Five Crazy Ideas to Save Our Economy
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Five Crazy Ideas to Save Our Economy

Forgive me if I appear to be stating the obvious, but our free-market economy is based on a delicate balance of supply and demand.  Usually, with minor adjustments to the supply of money, we can maintain that delicate balance.  Not so in the past couple of years.  As the cost of gasoline, heating fuel, groceries, etc., has gone up, and wages and the jobs have diminished, the ability of consumers to BUY has gone down, right?  The “demand” side of our economic equation is grossly out of balance with our capacity to make things.  When there is no demand to buy the things we make, there is no need to pay people to make those things and massive jobs cuts happen. Sound familiar?

In order to fix our economy, we MUST create demand for goods and services. Americans need to start buying – houses, cars, appliances, computers, food, clothing, computers, etc. But if they have no money, or are afraid of losing their jobs, or are hording their cash to weather this financial storm, they aren’t buying, right? How do you create incentive for them to BUY?

Crazy Idea #1: At last count, the price tag on the economic stimulus plan was approaching $1 TRILLION. If you took that $1 TRILLION dollars, divided it by every American citizen (roughly 250 million people), it would approximate $4,000 per citizen, right?  Put that amount on a debit card -- $4,000 per American citizen – and hand them out.

A household of four receives a debit card with a $16,000 on it. A household of three, $12,000. Got the math? Pretty simple so far, right?

The credit cannot be deposited into savings accounts or used to pay down on their mortgage.  The debit cards can only be used for a down payment on a house, to buy cars, appliances, pay for daycare, school tuition, school lunches, gas for their cars – they can be used only to BUY goods and services, and they are only good for 18 months.  If you don’t spend the debit card within 18 months, it expires – you lose the money.

Can you imagine how many consumers would line up at car dealers to buy a new or used car?  Can you picture people pulling out their debit card to put a down payment on a home, whether it’s their first, second, third, or an investment property?  The car dealers would run out of cars and call Detroit, saying, “Make more cars!” and Detroit would hire workers to make more cars, and they would call companies in Grand Rapids to order more parts to make the cars, and Grand Rapids companies would hire workers, and the taxes paid buy all of those workers would build roads and improve school lunches, and so on and so on …

Sure, it’s a crazy idea and I don’t give it a snowball’s chance of ever happening, but as a nation and government, we need to start thinking differently.

Crazy Idea #2: The economic stimulus plan calls for income tax cuts for middle-income Americans from 25% to 15% of their gross wages. Great idea. It would noticeably, positively and immediately impact the bulk of American households. For example: If your family income last year was $60,000, this tax cut will put $6,000 more in your pocket to spend this year.  Could you use an extra $500 a month in after-tax income?  If your family income was $100,000 last year, you will see an extra $800 a month in your take-home pay.”

Can you imagine what would happen if everyone, not just middle-incomes, paid a 15% income tax over the next few years? Do you think those folks making household incomes of $300,000 who would have $30,000 more disposable income wouldn’t go out and BUY THINGS … or invest in companies who hire workers?

If you begin to focus on real-dollar, disposable-income increases for the vast majority of Americans, you will begin to build hope in people.  Not false hope, but real hope and (consumer) confidence that they will be better able to feed their families, make their car payments, keep a roof over their heads and maybe even have a little money left over to go buy that new refrigerator.

Crazy Idea #3: You want to get rid of the glut of foreclosure properties FAST and fix our current real estate problem?

It’s simple. No government bailout, no throwing money at the problem.  Simply eliminate the capital gains tax on investment properties purchased during the next three years.

Can you imagine how many people with money invested in 401K’s which have lost 30% of their value, or CD’s that pay next to nothing, or savings accounts, would RUSH to buy distressed real estate? Real estate agents’ phones would ring off the hook with calls like this: “I’ve only got a half a million left in my investments after AIG destroyed me.  I want to buy eight of those $40,000 foreclosure properties fix them up, and sell them (or rent them) and when I sell, I get to keep every nickel of profit. Let’s go shopping!!!”

Can you imagine how fast and furious real estate investors would rush into the market to take advantage of such a program? And what would that cause is this:

Most of them will hire the work done.  They will call plumbers and electricians, furnace and air conditioning people, tile and carpet installers, window replacement companies, and so on and so on …

Suddenly (within 12 months), the glut of homes forcing real estate values down would be absorbed by the private sector, not by the government, and the homes left on the market are those in marketable condition, not distressed condition.

Crazy Idea #4: Reinstate consumers’ ability to write off interest paid on credit cards, auto loans and second homes.  Those interest write-offs were eliminated during an inflationary spiral to curb excessive spending.  We are in a recessionary plunge now, we need reinstated.

In summary, investment in green technology is a wonderful idea – so is a national energy policy -- but it will not fix our economy; it cannot, will not drive the economic bus. Yes, we need to fix our roads, but it might be a bit more affordable to do if the cost comes out of the taxes withheld from workers who now again have jobs.

Crazy Idea #5: Whether you support Democrats, Republicans or are independent, all of us will petition to eject our politicians from office if they don’t put aside their partisanship and start working together to fix our economy.

This economic crisis is enormous. It will take ALL of us, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, black and white, to fix this.

We must all start tugging on the same end of the rope.

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Comments (14)

Very good and different ideas, maybe you should go work the president in DC as an advisor. I especially like # 1 and # 3. The people need spending power again and people need jobs and need to be reassured the economy is not tanking and will recover. I hope there is a solution and that it happens sooner, rather than later, because I know personally I am scared.

Manda, I have sent these ideas to my representatives In Washington and to If you like them, send them on with to your reps with a note of support. Maybe if they get 5,000 e-mails from all over the country, they'll start listening. Thanks for your compliments! Don

Believe, me, I understand your point of view, but what I see in the real estate business every day is that this economic devastation and loss of homes is not only effecting the "working poor." It is hitting every socio-economic group. Every class and income bracket is being negatively effected. If giving investors a tax break if they are willing to gamble on today's risky eral estate market will help put those "working poor," back to work, I'm all for it. But if you've got a better solution, send it to Washington ... and to me; I'd love to hear a positive, constructive idea. I'll support it and send it on, too!

I like the ideas, especially 2 and 3. #5 is impossible though politicians will hardly vote non-partisan. And it has gotten worse. More disposable-income would be great. But for every tax cut it seems there is another tax or item taken out of paychecks. When you work for a small company, the cost of the health insurance is very high. That takes so much money out of each paycheck it is just dismal. And the stimulus package is becoming a disappointment, the more they mess with it, the less they are going to use for infrastructure. Too much is going to areas that will have no effect on boosting the economy, the politicians seem to have lost sight what the whole idea was for this stimulus package.

Amen, Sam, they are tone deaf ... on BOTH sides of the aisle. Just this morning I listened/watched Harry Reid open the Senate debate and saw his Republican counterpart respond. Neither of them is listening; they are finger-pointing. So many economists agree that we cannot begin to dig out of this mess without fixing the real estate market and yet, getting Amendment 353, a proposal that would provide 30 year fixed financing at a rate of about 4%, for anyone purchasing a primary residence and the Lieberman/Isakson Amendment that would provide a tax credit up to $15,000 to purchasers of primary residences, appears to be stuck in debate today. Why? These two amendments to the Stimulus Package could turn the real estate market around in 12 months and we could see massive improvement in home values, especially in the mid-ranges. As a social liberal who hold an Economics degree, I understand the need for the social programs that the Obama Administration believes in -- I do, too. But I also understand how our free-market economy works and the fundamental principles that apply: Companies must make things people want to buy, they then hire people to make them, some of their wages go to taxes that build roads, etc. Sometimes it seems like we can't even teach them how to suck eggs!

Leslie Patten

More like 24 trillion in the last 10 months enough to pay every mortgage three times over. This does not account for all of it plus you still owe the debt & are paying interest to these criminal thieiving banks. You should all demand your money back & audit of the Fed. Support Ron Paul he is one of few of the last sane people on capital hill demanding the audit of the Fed.

They have robbed you all blind by more then $240,000 for every man women & child in the US. Send the bankers your bill. Stand up America & scream your lungs out. Not to mention that they also took a loan from the chinese government with security being your industries & when they default which they will you have lost all your industries. Time to get rid of the politicians rid of the bankers & get back to sanity.

Leslie Patten

Instead of giving trillions of dollars of our money to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan.

There are about 50 million people over 50 in the workforce.

Pay them $3 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following


1) They MUST retire. 50 million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new Us built car. 50 million cars ordered - Car

Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis


4) They must send their kids to school/college/university - Crime Rate


5) They must buy $50 of alcohol / tobacco a week. There's your money back in

duty/tax etc.

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all Members of Government pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances.

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know. If not,

please disregard.

Nothing the government does has made sense. States are still waiting for most of this so-called infrastructure and green energy stimulus. Construction projects didnt seem anymore than before and it is almost winter. Road construction slows way down here if not just stops. If you gave all those people that kind of money to retire, the retired living on SS would scream. The small business owner would scream. If the small business owner retired to get this money, if they could, that would mean firing many workers. Giving the consumers money would certainly help something in the economy or people would just pay off debt with it. The 2009 stimulus was and is a major joke. And like I wrote in this article, many people might be surprised in a bad way when it comes time to do their 2009 taxes.

Wait til you learn the source of all these ills.

Hi Donald I already know who the people are who have done this. I wrote an article too. called the the world economy & what you need to know. But good to see others discussing it.

#1 is a good idea #2 the fair tax is a better idea if it is completely implemented #3 this is part of the fair tax #4 no need for this with the fair tax because there will no longer be any income taxes #5 term limits and each congressman should make the average wage of the district that they represent.

Leslie Patten

To fix anything the globalist bankers behind the collapse of the US economy & every other economy collapsing at present need to be arrested & thrown into prison for life. The money stolen not 1 trillion but 25 trillion in the so called bail out which was enough to pay off every US mortgage 5 times over. This is a well orchestrated plot to completely take over the planet these thieves ruling over all of us. The governments are no more then puppets of them, most of them, the ones who resist are usually treated like terrorists or shot.

The taxes being asked for are not fair taxes, you the people are not responsible , nor should you pay them anything. If you seriously want to make a change arrest the lot of them now. If nothing is done the US will collapse completely. The Greeks are standing up time all you in the US do as well. Plus do noy believe a word the government tells you they work foor these criminal bankers.

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Very good resources and guidelines has been given thanks for these resources.

In fact, only simple things are needed to be done so that our economy will reach its excellent level. Of course, the participation of every individual person in the community is vital to grow the country's economy. Thank you for sharing this informative article, keep it up! Voted and shared.