A little while back, I posted plans that the U.S. government could use to plug its giant deficit and debt holes. (#1, #2 and #3) Despite promising many more recommendations, I haven’t provided any for a couple of weeks.
The reason for my negligence is that I have become despondent in the interim. I regularly peruse the news media, but I haven’t seen any indication that the U.S. government has adopted a single one of my proposals. How do you think that makes me feel?
I worked very hard to come up with those plans, flesh out the details and scrutinize them to ensure they were viable. I wasn’t expecting remuneration. It was strictly an altruistic gesture. Nor was I expecting thanks. Just knowing that I had helped America””a country I greatly admire, despite not being American myself””in its time of need would have been thanks enough.
I was about to give up when I figured out why I was ignored. The government’s debt and deficit are so large that, in comparison, my proposals seemed miniscule. After all, the debt is getting close to $10.9 trillion. In fact, it may have already shot past that by now. That’s about $35,800 for every man, woman and child in America. The current year’s deficit is expected to add about $1.75 trillion. That’s almost another $5,800 for every American.
When I saw those numbers I understood why The President and Congress were disheartened by the meagerness of my proposals. Yet my recommendations were never meant to be implemented in isolation. I always knew they would have to be part of a comprehensive program.
I realize now that I’m going to have to put forward something really big to pull the powers-that-be out of their funk. I wasn’t going to present today’s plan until after I’d built some momentum with my earlier proposals because today’s proposal is the most controversial of all. There’s going to be a lot of backlash from a lot of people. Nonetheless, gargantuan problems require audacious solutions. So, here goes.
To solve its massive money problems, the U.S. government should sell some of its prime assets. However, with such a huge financial hole to fill, a comparatively small asset, such as, say, The White House, The Washington Monument or even both, isn’t going to cut it.
No, you have to think bigger. Much bigger. There’s only one solution: Sell a state.
Which state? A small or poor one won’t fetch a high enough selling price. And you don’t want to sell a heavily populated state because that would forfeit too much of the income tax base.
You need a state that is geographically large, but with a small or, at most, a middling population. It will have to have considerable natural resources to boost the selling price. The answer is obvious: Alaska. It’s already geographically separate from the rest of the U.S. Hell, despite clearly being on the same continent as the lower 48 states, many Web stores don’t consider Alaska to be part of “continental U.S.” for shipping purposes. Evidently, in their minds, it’s already gone. Why not take the next step?
Now you’re asking yourself, who would buy Alaska? That answer is also obvious. Look at a map. Yes, that’s right, none other than my home and native land, Canada. We already have experience at managing territories with cold climates. Furthermore, unlike the lower 48 states, Canada and Alaska are contiguous. We wouldn’t have to add any border crossings; just take down the existing ones. It would be a perfect fit.
I should warn you that there is one deal-breaker that we’re going to have to resolve. I don’t think I can talk my fellow Canadians into buying Alaska if it comes with Sarah Palin. She’s going to have to vacate the premises before the closing date. Considering her federal ambitions, it shouldn’t be difficult to convince her to leave before Canada assumes ownership. Maybe someone could invite her to Washington and then you could change the locks while she’s gone.
Can Canada afford Alaska? The Canadian federal government is going to go into a deficit this year, but it’s been running surpluses, some of them substantial, for about ten-years straight, so we’re not in too bad shape. What’s more, even on a per capita basis, our current deficit isn’t expected to be nearly as large as the U.S. deficit.
In addition, we have one province, Alberta, that is not just entirely debt-free; it is sitting on large cash reserves. It too is expecting a deficit this year, but one that can easily be met with its reserves. So Alberta should be able to put some money into the deal.
Nevertheless, because the Canadian economy is only about 10% of the size of the American economy, the financing could still be a little tricky. It would help if America was willing to offer us a vendor take-back mortgage.
Even with the financing in place, it might be tough convincing my compatriots to go through with the, to say the least, rather large purchase. However, there is one incentive that would clinch the deal. Throw in Hawaii. Most Canadians would be willing to pay just about anything to have some tropical islands we could visit in the winter without carrying passports.
True, because Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, you’ll probably have to wait until he is out of office before you transfer the title to us, but I think I can talk my fellow Canadians into a long closing on that one.
You don’t have to give me an answer right away. Think about it. Talk amongst yourselves. And get back to me.
Categorised as: economy