Shocker: Economic report surprises experts 121 weeks in a rowby Lex Schuerer
June 22, 2011, Washington, D.C.— President Obama's economic team was shocked today for the 121st consecutive week when the government's economic report was more negative than expected.
"I can't believe we were wrong again!" said Chief Economist N.M. Ployd. "We thought that President Obama's threat to raise taxes on the top earners in our society would lower the unemployment rate, but it just keeps going up."
Economic Stimulus Czar Gill Lumey said economic growth has been lower than expected for more than two years.
"I was going to predict that things were not going to be looking up next week," he said, "but I'm convinced that the most massive deficit spending in the history of the world will eventually have a positive impact. I think next week's the week."
President Obama's Secretary of Economic Predictions, German-born mathematician Astra Lodger, said she is ready to turn over her forecasts to the Russian chimpanzee who beat out stock brokers in a mutual fund management competition.
"I plot all the numbers, along with the paths of the stars and planets," she said, "and all I see is a bright future. I'm getting things wrong so often that I'm starting to think maybe I'm seeing the glass as three-quarters full when it's actually three-quarters empty."
Assistant Treasury Secretary Ann Tyce O'Shell said she is confident next week's report will be rosier because President Obama's health care program is starting to have an effect on the economy.
"Several thousand corporations have announced that they will no longer be offering health insurance to their employees because the health insurance reform program has made insurance too expensive," she said. "But that should have a positive impact on the economy because the fines for not providing insurance are less than the cost of providing insurance. That means companies should have extra money to invest if my calculations are correct."
Vice-President Joe Biden, who predicted that the president's economic plan would produce 100,000 to 200,000 new jobs a month, blamed Republicans for holding back the economy.
"We've lived up to our promise of providing some new jobs," he said, "but I had no way of knowing that Republicans would continue to refuse to raise taxes on employers. That has caused a loss of more jobs than we've created."
Robert "Rob" N. Hoode, chief economist for the U.S. Redistribution and Equalization Department (RED), said another round of economic stimulus is needed.
"What we're proposing this time is a 'Cash for Shacks' program," he said. "Anybody who wants to trade in a big, old, energy-inefficient house will get a $150,000 trade-in toward a new, energy-efficient 600-square-foot one-bedroom apartment. This will take a lot of houses off the market, which will raise the prices of remaining homes and solve our real estate problem. Think of this as a 'Cash for Clunkers' program adapted to real estate."
Hoode said anybody who can afford to live in a big, old, energy-inefficient home will be assessed a special CFS tax of $15,000 a year to fund the program.
Energy Department Chief Economist Lopez A. Mystic is holding to his prediction that the administration's decision to reduce domestic oil production will have an eventual positive impact on the job market.
"Fewer oil wells means higher gas prices," he said, "and that means people will travel less and spend more money at home. When we cancelled all those oil and gas leases out West we knew that some people would lose their jobs, but that many new jobs would be created. When unemployment goes down in a dominant industry, then other industries do well. We need more unemployment clerks, psychiatric workers and foreclosure attorneys than ever before."
Payh Zaul, chief of the U.S. Bureau of Recurring Occupations and Keeping Employment (BROKE), said unemployment statistics are sure to go down sooner or later.
"Only those who are actively looking for jobs and receiving unemployment benefits are considered to be on unemployment roles," she said. "After unemployment benefits run out, people are taken off the jobless statistic. Current trends indicate that more and more people will go off unemployment as time goes on, which will help our numbers."
Quote of the Day
"When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results." — Woodrow Wilson, known for having the second highest IQ among American presidents, behind only Barack Obama.
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