The Ending of the Big Government Era Comes to An End
In a grand compromise reflecting a bi-partisan awakening in Washington, congressional leaders outlined a bold new plan designed to stem the rising tide of home foreclosures while averting the imminent bankruptcy of American manufacturing icons Ford and General Motors.
Calling on citizens to simultaneously sacrifice and spend more, the Whip Depression Now (WDN) Act heading to the President's desk for signature is being hailed by both outgoing President George Bush and President-elect Barack Obama as the most decisive Federal intervention in the nation's economy since Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved the world from the ravages of unbridled capitalism.
While some details remain to be worked out, Fannie Mae will acquire all the assets of the Ford Motor Company while Freddie Mac will do the same for General Motors Corp., pouring the full faith and credit of the US Treasury into these backbones of American Manufacturing.
Ninety-five percent of homeowners facing foreclosure will be allowed to stay in their primary residence rent free for a renewable four year term provided they divert at least 80% of their current mortgage payments toward the purchase of two new American cars, one of which must get no less than 35 miles to a gallon of corn ethanol and the other of which must be a plug-in hybrid that can travel no more than 40 miles on a full charge. In order to qualify, cars must be built in UAW-certified plants that operate fully staffed Job Banks while associated auto loans must be serviced by banks that have accepted TARP funding.
Holders of CDO bonds whose mortgage service revenues have been diverted to car payments will instead be compensated with government issued WDN certificates that can be used to either pay outstanding federal tax liabilities, expected to increase dramatically to help fund the program, or make campaign contributions that will be exempt from McCain-Feingold limits. Goldman Sachs quickly announced the creation of a new exchange where WDN certificates, futures, and derivatives can be bought and sold while Starbucks offered a free cup of coffee to anyone who donates a WDN certificate to any Non Governmental Organization (NGO) that promises to "end badness in the world."
As news of the program's passage spread, jubilation erupted across a confused and weary land. "Who says we don't get the government we deserve?" said Joe the Plumber, out on bail from charges of plunging without a license. "See how effective our public servants can be when they put aside their partisan differences and work for the common good," added Paris Hilton, whose name is rumored to be in contention for ambassador to Iran.
In separate news, Chrysler Corporation has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. "We cannot allow greedy hedge fund managers to profit from the misery of others," mumbled Rep. Barney Frank. Executives from Cerberus spotted leaving Mr. Frank's office were pelted with rotten fruit and quiche tossed by an angry mob of NPR listeners that had gathered on the Capitol steps to protest excessive CEO compensation.'
They were mollified by Mr. Frank's promise that compensation for any executive whose company might benefit from WDN would be strictly limited to that of the lowest paid public school teacher in their district.
As night fell on Washington and the news media interviewed itself for the twenty-seventh time, right-minded analysts agreed that the era of big government, formerly believed to have ended, is alive and well.
Bands of energized youths camping out for the inauguration warmed their hands over trash cans burning documents bearing a striking resemblance to the Constitution, though no one could be certain as few had ever seen much less read the antiquated document.
"We are all French now," wheezed a recently laid off CATO Institute staffer, too tired and demoralized to fight a losing battle against Change. "Nothing lasts forever."