President George Bush today finally unveiled his much-anticipated plan to fix Social Security. While pundits had long been expecting some sort of “privatization” plan, they were surprised when he revealed the full extent of his proposed changes to the venerated Social Security system.
“Social Security is such an expensive program that, I’m guessing, if we continued with the existing plan for the next 6,000 years, it would cost America a huge amount — a good 16 gazillion dollars. Who’s got that kind of money?” Bush noted. “And even then, we wouldn’t be able to afford to make payments after the year 2467. Clearly this is a crisis of monumental proportions, and so we need to take action NOW, so all Americans retiring 400 years from now will be able to afford phasers and replicators.
“America may not be able to afford Social Security today, but what Americans do have, in vast quantities, is courage. Now courage isn’t something you can pay for with a monthly check, but you can do something to testimonialize the courage of working Americans, so I propose that each American, upon retirement, be presented with a precious gold watch, in retaliation for their tremendous courage.”
“But don’t we give medals for courage?” asked a reporter. “I thought the watch was supposed to represent heart.”
“Well, I don’t know what kind of communist utopia you come from, but here in America we reprehend courage with a fine gold watch,” Bush retorted. “Besides, we already have a contract with the Franklin Mint to produce 15 million watches for American retirees. This contract will produce 14,000 good jobs, only 13,500 of which will be outsourced to the Philippines.”
“But what about income during retirement. Do you expect everyone to sell their gold watches to pay for food?”
“Of course not! Do you think I’m that stupid? We’re also instituting a national retirement lottery, which will be run by a consortium including Harrah’s, Circus Circus, and Caesar’s, and governed by a board consisting of retired Enron and Tyco executives. Each U.S. worker will have the choice of investing their payroll tax in a lottery fund. Then each year we’ll select the lucky winners who’ll have their retirement paid for by the United States Goverment.”
“But what about the los—”
“—You mean the lazy ones? The ones who aren’t willing to participate in our ownership society? Well I have compassion for those folks, but not sympathy. If an individual can’t take responsibility for his own retirement, he shouldn’t be relying on government handouts.”
“But don’t all American workers pay in to Social Security?”
“Abso-gosh-darned-lutely. That’s why every American has a chance to win. Now if you don’t mind, I have a plane to catch. I need to make sure my ranch in Texas is ready for my retirement in 4 years.”