Sunday, April 1, 2012

Joint Session Approves Simpson-Bowles Budget

In a special joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate and with only one dissenting vote, the legislators approved a 2013 fiscal year budget based on the principals embodied in the Simpson-Bowles Commission report.

When asked why he alone opposed the budget, Ron Paul admitted that it was the best budget passed since he joined the House; however, since it still funded the Federal Reserve and did not remand the US to the gold standard he could not in good conscience support it.

Nancy Pelosi praised John Boehner’s leadership in crafting this compromise budget and especially lauded his tearful rendition of Kumbaya. Boehner, too choked up for words, spoke through a Girl Scout representative. “Who doesn’t believe in the power of campfires, even if they are provided by the National Park service in cement containers placed on a sidewalk equidistant between the House and Senate buildings?”

Mitch McConnell raised the microphone above Olympia Snow’s head so her voice could not be heard. “Now that this travesty is complete,” he said. “We can go back to my number one priority to make sure Obama is a one-term president. Where was the president on this; to hear him talk you’d think he came up with the idea of this commission or something?”

Presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich for the first time formed a united front in their debate earlier today, decrying the legislation. 

Romney was particularly upset about the increased tax-rates for millionaires. “I’ve spoken with many of my friends since this bill passed and they agree to a man: with class warfare so rampant in the US, we will have no choice but to shelter more income in off-shore tax havens.”

Gingrich sputtered that only he had provided surplus budgets when he was Speaker of the House. When challenged by a fifth-grader about the accuracy of his statement given the numerous off-budget deficits that meant the US actually borrowed money every year he was Speaker, Newt replied, “That’s accounting semantics. Furthermore, I’ll remind you that even Rush Limbaugh thinks I am smarter than a fifth-grader.”

Santorum proclaimed that the Simpson-Bowles compromise did not go far enough to cut expenses because it still left a temporary budget deficit. “I am the only true conservative in the race. As president, I won’t sign any budget unless there is first a balanced-budget amendment. Nor will I sign any legislation that raises taxes on any American.” When a reporter quoted a conservative think tank that projected that with a balance budget amendment in place unemployment could skyrocket to over 20% in the next recession, Santorum dismissed the result. “As you know,” he said, “I am not worried about the unemployment rate. A president can’t affect that—except for Obama. Everything he’s done in the last three years has hurt jobs.”

When a reporter asked the President how quickly he would sign the bill into law, he indicated, “This budget is nothing like the budget I proposed to Congress. It’s the first time I’ve looked at some of these provisions. The reality is that whether or not I like it, there are veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, so I might as well eat my spinach and get it off my desk.”

The reporter noted that the Simpson-Bowles commission had been his idea. “True enough,” Obama said, turning away from the reporter before slapping himself on the forehead and chuckling. “But that’s like saying the Heritage Foundation is in favor of Obamacare because they were the ones to suggest the individual mandate was a good idea.”

Indeed. Happy April Fools’ Day.

~ Jim