Two of America's car giants, General Motors and Chrysler, have asked the US government for another $21bn, on top of the $17bn already given to them in recent weeks.
The firms have also announced that, handout or no handout, they will also be sacking 50,000 workers.
"There's no point in making automobiles, not even the tinfoil junk that we churn out," said GM's chief executive officer Rick Wagoner. "It's far easier just to go to Washington with a stonking great sack every day and order the President to fill it with cash. That's what we're aiming for, and we sure as hell don't need 47,000 skilled employees to do that."
GM also announced that it is to sell Saab, and is demanding that the Swedish government hand it large sums of money to cover its expenses in dismembering half of the country's motor industry.
Meanwhile, Chrysler unveiled plans for a huge underground conveyor belt running directly from the federal gold reserve at Fort Knox to its Detroit headquarters - which it hopes will be built, paid for and fed with bullion by the government as some sort of New Deal-type job-creation scheme.
"We're just too big to be allowed to fail," smirked a Chrysler spokesman. "If we fold - and make no mistake, if we are not given whatever we want, whenever we ask for it, we will fold - all we have to do is yank the chain, and the entire US of A goes down the john with us. "Look into my eyes, America, and tell me I'm bluffing. You know I mean it."
"Here at Chrysler, we don't approve of the term 'protection racket' - it makes us sound like some kind of shabby, old-fashioned criminal organisation," he added with a sinister smile. "But if you prefer it, I guess your people and our people could probably brainstorm a work-around. You know, for a fee, you hear what I'm saying?"