Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reporters Unable to Write Scheduled Article After Getting Confused by Ryan’s Budget Assumptions

SAN NARCISO, Calif. -- The two economists on staff at The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript were discharged this morning after failing to submit critical research yesterday, which led to an unexpected absence of reporting and a letter that read, “No matter how we slice it, Obama’s plan seems more sensible and practical. There is no way to make heads or tails of Ryan’s data...his wildly improbable assumptions. It’s five am, and we have nothing to give you.” One economist went so far as to call Paul Ryan’s numbers “so fuzzy, they’re hairy.” Another quoted Greg Mankiw, who had described Reagan’s economic advisers as “cranks and charlatans...who told [Reagan] that broad-based income tax cuts would have such large supply-side effects that the tax cuts would raise tax revenue. I did not find such a claim credible, based on the available evidence. I never have, and I still don’t.”

In the end, our analysts left nothing else but a used paperback of “The Fountainhead” on the editor’s desk with the cryptic message: “It’s not going to happen. Call Waybill. BTW, we caught him masturbating himself with this book. We mean, this actual copy.”

This is a community paper, and the editorial staff here aren’t numbers wizards or CPAs or even Hazmat agents -- whom we had to call in to remove the Ayn Rand book from our offices -- but we understand that assumptions must be made in budgetary projections. Without the benefit of psychic gifts, intelligent and thoughtful planners must offer heuristic arguments based on reasonable assumptions. So we called Len Waybill, head economist of the Peter Pinguid Society, to see if he could figure things out. His report follows.

Waybill Makes Sense of Paul Ryan Budget
Chief among your economists’ concerns were Ryan’s projections on unemployment, which formed the foundation of his cost containment strategies. He anticipated unemployment rates to plummet to around five percent within the next couple of years, and down to three percent by 2018. Your economists called the numbers “impossible.” They said the Federal Reserve would respond by raising interest rates to stave off inflation, which would ensure that these levels could never be reached.

But when the GOP eliminates government regulation and intervention, there won’t be a Federal Reserve. We’ll be using our traditional, private sector banks. And those institutions will need to HIRE more workers. And when all government services are privatized -- eliminating the need for hundreds of thousands of tax-funded paper pushers -- corporations will need to step in and HIRE more workers. That’s job creation. That’s cutting taxes. More than making lemonade from lemons, this is making delicious bacon from barrels of government pork. The criticisms of your economists were, in my opinion, juvenile and absurd.

Here are a few other rational, attainable assumptions put forth by the Ryan plan.

The threat of a global economy in which America can’t compete will be suppressed quickly after military efforts abroad cripple those burgeoning nations back into their Third World statuses. True.

Paul Ryan’s budget insists that slowly rising federal Pell grants are behind soaring college costs. The typical Pell grant is around $3,000. The typical cost for a four-year private university is ten times that figure. If college costs continue to balloon, Pell grants will need to increase even more to keep up. That’s just another way of saying we would need to raise taxes. So, yes, let’s eliminate federal grants.

Destroy Planned Parenthood. This has been a rallying cry for years, but not just to social conservatives. Economists understand the more insidious fiscal ramifications of these infanticide machines. First, abortion is an immoral form of birth control. And, more importantly, it’s an expensive procedure. They run these places like baby-meat grinding plants. Nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, operating room equipment, medical tools, office staff...the list of overhead goes on and on. Here’s a thought: let’s teach our kids abstinence. It’s more effective, both in terms of cost and practice. If you’re not having sex, you’re not getting pregnant. There’s nothing fuzzy about that math.

Ryan’s budget assumes that half the population in the United States could theoretically win the lottery and become wealthy. At that point, the Bush tax cuts would prove even more imperative. Despite what statisticians claim in their odds, real pragmatists understand that your true odds of winning are 50-50: you’ll win or you won’t. I believe most Americans, like Paul Ryan, are glass half-full types. So, this too makes sense.

Paul Ryan’s budget assumes that new, infinite sources of oil will be discovered at the center of the planet, where dinosaurs still exist. Yoyodyne teams are currently planning a massive undertaking with the British to drill to the Earth’s mantle for just these purposes. Eliminating our dependence on foreign oil will certainly restore America’s economic might.

Ryan also forecasts a switch to clean burning whale oil as an alternative fuel. Sure. In the 1970s, a bunch of hippies saved the whales. Now there’s too many of them. Whales, I mean. We took care of the hippies in the 80s, during the “Re-integration.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you aren’t meant to. Regardless, the surplus population of whales is throwing off the balance of nature. Let’s remedy that situation with a win-win.

Paul Ryan assumed that within three years, Ben Affleck would become the next actor to portray Doctor Who, causing the collapse of the entire British Empire, with the ruin of the Pound Sterling removing the last obstacle to the universal dominance of the dollar.

And finally, slash all taxes. This makes the most sense to me. By cutting taxes, you put more money in people’s pockets for spending on consumable goods. The fastest way to restore the economy is consumer spending. Even more importantly, the Internal Revenue Service is one of the nation’s messiest, most sprawling, most inefficient government bureaucracies. For every tax dollar they collect, they end up burning through 185 more. You don’t even want to know how much your neighbor’s devastating and soul-crushingly complicated audit is costing you in taxes. Simply doing away with the IRS reduces the deficit almost down to its break even. And the only way to get rid of the IRS is to abolish their reason for living -- taxes.

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