(Washington, D.C.) A day after President Obama read an article that Wall Street bankers paid themselves 18 billion dollars in bonuses out of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), funds allocated to open up lending and credit, the President is proving that he is a master of nonlinear problem solving. Obama okayed those TARP funds to be paid in pennies.
The President was already forging new precedents by telling private institutions what they should do. Now, he has taken it a step further by making them do it. "The American people understand we've got a big hole to dig ourselves out of," said the President. "And they don't like people digging a bigger hole even as they're being asked to fill it up, so you know what we're going to do? Fill that hole up with pennies. And if the folks on Wall Street want bonuses, they can start doing the digging and heavy lifting." President Obama then clarified his policy. "Now, I don't actually expect to fill a hole with pennies, it's just a metaphor, though it would be a good way to create jobs. We may work on that as well."
President Obama went on to say that the pay out policy would create jobs. "Treasury Secretary Geithner and I did a little figuring. We estimate that a bonus compensation of this type in pennies would require an additional 56 tons of raw copper. This would have to be mined and processed, and that will create approximately 125,000 new jobs, which doesn't include additional jobs in the medical industry due to hernias from these executives carrying their bonuses."
The move garnered immediate positive response from Congress. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi praised it. "It's this type of clear thinking and decisive action that has been missing in the Oval Office for the last eight years. As an act of solidarity, I would take my pay in pennies, but I have a bad back." President Obama was pleased to hear the united voice between the two government branches. "I know Speaker Pelosi has my back, and I have the name of a good chiropractor for hers."
There are however critics. Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain is one. As with the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, Senator McCain agrees in spirit but not method. "While I do believe that Wall Street needs to be held accountable, are pennies the answer? Maybe nickels would work better? Sure, the number is less but the weight might be more. The swiftest action is not necessarily the best action."
When this comment was relayed to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, he replied, "The President values Senator McCain's thoughts, and he has empowered me to give him a penny for them."