America to Pass Go ?
President Obama today announced a proposal to allow Monopoly money to become legal tender in the United States for certain specified uses.”We want to do everything we can to help the real estate and construction industries at this critical time. My administration is proposing that Americans may use Monopoly money in the purchase of lots and in the building of specified low cost housing and hotels." Prototypes of the houses and hotels were displayed on the White House lawn. “These houses and hotels will not be luxurious, but will meet demanding specifications” The houses will be made of a green plastic, the hotels will be red. All look just alike.
Shares in the Milton Bradley company, the maker of the game Monopoly were up sharply in early trading and Wal-Mart’s across the country reported selling out of the popular games within minutes of the President’s announcement. When asked where the administration had come up with the idea, Obama said that it had originated last Tuesday which is the traditional “Game Night” for the Obama family. “We were playing Monopoly and I had just landed my race car token on Park Place, with a hotel, which was owned by little Sasha. As I was handing over the money to Sasha she turned to Malia and said , “Don’t you wish that this was real money?” “I thought about it” said the President “and I looked over at Michelle and we were both like well ,why not ? and I went in and gave Geithner a call. He was a little gun shy after the beating he took the last time I sent him out with an announcement, so he asked that I handle this one.”
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell was immediately critical of the idea, saying in his usual sour puss fashion.”It’s one thing to let people spend Monopoly money, but House and Senate Democrats are already talking about loading up the bill with a bunch of sweeteners for their constituencies. They want to be able to use Monopoly money to pay electric and water utility bills and to ride on the nation’s railroads. There is even a proposal for a new “Luxury Tax” for the rich and an idea to hand out two 'Get Out of Jail Free' cards to every family in the country. Some Democrats want $200 of Monopoly money given to every citizen who passes a designated spot (labeled “Go”) each day.” McConnell did admit that the Republicans have debated trying to amend the bill to help the nation’s retailers. “There has got to be something for Main Street” said McConnell,” we are talking about building each city a giant “Free Parking” Lot downtown. Democrats are said to be supportive of the idea if all civil and criminal penalties are paid into a fund and awarded on a random basis to people who park in the “Free Parking” lot. McConnell was predictably sour on the idea. “I know that some families do that when they play Monopoly, but if we are going to do this we need to be strict constructionists of the Milton Bradley rules. That is not in the rules.”
The President is hopeful that much of the Monopoly money can be used where it is needed most. “I was over on Baltic Avenue the other day” He said. “The place is a real blight. I bet that someone could buy that whole street for about $65 and put three or four real nice green houses on it. Maybe even a hotel.” While Baltic Avenue residents were excited, home owners on Park Place were upset.”That’s all we need are a bunch of plastic green houses brought in here to ruin the character of the neighborhood.” Said one bearded old man wearing a top hat. “Boardwalk and Park Place have been the silk stocking communities of this town forever, something like this will destroy them. They need to keep these houses on the other side of East Asia (formerly Oriental) Avenue, near the Reading Railroad tracks.”
The bill will be introduced to Congress this week and the President hopes to have it on his desk by April 15. In response to a question as to whether money from the electronic versions of the game could be used, the President replied in the negative. “Look, we can’t just have a bunch of people printing out money with nothing to back it up, I mean come on.”