The U.S. Treasury announced Monday that it will begin paying debts in Monopoly money, abandoning the dollar as a looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling threatens its value.
With President Barack Obama deadlocked with congressional Republicans over taxes and spending, Secretary Tim Geithner said the Treasury is preparing to head off default by using Monopoly money in lieu of the U.S. dollar.
“Monopoly money has held its value in comparison with the U.S. dollar,” Geithner said. “If we truly do not want to default on our debts and head into another recession, this is the best way to meet our obligations after August 2.”
Since 2010, the Federal Reserve has pursued an aggressive policy of monetizing the debt – essentially printing more money and placing it into circulation – which has caused inflation. The U.S. dollar has lost so much value that federal reserve notes have reportedly been used to start fires – and not out of necessity.
“Previous policies have devalued the currency,” Geithner said. “Some reports indicate that many Americans are burning dollars, not to stay warm as in post-World War I Germany, but for pure enjoyment.”
President Obama has called for higher taxes, which Republicans reject. Meanwhile, Democrats refuse the sort of deep cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other spending that Republicans say is necessary to begin balancing the budget. Both sides have accused the other of hating America, the poor, the elderly, minorities, freedom, God, themselves, existence, and even hate itself.
Geithner has suggested that the classic Parker Brothers game may offer more than merely wise monetary policy. He has also turned to Monopoly for guidance on housing and crime policy.
“I like the idea of grouping property by colors and building only houses and hotels on them,” he said. “The get-out-of-jail-free cards are great ideas too, especially for people who want to be secretary of the Treasury but haven’t paid their taxes.”
Congress is expected to follow suit by declaring Monopoly dollars legal tender for all debts. This would make it easier for the government to spend (since Monopoly money contains $500 bills) while shoring up the dollar and avoiding a politically divisive debt ceiling vote.
It would also make it easier to pay off mistresses and lobbyists because Monopoly money lacks serial numbers and is therefore harder to trace, says one congressional aide who asked to remain anonymous.