John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Democrats touted a Congressional Budget Office report that projects more than 2 million workers will opt out of full time work because of the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for unemployed and underemployed persons.
“While the Administration’s opponents will try to make this look like bad news, the fact is that work is a disutility,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Everyone knows that leisure is man’s preferred state. By enabling more people to obtain health insurance at government expense, the Affordable Care Act is liberating millions from the drudgery of full time employment.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) maintains that “enabling more people to escape the burdens of toil was one of the key objectives of the Act. Ideally, we would’ve liked to extend this same benefit to every American. Unfortunately, some will still be required to work longer hours in order to provide the funds needed to subsidize the benefits we were able to give to those willing to abandon full time jobs.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed “the end of job-lock. By leveraging the efforts of those willing to work longer hours we have been able to subsidize the health insurance of those who have better uses for their time. Combined with the expansion of the disability rolls and the extension of unemployment benefits, the Affordable Care Act is helping to create a new class of free agents in our society. It is a dream come true for a growing segment of our population.”
Ironically, the CBO report also projected that in 10 years the number of Americans without health insurance is expected to exceed 30 million—virtually the same number that was cited as a rationale for imposing the Obamacare mandate. “There will always be people who refuse to cooperate with the program,” Carney acknowledged. “Hopefully, the IRS will be able to track them down and fine them for noncompliance.”
In related news, Carney maintained that the $4,000 per year decline in median household income since the start of the Obama Administration is “evidence of an America turning away from materialistic concerns.
Households are taking home less money because the Administration’s policies have helped persuade people that grubbing for dollars is not an appealing way to live one’s life.”
Infrastructure, Not Freedom, Is Key to Economic Growth, Says Biden
Vice-President and potential contender for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President, Joe Biden rejected contentions that individual freedom is crucial to economic growth.
“I know a lot of people keep insisting that it is America’s free market and individual rights that account for this country’s phenomenal economic growth, but is that really the case?” Biden asked. “Look at the rapid economic growth achieved by the Soviet Union during the 1930s and 40s. By mobilizing armies of human labor to build canals and mine metals they were able to transform perishable human resources into the durable infrastructure that vaulted the country from a backward agrarian-based economy to a world super power.”
The vice-president wondered whether “their divergence from that strategy might be a factor in Russia’s recent decline from its pinnacle of rivalry with the United States. Perhaps their attempts to emulate our freer markets are misguided.”
Biden suggested that “maybe it’s time we rethink our mindless devotion to individualism in this country. The choices that many individuals make when decisions are left up to them are often frivolous and anti-social. Consumers don’t want to go ‘green’ because it’s more costly. They don’t want to use public transit because it’s less convenient. How long should we allow such selfish concerns to warp our economy?”
Jailed Legislator Defends Himself
Though currently serving a six-month sentence for assaulting a woman who declined to have sex with him, Representative Carlos Henriquez (D-Suffolk) refuses to resign from the Massachusetts House.
“First of all, my incarceration is illegal,” Henriquez argued. “Members of the legislature are supposed to have immunity. Secondly, the Ethics Committee’s recommendation that I be removed from office contradicts the vote of the people of my district who are entitled to have the person of their choice represent them. Nowhere in the State Constitution does it say that a person in prison cannot serve in the legislature.”
The representative has suggested that “a six-month leave of absence would best serve the interests of everyone involved. The will of the voters would be respected. The expense of a special election would be avoided. And I could rejoin the legislature refreshed and with a new perspective on the issue of state corrections policy.”
Henriquez, who has been a prominent advocate against gun violence, says there is no inconsistency in his behavior. “If that woman had a gun I’d probably be dead,” he pointed out. “So, I’d say that Massachusetts’ tight control over gun ownership has clearly saved at least one life.”
Congresswoman Proposes Expedited Legislative Procedure
Citing the “unwarranted thwarting of the will of the people by the Republicans in the House,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) unveiled what she called “an expedited legislative procedure.” Under this procedure, a so-called “full employment caucus” comprised of Democratic lawmakers will draft Executive Orders and pass them on to President Obama for his signature.
“We cannot sit by idly while the GOP uses out-dated clauses of the Constitution to block the initiatives of the Administration,” Jackson said. “By gathering the true representatives of voters into our caucus we can ensure that the President’s will prevails over obstructionism.”
Jackson went on to point out that “as long as everyone is willing to comply with the president’s executive orders they have the same impact as an Act of Congress. We’ll be able to bypass Congressional gridlock and get things moving.”
Included among the items under consideration for this expedited procedure are an increase in the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, loosening the restrictions on food stamps, and amnesty for immigrants in this country illegally. “Removing these impediments to prosperity is essential if the president’s vision for America is to be realized,” Jackson asserted.
Senator Cries “Foul” over Campaign Ads
Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) expressed outrage over a series of campaign ads informing voters of her support for the Affordable Care Act. While not disputing the accuracy of the content, Hagan contended that “the more important question is who is behind these ads.”
“Whether I voted for the Affordable Care Act years ago is a moot issue at this point in time,” the Senator claimed. “The past cannot be undone. What matters is the future. The money being put into rehashing the past by the Americans for Prosperity campaign against me is obscuring this crucial fact.”
“Instead of allowing themselves to be confused by ‘Monday morning quarterbacking’ of the sort that these ads are undertaking, voters need to focus on what I am promising to do for them if I am reelected,” Hagan urged. “They need to ask themselves if they want to follow the siren song of lower taxes that Americans for Prosperity is trying play for them or do they want to reconfirm the trust they placed in me six years ago.”
IRS Employees to Get Bonuses
The IRS will pay out over $40 million in employee performance bonuses for the year 2013. Commissioner John Koskinen explained that “the bonuses are necessary if we want to attract the kind of people we need at the agency.”
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called the bonuses “outrageous. Given the fact that the IRS was shown to be targeting conservatives for discriminatory treatment these bonuses send the wrong message.”
The National Treasury Employees Union took issue with Hatch’s view saying that “none of these employees should be punished for faithfully following orders. Senator Hatch’s grievance is with the president and his direct appointees, not the rank-and-file who merely carried out directives received from above.”
Commissioner Koskinen agreed saying that “rather than try to take his ‘pound of flesh’ from these loyal low-level bureaucrats, the Senator, if he has objections that he thinks warrant penalties, should aim them at his real target. If he thinks he has a case he should draft articles of impeachment against the President. The misuse of authority he alleges would appear to be an ‘impeachable offense’ as I understand the term.”
President Says O’Reilly Interview “Crossed the Line”
Bristling from what he characterized as “disrespectful and abusive treatment” he received during an interview, President Obama vowed never to appear on Fox News again.
“After I agreed to sacrifice some of my precious time in order to grant Mr. O’Reilly an interview prior to the Super Bowl I was greeted with insistent and intrusive questioning on topics I didn’t want to talk about,” Obama complained. “Worse, my veracity was impugned. Rather than just accept my word, Mr. Reilly seemed determined to demand some sort of independent verification, some sort of external evidence. I am not accustomed to being treated this way.”
The president said he will be conferring with advisers “to ascertain whether there are steps we can take to prevent a recurrence of this kind of disrespect. I’m certain that Mr. Reilly has done things that he’d rather keep private. If he were more clearly apprised of the risks he faces I am confident he will not repeat his errors.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.
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