By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Working under the premise that the burden of debt is what is stifling economic recovery, the Obama Administration is said to be devising a plan to revamp debt repayment rules. The gist of the plan is that those who can afford to pay will be tapped to make up for those who can’t.
“The vast majority of Americans have more than they need,” observed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “At the same time, an unfortunate minority can’t repay their debts. This mountain of unpaid debt is constipating our economy. By shifting some of the sterile assets currently in the hands of those who could easily do without them to help cover these debts we’ll be able to get the economy moving again.”
The current program providing federal stimulus money to help debtors shift some of their debt to taxpayers is deemed “a good start, but woefully inadequate,” Geithner said. “This program only covers about 75% of the debt of those who apply for assistance. And it offers no help to those who are too lazy or ignorant to fill out the application paperwork.”
The new plan under consideration would bypass the paperwork by simply routing the bills on defaulted loans directly to the US Treasury. “Those who couldn’t make payments wouldn’t have to worry about losing their homes,” Geithner pointed out. “Banks wouldn’t be dunning them or initiating foreclosures. They’d just forward the bills to the government. The process would be streamlined and the risks of insolvency and homelessness would be averted. It’s a ‘win-win’ scenario we should’ve thought of earlier.”
Funding for the new program is slated to come from the expiration of the so-called “Bush tax cuts” on December 31, 2010 and from additional money to be created by the Federal Reserve Bank.
Mosque Funding Irrelevant Says Bloomberg
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg downplayed fears that funding for the controversial “ground zero mosque” might originate from unsavory sources.
“Do we really want to get into the habit of questioning where a religious institution obtains its funding?” Bloomberg asked. “Could al-Qaeda be among those contributing to the construction of this place of worship? Perhaps, but is this any of our business?”
Bloomberg advised that fears that jihadists might use the mosque to plot additional strikes on New Yorkers are exaggerated. “Members of the mafia are often donors to Catholic churches,” Bloomberg asserted. “Are we concerned that they might use these churches in the furtherance of their criminal schemes? Let’s face it. Living with criminals and terrorists in our midst is just a fact of life in the 21st century. Get used to it.”
NY Times Goes to Bat for Embattled Congressman
Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) won’t have to face a House Ethics Committee trial alone. The venerated New York Times’ editors have offered up their support. In an unsigned editorial titled “Everybody Does It,” the Times brain trust has presented a sterling defense on Rangel’s behalf.
“So, Congressman Rangel has chiseled on his taxes and misused public funds,” they wrote. “Pardon us for quibbling, but isn’t this pretty much standard practice for those in public office? The temptations of power are immense. Who can really be faulted for succumbing?”
The editors urged “a consideration of context and magnitude be undertaken before we render judgment on this long-tenured public servant. The amount of money we’re talking about is small—less than what the Secret Service is spending guarding the First Family’s vacation in Spain. And, unlike the Spanish vacation, most of Mr. Rangel’s ill-gotten gains have been recycled right here in the American economy.”
“The ultimate cure for financial malfeasance in both the public and private sectors,” according to the Times’ editors, “is the abolition of money. Until we get filthy lucre out of the equation, there will always be abuses.” In place of money, the Times’ editors suggested that “every position in society come with a standard package of amenities that are provided as a matter of course. People wouldn’t need money to obtain these amenities and couldn’t be tempted to abuse their position in order to get it.”
In related news, Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), one of the congressmen who will sit on the panel judging the evidence against Rangel, has refused to recuse himself or return Rangel’s $3,000 donation to his reelection campaign. “The idea that I could be influenced for such a piddling sum is an insult to my intelligence and integrity,” Butterfield said. “Besides, by keeping the money people will be impressed by my incorruptibility when I vote to hang him.”
President Boasts Auto Bailout Helps Ford
President Obama rejected the notion that since it did not receive federal bailout money Ford’s economic health owes nothing to his policies.
“Let me remind the executives of the Ford Motor Company that it was I who saddled General Motors with the ridiculous task of producing the Chevy Volt,” the President bragged. “This car is so dysfunctional that any sane motorist is more likely to run to buy a Ford product. The fact that so many have redounds to my credit.”
“Not to be overlooked,” the President added, “is the marketing edge Ford got from rebelling against a government bailout. Motorists who resented seeing their tax dollars flow to the GM corporation and its unions were given the opportunity to express their opposition by buying Ford vehicles.”
The President contended that “the long run prospects for Ford are enhanced, as well. Quality and service are not attributes one associates with government. The influence of government ownership of GM and Chrysler will be an enduring ‘poison pill’ that should help keep Ford ahead of its traditional rivals for many years to come.”
Senator Denounces Impact of Health Care Legislation
An angry Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) castigated Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for “cuts in Medicare that will adversely affect the well-being of my constituents.”
In her defense, Sebelius pointed out that “the cuts in question were mandated by the bill Senator Reid helped push through Congress. I didn’t just willy-nilly decide to take an axe to funding the benefits Medicare pays for. I’m following the law.”
Reid admitted that he wasn’t aware that the law mandated the cuts. “If I’d known before we passed it I’d have slipped in an exemption for Nevada,” Reid lamented. “But I’m still torqued at the haste with which Secretary Sebelius is acting. I’ve got a tough election this November. If she had waited until after that I’d have six years for voters to have forgotten all about it.”
Black Caucus Denounces Charges against Waters
The upcoming ethics trial of Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif) has irked members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Waters is accused of improperly using her position in Congress to aid a bank in which her husband is a substantial shareholder.
“A Congressperson is supposed to help her constituents,” Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif) argued. “Her husband is one of her constituents. So why shouldn’t she have helped him?”
Lee contrasted the treatment of Waters with that of Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) and Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass). “These white boys bent over backwards, pulled strings, and bent the rules to help their pals on Wall Street,” Lee said. “Are they up on charges? No. They skate and get a bill named after them.”
Waters echoed Lee’s assessment attributing the discrepancy in treatment to “racism, pure racism.”
President Weighing Idea of Campaigning for GOP
President Obama is said to be giving serious consideration to hitting the campaign trail on behalf of Republican candidates this Fall.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained, “Polls are showing the President to be the most hated political figure in America right now. Having the President on your side may in many districts be the equivalent of tying a millstone around your neck and jumping into a lake. So, he’s thinking now may be the right time to go bipartisan, to reach across the aisle and grasp the hand of a deserving member of the other party.”
Gibbs expressed doubt that any joint appearances could be arranged. “We can’t follow the usual protocol of waiting for an invitation,” Gibbs acknowledged. “But campaign events are widely publicized. We’ll know where and when they’ll be held. Given that, who’s to stop a President from showing up?”
The proposed strategy received a hearty endorsement from Democratic political consultant James Carville. “It’s the smartest idea I’ve heard come out of the White House in months,” Carville said. “Truth be told, it’s probably the only bullet they’ve got left in their gun at this point.”
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