Washington – Christmas came early today for the American government when the White House received six credit card balance transfer checks in the mail, with 0% APR for 18 months. President Obama immediately signed one for an undisclosed amount and sent it off to the Treasury Department.
“We’re building a bridge off the fiscal cliff,” Mr. Obama declared. “We must not look down, but keep our eyes focused ahead and move forward.”
Lawmakers had been scrambling since House Speaker Boehner’s Plan B failed to win sufficient support to reach the floor Thursday. The bill would have preserved tax cuts for all except those earning $1 million dollars or more—less than 1% of Americans, but almost 50% of Congress.
Members of the Mayan Tea Party caucus apparently joined the opposition, although it was unclear if they were keeping their sacred pledge to Grover Norquist or actually believed the world was going to end Friday.
Plan C was the only option left. According to sources, Treasury Secretary Geithner had been “ransacking” the White House looking for old balance transfer checks and waiting every day at the mailbox for new ones. But administration officials believed the Bank of China had finally caught on to the sixteen credit card accounts the U.S. maintains under various fictitious names.
“The shell game goes on,” one official said with evident relief. “With autopay for the monthly minimums, we can play this out until the next administration.”
Mr. Geithner reportedly carries the “revenue” cards in his wallet at all times, the huge bulge in his back pocket giving him a booster seat at Cabinet meetings.
And it may get bigger. The Treasury Department has started online applications for new accounts at banks including Citi, HSBC, and JP Morgan Chase. “You should see the limits they’re offering,” the official smiled.
Critics are calling Plan C the latest step in the slide toward a Santa Clause government. “We can’t keep borrowing money to give everybody gifts,” said Clark W. Griswold. “You know, I’d like a family swimming pool under the tree, but it’s not gonna happen. Not without my bonus.”
Speaker Boehner promised that Congress would get to work on a real fiscal solution–just as soon as they returned from three weeks Christmas vacation.