How To Fix The Economy

[ Posted Thursday, September 25th, 2008 – 15:56 UTC ]

Although it has required an almost unbearable amount of restraint, I am not going to comment on John McCain's political grandstanding today. I'll get to it tomorrow, I promise.

Instead, we have the return of our in-house cartoonist! While it may have appeared to the public that CWCunningham was in an undisclosed location these past few months, he and I were actually colloborating on a video, in an effort to get (you can't make this stuff up) a liberal lobbying firm on K Street interested in our idea. But, sadly, it came to naught. But this week's financial meltdown proved to be too hard for him to resist, so we proudly present his take on the situation.


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After admitting earlier this week that understanding the national economy is beyond me, I have decided that if Sarah Palin can be seen as a serious candidate for vice president, then I can be seen as a serious economist. So, in no particular order, here are my ideas for fixing the American economic system:


Money for nothin', Checks for free

Since Bush's minions have come up with the gargantuan figure of $700 billion for the bailout, I propose instead that we take that amount of money and send it to every man, woman, and child in America.

Obviously, the federal government can make this amount of money appear by snapping its fingers, so let's take it and do some real good with it instead. Divided out, this would come to around $2,300 each. A family of four would get a $9,200 check from Uncle Sam. You know what the effect this would have on the markets? Well, just about every single foreclosure would stop, since the first thing people would do with the money is pay their mortgage. The "junk" mortgages would suddenly become a lot more sound, and we would avoid the "Great Depression" scenario.

It might work, it might not, but I bet this plan would get more public support than taking the same amount of money and shoveling it to the same people who got us into this mess on Wall Street.


CEO pay = minimum wage

If that's not acceptable, I have a suggestion for a new law. Chief Executive Officers of every American company must accept nothing more than minimum wage. They can get stock options on top of this, so that if the company does well under their leadership, they will still profit handsomely. But if the company goes south, then they wind up working for what the janitor does. Let's see how they survive on what millions of Americans make.

Again, if the company does well, they still get millions. If the company does not do well, they get minimum wage, and that's it.

I bet that this plan, too, would be wildly popular with voters.


The Wanda Sykes Public Housing plan

Wanda Sykes is a comedian. Or, put less politically correct, a comedienne. However you say it, she's a scream to listen to. And she unloaded both barrels during her recent appearance on Jay Leno.

Her idea is simple. All these Wall Street guys and gals who made out like bandits should pay. We'll start with their mortgages, and sell them to the government. Since the government would own their house (something they'd have to agree to or they would be out of a job), treat them like any residents of public housing. Make them take drug tests, and kick them out if they test positive. Let them have to line up to get their paychecks from the government. Which could only be cashed "in the check-cashing place by the liquor store." Declare all their swimming pools public, so anyone could come over for a dip.

I'm paraphrasing her words as I don't have a transcript. Watch the clip for yourself to get the idea (her whole appearance was hilarious). [The Huffington Post has a partial transcript and clip, NBC also has a partial clip (this may in fact be the same clip), and The Tonight Show site assumably has the whole thing up there somewhere, but I had minor problems with their site, so can't post a link directly to the full video, sorry.]

Once again, I would be willing to bet $700 billion that this plan would gain wide, almost-universal acceptance from American voters.

I guess this "being an economist" stuff is easier than I thought...

Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.


-- Chris Weigant


11 Comments on “How To Fix The Economy”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Although it has required an almost unbearable amount of restraint, I am not going to comment on John McCain's political grandstanding today

    Uh.... You just did... :D Heads up... If you do a commentary on McCain's "grandstanding" please stick around for the fireworks... :D

    My Economic Plan

    A. Get rid of the Stock Market. Barring that, make it like the Stock Market in the Game Of Life where everyone can play just by spinning a wheel..

    That's all I got....

    On a more serious note, I DO like the idea of judges being able to re-write mortgage contracts. So, I am going to vote for whomever makes that happen.. :D


  2. [2] 
    Gipper wrote:

    How about this,
    Invest the $700 billion dollars in America, and not Wall Street. Let them figure out how to pay their bills like everyone else in America.
    Here are some items that the money go to. People say that the power grid needs major updating, that could be a good place to start, and did someone say Wi-Fi for every town in America? I'm sure there are some levees that can be improved upon. How about the underfunded school and health system, but we can not spend taxpayer money on those because we are not a Socialist Government. How about new technology like green energy.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another note, I do like that cartoon.. But, as Bill Clinton himself told us, the name on the "rescue" boat should be prominently displayed...



  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:


    Great ideas!!

    I am all for that..


  5. [5] 
    jan hatcher wrote:

    OK You want to fix this mess we are in simple:
    WE have a population of 301,139,947.
    We have 135,000,000. registered voters.
    You want to bail out the fat cats at 770 Billion.
    IF the Goverment sent every REGISTERED voter 1 million dollars per household,with the stipulation that all taxes are deducted upfront, their mortgage is paid in full, all credit card debt and collections are paid.
    The banks would recover their foreclosue losses.That in turn would make up for the loss of interest income.
    Yes it would put more man hours into the IRS but we would have a surplus and let the fat cats on wall street take a cut in salary.
    We would still pay taxes probably at a lesser rate than we are going to pay in the "Bail Out"
    Just a thought

  6. [6] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Uh...1,000,000 * 135,000,000 is 135 Trillion dollars.

    That's some bail out.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:


    I'de be happy with just about a hundred K.... :D


  8. [8] 
    Gipper wrote:

    For anyone that say, "Why shouldn't the government give the money to the people".
    The biggest problem I see by just giving ANY amount of money back to "John and Joan Q public" would be the huge jump in inflation. I do not want to pay $1,999.99 for a loaf of bread. If I owned a company, and I knew that potential buyers of my product just received free money. I would jack my prices higher so I can make a larger profit.

  9. [9] 
    Janice wrote:

    BashiBazouk You are absolutely correct,I stand corrected,needless to say I left off a few zeros.
    Not such a good idea after all

  10. [10] 
    akadjian wrote:


    Interesting idea.

    If we gave the money to people so they could pay off their mortgages, I would think this would also help Wall Street as their debt would not longer be worthless.

    I'm not sure how this would play out economically, but at least it would help both sides rather than just these Wall St. banks that made terrible decisions.

    - David

    p.s. I am just a small part of the economy, but if a piece of the machinery fails, then the whole machine could stop. For just the paltry sum of $5 million, I believe I could fix my part of the economy. I hope Congress and the President will consider how little this amount is in the scheme of things and how great the damage could be to the overall economy if I fail. Can we truly take this risk?

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Well, OK, I admit "grandstanding" was kind of slanted, but I would have used the same word if Obama had done the same thing, I swear. Grandstanding sometimes works (just ask Newt Gingrich), but I think this one kind of backfired on McCain. But I could be wrong...

    Gipper -

    Isn't it amazing that when Wall St. needs a bailout, the money just appears out of thin air, but when health care or other types of things are discussed, it's always "too expensive, the money's not there..."

    Jan -

    I, too, would be willing to settle for just $100,000 or so... heh heh.

    Gipper -

    You make a good point about inflation. OK, how about if Uncle Sam sends $100,000 to me, and every reader of this column, then it won't impact the overall economy. How's that? Heh.

    akadjian -

    Now, see, we're all agreed on $100,000 and you're upping the stakes to $5 mil. I know it's not golden parachute sized or anything, but could you settle for 100K? Heh heh.

    Maybe we need to hire a lobbyist or something. Heh. Heh heh.


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