Legislators in Illinois have proposed making President Obama’s birthday a paid state holiday.
A group of Democrats led by state Rep. André Thapedi have sponsored a bill to honor Obama’s birthday, August 4, by closing offices and paying state employees for doing no work.
Rather appropriate, from a certain point of view.
You have to wonder about the plan, however, considering how many other, seemingly important, problems Illinois is facing these days.
The state has been drifting along without a budget, and in September it stopped paying claims on workers’ health insurance plans.
Back in August, the state went into “technical default” by failing to procure funds for a future payment on its debts.
It should be no surprise that many of the state’s budget problems are linked to excessive pension debt, but things have gotten so bad in the state that even big lottery winners were not being paid for a time. The state resumed lottery payments in December.
So with the financial roof caving in, what’s the most burning issue in Illinois?
Expanding employee benefits by way of honoring one of the worst presidents in history, of course.
According to the bill, “The fourth day of August of each year shall be a legal holiday to be known as Barack Obama’s Birthday to be observed as a day on which to hold appropriate exercises in commemoration of our illustrious President.”
I’m thinking a parade with floats.
There could be the Benghazi float featuring local jihadis perched atop a replica of the burned-out embassy, towing an American fighter jet with the hood up to symbolize the lack of military response.
That could be followed by dancers re-enacting the video that purportedly sparked the whole debacle, and actors dressed like Hillary Clinton who would run up to parade watchers yelling “What does it matter” while tossing out candy and campaign buttons.
The parade should also include a titular Barack Obama, along with a Vladimir Putin and a Michelle Obama who would take turns riding Barack down the street like a horse.
That should be followed by the Barack Obama Formerly Employed Drill Team, who could put on a stunning display of military discipline and marching that ends with handing out their resumes to anyone in the audience.
I’m sure other people have good ideas that could make Obama Day a memorable and festive part of the cultural landscape.
Personally, I’m looking forward to it.