Okay, first let me preface the forthcoming genius with a disclaimer: I’m not some kind of economics expert, nor do I have any kind of background in banking, finance or government policy.
You know, I have nothing at all against President Obama or his ideas. I don’t think he’s trying to turn our country into a socialist nation (we kind of already ARE socialist—minus all the perks, of course, like decent healthcare, paid maternity leave and an assurance that we WILL be able to retire at some point without having to eat cat food and forgo medication) and I support his plans to shore up our infrastructure and create green jobs because those are things that need to happen anyway.
I do, however, have a big problem with “throwing good money after bad” where the big banks on Wall Street are concerned. If what I read every day in the news is any indication, they’re still partying like it’s 1999 and spending the bailout money (aka our tax dollars) like it’s 2004.
And exactly what part of those billions of dollars have freed up credit markets? Well, according to NPR yesterday, not much at all, if any. So why keep giving them money when it’s clearly not working? DUH. My second grader could have figured that one out.
If your personal bank was failing due to bad practices and reckless judgment, would you continue to keep your money there? Only if you’re an idiot…
So have you ever gotten the email (probably in the last 3-4 months) that says if they distributed the bank bailout money to American citizens instead, it would be much more effective and yield far more positive results than giving it to banks?
My idea is similar… Give every American taxpayer, age 21 and up, a BIG chunk of money on a debit card and then, instead of taxing it as income (which really just means you’re getting 30% less money), enact a national sales tax, which we currently don’t have, of say 3-5% so every time one of those dollars changes hands in the retail sector, it gets taxed.
The money would, in theory, continue to generate income for the government over and over and over. Don’t ask me to figure out the math ’cause I don’t have nearly enough fingers. Just know it would be a LOT of money.
Of course, this will also stimulate the retail and industrial sectors (OMG JOBS!!!) and would, hopefully, allow them to build up cash reserves so they’re not completely dependent on bank-issued credit which is non-existent right now anyway.
It’s a win-win. Businesses and banks get a much needed shot in the arm, the government gets their slice back in spades and the American people get to do what they do best…spend money like there’s no tomorrow!
Could it really be any worse a plan than giving money to a bunch of ginormous banks that have demonstrated repeatedly that they’re irresponsible and unethical?
If you had proven to be fiscally irresponsible, untrustworthy and unethical, do you think any of those banks would just hand you a bunch of money? NEVER! They wouldn’t even LOAN you the money. Hell, they’d probably throw you right out of their fancy building for even THINKING of asking.
So yeah…waste a bunch of money on people who really need it (because HELLO? Not EVERY American has a giant flat-screen yet, which is simply unconscionable) instead of sleazy corporations that suck. That’s the plan!
I told you it was genius :)