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September 29, 2008

NO BAILOUT? NO PROBLEM!

Having trundled out my pompous cure-all for the economy below, now it's time for me to list those reasons why I think the darker scenarios are actually not so dark.

Oil prices will crash, making everything cheaper right when we need it most. Alternative energy research will continue, because growing countries will alwyas want more sources. And drill, baby, drill.

Normal people will be affected in numbers great enough so that their voices will be heard above the usual bleatings of the professional minoritarians and poverty pimps.  This means the huge middle of the electorate will finally be agitated enough to demand true reform. Once motivated, this cohort of otherwise content and mostly disengaged citizens will out-shout the ACORNers and MoveOns and PETAS and furry anarchists. And once they find out who has been funding these groups with their tax money and tax-free contributions, the gravy train will end, and the 60s will finally be over.

What politicians are most afraid of is that the people will find out that they can live better and solve their own problems without Washington. This crisis is a golden opportunity for this very thing. If the market can work its way out of this on its own, while Congress is out of session,  people will realize that Congress is the problem, not the solution.

If the pain is bad enough, the people who caused the pain will run out of places to hide, and they will finally be called to account. I would not rule out tar & feathers for Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and their ilk. That they are still able to show their faces without fear means the hurt has not yet hit.

True reformers can pitch smaller, simpler government to these newly attentive voters, and can set metrics against which they can be held accountable.

And speaking of true reforms, here are mine:

Throw out the current income tax law and all the charitable and mortgage deductions, and institute a per capita "head tax" to be paid by the states & territories, which the states can collect in any way their voters allow. Alaska? They make enough on oil & gas revenues to cover their internal needs as well as the per-person Fed tax, so no sales, property or income taxes are levied.  Connecticut? 12% sales taxes, heavy property taxes, value-added taxes on out-of-state businesses, etc. You don't like it? Move.

Separate the essential Federal government services from discretionary spending, and put discretionary spending on indefinite hold, to be funded only after social security, public pensions, and non-asset-based debts are retired. Discretionary spending includes all forms of Federal income redistribution - subsidies, poverty programs, education, research, etc.

Shrink the military bureaucracy, and fund only deployable assets and the overhead to support and continually upgrade them. Carriers good; Pentagon pencil pushers, bad.

Public employee unions are abolished.

100% privatization of social security, pensions, health plans, etc. All public employee pensions and benefit plans should be sold to the highest bidders, usually insurance companies, who will then restructure benefits to industry norms. Participants who don't like the deal they are offered will be cashed out pro-rata their contributions. Existing Retirees get the McMahon plan.

So who's first? Me, personally, I'd like to see Henry Waxman with a marlin hook through his monstrous nostrils, hanging from a DC cherry tree, just low enough so that passers by can whack him like a Buddhist prayer wheel.



Posted by: JBD at 09:38 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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