Our national debt is $10 trillion, or $10,000,000,000,000.00 for those who like zeros. The proposed bailout is $700 billion ($700,000,000,000.00). Add them together and you get $10,700,000,000,000.00, or $35,668 per person (assuming we have around 300 million people). I also have $100,000 in student loans. So my total is $135,668.
My nephews, age 4 and 3, also have their very own federal credit card bills of $35,668. Since they always want to be treated like big boys, what more appropriate way to feel like grown up Americans than to have their very own insurmountable debt.
Soon I will teach them how to make lemonade and set up a lemonade stand. I figure they can at least pay down their 5% interest each year, which comes out to $1,783 per person per year. At twenty five cents per cup, all they have to do is sell 7,133 cups each to pay their respective interests.
I figure when they’re 12, they can caddy at a golf course, where they’d make about $30 per bag per round. Assume they each carry 2 bags every round, they could each caddy 30 times per year to pay down their yearly interest (assuming that they hit their lemonade numbers each year from age 4 to 11).
Very doable. Very doable.
I love our government’s negotiating strategy with Wall Street firms that are currently on life support. I imagine if I listened to a conference call between Henry Paulson and all his old banking friends, it would sound something like this:
“Gentlemen, the US government is negotiating from a position of strength. You’re weak, you’re desperate, you’re out of options. Nobody else wants to do business with you. So what we’re going to do is to buy your really bad mortgages. Not some of them. But all of them.
We’re going to pay above market rates, and value your mortgages at rates that no other prospective buyer would touch with a ten foot pole. No, you didn’t hear me incorrectly. We’d like to take your bad mortgages off your books for two dollars on the dollar. Yes, we’d like to overpay. That’s what we’re saying.
Our hope is that you then go out with your newfound capital and make even more dumb investments. You’ve earned that right. Oh, and if you happen to make money from your new investments, we don’t feel entitled to any of the upside for taking your enormous risk off your books and putting it squarely on our books. No preferred stock for us. It may be right for Warren Buffett. But it’s not right for the American people.
Why? Because what goes around comes around. And you deserve to keep all that money that you made with our money. We know you’ll be there for us next time. You’ll have our back like we have yours this time around.
Gentlemen, we look forward to seeing your restored wealth trickle down to the rest of us.
God bless America. And God bless Wall Street. I am inspired by your patriotism. It will not be forgotten. Godspeed.”