Tuesday, December 18, 2012

White House Garage Sale

With America racing towards the fiscal cliff, both sides finally got down to some serious negotiating this week.  Seldom reliable sources report that President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner have already agreed to the following debt-reduction measures:
*   The first annual White House garage sale will be held on Saturday, December 22nd on the East Lawn.  Featured items include ten IBM Selectric typewriters, several dozen 19th century spittoons and a 1957 Ford Fairlane owned by Mamie Eisenhower and only driven on Sundays.  After expenses for coffee, donuts and signage, the garage sale is expected to yield upwards of $3,000 with more to come in future years.
*   The House of Representatives has agreed to rent out its space to local organizations when not in use.  Several local theater groups have expressed interest in rehearsing and performing on weekends in the House chamber.  Since the House members are typically only present midweek, it’s hoped that various book clubs, sewing circles and support groups can rent the room on Mondays and Fridays.  At $75 a night, look for total earnings to hit four figures in no time.
*   The Pentagon has scheduled two fundraising car washes this month with more to follow in the new year.  Any remaining four-star generals will lead brigades of servicepeople to clean the interior and exterior of any vehicle including cars, trucks and tanks.  In keeping with traditional military accounting, the cost will be $1,000 per wheel.
*   The Senate has tentative plans to fundraise with a filibuster-a-thon.  Whenever Republican senators volunteer for filibuster duty, they’ll ask constituents to sponsor them at a tentative ten dollars per speaking hour.  Given the obstructionist nature of the Senate minority, this fundraising effort could bring in thousands of dollars.
*   Senators have also agreed to chip in by holding a monthly bake sale on Capitol Hill.  The first one will be held next Friday when John McCain will be selling his sour grapes cookies and Joe Lieberman will bring his famous flip-flop upside-down cake.  It’s hoped that the Senate bake sales will yield $100 or more per month towards reducing the deficit.
*   President Obama has agreed to lease Air Force One to foreign leaders when not in use by the White House.  Third world leaders who can’t afford their own plane are expected to jump at the chance to rent Obama’s jet for only $2,000 an hour.  However, since it costs $3,000 an hour to operate Air Force One, this option may actually add to the deficit.
*   The State Department plans to hold a weekly fundraising auction to sell off unused articles.  Expected sale items include a comprehensive Middle East peace plan, a hardline on Iran and a detailed map of Benghazi.
*   Other cabinet level departments have proposed selling naming rights.  Just like major league sports arenas, the Cabinet will allow corporations to bid to add their names to individual departments.  At $10,000 a pop, this could be a huge money maker.  Informal inquiries have already been received for the Lockheed Martin Defense Department, the Exxon Mobil Energy Department and the Goldman Sachs Treasury Department.
Even with all these revenue-generating efforts, it’s expected that there will still be an annual shortfall of approximately one trillion dollars.  No word to date from Wall Street as to whether it will help out although rumor has it they’ve made an offer to issue some mortgage-backed securities on the Washington Monument and the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials.

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