With declining public trust at home and falling credit ratings abroad, the federal government announced Wednesday it will be bailing itself out. The announcement comes amid news of additional bailouts for children’s lemonade stands, rogue nations, and the moon.
“We’re too big to fail,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. He was joined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in supporting a proposed $900 trillion bailout plan for Congress. President Obama, praising the decision, noted the importance of a stronger federal government.
“The government needs this shot in the arm now more than ever,” Obama said. “We’re an essential part of the economy and it is important that we remain vibrant.”
Part of the $900 trillion will be used to issue rebate checks to executive branch employees, senators, congressmen, and staffers. Party leaders say the plan will enable the spending needed to jolt the economy.
“If we put money in our own pockets, we’ll go out and spend that money and encourage more economic expansion,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a supporter of the plan.
The money will also be used to fund so-called shovel-ready projects. One such project is a monument dedicated to Congress in honor of the courage it displayed in passing its various bailouts and stimulus packages.
News of the bailout follows a series of similar efforts to shore up various industries. The Federal Reserve sponsored a $430 billion bailout two months ago of all children’s lemonade stands, gained a 50% ownership interest in the process.
Congress recently bailed out Iran, North Korea, and other nations listed as state sponsors of terrorism. Supporters noted it was necessary to shore up these nations’ economies so they will continue to present a threat to the United States.
“As long as these nations are threatening us, we can continue to justify large defense budgets,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, drawing an analogy to war-time production during World War II. “Military spending can save us like it did 60 years ago, but in order to justify such spending we need a stronger enemy.”
Congress has also bailed out the moon, reasoning that stronger tides will increase beach tourism.
“Millions of Americans live in or near a coastal economy,” said Mickey Wright, director of the American Coastal Tourism Organization, a lobbying group which strongly supported the moon bailout. The funds will be sent to the moon next month.
Opinion polls show declining confidence in the federal government. Public approval of Congress’s handling of the economy fell last month to an all-time low of negative 80%, meaning that everyone in the United States, and an additional 80% of the world, distrust Congress to end the recession.
Trust in the Federal Reserve and Treasury haven’t fared any better, according to a recent Gallup poll. Choosing from a list of possible courses of action to improve the economy, 98% of respondents selected “Leave America.”