Washington, DC–As economists and taxpayers began to dissect the Economic Rescue bill passed by the U. S. Senate tonight, many experts were surprised to learn that tax payers are in line for trillions of reward points.
Reward points are a popular perk used by banks, hotels, airlines, and retailers to encourage consumers to use their services and credit cards. What legislators failed to realize when authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to assume billions of dollars of bad debt was that the reward points associated with those loans transfer to the U. S. government.
“If we’d have known this from the outset, my guess is that public support for the resolution would have been overwhelming,” said Missouri’s junior Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
House Democrats immediately demanded that the majority of the of the points go to low income families, single mothers, minorities, and, if anything’s left over, veterans.
“President Bush wants to give all these points to the wealthiest one percent of Americans just because they pay half the taxes,” said New York Congressman Charles Rangell (D-NY). “Well they got rich because of all the points given to them by the Wall Street fat cats who caused this crisis. Let’s give these points to my people and let them go to Jamaica for a week.”
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that he does not plan to personally keep any of the 98,708,289,098,133,289 points and miles that will immediately be transferred to his name if the House passes the bill. “I have plenty of miles with the airlines, and government rules prohibit me from using them, anyway,” Paulson told Hennessy’s View.
To deal with administrtion of the points and creation of merchandise catalogs and travel packages, the Bush Administration asked Congressional leaders for emergency authorization to create the world’s largest rewards management program.
“These points will begin expiring soon, depriving millions of Americans their rightful free gifts and memorable vacations in exciting destinations throughout the world–unless Congress acts immediately and resolutely.”
Illinois Senator Barack Obama reportedly phoned the McCain campaign offering to pool his share of the points with McCain’s as a gesture of national unity. “There’s an old Kenyan saying,” Obama told supporters in Boone’s Lick, Missouri, “‘One man’s points will get you to Nairobi, but one man’s points pooled with another man’s points can take you all the way to Washington DC.'” A campaign spokesman asked to explain Obama’s remarks said he had “no idea” what the Senator was talking about.
The points can be redeemed for select merchandise or travel and cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Employees of the federal government, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Bear Sterns, and any other defunct bank are ineligible. Many of the points are subject to travel blackout dates and expiration. The IRS recommends checking with your tax advisor regarding tax liability incurred by accepting the points.