Everybody has an idea about what the stimulus package now being debated in Congress should and should not include.
My colleague, Pat O’Callahan, has written an editorial about the issue for Sunday in which we suggest stimulative action that will get almost immediate results. And that means putting money directly into our hot little hands.
Not money exactly. It should be something like loaded VISA cards – maybe $500 to anyone who filed a tax return last year. And give the card an expiration date: say, three months from time of issue. Talk about motivation.
Now, here’s why I call it the High-Def Stimulus Package.
Say you’ve had your eye on one of those spiffy high-def TV sets . . . you know, the ones that take up half the living room wall. You’re worried about the economy and have been hoarding your shekels. But now you’ve got $500 burning a hole in your wallet. And you HAVE to use it or lose it.
So now that high-def set looks within reach. OK, it’s a little more than $500, but now that looks doable with a little of your own money thrown in. So you buy it, stimulating the local electronics store.
But the stimulation doesn’t end there. Now that you have this great TV set, you decide you need to ramp up your basic cable package to include more channels. The cable company gets stimulated.
Then you think, wow – movies really look great on this TV. You can’t wait for them to come to cable, so you rent more from the local DVD rental place. That business gets stimulated.
Then you decide, everything looks so good on this TV, you should have a party to watch the big game. Of course, you’ll need snacks. Lots of snacks. And beer. Lots of beer. The local snacks-and-beer purveyors are stimulated.
But the house is a wreck. So you hire a cleaning service to come in and get it party-ready. The cleaners are stimulated.
After the party, the house is a wreck again. You gotta clean up, so you buy a Roomba. The Roomba store gets stimulated.
This can go on forever. But in the meantime, you’ve saved the U.S. economy.
Thank me now or thank me later. You’re welcome.