My dad is a smart guy.  When he would send me on a ski trip when I was younger, he’d hand me some cash and say,”..you can keep half of whatever you bring back.”  This was a proper incentive.  If I had come back with no money, I would have appeared a spendthrift, or worse, a thief.  He wanted me to eat and spend some money, but provided this as a check, insuring thrift on my part.  

I thought of his idea this last two days here in Oklahoma City, “blessed” by the presence of the man who occasionally lives in the White House.  Here is a hybrid of my dad’s idea, also inspired by the money-saving block grant idea that has raised its head recently.  I say we call it “Federal Uninvited Guest Insurance (FUGI).  Here is how it would work.   Let’s say that the budget for travel for the man living in the White House is determined for the year and divided by 50.  This money is sent to each of the 50 states.  When (and if) any of those states wanted to play host to this man and his entourage, these states would pay for their invited guest out of these funds.  They would get to keep half of what they didn’t spend for the year.  This would serve to keep a check on profligate executive travel and would also keep a check on the untold expense and toll on local police resources and other expenses required to accommodate this “visit.”  

Without this new federal program, an uninvited chief executive amounts to an unfunded mandate on the victimized host, not unlike a friend who shows up un-invited for dinner and drinks all of your best wine…well, except bigger…ok, bad example,  but you get the idea.

Followers of this blog know that I’m not a fan of new government programs but think that this one may deserve some consideration.  Let’s see..block granting Medicaid, Medicare, Education, Executive Travel….where does this end?

G. Keith Smith, M.D.