The Senate today passed a new program for jobless training by an margin of 64-36. The new bill, with a startup cost of $450 million, is known as the HOBO Act (Homeless, Obsolete, Broke and Outtawork), and will provide training in at least two dozen major urban areas across the country. Unlike many failed programs in the past which attempted to provide job skills that employers preferred to outsource anyway, the HOBO program will focus on the skills required to deal with joblessness.
"Over the years, the word hobo has taken on an undeservedly negative connotation," said Jim DeMint, one of the co-sponsors of the bill. "The truth is that hobos hold a very noble and important place in this nation's history. They're not like tramps, who work only when they absolutely have to, and nothing at all like bums, who don't work at all. They're colorful vagabonds who travel around the country, taking whatever work may come their way, whether it's picking vegetables, working in carnivals, or painting your garage for the price of a sandwich."
"This is a far better use of our scarce resources than yet another extension of unemployment," added Jon Kyl, another of the bill's co-sponsors. "Let's face it, once you've been out of work for 99 weeks, nobody is going to hire you. That's just the way it is. You reek of desperation, and that's something no sane employer wants to add to their payroll. It's much better to just accept your fate and hit the road."
"At first I was reluctant to support the HOBO act," said Olympia Snowe, "But then I realized I was just denying reality. This is training that can make life a little better for America's downtrodden. I have to ask myself, if I was homeless and on the road, would I know how to catch a critter in the woods and safely prepare it for consumption? Would I know how to hop aboard a moving freight train and make my way to a strawberry harvest? The answer is no, so I feel that the training this program provides can make a real difference in people's lives."
"The president broke the economy, and it's going to stay broken for a long time," said Mitch McConnell. "Even after we get our tax cuts it's going to be too little too late. The HOBO Act is an acknowledgement of that fact and a signal to the nation's many unemployed workers that it's time to just move on."
The bill will now proceed to President Obama, who is expected to sign it at a ceremony outside of a freight yard outside of Quantico, Virginia.
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