The Bailout: a modest proposal

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In the aftermath of the third debate, our friend Sarah Lefton, the person behind all those Jews for Jeter t-shirts, writes to us:

Here’s a meme I’d like to get America talking about:

What if the religious people who run America applied their morals to the Wall Street bailout and we tithed 10% of $700 billion to the country’s (or the world’s) poor?

I mean this completely seriously.

1. It makes the bailout more palatable to Main Street.
2. It is a show of Christian morality by a president who likes to make a show of Christian morality.
3. It’s good PR, showing the world that America is compassionate to all its citizens, not just the wealthiest ones.
4. Seventy billion is just a tiny slice of seven hundred billion.
5. If the taxpayers are going to get behind a $700 billion bailout on faith, they’d probably do so with some enthusiasm if charity were involved.

What do you think? And if you like the idea, can we spread it?

Edited to account for sloppy late-night mathematics.

Posted on October 16, 2008

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8 thoughts on “The Bailout: a modest proposal

  1. clara1


    I earned my medicare and medicade, it’s not being GIVEN to me. I guess that you think that all the people on welfare and medicare should be killed.


  2. The Doctor


    I understand where you’re coming from, but don’t you think, after reviewing your post and that of Rejew, that that’s a bit of an over-reaction and perhaps not hardly fair?

  3. rejewvenator

    First, I think that 10% of $700 billion is $70 billion, no $7 billion. Second, I think that taxing people so that you can use their money for charity is something we already do as part of welfare, medicare, medicaid, CHIPS, HeadStart, etc. Adding another $70 billion to that tax load is not a decision that should be made arbitrarily or whimsically. To put it in perspective, assuming about 200 million taxpayers, we’d pay $30/month for this “tithe”. A billion here a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

  4. clara1

    Well Doc,

    I’m living of SSD and it ain’t easy, but there are people who have less than me because they didn’t have hi paying jobs like I did. And when welfare is cut then it’s the women and children who get hurt. The one’s who use welfare know how to get around the system–they are not caught, but the mothers and children are.

    I can’t get the medical treatment i need for myself because I don’t have the money. I fell twice on my arm and don’t have the money for the gas and the $18 for the treatments. So my arm has been in pain for over two months; however, I can aford the $4 for hydrocodyne for my arm. I have to go to a Christan Charity for my food and use the money for my arm for the foods that aren’t covered.

    Granted, i do have pets, I have to have something to live for. Next i’ll be eating dog and cat food as cereal.

    Yes, i think that all of us on medicare (which I paid for when I worked–sometime a 100 hours a week) and welfare should be killed because I’m tired of idiots like Rejew. Hey, we could have a Shoah for all people who can’t work or don’t have jobs.


  5. The Doctor

    Maybe I didn’t read it carefully enough, but the post by Rejew didn’t seem to me to say anything negative about medicare, medicaid, or people on it that would merit your response. Is there another post on this topic I missed?

    Given that we’re still [barely] in the Holy Day season, I just want to be certain I understand why you are having such an angry and exaggerated response?

  6. clara1


    “I think that taxing people so that you can use their money for charity is something we already do as part of welfare, medicare, medicaid, CHIPS, HeadStart, etc.”

    I know so many people in this area who have lost their jobs, can’t find jobs, have no medical, etc. and I am lucky to be on SSD. I am one of the lucky ones to have had a job making 60,000 to 100,000 a year for years so I have a half way decent income. If I had to go to work at minimum wage, I couldn’t make it and a lot of people are not making it. I have heard this stuff all my life and having worked in areas where people lived under bridges (Tampa, FLA) and begged for food and talked to women with children who couldn’t find jobs that would pay enough to keep their families going==well, the comment by Rejew is a slap in my and everyones face who is either sick or trying to find a job or are too old to work.

    I never minded paying taxes because I knew that the money was benefiting those who needed it. By the way, I have a friend whose husband lost his job and medical after 14 years==a man from Texas bought the company and imported people from Texas and broke the union. My friend fell and broke her arm and has no insurance. She hesitated going to the Dr because she had no insurance.

    So, this is why I am so angry when someone makes this kind of statement. And my arm hurts because I can’t get it looked after (also, I couldn’t buy my medicines this month and am having to make do with taking half the dosage.).

    My response is NOT exaggerated–it is appropriate for the situation I and others in this country are in.


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