A Modest Proposal II

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My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Martin, told about taking his young daughter to the store. She wanted him to buy her something but he told her he didn’t have the money. She told him to write a check. He explained to her—and then, to us—that you only write a check if you have money in the bank to back it up. If only our incoming president had been in Mr. Martin’s class!

Our government, led by Mr. O (but, sadly, not limited to him) is preparing to try to get us out of the financial crisis they created by spending money they don’t have. I started to begin this sentence by saying, “I’m no financial genius, but … “ I realized that, compared to the knuckleheads running our country’s finances, I am a financial genius. At least I know that spending money you don’t have is a sure path to financial destruction.

What should be done? It’s really simple and—under the current conditions and with the current history—almost impossible.

Here’s what a smart government (yes, I know that’s an oxymoron) would do in this situation: look at the amount of money coming in for the next 12 months and only spend that much money.

Let’s say (for the sake of argument; I know the actual amounts are much different) the U.S. government is expecting to get 1 trillion dollars in income in 2009. OK, that’s how much they can spend. Military, Medicaire, Social Security, congressional salaries and statues to honor Senator Hobarth M. Frumbutt add up to 2 trillion? Stop funding stupid statues and paying congressmen (and women) and keep cutting until you’re under the mark.

Would this cause a stink? Of course. For starters, all these banks and auto manufacturers we just bankrolled would have to sink or swim like all normal businesses—and some of them would go belly-up like a dead fish. And, of course, all the people who are on the dole because they aren’t motivated enough to work or stop having children would be standing out by the curb waiting for their monthly check, not having heard on the news that this was about to happen because they were too busy watching “Springer”.

It would take a while to settle out, no doubt. But I bet, by the time the congresspersons—who now have to gainfully employ themselves in their home states—get back to Washington (only to find we’ve locked the doors, ha!*), things would have worked out.

Don’t worry. This won’t happen. The government’s just going to print more and more money with less and less real capital to back it up and the crisis will get worse and worse, allowing the government to take over more and more of our lives, which was their goal in the first place.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

*Seriously: why do we need Congress anymore? There are more than enough laws already. I’m pretty sure everything’s covered. Let’s just go with the laws we have and only convene congress when attacked or once-a-decade, whichever comes first, just for old time’s sake.