This idea that I’m going to pay for these four beers just because you guys kept buying me drinks at the bowling alley? I’m sorry but that’s a clandestine tax on my hard-earned dollars. Not only that, it’s interfering with the workings of the beer market. Remember, many of these beers were imposed upon me, over my protests. So you’re taking away my freedom of choice as a consumer in the marketplace.
Milton Friedman tells us that if you guys are buying me drinks, then sure, I’m going to drink them. But let’s say you don’t buy me drinks, then I, as an individual, am forced to decide how many beers I want based on my appetite for Schlitz. The market, rather than some arbitrary round buyer, dictates how I spend my beer money.
I propose we adopt this market-based system right away. We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and hope this beer tab will pay itself. I’ve run some quick calculations, and, once I have paid for my own beer, I’m forecasting a $15 deficit here. That could rise by 100% in the time it takes us to drink another beer. The only way we are going to close this deficit is by each of us taking responsibility for our own beers, starting now.
People say the “rounds system” is just the way people do boozing in Washington. But it’s time to stop the waste. Look around this table, gentlemen. There are at least 25 milliliters of beer left in each of these glasses. You think of four guys having seven beers each over the course of an evening. That’s a six-pack of Budweiser. Wasted! And then you look at Dick Armey. Completely wasted!
Some of you might suggest that we revisit this Washington “rounds system” after we settle the check tonight. But gentlemen, we’re facing a major bar-tab deficit right now. Tomorrow is too late. I don’t want my grandchildren coming to this bar in 20, 30 years and having to pay my tab.
This is not just about one bar tab, either. This debt crisis is part of a structural problem with our bowling team. Our spending has gotten out of control. I’ve been saying it every Tuesday since I arrived in Washington but now that we’re on the brink of defaulting on this tab, I think I’ve gotten your attention at last.
Dick Armey made a proposal just now that we increase our spending on alcoholic stimulus tonight and have our team “large it up.” The immutable laws of economics say we do the exact opposite. To prevent a Nick-the-Greek-style bowling-team collapse, we must reduce alcoholic stimulus and—above all—make this team smaller.
What does the Spectrometer even do on this team? Does anybody know? Armey bowls strikes, the Rominee is our spiritual guy, I handle team finances. What does the Spectrometer do? “Keep score”? This is the 21st century. If we are going to be a competitive bowling team, we need to figure out how to set up that computer screen above the lane where you type your name in and the computer tallies everything up. We don’t need Arlen and his super-slow writing on his notepad. Look, I like Specter as a guy. But the bartender is on his way over here. There are no easy choices right now.
I’m passing around a spreadsheet I took the liberty of printing up. If we cut Specter right now, we’ll reduce next year’s aggregate team beer expenditure by at least 25%, or about $2000.
The last time I made this suggestion, someone said it wouldn’t be “fair” to ditch the Spectrometer after 20 years. This idea of fairness is a great sound bite but when you look a little closer at it, it’s dangerous. You’re basically telling guys that might want to be on our team: “you’re a successful bowler, but we’re going to punish you so that we can help out this guy who is clearly not a successful bowler.” This is America. Arlen Specter had every chance to succeed as a bowler, and he just hasn’t.
Oh and ordering a barrel of pork. That was pretty cute. But finishing it, and ordering another one? That’s just disgusting. I’m not paying for something I didn’t even eat, but still made me throw up. Here’s five bucks. That’s the Ryan Plan.