Administration Shrugs Off Negative Jobs Report
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the official unemployment rate remained above 8% for the 41st straight month. The picture for Black unemployment was even more discouraging bumping up in June to over 14% for all ages and to over 39% for those aged 16-19.
The White House cautioned that voters should not place too much reliance on any one monthly report, but should look at the longer term trend. “A narrow focus on jobs misses the bigger picture,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger said in a written statement. “Over the last three years more than 3 million workers have escaped the drudgery of wage slavery by joining the ranks of the compensated disabled. On top of this, another 4 million have simply dropped out of the workforce. These tremendous gains in the opportunity to enjoy more leisure time are not adequately accounted for in the official unemployment numbers.”
“Let's not lose sight of the fact that work is a disutility,” Krueger wrote. “People only do it because they feel they have to. I think we need to give the President some credit for helping a growing number of Americans to overcome this feeling. He's reduced some of the economic pressure by putting more people on food stamps than any other president. And his robust display of enjoyment of leisure activities like golf—where he has played more rounds than his four predecessors combined—has helped lower the social stigma of taking it easy.”
“The fact is, if the seven million who have left the workforce over the last three years were still under the delusion that they had to get jobs, the official unemployment rate would be over 11%,” Krueger observed. “So, by promoting leisure the President has actually lowered the official unemployment rate by 3% since 2009.”
Transportation Secretary Envies China Dictatorship
Miffed that the Administration's dream of a nationwide high-speed rail passenger system may be derailed by uncooperative states, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he wished the US were more like China. Thus far Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin have opted out of participating in the President's high-speed rail scheme.
“In China the government doesn't have to put up with people thwarting their plans,” LaHood explained. “If the top guy says do something, everyone has to go along. They don't have state legislatures or governors deciding they don't want to pony up their share of the cost for the rail program. And they certainly don't have to worry about voters rejecting the taxes or bonds that are needed to fund construction.”
LaHood held out the hope that November's election might change things here in America. “Up to now, the President has had to go through the motions of asking for states to join in voluntarily in funding the program,” the Secretary pointed out. “After he is reelected, though, there'll be no need for that. A single signature on an Executive Order mandating universal participation should suffice.”
A key factor in LaHood's optimism was the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Affordable Care Act. “It is now a matter of settled law that those who refuse to participate in a government mandated program can be taxed,” he contended. “Faced with the prospect of being taxed and getting nothing in return I think states contemplating rebellion against the federal plan for high-speed rail will come into line.”
Identity Theft No Excuse for Not Paying Your Taxes
The problem of identity theft is growing. In 2011, the IRS reported that more than 600,000 taxpayers were affected. This is more than ten times as many as 2008—the last year under the Bush Administration. Nonetheless, the Obama IRS isn't showing any mercy for people whose identities have been stolen
“Just because your identity has been stolen doesn't excuse you from paying your taxes,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “You are still liable for taxes on the amount of income shown in our records.”
The amount shown in the IRS records for you may be a problem, though. Identity thieves using your Social Security number boosts the amount of income reported under that number, pushing you into a higher tax bracket. The IRS wants the taxes due on this higher income.
“It's not the government's fault that your identity was stolen,” Geithner insisted. “Why should the government be penalized for your mistake? By law, the government is entitled to a specified share of every dollar earned no matter what the source. We intend to get that share and will do whatever it takes to ensure that we do.”
Geithner argued that “holding the victims of identity theft responsible is fiscally prudent. Our first priority is to secure funds for the government's use. Besides, if we let taxpayers off the hook for tax liabilities resulting from identity theft they might not be sufficiently motivated to correct the problem. So, in a way, we are helping to stimulate people to take better care of their personal data.”
Madrassas Should Be Model for America's Schools
Representative Andre Carson (D-IN) suggests that public schools in America be reformed along lines to make them more like Islamic schools.
“In terms of effectiveness, the madrassas far exceed anything we've seen from the vast majority of this country's public schools,” Carson argued. “The typical American public school student is an unmotivated drone with a sense of entitlement. Our graduates are too often indistinguishable from ignorant louts.”
“In contrast, the madrassa student is taught respect and obedience,” Carson asserted. “Its graduates are highly motivated to fight for change. Many are even willing to give their lives in this fight.”
As a final argument, Carson reminded everyone that “president Obama is a product of a madrassa education. His towering strength and undiluted commitment to fight for the transformation of this country is as strong an endorsement for the reform I am proposing as anyone could want.”
France Announces Bold Plan to Wreck Economy
Saying he was concerned that Spain and Greece “might sop up all the gravy,” newly elected President Francois Hollande embarked upon a series of measures that he promised “will put this country at the head of the line for the next round of bailouts.” The measures include higher taxes on everyone who has money over-and-above what they need, an immediate boost in the minimum wage, and a ban on laying off redundant workers.
“Why should we Frenchmen struggle to improve our economic output under current conditions?” Hollande asked. “If we do, we'll be expected to help rescue those who don't. We would earn the obligation to work for the gains of someone else. It is better that someone else bear the burden of working for our gain.”
Hollande boasted that the measures he is enacting “sound good to the average voter. Everyone imagines that only others will be targeted for tax increases, that decreeing higher wages is an unmitigated benefit, and that forbidding lay-offs guarantees job security. Few will comprehend that these measures ensure our decline. Nearly all can be relied upon to demand relief when the disaster hits. None will blame me. It's an ingenious plan.”
The French President discounted the possibility that his machinations could fail. “Look, the cost of liberating France from Nazi domination was far higher,” Hollande maintained. “And others bore the vast majority of that cost. In comparison, the price for saving us from our financial improvidence will seem very reasonable.”
Requiring Congress to Read Bills Before Passing Them Proposed
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ken) has proposed that members of Congress be given a reasonable amount of time to read bills before they are asked to vote on passing them. This proposal was denounced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) as “an unnecessary impediment to action.”
“I find it appalling that Republicans in this body are repeatedly trying to throw up roadblocks to progress,” Reid complained. “The notion that senators must read bills before they vote to make them into laws is fallacious. We have a staff that reads these bills for us. There is no need for us to slog through the lengthy and convoluted language of some of these behemoths.”
“As for the contention that passing laws without reading them is a mistake, I refer my colleague from Kentucky to the Supreme Court's recent upholding of the Affordable Care Act,” Reid continued. “None of us had time to read more than a tiny fraction of this 2700-page monster before we passed it two years ago. Yet, last week the Court has confirmed that we did a fine job.”
Reid suggested that Paul's proposal “might be moot after November. We've got a President who is learning not to be afraid of fully exercising his power to go over the heads of Congress if the situation requires it. He certainly can't be expected to hold back until Senator Paul has had a chance to read his Executive Orders before he issues them. At best, Senator Paul's proposal is premature. I can see no reason why we should vote on it.”
Study Says Reverence for Liberty Sign of Terrorism
A University of Maryland study funded by the Department of Homeland Security found that “persons reverent about individual liberty are likely to be right-wing terrorists.” “It makes perfect sense when you think about it,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano. “The phrase 'individual liberty' doesn't appear in any of our nation's founding documents. Its advocates are clearly and suspiciously out of step with America's basic values.”