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WASHINGTON (CAP) - Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are hailing President Barack Obama's latest salvo in the battle for the economy as the piece de resistance that could spell success for all of his efforts so far. Beginning next month, every American who filed taxes this year will get a free rain poncho.
"The key to success in any venture is, and always has been, staying dry," President Obama said. "Now, I may not be able to stop it from raining, but I can, uhh, help middle-class America from smelling like wet dogs when it does."
Obama recently outlined his vision for the future of the U.S. economy by detailing what he called a "foundation built upon five pillars." While the newly-dubbed Domestic Poncho Program was not part of Obama's original outline, many say it does slip seemlessly into each of the five pillars. However, some economists believe the DPP deserves its own pillar.
"Now when the rest of the world pisses on America and tells us it's raining, we'll show them that we know how to keep dry," said International Monetary Fund chief economist Olivier Blanchard. "Even if it's that smelly French pee."
Although the measure is receiving bipartisan support, critics charge that the program does not go far enough and that the sentiment is misplaced. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said a boon for the rain poncho industry will have equally adverse effects on umbrella makers and raincoat manufacturers and lull Americans into a false sense of protection against the elements.
"President Obama would have you believe a poncho is all you need when it rains," Graham said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "But what is President Obama doing to keep my feet dry? Where are my galoshes, Mr. President? Where are my galoshes?"
Former President Bush, who has thus far remained non-committal regarding President Obama's new policies and the reversal of many of his own, spoke out against the 44th president's new proposal from his ranch in Crawford, Tex. Bush called Obama's five pillars "overkill" and said Obama needs to tighten his belt in an era when Americans are forced to get by with less.
"See, I don't understand why the man needs his five pillars - I think that's a bit much," said Bush as he cleared brush from his property. "Me, I just got one good pillar, and I use it every night. Sometimes it needs a little fluffin' or maybe I need to flip it over, but one pillar's enough for this Texan."
CAP News sources inside the White House say debate is brewing over whether to provide ponchos to those public figures who have recently admitted to past tax indiscretions, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Obama's nominee for Chief Performance Officer Nancy Killefer, Obama's choice for U.S. Trade Rep Ron Kirk, Obama's original choice for HHS Secretary Tom Daschle, and Obama's next choice for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
One compromise has the government providing each of them black plastic trash bags with holes cut out for their head and arms while another calls for them to receive those bright yellow rubber rain slickers that nobody has worn since 1978.