Washington, DC – On a party line vote, the House of Republicans passed the 2011 Obeisance and Homage Act, calling for great caravans of wealth, including jewels, grains, fatted calves and beeves, rich perfumes, and wines of esteemed vintage be brought before America’s millionaires and billionaires, in an attempt to earn their favor and mercy.
“The wealthy of this nation are the job-creators, the engines of our economic vitality,” said Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL), one of the sponsors of the bill. “So it is only right and appropriate that we bring them the bounty of our land, on bended knee, in order that they bless us with their favor.”
Democrats objected, saying the tributes to the wealthy were perhaps too showy. “The wealthy deserve tribute, of course, but in this time of hardship for all Americans, it may be that the burnt offering of an entire ox is a bit much,” said Democratic Congressional Committee chair Deborah Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL). But five Democrats voted for the bill; House Speaker John Boehner dismissed such criticisms as “class warfare,” and predicted that those who did not participate with “glad and willing heart in the tribute” would be “smote and scorned.”
Economists are guardedly optimistic that the tributes and sacrifices could have a mild stimulative effect. “Let’s say you’re a hedge-fund manager, and you’re already cash rich because you’re paying an effective 15% tax rate on your income, which is all capital gains,” said Professor Brad DeLong of UC Berkeley. “Would a vast train of tributes, slaves, and animal sacrifices encourage you to invest more of your capital in job-creating enterprises? Possibly. The ways of the rich are unknowable to mortals like you and me.”
Reached for comment, Stephen Schwartzman, billionaire founder of the Blackstone Group private equity firm, let his favor be known through the auspiciously colored innards of a goat.