Anticipating a more lively performance from Barack Obama in the second presidential debate tonight at Hofstra University, Mitt Romney’s debate preparation team has been hard at work fortifying the Republican nominee against every conceivable contingency.
For example: to ensure that Governor Romney is as well educated as possible about economic matters, after the first presidential debate his economic advisors downloaded a version of the Federal Reserve’s Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model to the GOP candidate’s new brain. The blood-cooled super-processor residing in the front of Romney’s cranium, which is capable of a remarkable 4.9 quadrillion floating point operations per second, is now able to run millions of simulations of the definitive model of the American and global macroeconomies and analyze the results in under a second.
In a matter of days, Governor Romney’s Skynet® superbrain has now learned the equivalent of the combined knowledge of every Ph.D. economist that has ever lived. Having been calibrated to exacting supply-side specifications regarding the economic effects of taxation and regulations, it is expected by the Romney campaign that the GOP nominee will not only successfully withstand questioning from CNN correspondent Candy Crowley and audience members but will for the first time deliver internally consistent arguments and rebuttals. This corrects a notable flaw in previous iterations of the Romneybot that provided ample ammunition for satirists, Romney’s primary opponents, and the Obama campaign.
The Romney campaign was initially hesitant to acknowledge that the GOP nominee was controlled by Artificial Intelligence. However, after it was revealed by this newspaper that Mitt Romney had his artificial brain hastily replaced with an IBM supercomputer prior to his unexpectedly strong performance at the first debate, the campaign decided to tout Romney’s new brain as an exciting breakthrough in American technology.
“Compared to how things were with that cheap Chinese crap, this is a real upgrade”, said a member of the Governoid’s communications team in a rare candid moment. “Do you have any idea how difficult it was to spin the nonsense that used to come out of his mouth? You could put magnets either side of his head and power a small city.”
To counter allegations by the Obama campaign that Governor Romney’s jobs plan was woefully short of specifics, Romney’s economic advisors programmed Skynet® to search for a combination of policies that generated the greatest permanent reduction in the unemployment rate. “We looked at everything under the sun: income tax cuts, corporate income tax cuts, capital gains tax cuts, you name it”, said Herschel “Herp” Derpowitz, the University of Chicago economist who is chief economic advisor to the Romney campaign. “[B]ut we couldn’t find any plausible combination that generated the job growth necessary to reach five percent unemployment. So we tried something a bit… different.”
Desperate to demonstrate that the Governor’s campaign promises were grounded in reality, Romney’s economic team relaxed some constraints in the economic model residing within his skull. The results were nothing short of extraordinary. “Skynet realized that there was a way to simultaneously create the twelve million jobs the Governor has promised and reduce long term unemployment without creating inflationary pressures. It was a profoundly elegant solution.”
The first element of the Romney plan is relatively uncontroversial: Hire millions of idle construction workers to demolish blighted neighborhoods in urban locales such as Detroit, Baltimore, and Buffalo. By reducing the oversupply of housing using the eminent domain powers of the United States government, the housing market is projected to improve nationwide, leading to huge gains in household net worth and consumer spending from wealth effects.
“Using public funding to destroy housing is somewhat taboo, especially when there are so many homeless people” said Ed Glaeser, the noted Harvard economist who specializes in urban land use issues. “It’s an interesting concept though, and I’m glad it’ll be debated at the highest levels.”
The second element of the plan is to create yet more construction jobs by building poorhouses not seen since Victorian England. According to a senior Romney policy advisor, this will solve several problems at once. “Demolishing housing without an alternative solution for the homeless and the deserving poor wasn’t politically viable. By co-locating all human detritus in the same place, we’ll simultaneously quarantine their immorality and save money on administrative costs for whatever welfare programs Congress won’t let us eliminate.”
The third and final element of Mr. Romney’s plan is expected to generate the most controversy, but independent assessments by the Brookings Institution and the Tax Policy Center have concluded it is essential to delivering on Romney’s promises. Should the former Massachusetts governor be elected, he will propose to Congress the largest federal make-work program since the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The chief element of this plan is to provide all unemployable, chronically ill Americans with a shovel with which to dig their own graves. “I have every confidence that the lowest decile will cheerfully perform its highest patriotic duty, which is to shuffle off into the afterlife and give the rest of us some breathing room”, said New Jersey governor Chris Christie, a top surrogate for the Romney campaign. “Decimating the population will bring down uninsured healthcare costs dramatically and increase wages for all Americans. That’s the kind of out-of-the box thinking we’ll get in a Romney administration, and I for one am elated.”