Vice President Joe Biden explained to reporters today that the $585,000 hotel bill for his one night stay in Paris is misleading. “I think there’s a big misunderstanding going on here” said the Vice President. “The $585,000 is actually in French dollars, which are worth only like ten percent of an American dollar. So you see the real cost is a lot closer to $17,000.”
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The White House today announced that they were proposing legislation to privatize the Treasury Department. Spokesperson Jay Carney said that the sale would result in an annual savings of up to one billion dollars. Said Carney “I think most of you know we are not a big fan of privatization here at the White House. But when you look at the large number of investment bank personnel that work at the Treasury Department and realize that they are performing the same functions and advocating the same policies that they did at their former employers, it just makes sense for them to stay at the big banks, do what they’re already doing, and save the tax payers’ money.” Carney said the contract would be awarded through competitive bidding, but that the decision had already been made that the winner would be Goldman Sachs.
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As several news outlets reported prior to the President’s appearance last night, the principal thrust of the State of the Union address was jobs. The President admitted that after the Presidential campaign he had forgotten about unemployment being a serious problem for the country. He stated that, having now mastered skeet shooting, he would have more time to spend on important issues such as this one.
The President then went on to describe the landmark legislation he plans to introduce to Congress on this issue: “The Full Employment Act for Undocumented Workers of 2013″. Rather than deal with unemployment and immigration as two separate issues, the President will instead focus on what he termed as “the grand compromise’, new comprehensive legislation that will provide 100 percent employment for all undocumented workers (previously known as illegal aliens). This new legislation will call for increased spending to train undocumented workers to provide them with more marketable skills, empower the EEO to review companies’ hiring processes to ensure they are not discriminating against undocumented workers, and to provide a nationwide series of government owned ATMs, where undocumented workers can go and electronically send their paychecks back to Mexico. The legislation would also provide tax credits for any payments made to “coyotes”, criminals who help smuggle illegals across the border. [Note: administration officials say that this tax credit should have no effect on the national deficit since very few undocumented workers ever pay any income tax.]
The President also addressed questions as to why his Job Council had not met in over a year. The President mentioned several reasons, including the time he spent campaigning last year and the aforementioned time committment made to improve his skeet shooting. However, the single biggest reason was his discovery that most of the individuals appointed to the Jobs Council were actually from private industry. The President realized that they would be overly biased in favor of private sector jobs and not give enough emphasis to creating new government jobs. He explained that he never would have appointed them if he had know their background. He also stated that he did not understand why his staff had submitted their names to him for appointment; that they had been vetted through the same exhaustive process used to identify his cabinet appointments.
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