Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Money For Nothing

"Cash for Clunkers" is over but that’s apparently not the end of the financial stimulus programs under consideration by the Obama administration. Check out these upcoming initiatives:

Bucks for Bikes
In the same vein as "Cash for Clunkers", "Bucks for Bikes" has been designed to revive America’s moribund bicycle manufacturing industry. Consumers will be able to turn in their ancient Schwinns, Raleighs and banana bikes for snazzy new 18-speed, titanium racing machines and get cash rebates of up to $500. Currently there are roughly zero bike plants in the United States but it is hoped this program will triple that number by next year.

Dough for Doughnuts
Economists have shown that the most effective stimulus is at the basic retail level. And the easiest way to get more bang for the government buck is to subsidize something every American likes: doughnuts. This plan calls for a ten cent discount on every doughnut sold. Not only will this program help out bakeries and doughnut shops from coast to coast, it should also save money by reducing the number of Americans who live long enough to collect Social Security.

Pesos for Pedros
Looking to solve the ongoing problem of illegal immigration, the Obama administration hopes to implement its new "Pesos for Pedro" program. Government economists have crunched the numbers and determined that the breakeven point for most illegal aliens from south of the border is about $4,500. So the feds plan to offer $5,000 and a free bus ticket home to any illegal willing to sign on. Given the current state of the economy, however, there is some concern that there may not be sufficient funds available since many American citizens may also opt for the offer.

C-notes for B-flats
Billed as a win-win program, "C-notes for B-flats" will grant $100 to any music student willing to buy a clarinet, trumpet or saxophone. Not only will the education system benefit, the entire musical instrument industry will get a much-needed boost. If successful, the government hopes to expand the program to include other band and orchestral instruments under related programs like "Hundreds for Horns", "Benjamins for Basses" and "Franklins for Fiddles."

Greenbacks for Guns
Most politicians are loathe to touch the issue of gun control. But the current administration thinks they have the answer in "Greenbacks for Guns." They may not be able to slow the sale of guns but they do hope to stop the spread of weapons by offering cash incentives to Americans to turn in their personal arsenals. At worst, the program will simply give the firearms industry a lift. At best, it might keep town hall meetings gun-free.

Money for Nothing
That’s right; it’s "Money for Nothing." Sounds great, right? But sadly for you, it’s a large-scale program designed only for banks and other financial institutions. Don’t mistake this for last year’s bailout. That plan had strings attached and payback provisions. This one consists of outright gifts. After all, if you can’t trust the banks to use the money sensibly, who can you trust?

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