Up to a Point: Thanks to the Biggest Turkey, Uncle Sam

Taking the time to thank our federal, state, and local bureaucracies for all the joy they bring us every day.

11.27.14 10:45 AM ET

It’s Thanksgiving, a national holiday since 1863. And that’s a problem now that giving thanks to God no longer plays a prominent role in American civic life.

I know, I know, America is still ”one Nation under God.” We believe in Him by a landslide 74 percent to 26 percent margin. But, like me, a lot of us 74-percenters go to church about as often as the pope visits the United States.

So, as I was saying…

Now that giving thanks to God no longer plays a prominent role in American civic life, Whom or What do we thank on Thanksgiving?

Praise Gov. of which all blessings  smack.
Praise It all creatures who are taxed.
Praise It all ye electoral sort.
Praise Pres., Congress, Supreme Court.

Thank you, Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906, Poultry Product Inspection Act of 1957, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, for the turkey.

Thank you, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” and 2014 Farm Bill Dairy Product Price Support Program, for our mashed potatoes.

And thank you, USDA Cranberry Market Loss Assistance Program, for the cranberry sauce.

Lacking these laws, subsidies, regulations, and regulatory agencies, America’s Pilgrim forefathers had to eat grass and tree bark at Thanksgiving, and then died of food poisoning.

Thank you, FCC, for all the football that is broadcast on Thanksgiving Day.

My wife and daughters thank you too, for C-SPAN, which gives non-football fans a Thanksgiving Reality TV alternative to Keeping Up with the Kardashians. NFL-averse viewers can choose between watching butts and watching asshats.

Thank you, Mr. President, for immigration reform. I’m pretty sure the O’Rourkes are undocumented aliens. We immigrated during the Potato Famine when there weren’t a lot of documents and we didn’t fill out any because we couldn’t read or write. So now, at last, after 170 years, the O’Rourkes can “come out of the shadows.”

Also, thank you for this month’s Affordable Care Act health insurance open enrollment. It’s amazing how much I got done around the house while cradling a cordless phone receiver between my shoulder and ear. I raked the yard, swept out the garage, brushed the dog, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and did a load of laundry as I waited for someone to answer your 1-800 line. And what’s this “100% co-payment” clause in my new policy?  Does that mean that when the insurance company pays my doctor they also pay the same amount to me? Cool.

Plus, Mr. President, thank you for your foreign policy. At first I was worried that you’d whimp out. But when the time came you stepped up to the plate just like George W. Bush did. If it weren’t for you, President Obama, Islamic militants might be threatening Americans the way they were before you deep-sixed Osama bin Laden. Heck, we might be fighting in Iraq again, Afghanistan and Pakistan might be sliding into chaos, Syria might be in the throes of a civil war, Libya might be a failed state, Egypt might be ruled by a dictator, Israelis and Palestinians might be at daggers drawn, NATO might be wobbly, and Vladimir Putin might be invading Ukraine.

And thank you for raising taxes only on rich people. Oops—just read the fine print. Turns out you’ve decided I’m rich.

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Thank you Executive branch and both Houses of Congress for spending all the Social Security and Medicare money while I’ll still be around instead of saving any for those twerp Millennials with their faces stuck to their phones, tweeting and texting and Snapchating in pants that are three sizes too small. They’re all going to die before 65 anyway, from getting hit by Uber while trying to watch YouTube at the same time they’re riding their fixed-gear bikes.

And thanks to all of you in government for being deadlocked on everything, because the two most frightening words in Washington are “bipartisan consensus.” Bipartisan consensus is like when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help.

Thank you, Chief Justice Roberts, et al., for opening the floodgates of political campaign donations. I’m going to run on both tickets as a left-wing nut and a Tea Party lunatic and collect millions and millions of dollars in campaign funding and abscond to Andorra, which has no extradition treaty with the United States. (And Andorra is a tax haven with bargain luxury goods shopping and great ski slopes.)

Thank you, Federal Reserve for printing all that money for the past half dozen years. Although, Fed, if you print some more, I wouldn’t mind you sending it directly to my bank account instead of sending it to the enormous, politically-connected bank where my account is.

Thank you, NSA. I’m getting to the age when I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I’m glad somebody does.

Thank you, government policies, for the employment—2.7 million jobs have been added to the U.S. economy this year. And, thank you, government programs, for the unemployment benefits—3 million people have been added to the U.S. population this year.

And, most of all, thank you federal, state, and local governments for magnificent public school systems. Here’s a personal note of gratitude from my 16-year-old public high school student daughter: “skool iz kool lke cuz i wudnt have bffs 2 txt an twt an fotobomb ifno skool YOLO:)”

Bless us, O Government, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Elected and Appointed Officials. Amen.