Democratic Underground

Dubya Goes To School
April 28, 2001
by Art Bushwald

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It was a fine spring day at Ronald Reagan Elementary School, and the students of Miss Lander's sixth grade class knew that something was up. Before they entered the classroom, Secret Service agents had frisked them for guns/ammunition, knives with blades over 3 inches, mace, nunchuks, electric stun guns, and balloons.

"Today, class, we're going to have a very special visitor," announced the teacher. "Some people say he's the most important man in America. Does anyone know who our visitor might be?"

"Alan Greenspan?" asked Ricky Gephart.

"Justice Scalia?" offered Sandy O'Connor.

"Don't tell me it's Rush Limbaugh!" exclaimed little Tommy Daschle. "My dad can't stand that loudmouth!"

"It's none of those people," answered Miss Landers. "I'll give you another hint - our visitor likes to be called by his nickname, Dubya."

"Dubya?!" shouted Jimmy Carville, "What kind of stupid nickname is that?"

Before the teacher could say anything else, there was a knock at the door and in walked a man wearing a business suit.

"Class," said Miss Landers, "I'd like you to meet our visitor, George Dubya Bush, the president of the United States. Mr. Bush is going to observe our lessons, and then he's going to teach us a lesson or two himself."

After a warm welcome from the students, Dubya took a seat at a desk in the front row. "Ok, class, we're going to start with the geography lesson," said Miss Landers as she pulled a map of Canada down across the blackboard. "Can anyone come up to the board and show everyone where Prince Edward Island is?" Dubya shot his hand up in the air and shook it wildly. "I can! I can!" he shouted, as he jumped out of his seat. "Prime Minister Poutine showed me where it was the other day!" Dubya raced up to the blackboard and pointed excitedly to a large island in Canada's far north.

"I'm sorry, Mr. President, but that's Baffin Island."

"It is?" said the incredulous Dubya. "Then how 'bout this one? "

"I'm sorry, but that's Vancouver Island, on Canada's west coast. Prince Edward Island is on Canada's east coast."

"Well, I'll be dadburned," said Dubya as he returned to his seat.

"OK, class, now it's time for our English lesson. We're going to review subject-verb agreement today," said Miss Landers as she wrote a sentence on the blackboard: 'The children ______ learning in school.'

"OK, kids, to complete this sentence, which form of the verb to be would we use - is, or are?"

"Is!" shouted Dubya confidently. "I'm sorry, Mr. President, but 'children' is a plural subject, so it takes the plural verb 'are'. Uh, maybe we should be moving on to the math lesson. Are you ready to take over, Mr President?"

"Am I ever!" shouted Dubya. "I bin giving this lesson all over the whole dadburn country! It's what I call compassionate fuzzy math", he said as he took Miss Lander's pointer. "OK, kids, if you take 1.6 trillion dollars and divide it among 100 million families for ten years, whaddya get fer each family?"

"Sixteen hunnerd dollars," answered little Kenny Conrad, the class math whiz.

"Um... let's see. Yeah, that's it," said the president-cum-teacher, referring to a handy 3x5 card. "That's the refund the average taxpayer's gonna git under my tax giveaway program. Now, $1,600 may not sound like a lot to some, but it means a lot to many families. $1,600 buys gas for two cars for an entire year. It pays tuition for a year at a community college. It pays the average family grocery bill for three months. That's real money."

"Is everyone going to get sixteen hundred dollars?" asked the inquisitive Johnny Kerry.

"Nope, some folks is gonna git a whole lot more than others. Me, fer instance. I'm gonna get a nice six-figure refund if this works out. My vice-president is gonna get 4 million bucks, and nearly ever'one in my Cabinet is gonna be makin' out like bandits. Some of you might, too. OK, kids, how many of you is in the top 1% of the US federal income tax bracket?"

No one raised their hand. "Well, that's too bad," said Dubya, "cuz if you was in the top 1%, you'd also be gettin' a whoppin' big tax cut from Uncle Sam. OK, now, how many of ya is from families that's down there in the bottom 25% of income earners?"

This time, several students, and even Miss Landers, raised their hands.

"Sorry, kids, I got some bad news fer ya. You ain't gettin' nothin', 'cuz your parents ain't paying income taxes."

"My parents are paying state income tax", said one of the bottom 25% kids.

"Well, that don't count."

"My parents pay a lot in payroll taxes", said another bottom 25-percenter.

"That don't count, either. The only taxes we're worried about here is the federal income taxes. And maybe the death taxes."

"Your compassionate fuzzy math is stupid" yelled Jimmy Carville.

"Voodoo math, that's what I'd call it," added the usually reserved Jimmy Jeffords.

"You just want to make yourself and your friends richer, don't you?" challenged Jan Schakowsky.

"You got a big mouth, kid," said Dubya, who was becoming noticeably irritated, "and you'll keep it shut if ya know what's good for ya."

Just then a spitwad hit the president on the forehead, followed by a barrage of paperwads. Dubya ducked just in time to evade a skillfully thrown paper airplane. The president turned to Miss Landers.

"Well, I guess it's time fer me ta be moseyin' along," he said. I'm really glad I came. It done my heart good ta see that our children really is learning."

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