Bush & Cheney Send Chocolates, Long-Stemmed Roses, $29 Billion to ExxonMobil

Washington, D.C., February 14, 2006 -- ExxonMobil executives were surprised today by a Valentine's Day gift from President Bush and Vice President Cheney containing Godiva chocolates, 24 exquisite long-stemmed roses, and a $29 billion corporate welfare grant package consisting of tax breaks, tax incentives, reduced taxes, rebates on taxes both paid and unpaid, and several freight trains filled with cash. A spokesman for the grateful oil conglomerate said the company was "pleased as punch" by the subsidy and "would have something real nice for the whole gang when the time comes."

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the unusually large federal relief package was in response to rumors the oil giant may be in danger of suffering from "fractionally reduced profit margins" as a consequence of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and reduced consumer demand due to higher oil prices.

"ExxonMobil had a reasonably good year in 2005, but we're not completely convinced their year is going to be just a good in 2006, so we wanted to give them a little boost, a little leg-up, if you will," said Scott McClellan. "ExxonMobil's roughly $24 billion profit in 2004 grew to about $30 billion for 2005, which equates to about $100 in profit for every man, woman and child in the United States--or would, that is, if Exxon weren't going to keep it rather than give it to the men, women, and children. Now, that's a good profit margin, but we think it's important to America that ExxonMobil have an even better profit margin, and President Cheney, excuse me, President Bush is eager to show that the government is behind them all the way. We're hoping the company will use the money to find and drill more oil, thus increasing supply, which will reduce pressure on American consumers and make it easier for them to buy as much gas as they want without having to wait in line or anything. Plus we think our friends at the company should go out and get something nice for themselves. They deserve it."

President Bush had already granted ExxonMobil a smaller boost last year, including a $4 billion package of tax breaks and subsidies to major oil producers in the Energy Bill signed in August of 2005.

A spokesman for ExxonMobil, when asked by reporters as to the company's plans for the federal largess, said, "We're not really sure yet. I mean, we're still sitting on a $50 billion windfall from the past two years. I think we'll start with a $100 million bonus package for each of the top 100 executives, then kind of trickle our way on down with the other $40 billion. Oh yes, and some of our rigs could use a lick of paint."

Press Secretary Scott McClellan, responding to questions regarding the source of the $29 billion welfare package, assured reporters there would be no additional federal taxes to finance the measure.

"We've already worked out where there are globules of fat that can be trimmed from the federal budget," he said, "including school lunch programs, home heating assistance, regulatory control costs, Meals on Wheels, blankets for the elderly, and a nearly $1 billion research and development effort into alternative fuels that was basically just sitting there waiting to be axed. Then we'll borrow the rest, so there's no need to worry on that front."

Attached to the ExxonMobil gift was a $9 billion bailout package for automotive manufacturers Ford and General Motors, both of which are suffering major losses due to dramatically reduced demand on large, gas-gobbling SUV's, their most profitable lines.

"Yes, Ford and GM are also getting a little taste," Scott McClellan confirmed. "We think it's a shame that our two greatest auto manufacturers should be in trouble simply because they put most of their eggs into the fuel-intensive SUV basket. I don't think anyone could have ever imagined that gas prices would go up, thus reducing demand for their products. So we've attached a $9 billion SUV-rider to the ExxonMobil grant, whereby the government will finance a year's worth of gasoline purchases for any of Ford or GM's customers who purchase an SUV. That way, people will feel comfortable continuing to buy them, ExxonMobil and our other friends in the oil industry will continue to have a solid market for their products, and everyone will be happy."

In an unrelated development, Russian scientists report the Siberian tundra, a region that contains the stored frozen equivalent of all greenhouse gases currently circulating in the Earth's atmosphere, is melting.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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