Monday, November 24, 2008

What Should Happen

I actually heard a version of this notion on the radio as I was driving this afternoon listening to the Tom Sullivan show. Right wing hack that he is, sometimes Sullivan lets a smidge of uncommon sense slip through.

The idea goes something like this:

While trillions upon trillions of dollars are being shoveled out of the Treasury to support the lavish ways and styles of the plutocracy, the common folks are withering on the vine, their homes foreclosed, cars repossessed, jobs disappearing, credit evaporating. The crunch on Main Street is gathering steam even as the hit on Wall Street is deeply cushioned to say the least.

So why not do a "bottom up" stimulus? This is something people have been clamoring for and it is something the Powers That Be have resisted with all their souls and all their might.

So do it anyway. And the way to do it is to issue a credit account to every taxpayer, an account of say $100,000 for individuals, $200,000 for families (more or less), that could only be used for certain things, such as:

    • to pay down or pay off a mortgage with the limitation that the mortgage must be at least 24 months old.

    • to pay off credit card balances more than two years old.

    • to purchase a new fuel efficient vehicle and/or pay off a car loan

    • to pay off certain other debts (such as medical bills)

  • to purchase certain kinds of efficient appliances or to weatherize or improve homes, etc.

    Any amounts not used within, say, 12 months would revert to the treasury.

    Something like this, essentially getting large amounts of money into individual taxpayers' hands to use for specific purposes intended to "turn the economy around" could well do the trick.

    Throwing more trillions at phantoms of wealth on Wall Street and in the bankers' boardrooms can't and won't do it.

    Putting significant amounts of money in circulation at the bottom of the pyramid just might.
  • 1 comment:

    1. This presumes that government acts in the interests of the people, whereas what's currently and actually happening makes clear in whose interests the government acts.

      But can you imagine...? Stimulus, indeed.