Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sleep Number Sidewalks for Homeless among Republican Earmark Requests

Currently in the Senate there is somewhat of a catch 22 occurring. While before the recent elections and before the tax deal was struck with President Obama, the Republicans saw nothing wrong with continuing their practice of asking for as many earmarks for their constituents as they could get.

After the elections, however, and their promise to limit earmarks, an interesting thing occurred. The bill that would ultimately extend the Bush administration tax cuts still has a lot of pork attached to it, and some of that pork is indicative of just how far removed some Republican senators are from mainstream American and it’s problems, while still appearing to have some heart.

For instance, Senator Joe Bellowme from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is beside himself with worry about the homeless people who are finding it hard to find shelter in what is quickly becoming one of the coldest winters in a long time. He has asked for $35 million dollars to retrofit the downtown sidewalks with controls which would allow the bums to choose the hardness of the pavement for their comfort. Using the same technology as a Sleep Number Bed, homeless can settle into a little nook on the sidewalk, adjust the convenient dials that will be installed along the sidewalks, and then choose to soften or increase the hardness of their make-shift beds.

“It is the right thing to do,” claims Bellowme. “We don’t have the money right now to fund more beds for the shelters, so we need to find ways to make the outdoors more comfortable for our comrades who don’t have a regular home due to any number of circumstances. We just wish there were more money so that we could also appropriate a bit for some warm blankets and pillows to accompany the sleep number sidewalks.”

While this earmark may, on its face, seem like a ridiculous way to spend millions of dollars, other earmarks are more in line with how most Republicans believe tax dollars should be spent. For instance, the request for $80 million by Sen. Billy Bob Howdy of Wyoming for bull semen storage containers made of titanium (titanium is one of the toughest metals and therefore will keep the semen fresh much longer) is, according to Howdy, a necessary evil. However, when pressed to further explain the request for such a large amount of money, Howdy simply told reporters he didn’t need to explain himself. “This is bull,” he said, “no pun intended” and walked away.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tax Cuts Will Allow Average Americans to Own Luxury Vehicles

Car makers across the board are reporting hikes in recent sales, with higher-end models doing their fair share of business as well. So it is no surprise that with the news that the Bush tax cuts will most likely be extended, corporate head honchos are placing their orders for luxury new vehicles for themselves and family members.

Lest we think the tax cuts will only benefit Ritchie Rich, however, let’s try and understand how the purchase of new luxury vehicles will benefit the rest of Americans. A lesson in trickle-down is in order.

Since everyone is going to get a tax break come 2011, Joe Average, who is hoping to get his job back at Howdy-Do Burgers, will soon be in the market for a used vehicle. Mr. Rich just happens to finally be able to trade in his 20-year old second car, a Mercedes, (which has only a few minor mechanical problems) for a 2012 model. As luck would have it, both Mr. Rich and Mr. Average are visiting the same Mercedes-Benz dealership on the same day. Mr. Average, of course, not seriously looking and more in a dream-like state, but Mr. Rich there to wheel and deal. At the end of the day, Mr. Rich is in a new model and well, Mr. Average is putt-putting his way home in his dream car.

The trickle-down economics theory doesn’t have to be that complicated. The extension of the tax breaks will get America back on its feet and ultimately, it is the neighborhood car mechanic who is really going to make out in the upcoming economic boom. 

Now where did he put that 2012 Mercedes-Benz catalogue?