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How the President Saved the World: A Moron's Guide to the Debt Ceiling Fight

Obama as Superman
Tea is his kryptonite

It's August the Second, which means the apocalypse must be upon us. I've seen the timers in the corner of every news network, counting down to our doomsday, and I heard the president tell us that there are evil people poised to throw all our grannies off a cliff while they point a gun at the head of our entire economy. Thus, this will probably be my last blog post. I better make it a good one, I guess, not that it will matter much when the Internet comes crashing down tonight.

But wait! What is that light? Is it? Can it be? Why, YES, a deal has been struck. Grannies are being pulled back from the brink and the gun is being lowered. Congress has just rushed through a big bill that will solve all our problems! Hooray! It's a new dawn in America. The birds are chirping, children are laughing, and Al Qaeda no longer wishes to harm us. What a relief! Let us reflect on this amazing moment in the history of life on Earth.

Last week, the president delivered a speech in which he told us about this dark threat to our world. He explained that the government has a special button they push every so often--heck, even President Reagan pushed it over a dozen times--that prevents this dark threat from destroying us all and that, for some reason, there are horrible people that don't want the government to push the button. The president argued that we have to do what has always been done--we have to maintain the status quo--or all is lost. (In other words, it was his usual talk of hope and change.)

We were told that we had to be prepared to do whatever it takes to stop those evil, extremist conservatives, but since we were trying to stop them anyway, we should go ahead and make a few demands. We absolutely had to make sure the government takes money from rich people ("millionaires, billionaires, and corporate jet owners," as the talking points memos continue to remind us) because it is somehow a "balanced" approach. Also, we had to make sure that we raise the "debt ceiling" (which the president helpfully explained was too complex for most of us to really understand) by enough that it takes us past the next election. This is because it would be irresponsible to have this debate again, which implies that, as long as we get passed next November, we will never, ever, ever have to hear the words "debt ceiling" ever again. It certainly couldn't have anything to do with the re-election itself; the president just used that as a convenient calendar date.

Obama fighting Darth Vader
If they strike him down, he shall become more powerful than we could possibly imagine

It seems this all has something to do with money. Since the president is right to assume I'm a drooling idiot, I don't really understand it. The government, apparently, costs lots of money, trillions of dollars a year. This is how it can provide us all with so many great things like the I.R.S., wars, our fabulous school system, and some magical substance called "red tape." Times are kinda rough, so the government needs to spend more than usual, in order to "stimulate the economy" and continue the ridiculously important work we're undertaking in Libya. This is why the president so reasonably asked Congress to increase the amount we are allowed to spend (that can't be the "debt ceiling," which the president assured us is something far, far more complicated than that simpleton concept) by over $2 trillion. Why would anybody have a problem with that?

Because Republicans are evil. Yes, that's right. They want to kill women and eat babies, which is the only logical reason they would oppose the president's perfectly reasonable request. They claim they want to "reduce spending," but that can't possibly be true. According to the most optimistic offer that passed the House (if you don't understand that, it's okay; the government process is way too confusing for most of us), they want to increase spending by as little as $4 trillion over ten years. You see, when they say "cut spending," they mean "slightly reduce the amount of money the government will increase spending in the next decade"; it has nothing to do with tackling the debt. Saying that any proposed bill reduces the debt is like saying pulling your parachute when you're skydiving gets you closer to the moon. It's all a big trick from those loathesome ones, all part of their sick plan to wheel our grannies to their deaths.

There seems to be some members of the unholy Republican alliance known as "Tea Party Freshmen." These zombies don't like following the herd in Washington, so when it came time for the government to decide whether or not it should avert the coming Armaggedon, they stubbornly voted no. The vast majority of the Democratic Party voted no, too (as did Senator Obama a few years ago), but that's totally different. Extreme Democrats are a special class of responsible citizen known as a "Progressive," and they are only interested in feeding the hungry and giving a helping hand to the poor. Since raising the debt ceiling doesn't directly bring rainbows and sunshine, they sometimes vote against it too. They aren't standing in the way of government or holding the economy hostage like those Tea Party folks; they are merely making a symbolic stance on principle. We can understand that, because usually the rest of the government overrides them.

Obama kissing a baby and the American flag
That baby is now free from sin

But those Tea Party types, they brought the government to its knees. You have no idea how close we all came to spontaneously combusting because of their reckless game of chicken. They simply wouldn't listen to reason or concede even a little bit of wiggle room to the benevolent president. They acted like crazy, intransigent idealogues, which is nothing like how the Democrats acted a while back when they were only interested in using bipartisanship to pass the healthcare overhaul.

This is why the president doesn't seem to have gotten everything he wanted--nay, needed--from the debt negotiations. This is why his biggest advocates are afraid that his leadership has failed. He simply didn't have a choice, because those crooked Tea Party folks just wouldn't pass anything. Haven't you heard? Republicans are the Party of No! The Democrat-controlled Senate, with very little cooperation from the Republican minority, sent bill after bill to the Republican-controlled House that the House wouldn't even vote on, much less amend and send back as is customary. Oh wait, maybe I got that backwards. Well, nevermind. What you have to remember is that Republicans weren't willing to work with the Democrats. They kept saying that every idea the Democrats had was "dead on arrival." Or is that the other way around? I'm so confused.

The Tea Party terrorists were actually demanding that we amend the Constitution so that Congress would be forced to balance the budget and keep our debt under control. That's sheer insanity! We don't need a constitutional amendment to get things under control, because we can trust this Congress--and all future Congresses--to do its job responsibly. No matter what happens, we know they will responsibly pass budgets year after year, as the law requires them to do, and we know they will restrain themselves and keep spending to a minimum. The current spending is only at this level because we are in a financial crisis, and the only reason the Senate hasn't passed a budget in over two years is because of the Tea Party (somehow). When the current crisis goes away, of course the government will cut back like it always does, and we can be absolutely certain there won't be another crisis tomorrow that requires the government to reluctantly spend so much.

Words cannot describe this
Obama is awesome

It's a good thing this final compromise--the one that just passed--doesn't include a requirement that a balanced budget amendment get passed through Congress. That would, undoubtably, accelerate climate change and cause the sun to go supernova. It's a damn good thing we have a president who can stand up to such unreasonable and ludicrous demands.

So even though the president didn't get to take money from those greedy corporate jet owners, he and the Democrats should be applauded for saving life as we know it. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi told me so a few days ago. If it weren't for their incredible leadership and willingness to compromise in the face of such unyielding horror, tomorrow's sunrise would not be certain. Now, thanks to the president, the markets will rise in celebration, unemployment will plummet, kittens won't die, and those Tea Party Nazis will crawl back into the muck from which they came, never to threaten our peace and happiness ever again. Thank you, President Obama, for looking out for us, the stupid masses who just don't understand what it's like to face those evil Republicans day in and day out. Thank you, President Obama, for fighting for our rights and freedoms. Thank you, President Obama, for giving us life and saving the world.

-e. magill 8/2/2011

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