I'M SURE THAT BY NOW ALL OF YOU taxpayers have heard the exciting news about how we're finally going to lick this pesky federal budget deficit. President Bush, reversing a major campaign pledge, has announced that he is appointing convicted rapist Willie Horton to be secretary of the treasury.

No, hold it, my mistake. President Bush remains FIRMLY OPPOSED to Willie Horton. For now. The campaign pledge that the president reversed himself on was the one about no new taxes.

Remember that one? Remember the 1988 presidential election campaign, when Bush was running against what's-his-name, the little Democratic dweebster with the eyebrows, and just about the only coherent statement that Bush made, every other time he exhaled, was that we should elect him because he would definitely NOT, no way, read his lips, cross his heart and hope to never catch another bonefish, never ever EVER allow new taxes? THAT'S the position Bush reversed himself on. The reason for this change, according to an unusually frank White House statement, was as follows: "All along, he was lying."

NO! STRIKE THAT! There is a BIG difference between "lying" and "reversing your position." A HUGE difference. Let's say you have a 2-year-old child, and this child swears that he won't spit his mashed beets on your pants, but then he does. This child was lying, and you would punish him. But if the president of the United States -- the most powerful man on Earth, with numerous armed bodyguards and a nuclear arsenal and shoes that gleam from being licked by federal judges -- if HE spits mashed beets on your pants, then he is REVERSING HIS POSITION, and he will be widely praised by editorial writers for being "realistic."

If you have trouble understanding this, it's because you're an ordinary taxpayer and therefore, no offense, pretty much of a moron. We are dealing here with high-level government economics, an area that is very difficult to grasp by anybody who has an actual job.

The basic underlying cause of the deficit is that -- follow me closely here -- THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH OF YOUR MONEY. This conclusion was reached in high-level negotiations between representatives of the White House and Congress, who have taken precious time away from the urgent task of stopping this nationwide epidemic of flag-burning that has reached the point where it is threatening the ozone layer.

The Democrats believe that the only solution to the budget deficit is to raise taxes. This is the standard Democratic solution for everything, including nasal congestion. The Republicans, on the other hand, believe that the solution is "fiscal responsibility," which means "blaming the Democrats."

Now I know what you taxpayers are thinking. You're thinking: "Why does the government need more money? Why can't the government cut spending? For example, why are we spending billions of dollars to defend West Germany from East Germany, when the entire East German population is in West German shopping malls purchasing Bugle Boy jeans?"

Ha ha! You taxpayers say the most comical things sometimes! We CAN'T cut government spending. Government spending has already been cut to the BONE. If we cut it any more, there will be drastic consequences, as you'd know if you'd been reading the newsletters that your congresshuman has been sending you in enormous quantities at your expense this election year. In fact, members of the House of Representatives this year will spend nearly $80 million just for POSTAGE to mail you newsletters keeping you up to date on how hard they're working on this pesky budget mess.

And that's just one example of the kind of vital program that the government needs more of your money for. Another one is the program wherein the Air Force is spending $100,000 to find out how the noise from low-flying fighter jets affects pregnant horses. I am not making this up. According to the Associated Press, the Air Force is blasting pregnant horses with simulated jet noise to obtain results that will probably be extremely vital. At least we hope so, because $100,000 is a lot of money -- enough to buy the Air Force 100 PAIRS OF PLIERS.

Yes, the pregnant-horse study could ultimately prove to be as scientifically vital as the Hubble Orbiting Space Paperweight, which was purchased for $1.5 billion from Telescopes R Us and which has performed perfectly except for one minor design flaw, namely that it would have been cheaper to take a regular telescope and put it on top of an 87-mile-high pile of $50 bills.

So, taxpayers, there's no question that you're getting a strictly "no-frills" government, and I know that you'll be more than happy to pay more for it. This means you should NOT lie on your income-tax returns. Although here and there you may want to reverse your position.