The $100K Solution

Last year, the American people took out a $700 billion loan (a.k.a. the "bailout" bill) and gave it to the financial institutions that unwisely invested or squandered their funds (with the assistance of certain congressional leaders named Chris and Barney).  Without an exception, every member of Congress decried this as an unacceptable solution to a problem where the alternative is too horrible to contemplate. 

Bankruptcy is unthinkable, as these banks are "too big to fail". That assessment will never be substantiated, since the bill passed and the money is being spent.  What we do know is that much of this "investment" went to institutions that are not using the funds to pay off bad mortgages or loans.  It went to boondoggles such as lobbying, mega-advertising schemes, buying up other banks, extravagant bonuses and golden parachutes for executives, posh golf and spa outings, and corporate jets.  Apparently, they really didn't need that extra cash all that badly, but we are stuck with the tab anyway.

What this bill did accomplish was to desensitize the American public to huge future expenditures being formulated by the Democrat administration.  This is how you eat an elephant:  One bite at a time.  No longer are we worried about a trifle like attempting to balance the budget or even use anachronistic terms like "fiscal responsibility".  We are behaving like a family with an income of $40K contemplating a mortgage for a million dollar house.  Excuse me, but that is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place.  We are now desensitized to the point where a $900 billion "economic stimulus" bill doesn't seem so bad. 

Although this crushing debt is mind-numbing, there is no end in sight.  The true cost of bailouts and stimulus (the "elephant") will probably reach $7.5 trillion, according to government sources.  This is equivalent to every man, woman, and child in this country taking out a $25,000 loan.  As Kansas US representative Todd Tiahrt put it, referring to the bailout bill, "This is a plan crafted by Washington insiders to give money we cannot afford to greedy people who live the lifestyle of the rich and famous."

I have an attractive proposal.  There is no way short of a nuclear accident over the Capitol building in dissuading Congress from spending this money (that is not my proposal).  Doing nothing, although the best alternative, is not an option to our clueless, panicky congressional leaders.  My solution is to give the money directly to the people.  That means a typical family with children will receive over $100,000.  The money will not trickle down, up, or sideways.  It will go directly to the people who took out the loan. 

The result:  The economy will immediately skyrocket.  Automakers will not be able to fill orders fast enough.  Housing will become an instant sellers' market.  Retail businesses will go crazy.  Yes, wealthy executives may not receive their bonuses, and some of their bank accounts exceeding the FDIC insured limit may disappear when irresponsible financial institutions go bankrupt, but that is the downside we will have to live with.  I am not usually a proponent of populist handouts, but I don't like the alternatives currently being discussed.  Giving the money to ACORN, family planning, contraceptives, National Endowment for the Arts, unions, Democrat re-election efforts, and other liberal causes does not excite me. 

I'll tell you what.  Let's put it to a vote, a national referendum.  Would you rather spend $7.5 trillion on liberal pork and bailouts for the greedy, or would you like your family to receive $100K, tax free?  This is America, let the people decide.

Andrew Thomas publishes