Fed May Introduce Negative Interest Rates

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News 

Frustrated by the reluctance of consumers to open their wallets and spend the country back into prosperity, the Federal Reserve Bank is said to be considering imposing “negative interest rates.” Under this concept, savings depositors would be charged interest while borrowers would be paid interest.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explained, “We’re at our wits end on this recession thing. Despite our attempts to float the economy on a wave of newly created money too many people are simply hoarding their cash. Granted, people are fearful of losing their jobs and want to preserve cash to pay for necessities in case they do. But this is thwarting our efforts to manage the economy.”

Bernanke argued that “by levying interest charges against savings deposits we will discourage hoarding. And by rewarding borrowers by paying them interest on what they borrow we will stimulate spending. I admit, I’m a little bit sheepish about the fact that we didn’t glom onto this idea sooner. But better late than never.”

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hailed the Fed’s proposal as “a stroke of genius. The US Government is the biggest borrower in the world. If we can get paid for what we borrow there will be no limit to what we can do for this country. Each dollar of new debt will bring in even more money. Programs we thought were unaffordable will now turn into ‘cash cows’ for the US Treasury.”

Geithner pronounced himself to be untroubled by the question of who might be expected to lend the US Government money if they had to pay interest for the privilege. “I can envision some good reasons for people to buy our bonds,” Geithner said. “On the one hand, they could take pride in helping fund the President’s progressive agenda. On the other, they will be earning credibility with the President that could come back to them many-fold when it comes to doing business with the Administration.”

In related news, the Federal Reserve is appealing a court order to disclose to whom it gave “bailout” money. The Fed contends that “revealing who has received this money is a breach of the confidentiality that is necessary if we are to successfully guide the economy. Secrecy is integral to our processes. In addition, having to stop and answer questions about who got what and why would impede our ability to ensure that resources are swiftly reallocated to where they are most needed to promote economic stability.”

Veep Says Tax Hikes on Rich Won’t Harm Economy

The looming boost in tax rates that will occur when the “Bush” tax cuts expire on December 31 is no cause for alarm says Vice-President Joe Biden.

“Rich people have far more money than they need,” Biden asserted. “Passing a little more of it over to the government won’t hurt them a bit.”

As for the ripple effect on the economy, Biden insisted that “any expenditures that are foregone will be more than made up for. Let’s say some rich guy has to give up a vacation at Martha’s Vineyard. Well, as the President is showing this very week, one trip by the First Family is worth many times as much to that economy. Not only is the President and his family spending money, but there’s the Secret Service, presidential aides—the White House cook is there with them, you know—and the whole media crew covering him. So, I’m not worried that the economy will suffer because of higher taxes.”

As for the argument that higher taxes will reduce the amount that the rich can invest in job-creating businesses, Biden was equally dismissive. “The government will invest this money far more effectively than if we were to leave it in private hands,” Biden boasted. “Private investment is focused on profit. They’ll only provide a job if that job produces a net gain to the business. Government can spend on creating jobs even if these jobs produce nothing of value. Without being obsessed profit there is no limit to how many jobs the government can create.”

As a case in point, Biden cited the National Institutes of Health’s $1.4 million study of male prostitutes in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. “Here’s work that no private investor would fund,” Biden said. “Yet, thanks to government spending real people have jobs that wouldn’t otherwise exist. That these people also get to travel to Vietnam and help build bridges of understanding with a former enemy of this country is a byproduct of the sort that we would be unlikely to ever see from the private sector.”

Obama Administration Cracks Down on Kindles

University efforts to test Amazon’s electronic readers—Kindles—as substitutes for standard textbooks has run into trouble with the Obama Administration. The idea behind using Kindles is to save money by supplanting bulky paper-based books with lighter and smaller electronic devices. For example, one small hand-held Kindle could hold all the books needed for a four-year degree.

Despite the seemingly obvious benefits, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is threatening legal action against any school that might be tempted to try the devices. Thomas Perez, head of the Civil Rights Division, warns that the devices violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Even though uses of the devices are voluntary and no one unable to use the device would be made any worse off than they were under the old system, allowing some to save money and avoid the inconvenience of lugging around heavy texts cannot be permitted,” Perez declared. “Progress that isn’t uniform across all demographics is discriminatory. Until all can take the same step into the future, no one must be allowed to inch ahead.”

Perez characterized the need to prevent Kindles “one of the easy calls. We’re still struggling with other inequalities that plague our educational system. Many students are held back by deficiencies in energy or intelligence. Their need and desire for a degree is just as real as their more gifted peers, but their abilities may not be up to it. We’ve got to level this playing field.”

One idea gaining some traction is a “handicapping” system along the lines used in golf, bowling and horse racing. “If we can figure out how much of an extra burden to put on those with more ability it would give everyone a fair chance of winning a college degree,” Perez said. “It would be a way of equalizing the pursuit of happiness promised in the Declaration of Independence.”

Biden Dismisses Misuse of Stimulus Funds

Vice-President Joe Biden dismissed criticism that stimulus money is being corruptly diverted. Charges that some of the funds targeted for “home weatherization” were being awarded to political cronies for incompetently done work or for no work at all, “miss the point” according to Biden.

“The crucial objective of any stimulus program is to spend money,” Biden chided. “To carp about the money going to crooks doesn’t refute the fact that the money still got spent. In the big picture, it makes no difference whether the funds were spent as ‘wisely’ as some are now demanding. Besides, it’s been my experience that crooks tend to be bigger spenders than so-called hard-working, honest people. So, on balance, it’s probably a shame that more of the stimulus money wasn’t diverted to crooks.”

Obama Administration Apologizes for Insult to Islam

The Dove World Outreach Center’s plans to burn Qurans on the September 11th anniversary of the deadly attacks on the US by Muslim jihadis sparked demands for punitive action by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay.

The Obama Administration’s Ambassador to the UN Commission for Human Rights, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, penned a letter of apology stating that “while we fully concur in your feelings of outrage over this offense, we cannot comply with your requested punitive actions since we currently lack the statutory authority to ‘cast these desecrators into the fiery pits of Hell.’ If it is of any consolation, the President and his legal advisors are researching the possibility of meeting your request through the mechanism of an executive order.”

Crist Clarifies Position on Health Care Law

Claiming that he “misspoke” during a recent interview, Florida senatorial candidate Charlie Crist (I) sought to “clear away any misunderstandings that may have arisen as a result.”

“What I meant to say was that the health care bill is a large and complex undertaking,” Crist said. “In such a complex undertaking there are bound to be parts that voters would find disagreeable. I want to assure these voters that I would have voted against these parts.”

“At the same time, there are other parts of the legislation that are good parts that we absolutely need to have,” Crist continued. “I want to assure voters that I would’ve voted for these good parts.”

Crist vowed that “my balanced and flexible approach is my pledge as your next senator. You can count on me to be for the things that you are for and against the things that you are against. My opponents will try to persuade you that a policy is either right or wrong, necessary or wasteful, that there is a moral or prudential reason for some government action. If you want this kind of rigidity, then vote for them. But if you don’t know the difference between right and wrong or are unsure of what makes sense, them I’m your man.”

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