Last night as Mr. Midtown Republican and I went to bed, I suddenly raised up and asked, “Did you remember to pay the sleeping tax?”
“Yes, dear,” he said.
“What about the dream surcharge?”
“Yes, dear,” he said, patiently.
That was a relief because since Congress passed the “Delivering the Utmost to Protect Equal Sleep” act (DUPES) no one has wanted to miss and pay the nightmarish penalty.
It used to be that people kept their money under the mattress. Our president saw money on top of the mattress: you. And a tax, of course.
Yes, in his wisdom, President Obama realized that some people were getting more sleep than others. That, comrade, is unfair. Millionaires and Republicans can lounge in bed, eating their caviar and sipping Moet et Chandon. More worthy Americans have to throw their flimsy blanket off, put on their shoes with holes in the soles and sally forth to get
their unemployment and WICA checks. This is a hardship if you’ve had to stay up late to watch The Daily Show, Hardball or Bill Maher.
More important even than individual comfort is another issue Obama astutely realized. The time Americans spend sleeping is time when no work or business is being conducted. No revenue is accruing. That means no tax money is being collected. We cannot, as true patriots, have that. Uncle Sam is like a junkie. He can’t go far without another fiduciary fix.
At first there were hurdles to overcome with the tax. For one, wouldn’t monitoring your sleep be an invasion of privacy?
Luckily, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts looked through his new Constitution and didn’t find anything about sleeping. He ruled that it was optional behavior, so it could be taxed. He also emphasized that if rich people got to sleep in and even eat breakfast in bed, they should have to pay for those extra hours of decadence. Democrats were so appreciative of his jurisprudence that he now tops the list of invitees on DC cocktail party circuits. And they say justice is blind!
Another issue of practicality: how could the government know how long you sleep?
The FBI and CIA told Obama that, actually, it would be quite easy for them to monitor sleep behavior. They already could check via Google and see who was up late reading juicy gossip on TMZ. Sensors on televisions already told them if citizens were watching Fox News late at night. The smart boxes Americans had allowed in their homes to “manage energy consumption” (you didn’t fall for that one, did you?), told a tale, too. Plus installing cameras in every home would be a boon to our security system companies, the SEIU and the entertainment industry.
Dispense with all that and you have the stuff of Washington politicians’ dreams.
Michelle liked it, too, because it worked into her “Let’s Move” program. Couch potatoes and now, bed potatoes, would be prohibited from lounging around in the sack, accruing calories and weight. (Look for her new line of workout night clothes. She’ll debut them on David Letterman in a show taped in the Lincoln bedroom.)
At first Americans were hesitant about the program. They liked a good rest in on Saturday morning and the opportunity to oversleep on Sundays and miss church. But after the media onslaught and the school propagandizing, Americans started waking up to the sense DUPES made and the benefits of it.
After implementation, lawmakers realized it wasn’t enough to trim our deficit. Some people decided to sleep in Canada and Mexico while working here. Kind of a reverse immigration. Anyhow, the budget was short sheeted.
Vice President Joe Biden, as some say already several sheets to the wind, thought hard. Some Americans, he reasoned, were actually using the sleep time to dream. And who knows what they were dreaming? Some might dream in color; others in black and white. Certainly that could be a racism we wouldn’t stand for in the USA. What of the unfortunates who never dream at all? Are they paying for someone else to have good dreams? Is that fair? They should pay for it.
So the dream surcharge was born.
They say living the American dream is dead. Not in Washington, D.C. Politicians there have proved them wrong. At least until the rest of us wake up.