Tag Archives: fiscal cliff

In goodwill gesture, Obama to send GOP leadership on Carnival cruise

15 Feb

WASHINGTON–in a much-needed gesture of goodwill during the ongoing contentious budget negotiations, President Obama today surprised the House GOP leadership with the announcement that they would be leaving soon on an all-expenses-paid vacation on Carnival Cruise Lines.

“I know it’s been a rough several months,” said Obama, addressing the delighted Representatives, “But I’m pleased to say that soon you’ll be relaxing on Carnival’s state-of-the-art ship Triumph, with delicious hot food, warm showers, and impeccable cleanliness.”

Speaker John Boehner was giddy at the prospect. “I can’t wait,” he said. “My last vacation was camping, and boy, I could sure use a change of pace.”

In a further gesture, Obama offered to send Eric Cantor on a second cruise to Italy with Carnival’s local subsidiary. “I’ve been able to secure almost the entire bottom row of cabins on the starboard side,” said the President.

GOP leaders enjoying an impromptu mid-hallway nap on their luxury Carnival cruise

GOP leaders enjoying an impromptu mid-hallway nap on their luxury Carnival cruise

Defying critics, Washington achieves historic feat of kicking the can down the road for a few months

2 Jan

WASHINGTON–after protracted negotiations over the looming fiscal cliff, the White House and Congress came together at the eleventh hour to forge a historic compromise, in which the problem is temporarily patched over so that it can be ignored for several weeks.

“The American people sent a clear message that they want the government to do more than just bicker,” said President Obama. “With this agreement, we’ve shown that we can also stick our heads in the sand.” The president went on to say that he considers the stopgap arrangement “one of the signature moments of this administration,” and he looks forward to another such signature moment in March or so.

Republicans were equally proud. “This agreement shows that nothing is more important than America’s future,” said Speaker John Boehner. “Except, of course, for transient political advantage, our fears of a Tea Party primary challenge, the opportunity to generate cheap publicity, and that funny feeling in my stomach I get whenever I catch Eric Cantor looking at me. Nothing else.”

Under the terms of the deal, taxes will rise on high-income families, except for those residing in Iowa, New Hampshire, or general-election swing states, as well as major-party donors and Gerard Depardieu. Any remaining revenue gap will be filled by magical fairies. The deal also calls for massive spending cuts, which will be specified later, although defense, non-defense discretionary, and non-discretionary spending are all excluded from future cuts.

If no overarching budget deal can be reached in March, the current agreement calls for a “super fiscal cliff,” under which the entire United States will be sold to China in exchange for twenty-four dollars and a fortune cookie with the country’s lucky numbers printed on the back. “I’m sure there’s no way we’d be so irresponsible as to fail to strike a deal, with that hanging over our heads,” said Boehner, repeating his words from earlier in the year.

America’s leaders plan rockin’ New Year’s Eve party; fiscal cliff will have to wait

28 Dec

WASHINGTON–after lengthy negotiations, the White House and the Republican congressional leadership came together today to announce a bipartisan agreement to throw a “totally awesome” New Year’s Eve party.

“I am pleased to announce that we have been able to rise above everyday political divisions to come together on this important issue,” said President Obama, appearing at a joint press conference with John Boehner. “We have today the outlines of a plan that will cover the location, start time, and refreshments for what promises to be the best bipartisan New Year’s Eve in our country’s history.” In response to a question from the press, Obama added, “we haven’t really dealt with that fiscal cliff thing. Maybe in January or something.”

Added Speaker Boehner, “today we address you not as representatives of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but of a totally awesome party that everyone is invited to.” Boehner added that his parents were out of town for the weekend and “we can have it at my place. Totally stoked.” Later in the press conference, the Speaker noted that he hadn’t really given any thought to the December 31 deadline to avoid going off the fiscal cliff. “Thanks for ruining the mood,” he snapped at one reporter who asked whether a great party was really a higher priority than avoiding economically crippling tax increases and spending cuts.

Some important details remain to be worked out, such as theme and whether beer will be served in kegs or in cans, but both sides said they were confident an agreement could be reached.

As for the fiscal cliff, the president vowed to put all his energies into it “after we’ve cleaned up from the party, and I’ve finished my vacation, and I’m probably going to need a haircut pretty soon, too.”

Scheduling mixup lands Grover Norquist on “Sesame Street”; America’s toddlers demand smaller government

6 Dec

NEW YORK–parents across the country were surprised yesterday to find their young children demanding their signatures on colorful, crayon-drawn copies of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The demands were the result of a PBS error that put Grover Norquist, the conservative anti-tax activist, on yesterday’s broadcast of “Sesame Street”, instead of Grover, the lovable, furry blue puppet.

“We need an across-the-board freeze on marginal tax rates and no credit reductions unless offset dollar-for-dollar,” said three-year-old Cooper Helms of Memphis, Tennessee. “Also, I could use some fresh underpants.”

Norquist was featured in a segment in which he and the Count were supposed to count a pile of ten apples. “I see where you’re headed with this,” said Norquist after the Count began. “But consider that if you’re in the top marginal tax bracket, the government is going to take three and a half of those apples, or almost four if we don’t pressure the White House to extend the Bush tax cuts by December 31.” The segment, originally scheduled for ninety seconds, ended up running for almost two and a half hours.

His successful appearance on Sesame Street was a bright spot for Norquist, who has been having a rough time in the adult world in recent weeks. On Saturday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R–WI) became the latest Republican to back away from the TPP, explaining that he thought he had been signing a promise never to use Pledge furniture polish. The previous day, Rep. Joe Barton (R–TX) said that he was talking about Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge not to use a cellphone while driving.

This is not the first conservative-activist mixup. Two years ago, General Mills unintentionally released Chris Chocola cereal, to the bitter disappointment of children who found only Club for Growth pamphlets inside.

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