WASHINGTON — When Adm. Paul F. Zukunft isn’t working as the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, he’s driving a Kia Soul, picking up congressmen and senators on their way to Dulles Airport, sources confirmed today.
This is the Coast Guard’s new budget plan, where driving for Lyft has replaced asking Congress and the President for a more generous increase in spending. Over the past few years, the Coast Guard has struggled with aging boats matched with a very large operational picture and a budget that is unable to keep up with the demanding operations all while spending a majority of its budget on guarding Mar-a-Lago.
Zukunft, who is usually seen maintaining operational command over the Coast Guard, quickly realized begging Congress to do something was utterly useless. So he now raises the money primarily through Lyft.
“I was talking with my good friend (Master Chief) Cantrell and we both admitted we’re in a pretty tough spot,” Zukunft said. “Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps are eating good but we’re left with the scraps. I didn’t want to start closing air stations, small boat stations, and halting construction on necessary cutter upgrades. So I contemplated waiting tables, mowing lawns, or donating my body to science.”
Driving for Lyft also comes with the opportunity to network with D.C.’s lawmakers and their staff. Lyft’s customers who sometimes summon rides at Capital Hill are likely to get an earful about how some of the Coast Guard’s cutters are almost 52 years old and how some aircraft are barely able to sustain fully operational status for longer than a week.
“I picked up Rep. Duncan Hunter the other day,” said Zukunft. “I tried not to be too pushy but let’s just say I didn’t command three cutters and not learn a thing or two about motion sickness. I’m thinking he’s on our side.”
Recently, Zukunft considered getting another side job. “I’m probably going to do GrubHub,” he said, referring to the app-based service that delivers food in the local area. “People always say we can ‘do more with less’, but I think that’s totally cockamamie bullshit. We deserve better.”