By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Fearful that a failure to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling “could lead to the end of government as we know it,” Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) has proposed legislation that would grant President Barack Obama unilateral authority to increase the nation’s debt load.
“In an ideal world decisions on how much the government ought to spend should be made by Congress,” McConnell said. “However, the current crisis requires that we think outside of the ‘Constitutional box.’ With the legislative power split between our two Parties there is no chance for an agreement on how to deal with this crisis. Our only option is to consolidate the decision-making authority in the Executive.”
President Obama hailed McConnell’s proposal as “innovative” and praised the Senator for “putting patriotism ahead of partisanship.” “As the one person with the vision and perspective to guide this nation through these perilous times it is fitting that I be granted the authority necessary to effect expeditious solutions,” the President declared. “The inability of the multi-member legislature to speak with one voice on this issue highlights the need for us to change the process. I commend Senator McConnell for initiating the means by which Congress will cede its fiscal responsibilities to me.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) was equally generous in praising McConnell. “It’s the President that gets the credit or the blame for the state of the economy,” Reid observed. “It’s only fair that he have an unfettered hand to direct the economy. Granting him the authority to raise the debt ceiling on his own responsibility is an important first step toward consolidating the powers necessary for a coherent control of the economic life of the nation. Senator McConnell should be recognized as a true patriot.”
Senator John McCain cautioned that opposition to McConnell’s proposal could constitute “treason.” “This country is fighting for its economic survival,” McCain argued. “The President is our Commander-in-Chief in this fight. It is everyone’s duty to get behind him, follow his orders, and carry out his plan. That’s what I would’ve expected if I had won the 2008 election. As a matter of principle I can’t impede giving President Obama my wholehearted support. That’s what every loyal American should do.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) expressed doubts that he could get McConnell’s plan through the House. “If the debt ceiling isn’t raised the government will be forced to cut spending,” Boehner observed. “Right now, that means that the debt ceiling acts like a defacto ‘balanced budget Amendment.’ This gives the anti-spending crowd tremendous leverage. Of course, actually cutting spending would be a shock to the system. It’s an open question as to whether fear of such a shock will create enough desperation to pass McConnell’s proposal.”
Efforts to incite fear got a boost from key Democrats who promised that “failure to grant the President sufficient authority to deal with the crisis will mean the end of this country.” “We’re talking about an Armageddon scenario,” warned Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). “Republicans may think that there’s lots of fat that could be trimmed, but they need to remember that the Administration has the discretion over what does and doesn’t get cut. The President is already on record indicating that Social Security benefits and Medicare will be among the first casualties. The military, Border Patrol, and FBI are also prime targets. Is the GOP ready to take the heat when the media blames them for forcing the President to wreck the country?”
President Dismisses Poll Showing Voters Oppose Raising Debt Ceiling
President Obama dismissed the idea that a poll showing 69% of voters opposed to raising the debt ceiling ought to have any impact on policy.
“What does the average person know about government finance?” the President wondered. “I’d say practically nothing. An individual’s experience with debt is vastly different from what the government faces. An individual must pay his debts out of his own income. The government has other options.”
“For one, the government can tax other people’s income to pay its debts,” Obama continued. “The government can also print money to pay for stuff. Individuals can’t do that.”
“Finally, we can always refuse to pay,” Obama contended. “The United States Government is the most powerful entity on Earth. Who is going to force us to pay if we decide we don’t want to pay? No court would dare authorize a creditor to seize government property for any unpaid federal debt.”
“So, with all due respect, voters need to tend to their own affairs and leave the job of governing to those they elected to rule them,” the President advised.
In related news, President Obama asserted that 80% of the population wants taxes to be raised. To support this assertion the President cited a recent Gallup Poll in which 80% of the respondents indicated that they would prefer someone else’s taxes to be increased if the alternative was total economic collapse.
GE CEO Blames Business Colleagues for High Unemployment
General Electric (GE) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeffrey Immelt castigated his business peers calling them “the prime suspects” behind the nation’s persistent high unemployment.
“They’d like to point the finger at high taxes, excessive regulation, economic uncertainty, or President Obama, but they can’t,” Immelt insisted. “Businesses are the ones that decide whether to hire people. The government isn’t stopping them from offering jobs.”
Immelt speculated that “some businesses may be holding back on hiring out of animosity toward the President,” but characterized this as “a bad strategy.” “Look, if you cooperate with the President there are definitely benefits,” Immelt maintained. “You could get government contracts, subsidies, or tax holidays like GE did. But if you’re going to but heads with the most powerful man in the world you’re not likely to come out ahead.”
“Partnering with the Government is an easier path to success than trying to win customers in the cutthroat competition that is forced on you by the marketplace,” Immelt added. “If you play your cards right the Government can guarantee your profits by mandating the purchase of your products or blocking the purchase of your competitors’ products. The smart course is to help those who can help you the most. There is no question in my mind that Government is the agency that can do the most for your business.”
Georgia Community Saved from Rogue Lemonade Stand
Quick action by police in the town of Midway, Georgia was able to thwart the depredations of an unauthorized kids’ lemonade stand before serious harm occurred.
The trouble began when three teenage girls attempted to prey upon passersby by selling lemonade without the appropriate license and permit. A routine police patrol spotted the rogue operation and shut it down on the day it opened for business in the girls’ residential neighborhood.
Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar explained that all vendors must buy a license ($180 per year) and pay a daily permit fee ($50) if they want to sell anything in Midway. “The town relies on these fees to fund services like police protection,” Morningstar said. “It is everyone’s obligation to pay them if they want to do business.”
Morningstar brushed aside the argument that selling lemonade on the sidewalk in front of one’s home is a traditional summer activity for kids. “I don’t care how many generations of kids have done this before,” Morningstar said. “It’s not safe. There is no documentation that these girls are qualified to prepare lemonade for public consumption. People shouldn’t be exposed to this kind of risk.
Besides, there are other, legitimate sources for the purchase of lemonade in town from licensed, fee-paying vendors.”
Put out of the lemonade business, the girls are reportedly now doing lawn trimming work to try to earn some money. As yet, they have not been caught in the act by local police.
Substitute of Sprite for 7Up Nets Man $12,000 Award
Michel Thibodeau’s attempt to order 7Up in French during a flight on Air Canada went awry and the flight attendant brought him a Sprite instead. Mr. Thibodeau sued and won an award of $12,000 for “pain and suffering.” The airline was also ordered to apologize.
“Even though the airline, as well as most consumers, might find these two lemon-based soft drinks equivalent, that cannot excuse the humiliation and degradation inflicted upon Mr. Thibodeau,” the Federal Court of Canada wrote in its ruling. “Air Canada’s effort to pass this off as a ‘simple mistake’ does not absolve them of responsibility. Neither was their offer of a case of 7Up after-the-fact adequate compensation.”
The fact that Thibodeau is bilingual and could easily have clarified his order by giving it in English was considered irrelevant. “As the customer, Mr. Thibodeau is under no obligation to accommodate the vendor,” the Court said. “On the contrary, it is Air Canada’s obligation to accommodate him.”
This is the second successful suit against Air Canada for Thibodeau. In 2000 he sued the airline for $500,000 over its failure to accommodate his demand to order a 7Up in French. In that case he was awarded $5,000 in damages for “mental anguish” by the Court.
A Satirical Look at Recent News