This fiscal cliff will get solved. Congress and the President will eliminate some minor exemption cherished by One-Percenters, like a tax break for raising trotting horses, and then raise the Social Security retirement age to 120. After claiming success, they’ll most likely move on to immigration reform. They’ll squabble and posture, and then come up with something. But both Congress and the President are bound to miss the most glaringly obvious problem with immigration – The Naturalization Test. Simply put, the thing is outdated.
Consider these questions from the Naturalization Self Test, a web-based practice exam offered by the US Citizenship And Immigration Services:
During The Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
A) The Great Depression
B) Climate Change
None of the above. It was “Elvis”. Now consider this doozie:
What is the economic system of the United States?
D) None of the above
If you choose “Capitalist”, you’re told that you are correct. But that’s wrong, because we actually have two systems. If you run a small business, you operate in a capitalist system, but if you run a Wall Street mega-bank or a major defense contracting corporation, you operate in a socialist one (ie profits are private but losses are public). The last answer should read “Depends on political connections.” But try telling that to the guy running the test. He’ll send you packing quicker than a labor organizer at Wal-Mart.
So it’s time to replace the flawed questions on the Naturalization Test with new ones that are relevant to modern America. I’ve developed three so far:
In the United States, what is a Hanging Chad?
A) George W. Bush’s prep school roommate, who couldn’t handle the living arrangement any longer.
B) A delicacy fish found in the bayous of Louisiana.
C) An indicator that a state runs its elections as if it were a Third World country.
The Weather Underground was?
A) A radical group that invented global warming and blamed oil companies because its members couldn’t land jobs at BP.
B) A failed dot-com company that tried selling weather forecasts to rodents.
C) The same thing as today’s Democratic Party.
Who was Caesar Chavez?
A) A Venezuelan dictator determined to destroy the US because it loves freedom.
B) The founder of Little Caesars Pizza.
C) A farm labor organizer who becomes controversial whenever a city tries to rename a boulevard.
Suggestions are welcome. This test really needs help. Thanks.