian. Here’s how it works. As part of becoming an elected official you may be required to make a significant wager on what you believe will happen as a result of the legislation you are proposing or supporting.
As President, I would set aside $200 million for a “Required Political Gambling Fund.”
Let’s take the Health Care Bill. The Governmental Accounting Office claimed that this bill will be deficit neutral, i.e. not creating more debt. If the Gambling Team doesn’t think that will be the case, then those politicians that are supporting the bill must wager…the bigger the issue, the bigger the bet.
Since the Healthcare Bill represents 16 percent of our economy, supporters of the bill have to wager 16 percent of their net worth. Think about what this does. Politicians will be doing their homework for a change. Unsubstantiated numbers and guesses will not be thrown around without significant research and understanding. They will actually have to read proposed legislation. This system will take the politics out of politics. I can hear a Republican saying t o another Republican, “I can’t support that bill because I will lose my own money.” Perfect. I want an idiot politician to lose his own money and not ours.
How do we eliminate lying? After debates, our Gambling Team will determine what lies the politicians told during the debate, and then bet on each of the lies. If the politician decides not to bet, a big flashing neon “Liar” sign will go off. Obviously if he doesn’t want to bet on the supposed facts he is spewing out, then he is a liar or a bull-shitter. This would make one heck of game show. We can use the money from the show to reduce the National debt.
I bet that the $200 million gambling fund would make it to $1 billion by the end of my term, and we would have a bunch of broke politicians. Once the politician is broke, he is out of office, kinda like a poker tournament. The “right” politicians will get richer and remain in office, and we won’t be betting against them very often. Voila! There you have it.
We would have a new form of Railbird, the Politicalbird…a broke politician looking to get back into action, eh, well, office. It would be funny seeing ex-Senators and ex-Presidents going around asking people to put them into the dog catcher race. “Come on, give me a shot. I know I can beat this guy.”
If you would like to hear more of my Presidential ideas, tell Dan, the owner of this fine poker website. If you want to donate to my campaign, please do so, but don’t be too upset if some of the funds get put into a juicy $100-$200 mix game.
Author and speaker Tom Schneider swears he’s still a full-time poker pro despite the lack of Hendon Mob updates. He tweets his “winning wisdom” @donkeybomber. This piece originally appeared in the April issue of Southwest Poker News.