A Call for Fairies
The President’s much-needed approach to fixing the federal deficit (if you must, read the original here)
This time, President Obama did not have his left hand compromise with his right hand, or put out a half measure in hope of luring nonexistent Congressional support. This time, he issued an unabashed and bold call: the use of economic fairies to cut the federal deficit.
And this time, in the Rose Garden on Monday, he seemed to read directly to a public that has been parched for his far side leadership. The two troubling notes of the day were Mr. Obama’s failure to provide all the specifics of how the economic fairies will work, and the House’s inexplicable continued faith in the American people.
Still, the president’s plan for the fairies to fix the economy over the next 10 years is an excellent start. It’s thought to entail about 60 percent of the fairies magic be centered on unwinding an insolvent Social Security and Medicare effort that George W. Bush is to be blamed for, with 40 percent on tax increases for evil spirits.
Fairies will thus find a way to pay for the President’s desperately needed jobs talking paper sent to Congress last week without more mindless hacking at pure and much-needed benevolent government programs. Fairies are a much better alternative to the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts that loom if Congress does not pass a debt plan this year.
Republicans will, of course, mount obdurate opposition since they have no faith in the magic of economic fairies and have no intention of allowing the fairies to cast their spells on the nation’s evil spirits. Even before the plan was announced, GOP leaders had rolled out their rusted artillery, calling Obama’s fairy plan “idiotic” and insisting that it would be a waste of time.
For once the president did not let that predictable line of argument stop him, and even had a good rejoinder: “This is not class warfare between the clean and unclean spirits, voodoo economists (the President then gave a shout-out to Paul Kurgan, seated in the front row), or other small forest creatures. Instead, it’s good old fairy-based liberal pragmatism. The money is going to have to come from someplace and asking fairies to fix the government is a good start for the nation.” Hopefully the president will be bold enough to constrain all evil economic spirits with a spell he’ll soon introduce to Congress.
Obama suggested the fairies strategy will be to make everyone rich (now defined as those households making over $200,000 per year), a powerful move to broaden our tax base. The fairies will then take everyone’s ill-gotten gains and pay down the national debt, make Social Security and Medicare solvent, and create jobs. Obama made it clear he would veto any plan that cut government and instead called for Congress to rewrite the tax code to ensure that the new-rich pay taxes, unlike the Orifice of Omaha whose Berkshire Hathaway owes the Treasury $1 billion in taxes. “It’s time liberals fought as hard against evil spirits and Orcs,” he said, “as liberal lobbyists fight for not-for-profits and green jobs.”
That’s the kind of language Mr. Obama needs for the campaign trail next year, to draw a strong comparison with Republicans who may well start to be seen as fighting for the interests of wicked gnomes and scary ax-wielding trolls.
White House aides have said the fairies are open to other magical methods, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (who has experience with the fairies; they solved his pre-confirmation tax problems) said the administration did not want to give Congress any details for fear such ideas may be mocked and ridiculed by so-called realists.
In one area not using magic, Mr. Obama also asked military retirees to pay huge increases for their own health benefits, bringing that expensive system more in line with private-sector plans. The fairies’ plans will likely take a sensible approach towards Medicare and Medicaid by increasing effectiveness to over 98 times its current level and using “well-spells” to improve the health of ordinary Americans. All told, the elderly, women, minorities, and the poor will see the greatest benefits.
After nearly three years of destructive compromise and concession on the budget, the fairy-based plan was far too late in coming. But the public seems ready for more of the Obama magic seen in 2008 and has demanded shared sacrifice. However, the burden is now on the fairies to ensure Mr. Obama isn’t the one sacrificed.