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Way Off The Grid: Obama to Require Middle Class To “Spread The Toys Around” to Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Editor’s Note: Way Off the Grid is a satire feature of Off the Grid News. While the articles in this section may deal with current events, they are meant to portray these topics in a satirical and humorous light.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the “fiscal cliff” negotiations hit yet another stalemate, the Obama administration announced Monday a “boldly seasonal proposal” to avert national financial disaster by requiring “middle-class America to purchase specially designated toy items for both lower and upper class citizens.”

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said the toy plan would “eliminate all the quagmired discussions about tax increases and spending cuts.” He explained that requiring “toy ‘transfer-gifting’ on a massive, national scale” would drastically reduce the need for entitlement payments for gift recipients and at the same time greatly increase taxable incomes of major retailers, “thus setting aside any need for tax increases on anyone.” The Obama administration said the required gift transfers would equal approximately “$850 billion in entitlement cuts and $950 billion in tax increases. The new program has been labeled the ‘Toys of Change Fiscal Responsibility Act.”

In a Tuesday press conference, President Obama explained that his Toys of Change proposal required middle-income citizens to “choose from a list of 44 GAO-approved toys, including such popular items as the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blaster, $26.99, the Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star Doll, $39.99, the Playskool Rocktivity Wall N Roll Rider, $29.00, among others.”

Citing Congressional Research Service numbers, Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner conceded that the “Toys of Change numbers worked out better than any other proposal,” but that Republicans would only continue discussions “if the president stopped using the neutered language of ‘holiday toys’ and used the language of ‘Christmas.’” Boehner explained that if “middle-class Christians would be rescuing the nation, it’s only appropriate to use their terminology.”

As of Wednesday, the White House refused to use such “discriminatory language,” but the administration quickly backed off when Republicans pointed out that Hanukkah and Kwanzaa simply couldn’t generate the gift-giving numbers to avoid fiscal collapse. Republicans also rejected a White House plea simply to use “Xmas” instead of “Christmas, believing it an attempt to replace the Christ figure with a veiled reference to Malcom X.” White House press secretary, Jay Carney, was the first administration official to speak the word “Christmas” during the current term. White House medical staff was on hand as he spoke the word publicly on Thursday.

The president’s plan requires middle-class families to purchase about twelve to fifteen toys from the official list of toys and to do so from designated retailers. The president conceded that having the middle class solve the nation’s fiscal crisis would “create a bit of a Christmas pinch for some families in the Christmas season, but that is what Christmas was supposed to be about, paying the Christmas bills for others, especially during Christmas.” Hoping to appeal to middle class voters, the president used the word “Christmas” seventeen times in his sixty second response.

The president added that the “good citizens” at major retailers, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon, had been “excessively” cooperative with the venture. Sources suggest that the original idea for the proposal came from a high-pressure White House brainstorming session with Toys-R-Us executives in October, a session that included experimentation with Doc McStuffins dolls and Micro Chargers Time Tracks.

The administration said that the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security would be present, ensuring toy compliance, via special Christmas monitoring stations at the approved retail outlets. As a cost-saving move, the administration originally proposed having middle-class citizens themselves deliver the toys to recipients, but Republicans negotiated a compromise with the administration, citing the “middle-class hesitation to touch or see too many poor people at one time.” Republicans also fought the Obama administration’s plan to set up a new Department of Internal Toy Transfers (DITT), arguing that the staffing alone would undermine the fiscal cliff solution.

Opposition to the plan continues to arise from a shrinking number of rank-and-file Republicans. Jared McCormick, R-Tex., objected alongside a team of six other House conservatives that “this was nothing more than the largest tax increase on middle Americans that the nation has ever seen.” Abandoning her new-found infatuation with Kwanzaa, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., chanted the word “Christmas” a record 96 times, forcing the remaining “compassionate conservatives” to back down, several explaining they hadn’t understood the gravity of the situation before.

The president appears to be winning the public relations debate as polls have consistently shown that Republicans will bear the brunt of the blame if no toys get transferred this Christmas.

While the president says the election results show that the public is on the side of toys, Boehner disputes the overwhelming support for the Toys of Change program. “The election was not a mandate to raise taxes, it was a mandate for both parties to have others purchase toys,” he said.

Late Friday, the White House announced a major obstacle to the plan. Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that the plan originated a “little late” in the year, due to the failure of other negotiations. Because of that, designated retailers have not been able to organize their inventories as quickly as hoped to implement Obama’s Toys of Change plan. “Christmas, and I mean Christmas, is a season of compromise,” said Carney. “And because of these complications, President Obama will be announcing tonight, during a prime-time address, that this year, the nation will need to postpone Christmas until February 22, 2013. The President is very excited to spread the toys around a little this Christmas, and that will take time.”

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