Washington DC, August 23, 2004: A week after proposing a massive overhaul of US military forces around the globe, the Bush administration has now made an even more surprising move, sending six key government positions overseas in an effort to trim the Whitehouse budget, Presidential Spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters this morning.
According to Fleischer, the positions of Secretaries of Labor and Veterans’ Affairs were being outsourced to Vietnam, while the position of Homeland Security director and Secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services would all now be filled by workers in India. “We know that this is a sound business practice,” Fleisher told the Whitehouse press corps, “and the President is confident we can undertake this change without compromising the administration’s ability to run the country.”
Aside from the financial benefit of outsourcing, Fleischer pointed out that the move will make the cabinet, “by far, the most diverse in the country’s history.” He also told reporters that, in a time when critics complain that the administration has a myopic view of the world, “this new global cabinet will show everyone that the United States is not only multicultural, but also multi-national.”
Criticism of the announced down-sizing was almost immediate. Robert W. Ginsford, a lawyer for Tom Ridge, the ousted Homeland Security Director, said that his client was contemplating a lawsuit against his former employer. According to Ginsford, Ridge was given no warning of his pending lay-off and didn’t learn the news until he showed up to work Monday only to find the name on his office door had been changed to Arghavan Rahimpour.
Democratic Presidential candidate, John Kerry released a statement blaming the President’s “reckless tax cuts and a run-away war in Iraq” for the nation’s financial woes and pointing out that the move “is yet another case of this President sacrificing the American worker on the altar of corporate profit.
“As a veteran who received three purple hearts serving my nation in Vietnam,” Kerry’s statement continued, “I’m particularly saddened to see that the President has replaced [former Secretary of Veterans’ Services] Anthony Principi with a Vietnamese teenager.”
However, fans of the new multi-national cabinet were also vocal with their support, and several of the newly-appointed cabinet members tried to reassure any doubters. Speaking via video phone from his home in Vietnam, Ngyuen “Steve” Van Thoc, 13, assured reporters that his seven years of work experience in a Nike production plant gave him ample experience to serve as the new Secretary of Labor. “If I can to work fourteen hours in day for the seven days in week, then I surely can to handle this important position,” he announced confidently.
Subhadra Gupta, 12, of Mumbai, India, also expressed confidence in her ability to serve as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. Speaking alongside her younger sister, the newly-appointed Secretary of Commerce, Gupta explained that, “nine years of living on the streets has given me much respect for illness and disease. I have seen people die of hunger, dysentery, bubonic plague, and various infections from unclean wounds, and both my parents suffer from painful goiters.”
“Yes,” her sister Rudrani, aged 9, agreed. “And I have much experience with selling and buying. I help for five years now to feed us by selling cow manure on street corner. I am pleased to be having opportunity to move up in business world and look forward to working for American people.”
Defending his decision from his ranch in Crawford Texas, where he’s resting after a week of campaigning in the South, President Bush praised the new appointees as “a truly industrious group”. He said he was confident that they would serve the nation well and urged Americans to “give the little rascals a chance”.
Asked about Ridge’s complaints, the President pursed his lips thoughtfully before saying, “well, Tom and I are good friends, of course. Unfortunately, his salary was just too high and it doesn’t make sense to ask the taxpayers to continue footing that kind of bill when Miss Rahimpour will do the same job for seventeen dollars a month. So I’ll just tell him what I’ve been telling all Americans: there are jobs out there, you just have to be willing to go find them.”
And, countering Kerry’s criticism, the group “Veterans Against Kerry” released a statement on their website (www.voteforbush.com) which read, in part: “It is ironic that Senator Kerry now pretends to care about Veterans when he’s spent his whole career spitting on them. And why is he suddenly against the employment of a Vietnamese boy when all of us who served with him in Vietnam know that he routinely engaged in homosexual orgies with them during his tour there.”
Bush refused to comment about Kerry’s statement or the counter-statement by VAK, but he did seek to reassure the nation. “Come on, guys…don’t worry. It’s not like the whole cabinet is gonna be run by foreigners. Dick [Chenney], Johnny [Ashcroft], CP [Collin Powell], and Rummy [Donald Rumsfeld] are all still there to tell me what to do.”