That's our candidate!

My fellow Americans, we live in perilous times. We cannot reach agreement on what to do about health care, the federal budget, taxes or anything else. If elected Dictator I pledge that I will resolve these issues to my satisfaction and ...

• Send the entire Transportation Security Administration to charm school.

• Lock the airlines and GDSs in a room and not let them out until they have an agreement about booking ancillaries that is also acceptable to ASTA, ARTA, every travel seller on the Travel Weekly Power List, every Fortune 500 travel manager and me.

• Increase funding for the national parks, and then increase it again.

• Outlaw cellphone usage, pay toilets and "stand-up seats" on commercial aircraft operating to, from or over the U.S. and its territories and possessions as well as the territories of its allies, enemies and trading partners and all nearby planets. (The penalty will be for the airline's CEO and board of directors to stand in a harness for four hours and listen to three simultaneous phone conversations by complete strangers, one of whom is 13 and chewing gum.)

• Bring back geography in all schools.

• Allow people to pay their income taxes in airline miles.

• Allow airlines to pay their income taxes in airline miles.

• Prohibit any state, county, city or other political subdivision from imposing any tax on any travel or hospitality service, such as transportation, lodgings and meals, that exceeds the prevailing sales tax rate for other goods and services.

• Allow passengers to vote on airline mergers.

• Permit all federal agencies to hold as many meetings as they want, as long as they make sense and all speeches and presentations are limited to 15 minutes or are funny.

• Move the Transportation Department from Washington, D.C., to Washington state so it will be able to think more clearly.

• Join the European Union. (Gotcha! Just kidding.)

• Offer federal subsidies to marine architecture schools so they can teach their students to design ships that look like, well, ships.

• Change the name of the Department of Homeland Security to Department of Niceness. Couldn't hurt.

• Install free WiFi in all airports.

• Order my secretary of state to camp out at 10 Downing St. and play country music 24 hours a day until Britain revokes its Air Passenger Duty.

• Limit every hotel name in the U.S. to a maximum of 17 syllables (sorry, Paradise by Van der Slakken Hotel & Suites Golf Resort & Spa, East).

• Expand the Visa Waiver Program to all democracies and reduce the visa application fee for remaining countries to 5 bucks.

• OK, make it 10.

• Outlaw texting while driving in all 50 states -- and I'm thinking of holding a contest to define the penalty.

• Require cruise lines to tell people exactly what's in those "port charges."

• Suspend enforcement of the cabotage laws for passenger cruises.

• Give everybody their first passport for free.

• And I'm going to let people take their income tax refunds in a combination of cash and paid vacation time, on condition that they actually go somewhere. This page is protected by Copyright laws. Do Not Copy. Purchase Reprint
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