President Barack Obama addressed Congress over the weekend in an emergency meeting about the need to push through a public commuter bill. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) recently published some alarming statistics regarding automobile drivers over the next ten years:
- 80% of Americans will lose the use of their car due to mechanical failure, collision, or collection agencies from dealers who didn’t get reimbursed in the Cash for Clunkers programs.
- 50% of Americans will be involved in an auto accident.
- 20% of those in an auto accident will sustain serious or fatal injuries.
“We cannot allow Americans to be without transportation, and we absolutely cannot leave the problem of serious car accidents unresolved,” Obama said. “Millions suffer serious or fatal injuries in car accidents every year. Cars produce green house gas emissions that are killing our planet. It would be un-American to not take precautions to ensure the safety of our people and the earth. All cars are inherently dangerous and I’m signing an executive order for their immediate nationwide recall.”
Citizens will be required to exchange their cars for life-time passes on a new national public transit system. Those currently without cars will be able to apply for these same passes at a reduced rate or free depending on their qualifications. The transit system will be primarily made up of electric buses, but subways and other soon to be announced advanced systems will be built in metro areas.
Obama promises this new public transit system will be implemented without adding to the national debt. “We will hold our public transit employees accountable with how they spend the allotted money. Buses will not be purchased or active unless there is sufficient documentation to justify the expense to keep costs down.” Republicans and democrats see this as a bi-partisan effort and are quickly signing on. Funding will come by raising taxes on cigarettes as the only remaining source of carbon emissions in the nation, and by cracking down on tax fraud.
Some experts warn that efforts to keep costs down will leave some would-be commuters without transportation that they need. “Particularly in the rural areas, some people may have trouble finding a bus route that meets their needs,” Dr. Rabbizter from Harvard on a Hill said. “But even in metro areas, a late or broken down bus will result in some people getting to work late, or even missing an important appointment altogether. And in peak times even an on-time bus won’t get you there because it will be full. People will never be guaranteed a seat on a bus, even one they ride regularly.” Obama expects that patriotic citizens such as employers and doctors will be understanding regarding the unexpected delays that can occur in their employees or patients arrivals to appointments.
The nationwide public transit system is expected to create about 30,000 new government jobs—a welcome opportunity in this economic downturn. But Bill Trapp, owner of Grey Hound, expects to have to lay off at least 5,000 employees as the public switches to the new public transit system for its subsidized prices, and says other private busing companies will likely have to do the same. “I don’t know how we’ll compete long term,” Trapp said. “How can a private company make a profit when competing with tax-payer subsidized transportation?”
Even existing local public transportation provided by cities are wondering what this national transit will mean for their existing capital and employees. Several thousand cities across the U.S. already provide subsidized public transportation for their residents, but Obama can only offer these cities a “cash for clunker-buses” program: “Existing buses simply are not safe enough; not green enough. We must do everything possible to protect the safety of commuters, and to protect our environment. Existing local city government employees who drive and service buses will be given the opportunity to keep their jobs—just working on U.S. government buses instead of local ones, although some may have to relocate to take advantage of this offer.”
Government Motors (GM), formerly known as General Motors but renamed when recently acquired by the United States, will be used to manufacture the new buses and provide their service. Straheli Feihf, Obama’s new transportation czar, assures us that having exactly one manufacturer of all buses, and without competition for automobiles, will guarantee the safest, greenest, most efficient, and cheapest transportation. “The law of economies of scale tells us that if just one entity produces all the automobiles for a nation, the result will be more efficiency than would be possible in a free market system.”
“I think it’s great,” said a Washington state resident regarding the new plan. “It’s safer, greener, and free transportation for virtually everyone. Now if only they could do this for health care.”
(yes, of course this is a parody ;)