WASHINGTON, DC—Amid growing anti-war protests and polls indicating eroding public support for an invasion of Iraq, President Bush is offering U.S. taxpayers a rebate in the amount of $300 if we go to war.
"My proposed tax rebate will serve to stimulate the economy," said Bush, waving a sample check made out to John Q. Public at a White House press conference Monday. "Americans will get a generous infusion of cash that can be used however they choose—all in return for simply supporting a first strike against Iraq. Now, who wouldn't want an extra $300 in their pocket next month?"
Under the Bush plan, single taxpayers would be eligible for a $300 rebate, married filers $600, and heads of household $500. Attached to the proposal is a rider, penned by Bush himself, stating, "Plus, we also will invade Iraq right away, everyone promises."
Pending passage of the bill, titled Economic Growth And Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2003 And We Bomb Iraq (H.R. 1936), some 91.3 million checks could be mailed as early as March 31.
"The plan is almost identical to the tax rebate offered in 2001," Bush said. "With the minor exception, of course, of the provision that Americans react favorably to the deployment of 210,000 troops to the Persian Gulf."
"Which reminds me, have you seen these new iPods?" added Bush, pulling an Apple-brand MP3 player from his pocket and holding it up to the crowd. "It costs $299 for one of these little buggers, but it holds a thousand songs. They're amazing."
Citizens are excited by the prospect of having a little extra spending money.
"Things have been pretty tight lately, so this sure would come in handy," said Ray Kilty, 48, an Akron, OH, screen-door-factory worker. "I don't know much about what's going on with Iraq, but I do know what's going on with my truck. The brakes are set to go any day now."
Bush has been pushing the rebate, part of his ambitious $1.4 trillion tax-cut agenda, in a series of TV commercials. One such ad, which made its debut last Tuesday during Fox's American Idol, features the slogan, "Free Iraq Of Hussein, Free Rent For A Month." Another upcoming spot asks the question, "War: What Is It Good For?" and answers, "$300, Is What."
In recent weeks, Bush has also met with key lawmakers in an effort to win their support.
"I get the green light from the American people, and they get 300 smackeroos," Bush told members of the Senate budget committee last Friday. "Any questions?"
"I'll tell you what," Bush added. "Just because I'm feeling generous, I'll throw in another $20 per dependent if we invade by the end of next week."
To ensure public support, the following will appear in fine print below the endorsement line on the back of each check: "By signing and cashing this check, the above is hereby indicating his or her consent to a U.S. invasion of Iraq, and will refrain from attending protest rallies or committing any other act that could reasonably be construed as an expression of disapproval of said war."
"Americans need two things right now: economic relief and the elimination of the threat of terrorism." Bush said. "These rebates take care of both. I can't think of a better way to show the citizens of this nation that war truly pays."