Your RDA of Irony

Robbing Peter to Pay Paulson

“Don’t think of it as extortion,” said Secretary of the Treasury Paulson of his “don’t ask, just pay” demand for $700 billion dollars to bail out Wall Street’s current embarrassment. “You are investing in a ransom.”

Congressional Democrats objected to Paulson’s insistence on dictatorial authority in carrying out the financial rescue. Republicans countered that their plan already was a generous compromise: “We are not going to blame the Jews.” However, with the Democrats’ insistence on relief for homeowners, the Bush administration responded with a new economic plan: the Secure Employment and Resettlement Foundation.

Under the SERF system, anyone who lost a home would be welcome to stay on the private estates of designated participants. In return for this free housing, the guests would be obliged to express their thanks with a little work: cleaning pools or moats, yard work, windows, crops. In certain locations, the SERF assignments would include building walls along the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Guests can be reassured: SERF housing and employment would be in perpetuity. The system includes a food plan–and it is a dietitian’s dream: all the advantages of root vegetables and none of the risks of meat. As for healthcare, life expectancy would not be an issue.

When asked if the SERF system would pay its workers the minimum wage, the White House replied, “You don’t need to pay your guests.” The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal praised the plan, noting that it had been used in a previous Dark Ages “And look how well things turned out.”

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