President George W. Bush unveiled a plan for harvesting a new source of untapped domestic energy: welfare mothers.
The plan calls for all current welfare mothers to run on treadmills hooked up to electric generators. The President explained that the measure—dubbed “Welfare for Watts”—would help reduce dependence on foreign oil and dependence on government handouts.
“Instead of sitting on their couches, eating Doritos and pumping out illegitimate children, we’re going to make the poor useful,” said Bush.
Congressional Republicans immediately championed the proposal. “It’s a huge step forward for the poor,” said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. “They will understand the meaning of an honest day’s work.”
Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist agreed. “It’s time for these welfare mothers to learn that you can’t rely on other people to take care of you,” the senator said, repeating comments written by one of his aides as he stepped into a waiting limousine.
Democrats immediately objected to the plan. “I do not believe the poor should be exploited so callously,” said Senator Ted Kennedy. “I tell them that when I visit their neighborhoods every election cycle.”
“The Democrats were all for it when Bill Clinton suggested proposed welfare reform,” countered DeLay. “President Bush’s plan is no different, except that the poor would be confined to a treadmill for eight hours a day.
“They also get to keep all the energy they can carry,” DeLay added.
Dr. Frist also pointed out another benefit of the program. “The poor suffer from obesity at alarming rates, yet lack the funds to join a health club. Problem solved.”
The welfare mother provision is just the first phase of the plan. If successful, it will be expanded to include the homeless, the ambulatory elderly, and illegal aliens during non-harvest seasons.
While supporters called the plan brave, wise, and the greatest idea since outsourcing, the modest President could not take all the credit. “Bruce Springsteen was my inspiration. I was listening to my iPad after a long day of hand-holding with Prince Saud, and I heard the Boss sing, ‘Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.’ And I thought, ‘You know, he’s onto something.’”