Now that the government shutdown has been averted, what can we do to ensure that our nation’s budget is never that out of whack again? With tax time upon us, John Boehner and friends simply need to introduce these 10 suggestions into the code. We’ll have a surplus in Washington before you can say “I can’t believe General Electric paid zero federal taxes last year!”

Remake Tax
Any remade movie that is recognized as being deeply inferior to the original version will be subject to an additional 23% tax on all ticket sales. The producers of Arthur, kindly cough up $17.7 million.

Hypocrite Tax

Any Tea Partier moaning about the deficit who has a deficit of his/her own will pay an additional 47% tax to the Treasury Department on whatever they currently owe on their Visa.

Emoticon Tax

Anyone who requires a happy or sad face to indicate his/her mood will need to pay $1 each time he/she uses one. LOLs will be subject to a 25 cent surcharge, unless those are your initials. (Happy now, Lyle Oscar Lennett??)

Profile Picture Tax

Everyone has an inherent right to change his/her Facebook profile picture. However, changing it as often as one does one’s socks is overzealous and now subject to the PP tax. Any more than twice a month results in an $11 fee. (Myspace accounts exempt.)

Two and a Half Men
Anyone defending Charlie Sheen will now be responsible for a $2½ tax for each minute spent on the aforementioned topic. In addition, a $1.99 tax will be imposed for each minute defending Chuck Lorre, who’s also a dick. Discussion of pros and cons of Jon Cryer’s character retains tax-free status.

Energy Drink Tax

Citizens who naturally speak over 170 words a minute and yet still insist on glugging Rock Star or Full Throttle will now pay a 30% energy glutton tax.

Memory Wizard Tax

Anyone who tells the same story to the same person more than once is now subject to a tax. (Since said persons don’t remember repeating themselves, they probably won’t remember paying out the additional $20.)

Self-Google Tax

Any resident of the United States who Googles himself/herself is now responsible for a $35 tax. The express purpose of the Internet has been to discover new things about the world, not to find out stuff about oneself. An additional $10 tax applies to each link about themselves they actually click on.

False Spotting Tax

Anybody who requests a spot from another gym member and then proceeds to chuck up 225 for fifteen reps without needing any assistance, purely to show off, will be subject to a tax calculated by multiplying the number of reps he made his spotter stare at him by $5.

Lazy Analogy Tax

Referring to another person as a Nazi—unless that person was or is a Nazi—will no longer be considered “free” speech. Beginning at midnight tonight, each inappropriate “Nazi” uttered will cost $4. Calling Hitler a Nazi remains acceptable and encouraged. Anyone referring to Obama as a Nazi will be required to fill out new form 1944-Z at said douchebag’s accountant.

(Brian Frazer is a former stand-up who writes for Esquire, ESPN, Details, Psychology Today, and Los Angeles Magazine. You can get his Simon and Schuster memoir, Hyper-Chondriac: One Man’s Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down, on Amazon for a nickel but some of the pages might be dog-eared, so it’s best to buy the Kindle version.)