“Administration Considering Additional Subsidies and Tax Breaks”

By Augustus Melmotte, who lives and works in Hedgistan.

The administration is examining strategies for encouraging the ownership of fluffy kittens. “I think we can all agree,” the president said, “that in troubled times stroking a fluffy kitten can really help a struggling family to stay on course.” The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated that a tax break of approximately $750 for first-time kitten ownership would cost the government less than $400 per kitten in administrative overhead, for a total cost per kitten (CPK) of $1150. Larry Summers, who (according to some eminent economists who used to run large universities in Massachusetts) should have been named Treasury Secretary instead of that pasty-faced sycophant Geithner, because god damn it Summers has paid his dues and got tenure when he was really, really young, said, “Beneficiaries of this stimulus measure would include not only America’s hard-working families but also veterinarians, pet-food companies, cat-nip farmers, and makers of heart-shaped kitty beds, catnip-scented mouse and gopher-shaped rubber chew toys, scratch pads, scent-free non-comedogenic coat-conditioning kitty shampoos, and teaser rods with dangling lures. And while some of these important products are made overseas, the services of America’s hard-working veterinarians simply cannot be outsourced.”

The administration is also considering a tax break to encourage trichotillomania. Trichotillomania, a mental disorder characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to pull out one’s hair, may affect as many as eleven million Americans, 91% of them women, according to a survey conducted by the Mayo Clinic. Trichophagia, a related disorder, involves the habit of eating hair. “These conditions, as painful and inconvenient as they might seem, play a vital role in maintaining a healthy economy,” said the administration’s new undersecretary of Health and Human Services for grooming and personal hygiene. “Trichotillomanes purchase scarves, ascots, fedoras, cloches, derbies, Neosporin, berets, beanies, false eyelashes, and paste-on eyebrows at a significantly higher rate than the general population. A decline in trichotillomania could have a devastating effect on many important industries.” The administration is considering incentives to encourage trichotillomanes to pluck faster and more thoroughly. Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman favors a stimulus package for trichotillomanes. “I am disappointed,” said Krugman in his blog, “that the administration has not acted in a swifter and more decisive manner. In fact, I recommend that the administration mail every citizen a pair of tweezers and a DVD of Oprah’s trichotillomania episode.” “I think there is bipartisan agreement that a trichotillomania subsidy is an urgent national priority,” said former senator and presidential candidate Phil Gramm, who now heads the K Street-based National Association of Manufacturers of False Eyelashes, Clown Noses, and Squeeze Toy Stress Relievers. [Photo: Senator Gramm squeezing a Barky the Dog squeeze toy stress reliever and sucking on the neck of a limp kitten]

In related news, in a sudden and uncharacteristic burst of courage, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has proposed a federal subsidy for vampire hunting. “Nothing brings a community together like a vampire hunt,” commented Senator Dodd. “Moreover, a vampire hunt requires serious tools. You don’t want to break into that crypt with a cheap stake that might snap or a hammer with a fragile plastic handle. Before you go after that inhumanly powerful undead creature with glowing red eyes, you are going to head down to the Home Depot or your neighborhood hardware store and load up on heavy-duty, top-of-the-line equipment.”

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, though, has doubts about Dodd’s proposal. “One problem is that it can be difficult to determine which blood-sucking supernatural parasites are in fact vampires and which are duly authorized and well-regulated components of the financial system, such as investment banks. If we allow uninformed middle-class citizens to go after Angelo Mozilo or Phil Gramm, next thing you know someone will be trying to put a stake through the heart of a selfless public servant like Hank Paulson. Also, giving the public visibility into the interiors of systemically important crypts would interfere with our ability to do our job and regulate the flow of blood. Letting the public see which crypts contain vampires could destroy confidence in institutions that play a vital role in the extraction and distribution of taxpayer blood and organs.” When asked for comment, Goldman Sachs CFO Daniel Viniar said that Goldman Sachs had extracted twelve billion pints of blood in accordance with a legally binding contract; the Transylvanian International Group had agreed to deliver the blood in the event of a zombie bank contagion, and the Treasury Department graciously chose to take over the obligation. “Moreover, we would have gotten that blood one way or another,” said Viniar. “We had a contingency plan in place.”

Congressman Barney Frank also indignantly dismissed Senator Dodd’s proposal. “Any attempt to restrain vampires would be disastrous for hard-working American families and their hard-working kittens,” Frank sputtered. “To keep the undead economy growing, we have to encourage vampirism, just as we have to encourage Citibank to shamble down the street looking for more taxpayer brains to eat.”

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  1. Stelios Theoharidis

    We should just bring back the grand wizard W. and have him resolve this crisis by extracting the lifeblood of some hapless nation that is unfortunate enough to be in the grip of a rogue overlord. One that we may or may not have supported in the past with military intelligence against a unruly but otherwise less authoritarian neighbor. And, no that is not Rumy shaking hands with him in the 80s.

    Those whom are poor or unfortunate enough to be utilizing the military as a step-ladder to socio-economic advancement can come home with missing limbs and PTSD leaving future generations indentured into a cycle of limited productivity as we feign support for our soldiers by consuming more useless crap. The great W. can appoint the head of the International Arabian Horse Society or some other meaningless organization to attend to matters of national emergency.

    His attache’ of oil lobbyists must join the dance as well to prevent any progress of international environmental issues of concern. Drill baby drill, and let a 21 year old appointee edit NASA’s foolish science reports because the world is really 6,000 years old according to new earth creationist estimates and our ancestors were riding dinosaurs blowing fairy dust out of their arses.

    But that is not enough… His ideological forefather Ray-gun can enrapture the public with a meaningless arms race against already collapsing foe, by most intelligence assessments.

    All will be wonderous as they both indebt us into oblivion in an attempt to starve the great beast of government by fattening it on military spending. Everything must be deregulated while waging a perpetual war on the poor. Women’s rights to choose and homosexuals rights to marry must be subject to our religious propensities.

    So the current administration is piss poor compared to some of our high expectations for them. Particulary in a crisis that is this serious. But I guess it says something about the times when all you need to get a noble prize is replace the last puerile idiot that was in charge.

    I know most of you are convinced otherwise but the structural root of this economic crisis is inequality, the political corruption and corporate concentration are just symptoms of a larger disease.

    1. psychohistorian

      The list goes on and on and on until you are too tired to resist anymore.

      I keep waiting for the system to self destruct but I am over 60 now and the super rich are still in charge, morals and ethics are just those concepts taught in school but have no place in our reality of free market capitalism and the faith breathers march against our rights that started in the 50’s with changing the US motto to In God we trust from E pluribus unum or Out of many, one continues apace.

      Take your Hopium now and maybe Santa Claus will bring you crappy health care legislation.

      I know, only pussies spout Latin.

  2. Teledong Delinquent

    We do all this, and then we have the problem down the road of vampire brain eating kittens subsidized by the public with all feline derivatives in our zombified nation being controlled by gold men with sacks.

    No, not me. I’ll just stock up on ammo thank you. And buy a decent poncho.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Regarding derivatives, I was watching Moore’s Capitalism With Love and there was the guy who said he could make derivatives from anything.

      That got me thinking, which I don’t like to do that much. I prefer forgetting. To me, forgetting is a much more difficult skill to perfect than knowing or learning. I am still trying to forget my last bad relationship – and can’t. That’s why I think kids should be taught how to forget first before they are taught how to learn. Oh, all that junk stuff I learned in college – when can I be free of them?!?!?!?!?!?

      Anyways, this is what I am thinking – sure, they can make derivatives on anything. But that has been done before…sort of. You see, they can write Ph.D. dissertations on anything as well. It would not surprise to find there is one about the morphology of dung.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Oh, I just remember I actually went to graduate school. Darn, I thought I had successfully forgotten about that.

        Well, I better go practice more forgetting.

      2. jake chase

        I think it was Saul Bellow who said it was too bad parents waste so much energy preparing children for success; they are much more likely to experience failure.

  3. Augustus Melmotte

    I humbly thank you all for your kind words. May all of your brains remain safely encased in your skulls and may all of your blood continue to traverse your very own circulatory systems. And remember, as Thomas Jefferson said, the tree of liberty must occasionally be refreshed from time to time with not only the blood of patriots and tyrants but also the ichor of vampires.

  4. Argel

    LOL. The reference to Vampires reminds me of Jonathan Coulton’s “Re: Your Brains” song, though that song is about zombies.

    The refrain is:

    All we want to do is eat your brains.
    We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes
    All we want to do is eat your brains
    We’re at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise:
    If you open up the doors
    We’ll all come inside and eat your brains

    You can read all of the lyrics at:


    The style of the song reminds me of James Taylor. If you have the computer game Left 4 Dead 2 then it’s one of the songs in the jukebox (warning: a horde of zombies spawn when the refrain starts).

    Great spoof article. You should see if The Onion will post it.

  5. Orlin Bowman

    Don’t forget the beneficiaries of the trichotillomania stimulus would also include the lucrative “human hairball remedy” industry.

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