COLUMBIA, S.C. – President Bush shocked a joint session of the South Carolina Legislature when he announced what he called “the solution” that will keep Social Security solvent. The president suggested that counting two or more poor people as one person, provided they live in the same home, would stave off the coming shortfall in Social Security funding.
The president entered the South Carolina State House, where he was to speak to the Legislature, approached the podium, felt his head as if in a significant amount of pain, then came to the microphone with a smile, saying, “I’ve got it. I’ve got the plan. The solution. I thought it was a migraine, but it was a thought. A great one.”
The president then briefly outlined the proposal, saying it would count any two poor people as one person, and would pay only the Social Security benefits owed to one individual, whoever was to receive the least.
“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before,” the president said gleefully. “You know, I got all these guys, and I pay ‘em all this money and meet with ‘em and everything. And what happens? They can’t see something like this. It’s like everything. You have to be able to see the leaves and not just the trees–the bark of the tree and not the forest. Whatever that is.”
Many in the audience seemed unable to speak or move for several minutes as the president continued, appearing to get ideas one after another. “And maybe we make it that if there’s three people in the home who could receive the benefits, you get, like, 1.5 or something. I don’t know. Or maybe we could also raise the retirement age for poor people to 130. I don’t know. I’ll leave it to the smart guys to figure out the details. But man, this is great. I like–I really like solving problems. I like it. I know FDR said that, too. Or something like that. And I like to think we’re alike. Now, he may have done this differently. Like, he may have counted poor people as a whole person. I don’t know. I didn’t know him personally. But the point is, it’s a solution, and it’s good for America. Or the part of it that has a bunch of money.”
At that moment Dan Bartlett, Counselor to the President, came to the podium, put his hand on the microphone and whispered to the president. The president’s response was audible without the microphone, as he said, “Why, Dan? I don’t wanna go. I’m having fun.” The president finally left the podium with Bartlett, shaking his head, and an announcement was made that his presence was required at an emergency meeting on Air Force One.
By the time the president had returned to Washington, the White House had already begun denying the radical plan had been proposed by the president. White House spokesman Scott McClellan, at an impromptu press briefing, said, “This is another attempt by the liberal media to paint this president in a negative light. As if he would even consider counting two poor people as one. It’s absurd. A poor person counts as at least eight tenths of a rich person in many cases where taxes aren’t a factor, and this administration stands firm on that.”
Not a single member of the South Carolina Legislature can currently be located.