How to Cash in on the Bailout Money

Eileen McDevitt and Larrey Anderson
My wife and I fixed dinner for two friends last night -- both are prominent businessmen. The conversation turned to the bailouts and whether or not it was possible for ordinary Americans to cash in on the trillions of dollars being dished out by congress in the last couple of months.

Those American Thinker readers who are familiar with the twin bailout bills (the TARP bill passed by the Democrat congress under President Bush and the “stimulus” bill passed by the Democrat congress under President Obama) know that there is almost nothing in either bill for the “average” American.

Money from the first bailout bill went to banks and mortgage companies. It didn’t go to everyday Americans.  The second bailout bill is targeted to special interests like education, health care, state and local governments.  Again, there is not much in the bill for you and me.  What’s a red-blooded American got to do to get his or her red-blooded share of the bailout money?

As we approached the end of our second bottle of wine, the ideas on how to grab our own little piece of the bailout pie started to flow.  Not all of the ideas were legal -- and a few may have been amoral. But one idea struck me as worth pursuing (at least as a theoretical enterprise):

 All ordinary Americans should get a new credit card -- a credit card issued by one of the banks receiving bailout funds. The credit card is to be used solely for one purpose: to pay off our income taxes. So the 100 million or so hard working Americans, who still have jobs and still pay taxes, will put all of our tax payments on a credit card -- and then we will refuse to pay off those credit cards.

Since the government has bailed out the banks issuing our credit cards, at least some of that bailout money will be going to the average American.

Ordinary Americans get to kill two birds with one stone: we all get a piece of the bailout action (the federal government pays off our credit card debt) and we don’t have to pay any federal taxes. (The government will pay them for us!)

Of course our plan is nonsense (although it was a lot of fun to talk about) and it would only lead to a massive spiral of debt.

In reality, our little credit card plan is very close to the bailout bill that the Democrats have endorsed and passed into law. The economy will be “stimulated” by federal spending of a trillion dollars on a hodge-podge of projects.  

If “stimulating” an economy was that easy, why not just have the government pay everyone’s taxes? We would have more money to spend, the government could pay itself as much as it deserved, and everyone would live happily ever after.

Why not? Because, as everyone who lives in the real world understands, economies just don’t work this way. Someone, somewhere, must produce and sell actual goods and services. Someone, somewhere, must bake the bread, package the computer, screw the hinge on the car door, nail the sheetrock on the wall. And that someone, somewhere, is NEVER the government.

Now where did I put that credit card application?


My wife and I fixed dinner for two friends last night -- both are prominent businessmen. The conversation turned to the bailouts and whether or not it was possible for ordinary Americans to cash in on the trillions of dollars being dished out by congress in the last couple of months.

Those American Thinker readers who are familiar with the twin bailout bills (the TARP bill passed by the Democrat congress under President Bush and the “stimulus” bill passed by the Democrat congress under President Obama) know that there is almost nothing in either bill for the “average” American.

Money from the first bailout bill went to banks and mortgage companies. It didn’t go to everyday Americans.  The second bailout bill is targeted to special interests like education, health care, state and local governments.  Again, there is not much in the bill for you and me.  What’s a red-blooded American got to do to get his or her red-blooded share of the bailout money?

As we approached the end of our second bottle of wine, the ideas on how to grab our own little piece of the bailout pie started to flow.  Not all of the ideas were legal -- and a few may have been amoral. But one idea struck me as worth pursuing (at least as a theoretical enterprise):

 All ordinary Americans should get a new credit card -- a credit card issued by one of the banks receiving bailout funds. The credit card is to be used solely for one purpose: to pay off our income taxes. So the 100 million or so hard working Americans, who still have jobs and still pay taxes, will put all of our tax payments on a credit card -- and then we will refuse to pay off those credit cards.

Since the government has bailed out the banks issuing our credit cards, at least some of that bailout money will be going to the average American.

Ordinary Americans get to kill two birds with one stone: we all get a piece of the bailout action (the federal government pays off our credit card debt) and we don’t have to pay any federal taxes. (The government will pay them for us!)

Of course our plan is nonsense (although it was a lot of fun to talk about) and it would only lead to a massive spiral of debt.

In reality, our little credit card plan is very close to the bailout bill that the Democrats have endorsed and passed into law. The economy will be “stimulated” by federal spending of a trillion dollars on a hodge-podge of projects.  

If “stimulating” an economy was that easy, why not just have the government pay everyone’s taxes? We would have more money to spend, the government could pay itself as much as it deserved, and everyone would live happily ever after.

Why not? Because, as everyone who lives in the real world understands, economies just don’t work this way. Someone, somewhere, must produce and sell actual goods and services. Someone, somewhere, must bake the bread, package the computer, screw the hinge on the car door, nail the sheetrock on the wall. And that someone, somewhere, is NEVER the government.

Now where did I put that credit card application?