29 September 2008

The Raw Deal

FROM WIRE SERVICE REPORTS: In a nationally broadcast radio address on Sunday, President Bush described the current financial crisis as the worst that has been faced, and also created, by his generation. He urged Congressional lawmakers to ratify the emergency bailout plan, struck only minutes earlier, as quickly as possible, ideally before the Asian financial markets opened and before New York Times editorial columnist Paul Krugman had time to write about the plan.

“This is not a rush to judgment, as many are saying,” Bush explained. “It is a rush to avoid Paul Krugman’s judgment.”

The President warned that the bailout will not immediately solve America’s financial problems, which were, he said, “the result of many years of neglect, primarily by my generation, including my Administration and my Party. It took a long time for us to create this mess, and it won’t end overnight.”

The President, left, with a young American. According to Administration analysts, the citizen, when mature, can expect to work for 16¢ per day for a Chinese conglomerate, to live in a cardboard box, and to keep what little money he has in a sock.

He called for a sweeping series of initiatives, which he described as “a Raw Deal for all Americans” whom he does not know personally and who have never contributed to a Republican campaign. Many of the programs he proposes, say economists, do not entail government oversight or accountability.

“Accounting is the problem,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto agreed. “We don’t want anything to do with it.”

Other Bush proposals may prove controversial. These include a $300 billion bailout of Halliburton Corporation, a $6 billion contribution to the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, the elimination of all taxes for the top 1 percent of American earners, and the tripling of taxes for anyone who plans to vote Democratic in the November elections.

In order to identify potential Democrats, the President proposed a sweeping program of domestic wiretapping and unrestrained interrogation techniques.

“These proposals are outrageous,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). “They amount to a bailout of the Republican Party. I intend to complain very loudly, with a variety of witty soundbites, before voting for all of these measures in a single, bulging package, and I urge other Democrats to do the same.”

Mr. Bush went on to call for the immediate invasion of Iraq. “Saddam Hussein’s aggression toward our economy cannot go unanswered,” said the President.

Unusually for Mr. Bush, last night’s radio address was delivered from the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House, drawing comparisons to Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era “fireside chats” and taking advantage of the fact that, in the fireplace a few feet away from the President, Vice-President Dick Cheney was burning sensitive documents from his office.

The candidates to succeed Mr. Bush thus far have not raised objection to the Raw Deal proposals. Senator Barack Obama, reached while campaigning in Ohio, called for immediate, long-lasting further study of the proposals, as well as further study of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Leibniz, which he called “essential to the restoration of confidence in our nation’s institutions, which must be our categorical imperative for America’s hardworking middle-class families.” Senator John McCain, who has suspended campaigning in order to take a nap, declined to return a reporter’s calls.

His running-mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, offered to take questions from the press, but she was wrestled to the ground by alert McCain campaign operatives and transported to an undisclosed location.

An alleged third-party candidate, Ralph Nader, has not been seen in several months and is presumed missing or dead.

Reaction from foreign capitals was swift. “This is a plan we can endorse,” said one Chinese official, “at least until we pull the rug out from under you guys.” The official, who agreed to comment on the record but who has an unpronounceable name, confirmed that President Bush recently received a shipment of milk-based Cadbury chocolate products, “a gift from the people of China” in gratitude for his policies.

“Is he blaming us again?” demanded German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Okay. Whatever. I am so over this guy.”

In concluding his radio address, President Bush echoed Franklin Roosevelt. “After all there is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency, more important than gold, and that is the confidence of the people,” Mr. Bush said. “Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith, because the economy itself is a faith-based program; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses, by informed analysis or by the facts. Instead, try prayer.

“We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system; it is up to you to support and make it work, and to pay for it. It is your problem, and it will remain your problem for many years to come, whereas it is my problem only for the next 114 days. Together we cannot fail. Trust me.”

Reached late last night, Paul Krugman revealed that he intended to write Monday about autumn foliage in Vermont.

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