OK. Here it is. I am tired of bending over and taking the long, lean, "Sheldon" without the courtesy of either a reach-around or some lubricant.
Here's the Gonzonater's Economic Stimulus and Market Bailout plan:
Every single taxpayer who filed a tax-year 2007 return should get a debit card with a $500,000 USD balance. If you use all or some of the cash to pay off your mortgage or buy a home, TAX FREE. If you all or part of the money to pay off college loans or pay tuition, TAX FREE. If you use all or part of the money to pay off short term, unsecured debt (e.g. your credit cards), TAX FREE.
If you use all or part of the money to open a (for lack of a better term) "401(x)" account, in which you agree to invest that money until a certain age, e.g. 70 or 71, you get to put the money in tax free and take it out at guaranteed rate of 5 or 10% - but - for every dollar you get from your 401(x) you get one less dollar from your social security benefit.
If you use all or part of the money to invest in a Health Savings Account (HSA) you get the money TAX FREE, but you get the same dollar for dollar reduction in Medicare benefits.
Let's do some math. $250 million v. $700 billion. Oh, but wait, the government doesn't think that you and I could spend that money in a wiser and more prudent fashion than "they" can.
But wait! If you let people pay off the mortgage, the mortgage crisis would go away, right? and if they paid off the short term debt - poof! No credit crisis. If they paid off their college loans, poof! MORE MONEY TO LOAN OUT TO NEW STUDENTS TO GET AN EDUCATION!
Oh, and by the way, if you have paid off your mortgage, college loans or tuition, and credit card debt, you'd have all that extra money every month that you are now spending on debt service to actually spend in the economy, to maybe - I dunno - buy a new car, or a refrigerator, or take your family out to St. Elmo's for a really great shrimp cocktail! Can you say "Flat Screen HD?" Oh, I hear HH Gregg getting a woody!
How about bailing us hard-working stiffs out for a change? And the whole scheme is progressive! You give the same amount to everybody and the folks who really need it get the most benefit. For the really rich, $500K is beer money. For a guy like me, $500K is a game-changer.
The beauty of the debit card is that you can restrict what the money can be used for. It can be made to only work for certain transactions. Thereby preventing dumb-ass rednecks and the mentally challenged from spending the whole wad in a bait shop or roadhouse.
WTF? $700 billion? Why not let the little guy hit the lottery rather than Paulson's pals on Wall Street. Hell, they get the $500K just like the rest of us... let them use it to pay off their margin calls.
It'll never happen, but it would be nice to get some juice from the Treasury like the Wall Streeter's do. I'd just love it if the government would show me some love like the guys at AIG got.