HEAD MUSCLE PRESS (20 October) With California being recently heralded as America’s first “Failed State,” the Democrat led Assembly has embarked on a series of bold legislative moves to turn the world’s eighth largest economy toward recovery. “This is no laughing matter,” a State Assembly spokesperson announced at a press conference earlier this week. “Our schools now rank 49th out of 50, we are being forced to lay off 60,000 state employees due to lack of operating resources, entire cities have bankrupted their pension funds, unemployment is up to 12% across the board, and the government has been reduced to sending taxpayers IOU’s in lieu of their refunds. We are simply at a point where we have to take immediate decisive action, regardless of the consequences. Given the enormity of this financial crisis, I just want to reaffirm to California taxpayers that their State Assembly is doing everything within its power to completely eliminate big screen televisions…”
Despite vigorous protests from television manufacturers, retailers, and owners around the state the Assembly has vowed to begin a massive effort to regulate the size and power consumption of televisions sold within California state lines. One anonymous Assembly analyst privately estimates that by making certain models of televisions illegal in the state, that they will drive out between 1000 and 3000 television retailers almost immediately. “Do you have any idea how much power those electronics boutiques use up?” he giddily quipped. “Closing an additional 3000 businesses would be a huge annual power savings for the state!” In addition to these potential savings, the Assembly spokesperson also pointed out that many jobs would actually be created by this bold move. “The good news,” he noted, “is that we will need to establish a State Television Power Consumption Board (STPCB) that will have the duty of monitoring power consumption statistics for any brand and model of television sold in our state. If we do this right, it could be bigger than the DMV. With luck, this new organization could fully employ the 60,000 state employees that we have recently had to lay off plus some.” When queried by reporters at the conference about commercial sector jobs, the spokesperson also noted that, “In addition to the new STPCB jobs, we estimate that between 20 to 30 thousand private sector jobs could be created in the puppet show industry. Consumers will be looking for energy conscious ways to be entertained, and our industry experts believe that this will really stimulate growth in state puppet-based entertainment.” Though the numbers sounded impressive, Assembly Republicans were quick to call Democrats out on their estimates. In a hastily assembled response, a Republican spokesperson noted that Democrats were not only counting new puppeteers in their job growth forecasts, but were also counting the puppets themselves in order to artificially inflate the numbers. Undeterred by conservative anti-puppet assaults however, state Democrat strategists pointed out that puppet shows are better than most big screens anyway, because puppet shows are usually presented in High Definition 3-D formats.
“This is really a brave step forward in restoring California’s once great economy,” the Assembly spokesperson summarized. “We, like President Obama, understand that the two real issues underlying our nation’s financial crisis, health care and big screen televisions, are inextricably linked and must be corrected in a single concerted effort. Just think about all those waiting rooms at medical facilities with big televisions in them. Imagine the savings California alone could realize by replacing them with puppet shows.”
Privately, almost all state lawmakers agree that this is a huge step in the right direction, but see it as only one spoke of an aggressive holistic approach to getting California back on fiscal track. “You really have to take the entire effort into account if you want a full picture of what we are doing,” one lawmaker commented to HM. “Sure, the big screen television ban is key, but you have to couple it with our move to legalize medical marijuana, and include Breathalyzer controlled ignition systems in the cars of California DUI drivers. This really represents the total essence of what we are doing to combat our state’s collapsing economy. Combine our state efforts with an aggressive federal Cap-n-Trade system, a national Value Added Tax, and small business funded public health care and you have a real formula for economic growth.”
Governor Schwarzenegger has not yet taken a stance on the banning of big screens, but did put out a general statement after the Assembly press conference reaffirming his administration’s support for the puppet industry. (DEVELOPING)