Our political class knows that only one thing stands between us and a full blown recovery: a trillion or so in additional government spending. Granted, there are a few who haven't gotten with the program yet, but they are mostly the extreme right wingers and libertarian types. You know who I'm talking about, the ones who drone on and on saying you can't spend your way to recovery, and how they earned the money and should be able to keep some of it . Hey, “spread the wealth around” is the slogan du jour on Pennsylvania Avenue. It's kinda of catchy, like the flu. Same headache, but without the runny nose.
Some of our more courageous lawmakers had warned that the three trillion or so in government spending planned for this year wasn't nearly enough. I know they said the same thing last year and the year before, but did we listen? No, and as a result we're in a recession. God forbid if they underspend now. We might even end up in a depression!
The more I think about my plan, the more brilliant I think I am ( Wow, I'm even starting to sound like them). I've even given it one of those fancy names to make it sound good. I call it the SUCER Plan!
Spending Unlimited Cash for Economic Recovery. It's pronounced “Sucker”!
The Sucker Plan is still in it's formative stages, so you need to give it a chance before you start tearing it apart. No haters, please. Hey, they passed that $700 Billion TARP plan and aren't even doing what they said they would do with the money. Besides, like I said, my plan won't cost the government a dime, and they won't have to raise taxes which will leave them with plenty of room to do both, in case my plan doesn't work. But it should work, trust me.
From what I see on the news about the other stimulus plans out there, there seems to be a difference of opinion as to how they work. Some of them say that getting the economy going is like starting a pool filter. You just have to prime the pump a little. Others say it's more of a jump-start thing, like when the battery in my Jeep runs out of juice. The economy needs a jolt. My plan, The SUCkER Plan, functions more like “Pennies from Heaven”. I'm sure this tag is going to offend some of those separation of church and state types, but I'm not using government money, so I think I'm safe.
Anyway, all the plans out there seem to be in agreement that a lot more money needs to be spent in a hurry, and it needs to be spent properly. It turns out that when the rebate checks were sent out this summer, some people had the audacity to pay off bills, and others were so blatantly un-American that they saved the money. Now look where we're at. Go figure.
My plan is based on a combination of sound Keynesian Economics and the ground breaking social work of Robin Hood . We all know it was the Lord Maynard Keynes who saved our butts in the Great Depression. Who can ever know how long the Depression would have lasted without the enormous government spending programs. Without the giant tax increases, it may never have amounted to anything worthy of being called great. Does any one deny the powerful incentive effects of higher taxes and increased government spending!
My plan is a charitable one as everyone, well almost everyone, will be taking from the rich and giving to the poor. This is the Robin Hood part, get it? We should probably exempt the politicians, as they generally aren't very big on using their own money for charitable giving, but rather prefer it's done with other people's money. Besides, they are busy coming up with their own spending plans, which will bring the recovery even sooner.
My plan builds on two economic principals that can't be disputed:
It is a fact that consumers are 70% of all economic activity
It is easier to spend other peoples money, rather than your own .
On to the plan. All stores will have two bowls by the front door. OSHA can determine their size, placement, and markings. I don't want to get bogged down in too many details. When you walk in, you will empty your pockets of all your cash and or gift cards into the first bowl. You'll then put what ever money is in the second bowl back in your pocket and go on to enjoy your shopping experience. The person who enters the store behind you will take all of your money from the first bowl and put all his or her money in the second bowl, and on and on it goes. The genius is in the simplicity.
See, no government spending, and no tax increase. In other words, this is the perfect plan. The reason this is not a tax increase is that it is a total confiscation of one's cash, whereas a tax increase just takes most of one's money. I call it a “Pennies from Heaven” approach, because “Pennies from Rich People” just doesn't sound as good.
Okay, for those of you in the slow group, here is why this works: because you are always spending someone else's money, you are going to spend more, ( just ask congress) and spending more money will get us out of the recession ( this is the Keynesian stimulus spending part). The Robin Hood part of my plan stimulates even more spending by people who have very little money by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. You see, when a poor person goes to the store he or she doesn't have much money, so he or she can't spend a lot, and that is part of the reason we are in this mess. Under my plan, there will always be more money for them to spend. The poorer people will benefit from spending the money of the rich people who enter the store. The rich will have to give up their cash, but they'll still be able to charge things on their credit cards, and they will. It would be a big waste of their time if they went home with nothing! Rich people don't waste their time. That's how they got rich in the first place.
Now, before all of you Einsteins tell me the plan won't work because the second bowl starts off empty, I've taken care of that too! We'll make each store owner put money into the second bowl to prime the pump, so to speak. This makes perfect sense, because they're going to get it back anyway when the customer shops in their store. See, I told you, it was brilliant!
Of course, it's possible there might be a flaw or two in my plan, but that shouldn't stop us. We can work things out as we move along (that's a fairly good imitation of Hank Paulson, don't you think?). What's important is that we do something (this is a pretty good imitation of pick your favorite democrat) and this is as good of an idea as any of the stimulus programs I've seen so far. It makes perfect sense to me. No?