Friday, September 26, 2008

The Math Was Wrong; So's The Idea...

The Math Was Wrong; So's The Idea...

But there was an intriguing point hiding in an email I saw recently. The email suggested that instead of giving $800 billion to bail out a few Wall Street mortgage giants...why not bail out ordinary taxpayers. Doing the math correctly: $800 billion divided equally over 125 million households (which I think is about right) would be $64,000 each. I rather suspect that such a distribution would enable a tremendous number of Americans to make house payments until the economy recovers. For others, it would pay off their credit card debt and put tens of thousands into the bank. For quite a few who are currently renting, they would now have a down payment to buy one of those houses that are about to go into foreclosure...and perhaps reinvigorate the housing market.

Now, pretty obviously, this is a bad idea, because that money would have to come from somewhere. We would either have to print more money, and sell bonds--and then the true foolishness of giving $800 billion away becomes grossly apparent. But if we are going to do something truly foolish with $800 billion, I would rather see it spent on this, instead of making a bunch of rich but foolish Democrats even richer.

UPDATE: Whoops! Didn't put enough zeroes into the calculator, I guess. It would be $6400 per family. That's still a pile of money--and makes you realize how much this bailout was going to cost all of us.

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