Rent-to-own plan for U.S.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Washington wolves have finished their huffing and puffing for now. And as best I can tell, our straw houses of massive debt are intact.

The plan approved by Congress is supposed to reduce the national debt by about $2 trillion over the next 10 years, and spending increases over the same period will be ... well, look at that. Spending will only increase by about $2 trillion!

That's the kind of math that reminds folks in Killough Valley over yonder in the Ozarks of the time old What's His Name got elected to the Shady Nook School Board when nobody voted for him because he wasn't even on the ballot.

That's how our Congress is nowadays.

So far, no one in Washington has paid much attention to my surefire suggestions for saving the nation -- and the world -- from economic collapse. But I will not give up. Herewith is my latest offering:

Let's sell the country, state by state, back to whomever we got it from, and the rent of them back, with all rental payments applying to the repurchase of said states.

Under the plan, for example, we would sell New England and other former British colonies back to Great Britain. The Louisiana Purchase, Florida and so forth would go to Spain. We would sell Texas and California to Mexico. Alaska would go to Russia. (Sarah Palin would be part of the package. Sorry, Alaska.)

Other bits and pieces would go back to the Indian tribes that originally inhabited them at exactly what we paid for them -- nothing.

Then, under my plan, we would rent the states back. The rent would be higher, of course, for states that have strong economies and low unemployment.

The money we get from selling 50 states and a handful of territories would, according to my math, pay off the $14 trillion national debt, fund Social Security and Medicare well into the future and still have enough left over to give every teacher in America a whopping -- and well-deserved -- raise.

If we don't try this -- or something like it -- the nation will be forced to start over visiting auto title loan offices. Is that what we want to happen?

I think rent-to-own is the way to go. Especially when something breaks. We wouldn't have to fix it at taxpayer expense. That would be up to the new owners.

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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