Sluggish Economy Blamed on Lazy Americans
By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
In his continuing quest to find the “real killers” of America’s prosperity, President Obama is now testing out the idea that laziness lies at the root of the prolonged recession we’re in.
“Look, we in government have been going all out trying to get the economy moving,” the president told an audience of campaign supporters. “In the last two years the federal government has spent more than it ever has before. We’ve generously handed out money left and right. We’ve added new guidelines and procedures to virtually every segment of industry in an effort to direct businesses toward a more fruitful utilization of the nation’s resources. I mean, it’s been a tireless effort on our part to get things moving.”
“In contrast, what has the private sector done?” Obama asked. “Consumers won’t spend. Businesses won’t invest. This is despite a massive increase in the money supply from the Fed that has made borrowing very inexpensive. The private sector is just not doing its part.”
“Pure laziness is about the best face I can put on the private sector’s failure to cooperate,” the president speculated. “People apparently just don’t care enough about what I’m trying to do for this country to put forth the effort I need to make the recovery work.”
The president indicated that “some of my advisors are urging me to take sterner measures. They say that the problem lies in relying upon voluntary compliance with the government’s incentives and encouragement. They counsel more direct instructions, narrower tolerances for deviations, and stiffer penalties for disobedience. I hope it won’t have to come to that, but I can wait too much longer for results.”
In related news, former President Bill Clinton’s new book—Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy—called for higher taxes and spending to reviveAmerica’s faltering economy. “The idea that we can sit back and wait for the economy to get back to work on its own makes no sense,”Clintonwrote. “It’s time that the president tells Americans to get their lazy butts off the couch and mow the lawn or there’ll be no allowance this week. Unless government takes firmer control over everyone’s purse strings I don’t see how we can hope to get the country on the right track.”
Perry Proposal for Part-time Congress Called Ludicrous
GOP presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry’s suggestion that the country would be better off with a part-time Congress was assailed by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md).
“Mr. Perry’s notion that Americacould get along with less government is ludicrous,” Hoyer asserted. “If we only spend half the time governing this country, we’d only be able to do half as much. That would mean half the spending, half the taxing, and half the regulating. I don’t think the American people would stand for that.”
Hoyer’s assessment was backed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif).
“Governor Perry doesn’t understand the importance of our work if he thinks we can do it in half the time,” Pelosi argued. “If he had his way, people would be cut adrift from the nurturing and guidance government provides and left to fend for themselves. Taking care of Americans is a full time job. To think otherwise is just nuts.”
Confident as they are in the absurdity of Perry’s proposal, both Hoyer and Pelosi have declined invitations to publicly debate the issue with him face-to-face. “That would give credence to an idea that everyone who truly understands how government works knows is out-of-bounds,” Pelosi said.
CBO Says Obama’s “Stimulus” Spending Actually Cost Jobs
Economist Doug Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, testified before the Senate Budget Committee that President Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” package reduced rather than increased employment.
“The elemental truth of the matter is that putting money into ventures that generate losses, as was the case for the bulk of the so-called stimulus spending, reduces the resources available to society,” Elmendorf explained. “As resources are reduced there is less economic growth and less demand for workers.”
The CBO’s analysis was challenged by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “The fact is, we put money into businesses that the private sector spurned,” Geithner said. “This created jobs that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. Only an economist would dare to deny the obvious benefit of this approach.”
“And let’s not forget all the government jobs that were saved,” Geithner added. “Those who contend that these jobs are unnecessary overlook the spending that is injected into the economy when these employees cash their paychecks and buy stuff.”
Elmendorf characterized Geithner’s reasoning as “fundamentally idiotic. The $800 billion the government took out of the profit-making sector of the economy would’ve generated just as many jobs in the first iteration of spending. However, the profits would’ve sustained even more jobs with each successive iteration. This stands in contrast to the president’s approach, which requires endless infusions of new money extracted from productive uses in order to feed each successive round of unproductive spending on new ‘jobs bills.’”
Attorneys Demand Charges against Obama’s Uncle Be Dropped
Attorneys for President Obama’s 67 year old uncle Onyango Obama are demanding that all charges be dropped. Onyango was arrested for driving under the influence after police spotted him blowing past a stop sign.
Onyango’s lawyer, George Crank, argued that the stop was unwarranted. “Police must have proof that my client was drunk before they could justifiably accost him,” Crank insisted. “Mere suspicion is not enough.”
Crank brushed aside the fact that arresting officers found that Onyango’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal maximum. “There’s no way they could’ve known this prior to stopping him,” Crank pointed out. “Their initial action was ignorant of this fact.
Consequently, that action was unreasonable and invalid.”
A second plank in Crank’s case was “the officers’ failure to comprehend and appreciate my client’s special relationship to the president of the United States and the potentially negative impact the arrest would have upon his ability to continue governing, which could be construed as seditious if carried out knowingly.”
Crank said he would be willing to forego pressing the sedition charge if Massachusettsauthorities were to immediately absolve his client. “In the beginning, I’ll grant that they may not have known the president was his nephew,” Crank observed. “But to continue with his prosecution now would be malicious. The monetary damages we would seek would be substantial.”
Onyango is in the country illegally, but federal authorities have not yet gotten up the nerve to deport him.
White House Objects to Ads
The White House strenuously objected to a new ad campaign from Italian clothing firm Benetton. The campaign, labeled “unhate,” shows various world leaders kissing. President Obama is featured in two of the ads. In one he is shown kissing Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. In the other his mate is China’s Hu Jintao.
“This crass commercialization cheapens the affection and passion the president has exhibited in his quest for world peace,” White House Spokesman Eric Schultz complained. “It also complicates the diplomacy. Feelings could be hurt. Jealousies could be enflamed. Hugo is especially adamant in his expectations of exclusivity.”
Schultz also cited the absence of compensation as an aggravating factor. “Where’s the president’s cut?” Schultz wanted to know. “Using his picture without paying isn’t something he agreed to. Unless this can be rectified, perhaps by a donation to the president’s reelection campaign, the ads need to come down.”
Obama Blocks Canadian Oil Pipeline to U.S.
President Obama’s decision to bar the extension of Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline into theUnited Statesis expected to result in diverting the oil to China.
David Wilkins, a lobbyist for the pipeline’s extension on behalf of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, expressed disappointment. “Canada really wanted to sell this oil to theUnited States,” Wilkins said. “It would’ve been the best deal for both countries. But they can’t afford to just sit on it. Selling it toChinaseems like the only option now.”
While the president’s decision will mean fewer jobs and higher fuel prices in theUnited States, Press Secretary Jay Carney described it as a “gutsy call.” “Your first reaction is that this is a kick in the teeth to the American economy,” Carney admitted. “But in the long run it will beChinathat becomes more dependent on fossil fuels. It will be Chinathat has to endure the increased traffic and air pollution that will occur with cheaper energy.”
“Americans, on the other hand, will be forced to wean themselves off of gasoline-powered travel,” Carney boasted. “They’ll learn to give up making unnecessary trips. They’ll learn to use mass transit. There’ll be less congestion, fewer crashes and cleaner air. They’ll come to appreciate what the president has done for them.”
The boost in energy prices as a result of Obama’s decision is expected to significantly benefit the investment portfolio of Warren Buffet, a major donor to the president’s re-election campaign.
A Satirical Look at Recent News