WASHINGTON, D.C. (SatireWire.com) – Yielding to economic pressure, the U.S. will sell off 11 underperforming states by the end of the year, the White House announced today.
The surprise sale is a concession to Republicans, who have long demanded the government be run more like a business. Each of the states chosen annually receive more federal money than they collect in taxes, giving them a negative return-on-investment “that no corporation would tolerate,” said White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee.
The worst-performing 11 states include America’s largest (Alaska), its poorest (Mississippi), and its least interesting (North Dakota). The others are New Mexico, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, South Dakota, Virginia, Kentucky, and Montana.
According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, only 19 of the 50 states are profitable for the government, while one, Rhode Island, is level, receiving $1 in federal funding for each dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes. The administration, however, chose to take only the bottom 11 off their balance sheet as the remaining 39 would, collectively, break even.
President Obama, who will outline the plan in his State of the Union address Tuesday, is not expecting significant opposition.
“The American people said in the last election they want us to cut costs and focus on needs,” Obama explained. “Looking at the list, it’s hard to argue we need these. The Dakotas? Mississippi? West Virginia? It’s a no-brainer. By which I do not mean West Virginia specifically.”
Tea Party and GOP members initially supported of the idea, until they realized that 10 of the 11 states most in the red are actually Republican “red states.”
“When we said we need to run America like a business and get serious about cutting costs, we didn’t mean losing Kentucky,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who would surrender his post with Kentucky’s sale. “We meant that government should take a hands-off approach and let the free market decide.”
“The free market says Kentucky sucks,” Obama replied. “Look at the numbers.”
Alaska, with its natural resources, is expected to fetch the highest bid. Its sale, however, will mean that former Gov. Sarah Palin will not be eligible to run for President, as she will no longer be a U.S. citizen. Obama’s native Hawaii is the 39th worst performing state, and will remain in the union. The White House called this a “market-driven coincidence.”
The states will be sold as-is, although Goolsbee said the properties will be relieved of important assets such as military bases and the national gold reserves at Kentucky’s Ft. Knox. In Virginia, the homes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson will be moved to Maryland, as will the Arlington National Cemetery. Sources also say the giant figures on South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore will be moved to Arkansas, “to finally give people a reason to go there.”
Following the asset transfers, the states will be repainted, primarily in neutral colors. “I’m not sure about New Mexico, but we’ll definitely paint the red states,” Goolsbee said. “It’s a jarring color, one we have found very difficult to work with.”
Opponents argue the sale will allow foreign countries to gain a foothold on the North American mainland, but economists say the market is too weak, and doubt there will be interest once other nations perform due diligence and see the red ink. Corporations are more likely to be tempted, although to date, only Facebook has expressed interest. It may bid on West Virginia for its coal mines.
The U.S. will hold an open house on May 21 and hopes all properties will be off the books by Dec. 31. States that remain unsold may be broken up and sold for scrap, Goolsbee added.
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