Treasury Sec. Paulson Calls Chain Letter, Lotto Buyback Cures to Deficit Woes

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2008 -- Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., speaking at the annual meeting of the Conservative Economists' Union, today outlined a plan to alleviate the Bush administration's record federal deficit through "government chain letters and Lotto buyback initiatives".

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr.Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

Under the ambitious new plan, Secretary Paulson said he hopes the federal budget will be back "almost into the black, maybe even approaching Clinton territory" by the end of George W. Bush's second term of office less than a year from today.

"With only a few short months remaining of my tenure," Secretary Paulson said, "I plan to do everything in my power to repair the damage the federal budget has incurred over the past seven years. I want to leave this place a better place than I found it and these new initiatives, I think, could be the answer."

Secretary Paulson said the two plans, which have been carefully vetted by Bush administration economists and are code-named "Operation Pyramid of Joy" and "Operation Lucky Bux", will be implemented in parallel with rollout planned over the next several weeks.

"Operation Pyramid of Joy," Secretary Paulson said, "works just like the ordinary kind of chain letter that most Americans have probably received at one time or another in their lives. You know, the ones where you have a list of, say, ten names. You send a buck to the name at the top of the list, cross it out, add your name to the bottom, and mail it on to ten friends. After a few weeks, you starting getting piles of cash in the mail, tax-free. Why can't the government do the same thing?"

According to Pugo Ooligarty, a deputy assistant treasury secretary for unorthodox schemes who was also present at the briefing, Pyramid of Joy will work in much the same way, but on a scale appropriate to combating the Bush Administration's record-breaking $600 billion annual budget deficit.

"What we'll do is to make a list of one hundred names, with the Fed at the bottom, and mail it out to ten thousand people all around the country," Mr. Ooligarty said. "Those people will each send a dollar to the person at the top of the list – we'll choose people from around the office to fill it up initially – then slide all the names, including the Fed, up a notch and mail it out to one hundred other people. And so on, and so on, and so on, one hundred times. By the time the Fed reaches the top, something like 100 quintillion people will have gotten the letter and be in the process of sending a dollar to the federal government. Just like that, no more budget problem. It's beautiful."

One caveat, Mr. Ooligarty said, is that, "there may not be enough people with a dollar to spare in their pockets given the current economic climate, particularly if a lot of letters wind up in the hands of the rapidly vanishing middle class."

As such, Secretary Paulson explained the federal government will simultaneously implement "Operation Lucky Bux", a "stop-gap" deficit reduction plan.

"We've all seen our friends and neighbors transformed into overnight millionaires day after day through the medium of our state lotteries," Secretary Paulson said. "Why should they have all the fun? Starting immediately, the federal government plans to buy up to 45% of all the lottery tickets sold every week in every state in the country. Based on our calculations, that should provide a monthly boost to the federal balance sheet of at least $20 billion, enough to finance 80-90% of the ongoing cost of the war in Iraq."

"Unless our numbers don't come in," Secretary Paulson added, "in which case we'll just try again next week. With that kind of purchase volume, we're bound to win in the end."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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