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Only Rambo can tame a $200 billion budget deficit -- or can he?

NOW that David Stockman has announced he is departing for the promised land of investment banking, there's only one man who can become budget director and save us from the federal deficit: Rambo. In case you haven't heard, Rambo is the summer's biggest movie hero. In ``Rambo: First Blood, Part 2'' he destroys most of Southeast Asia to free US POWs, while speaking only in words of one syllable.

His dress consists of giant steak knives and Turtle Wax -- his torso is kept polished to the sheen of a prize Cadillac.

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In other words, a man of action, a man for the '80s, just the person to rescue the economy from a sea of red ink. Imagine ``Rambo: First Budget'': SCENE 1, OVAL OFFICE

President Reagan: Will you watch it with that knife? Look what you did to the upholstery.

Rambo: Sorry.

Reagan: Never mind. Rambo, your country needs you. A bloated, $200 billion monster is terrorizing Washington. Nothing we've tried has done more than trim it around the edges. Only you have a chance to stop it -- and even you may not come back. Any questions?

Rambo: Do I have to wear a shirt? SCENE 2, SENATE HEARING

(After lowering himself through an unlocked skylight in the Capitol dome, Rambo has crawled miles through a maze of heating ducts, guided by a beautiful and sympathetic congressional receptionist. Leaping from behind a TV light, he charges a Senate Finance Committee meeting and rips a copy of the budget to pulp with his bare hands.)

Senator Dole: Is this your way of saying I shouldn't run for President in 1988?

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Rambo: Deficit. Arrrrghmmupff.

Dole: No, that's just paper. If you want to find the deficit, go check out the Defense Department's $4,700 coffee pots. SCENE 3, THE PENTAGON

(Using a grapefruit spoon and a Phillips screwdriver, Rambo digs a hole through the outside wall of Caspar Weinberger's office. He bursts in, covered with plaster, and smashes a Mr. Coffee flat with one swipe of a giant hand.)

Secretary Weinberger: I'm sorry, the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has already been filled. We'll keep your r'esum'e on file.

Rambo: Deficit. Destroy.

Weinberger: No, there's no deficit here. Only pure national security, necessary in light of the ever-growing Soviet threat. Try social security. SCENE 4, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

(Tired by now, Rambo walks in the front door. He approaches a harried bureaucrat.)

Rambo: Deficit around here?

Bureaucrat: Gotta take a number like everybody else who's got a problem, buddy. Here. 156. We should get to you next Tuesday.

Rambo: Arrrrghmmupff! Gimme bank job!

Peter Grier, who covers defense and national-security affairs for the Monitor, occasionally takes time out to look at the lighter side of the Washington scene.

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