Bail me out!
My family and I have carefully observed the bailouts that have been provided to, or requested by, various companies since the financial crisis began. After much deliberation with our accountants and financial advisers, we have concluded that, in order to prevent a deeper recession and turn around the U.S. economy, the federal government needs to give the next bailout package directly to us.
The U.S. government is currently considering a variety of economic rescue strategies, including some that would ultimately cost as much as $1.2 trillion, or approximately $4,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Accordingly, for a family of 10 such as ours (three sons, three grandchildren and two daughters-in-law), this means a $40,000 bailout.
To reduce administrative costs, instead of writing 10 separate checks, the Treasury can send it all to me.
We deserve these funds for the same reasons that the big Wall Street firms and the automakers do.
First, we do not believe in government handouts. (Evidently, this is the first requirement for any entity that intends to receive a government handout.) We have argued for years that government should leave us alone. So, now that the economy is in crisis, we deserve to be first in line.
Second, money for our family will have a positive ripple effect throughout the economy. If we received a generous bailout package, we would certainly purchase a new and more fuel-efficient car. We would also commit to spending the entire amount on other much-needed consumer and service items. For example, we would act on our plans to remodel our back-yard patio. Dollar for dollar, the economic stimulus provided to our family would have far-reaching effects.
Third, offering our family a generous financial package would restore confidence in the economy. We have lived in our community for many years and have a large and influential circle of friends and professional colleagues. We recently asked many of these upstanding people how they would respond if our family declared bankruptcy. Without exception, our personal friends and business associates stated that they would be very upset.
Fourth, supporting our family would please a significant number of Democrats and Republicans. We have friends in both parties and have contributed to candidates on both sides of the aisle. So an early and generous response to our financial hardship would trigger bipartisan support.
Note to the Obama administration: If the economy doesn't respond, it does not mean that the decision to bail out our family was wrong. It simply means the amount was too small. But we patriotically pledge not to request additional financial support until 2010.
MARK GERZON, WRITING IN THE WASHINGTON POST.