Cash-for-Elders Program Spends Allotment in First Week

(Washington, D.C.) - The government-funded Cash-for-Elders program, created to remove old people from households and replace them with children from the overburdened foster care program, has burned through its initial $1 billion funding in five days.

It was thought that the program would deplete its cash stake by October, but an emergency infusion of money is now before the Senate, and should be in the hands of Congress members early next week.

"It's astonishing how many people responded to this," said Congressman Harley Morton (D-Montana). "The first day, we filled two high school gyms with senior citizens who no longer suited their families' needs." The program, which awards up to $1200 for every person age 75 or older dropped off at approved sites, is intended to rejuvenate the home lives of thousands of American families suffering beneath unemployment, inflation, and lack of basic health care. The monetary award as well as an IRS tax incentive seemed to seal the deal for many.

Teh qualifications for the program are simple, requiring that the elders be reasonably ambulatory and born before 1934. Birth certificates are required.

At the Los Angeles Coliseum drop-off site, at least 3,000 green painted old people wandered in delighted confusion after the facilitator told them they were going on a trip to gambling destination Laughlin, Nevada. Actually, the group would board buses to take them to a remote location in Alaska, where final sorting and assignment will take place.

A couple leaving off an addled uncle--referred to only as "Wally"--said that they were "sold" on the merits of the program. "At first, of course, there's shock and a few tears. But there's never been a better time to get rid of your family member who's not carrying his or her own weight in the home," said the woman, who would not identify herself. "Wally can't even bounce the grandkids on his lap with his bad knees and all."

Her husband added that "Now they get food and activities, and we get someone who can at least help out with the trash cans once in while."

"It makes you seriously re-think the word 'value' when it comes to family values," he continued, "and this is absolutely a value for our family. We're getting one half of a nice set of pre-teen twins to take Wally's place. It's win-win."

"I think this is sound public policy," Congresswoman Diane O'Doul (R-Maine) announced at a press conference in an "adult day care" center. "It allows children stuck in the system to take the place of the elderly at homes where they are no longer wanted. You should see their eyes light up when the kids find they have a bed that moves in all configurations and their own "Rascal" scooter. It's magic. And it takes a big burden off mom and dad and some of the other siblings when they pick up household and gardening chores."

Asked if she would do it over if there wasn't a one-elderly person limit, the woman dropping off her dazed and weeping uncle replied, "I'm not sure, but Wally's wife Joan is certainly on her best behavior."


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