WASHINGTON—After nearly four months of frank, honest, and open dialogue about the failing economy, a weary U.S. populace announced this week that it is once again ready to be lied to about the current state of the financial system.
Tired of hearing the grim truth about their economic future, Americans demanded that the bald-faced lies resume immediately, particularly whenever politicians feel the need to divulge another terrifying problem with Wall Street, the housing market, or any one of a hundred other ticking time bombs everyone was better off not knowing about.
In addition, citizens are requesting that the phrase, "It will only get worse before it gets better," be permanently replaced with, "Things are going great. Enjoy yourselves."
"I thought I wanted a new era of transparency and accountability, but honestly, I just can't handle it," Ohio resident Nathan Pletcher said. "All I ever hear about now is how my retirement has been pushed back 15 years and how I won't be able to afford my daughter's tuition when she grows up."
"From now on, just tell me the bullshit I want to hear," Pletcher added. "Tell me my savings are okay, everybody has a job, and we're No. 1 again. Please, just lie to my face."
The national call for decreased candor began last month, after the Department of Labor released another soul-crushing report that most Americans agreed "wasn't helping anything" and "didn't need to be so specific, at least."
The report estimated that 663,000 private and public sector jobs were lost in the month of March—a revealing statistic many people found shockingly blunt. Responding to the new information, an overwhelming majority of citizens said they believe that, during these extremely uncertain times, our leaders have a responsibility to come together, sit the American people down, and lie through their teeth about everything from misappropriations of taxpayer dollars to the severity of the credit crisis.
"I don't need to be constantly reminded that the lack of regulations on Wall Street compounded with failing institutions like AIG basically plunged the world economy into a global recession," said 32-year-old office manager Alexis Harrington. "What I want is for someone to tell me with a straight face that the GDP is through the roof so that I can feel better and instantly forget what all these terms even mean."
"For the first time in my life I know who the secretary of the treasury is," Harrington continued. "And I don't like it."
Reluctantly informed citizens like Harrington have also asked that CEOs of the nation's five largest banks release a joint statement saying that the October bailout worked perfectly, normal lending has resumed, and that we're nowhere close to having the entire monetary system collapse upon itself like a house of cards.
According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, 98 percent of Americans no longer appreciate President Barack Obama's attempts to break down the economic crisis into simple terms they can understand. Instead, many say the president should have the decency to insult their intelligence by using complex jargon to confuse and deceive them, perhaps even implying that the subprime mortgage fallout was just a big misunderstanding that resulted from a clerical error.
"I know when he's telling the truth, and it bothers me," recently laid-off schoolteacher Mary Hanover said of Obama. "He gets this serious expression on his face and says things like, 'This is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.' Who needs to hear that? For Christ's sake, smile a bit and say we just found a diamond mine under Montana that's going to pay for everything. I'll believe you."
"Please, treat me like a child. Treat me like a five-year-old," Sacramento resident David Cooke, 64, wrote in a letter to Congress. "I lost everything when the Dow tanked, and I'm too old to start working again, so why punish me further by explaining in detail the clever ways these investment firms ripped me off and how they're all going to get away with it?"
Thus far, many policymakers in Washington have responded favorably to their constituents' requests, saying they respect and understand the public's need for dishonesty.
"I think we can accommodate the American people on this," Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters. "Why, just today we made excellent progress with GM, whose CEO Fritz Henderson told us that every penny of federal and taxpayer funds would go directly to the construction of three new auto plants in Detroit that will create over 90,000 new jobs and spark the economic rebound we've been waiting for."
Continued Reid, "Things are looking very, very bright."