Santa has an ominous holiday message for Washington: Stop overspending, appropriating, and earmarking - or the only present in congressional stockings this year will be a big lump of coal.
That's according to Public Notice, a nonprofit group that released an online video Tuesday starring a dejected old St. Nick, slumped in a sparse workshop and lamenting that the government has stunted his toy manufacturing business.
"My name is Kris Kringle. I run a toy manufacturing company based in the North Pole, but incorporated in Delaware," he explains. "We've been around for 1,700 years and we make very, very good toys: teddy bear, bouncy ball, horsey on a stick - the classics."
But Santa isn't feeling the Christmas spirit this year."They ask me, ‘Santa, aren't you ready to spend money, hire new workers, reinvest your profits and grow?' And my answer is ho, ho...no," Kringle relates sourly. "Things haven't been so jolly."
The self-described nonpartisan group behind the spot advocates for fiscal responsibility and attacks spending programs through its "Bankrupting America" project. Led by Gretchen Hamel, a former deputy assistant U.S. trade representative during the Bush administration, the group has criticized both former President Bush and President Obama for "lov[ing] to spend."
And in the ad, the not-so-jolly Santa also blames his woes on Washington. "It's one of the toughest business environments I've seen," he says. "It doesn't help that we're paid in cookies. And Washington isn't helping."
St. Nick cites fluctuating tax rates and increases, "earmark goodies," and uncertainty about the price tag of health care as factors that will "cost us."
As to how Congress can get off his naughty list, Santa says, "Just give business owners some clarity. Simplify the tax code. Stop overspending," Brandishing a lump of coal, he warns, "Or you're going to wake up with one of these in your stocking."