The Wasatch Behind: The ultimate bailout
"Get president Obama on the phone," Uncle Spud hollered from his cluttered desk in the back room. "I've been crunching some numbers here and I've come up with a plan to solve all of our problems."
"I'm sorry," I said. "But since the inauguration President Obama hasn't been in the oval office to take any phone calls. He's on a victory tour. He's on the road using Air Force One as a flying motor home. Every day he's in a different city making a new speech about how great things are going to be after he bankrupts the country."
"That's what I need to talk to him about," Spud proclaimed. "Instead of a trillion dollars here and a trillion dollars there, I've come up with a plan to get 'er done."
"You sound like Larry the cable guy."
"It's simple," he said. "For a mere hundred trillion dollars we could give every household in America one million dollars."
"How do you figure?" I asked.
"There are three hundred and fifty million people in the country with an average of 3.5 people per household," he said. "That equals 100 million households. Times that by one million and you get 100 trillion."
"It would solve all of our problems," he insisted. "If every family had a million dollars they could solve their own mortgage crisis and bail out Detroit by buying a new car. The economy would be stimulated, banks would be rescued, Wall Street would be happy, and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd would be off the hook."
"I'm not so sure about that."
"There would be many trickle down benefits as well," Spud insisted. "For instance, we could finally win the war on poverty. With a million dollars, even the homeless should be able to get in out of the cold. We could shut down all of the homeless shelters, food pantries and rescue missions. Everyone could afford to eat at McDonald's and the Salvation Army people could join the Marines.
"And we could solve our crime problem because everyone would have plenty of money and no need to steal. We've been told that poverty causes crime, so by solving the poverty problem we could shut down our prisons and lay off most of our cops.
"We could eliminate class envy because everyone would have money. We could all join the country club and hob-nob with the rich and famous. We could eliminate affirmative action, and the government wouldn't have to pay for abortions because everyone could afford to kill their own kids.
"Our problems with urban housing would be solved because everyone could buy a nice house in the suburbs. We could tear down the big city housing projects and create urban wilderness zones, places where city people could enjoy wilderness, too. We could put up signs saying: No cars, bikes, scooters, skateboards, baby carriages, roller blades or shopping carts allowed. Have a nice day and stay on the trails, or else.
"And with a million dollars, we could all quit our jobs and stay home. That should strengthen our families and beautify our cities. Everyone would have time to go to PTA meetings and cut the lawn. And if we all stayed home, it would eliminate freeway congestion and the need to spend money on roads and bridges.
"And by quitting our jobs, we could clean up the environment. With no one needing to work, we could shut down all of the mines and factories and get rid of all the pollution and greenhouse gasses. We could avoid global warming. And by not driving to work, most of us could reduce our carbon footprint. We could shut down our oil and gas wells and fill our fuel tanks with leftover veggie oil from McDonald's grease traps.
"We could all afford to adopt a wild mustang and go dancing with the wolves. We could convert our homes to solar energy and buy carbon credits from Al Gore. The sky would be bluer, crypto-biotic soil would be softer, and the whole world would rejoice. We could be so green the Martians would be jealous. Just think, with only a million dollars per family we could bring to pass all of the changes we so desperately voted for."
"I have a question," I meekly interjected. "How are you going to pay for this?"
"It's simple," Spud said smugly. "We'll tax the rich people."