A beginner’s guide to Budget Bull Crap | AspenTimes.com
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A beginner’s guide to Budget Bull Crap

Dear Editor:

A fun game for everyone (unless you are not an elected official), more on that later …

To play this game you must first unabashedly be able to “act” like you really care about the American economy and the deficit that faces your nation. Every player gets one vote and it is helpful if you can create alliances with other voters to create a majority.

To start: The majority gets to decide the direction and tone of the cuts to rein in government spending. Players in the majority or minority are considered to be on that team but may jump ship and cast a vote against their team at anytime. However, be prepared to be penalized in some way at some point in the future. For after all, the game is played to be won by the players (not the population whom you were elected to represent).

Strategy: Being that there are certain areas that are easy to pick on, these areas should be played first and if at all possible, solely. Subtle expertise: Substantive changes to the budget need not be employed, for the object of the game does not require real reductions to the budget; merely the “appearance” of caring will suffice to mislead the electorate.

Reminder: Never choose to eliminate a portion of the budget that has any kind of power or ability to fight being cut. This obviously leaves the defenseless and lower hanging fruit. Example: Programs that offer assistance to the poor, mentally unstable or physically infirmed are easy targets for they (in most instances) cannot fend for themselves and are commonly not cared about when weighed against a problem as big as the national budget and it’s imbalance to the deficit; especially when opposed to raising taxes to offset said deficit.

Finer points of strategy: If at all possible use these choices to eliminate the other team’s favorite or pet programs. If there are any ideological programs that are contrary to your beliefs, these should also be included in your first choices for elimination.

Special reminder: The object of the game is to merely “appear” concerned with cutting the budget, so your team should never suggest cutting a program that 1) you receive campaign contributions from, 2) that has a powerful lobby aligned with your ideology, or 3) that makes you look soft on defense, terrorism, business, guns, arms sales, oil or any other interest that you may move on to be employed by after you are finished “serving” the public.

Reminder: This is a winner-take-all game. Second place means diddly, so most importantly remember winning is everything. Take no prisoners!

Final reminder: Both sides are playing a sub-game of “If it gets truly bad enough the population will vote for our side,” so play ruthlessly and remember that points (amazingly enough) are not deducted for being duplicitous.

Bull Crap, a fun game for Congress to play while the rest of us twist in the wind.

Chris Vecchiarello

Aspen


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