Are you tired of the government making personal decisions for you? When I was watching the news and trying to figure out what it meant to have the government bailout those large incompetent greedy companies, I thought about how I would spend the 700 billion dollars. I know how I would spend 80 million dollars because I have felt the need to make plans in case I win the lottery. I figure I’ll have about 40 million after taxes because I’m not able to spend taxpayer money in any Willy Nilly way. (What did Willy and Nilly do to deserve such a negative legacy?) Anyway, I plan to pay my taxes so that leaves me with about 40 million. The first thing I would do is buy a place for all my friends' mothers to live. It would be like an assisted living facility only there would be wonderful food and entertainment. The staff would treat the moms and dads (if they lived as long as the moms) with respect and courtesy. There would be no talking to them like they were children and they would be able to put salt on their food. There would be a bus to take them to the theater, movies and out to eat—even if they had to go in a hospital gurney. And there would be full time competent nursing care for those who could no longer be independent. We could probably get a genius grant from the some company because this would be an innovative experiment – if we needed additional funding. Oh, and yes eventually the children would occupy the house – that is just the reality. But aging might as well be luxurious and entertaining instead of bleak and humiliating.
That is the public service piece of how I would spend the money. Moving on to the fun part. I would buy a house in Italy—I am especially fond of Umbria and Verona but it’s a country where you can’t get a bad meal (except in a few tourist places near the Mediterranean). It has to be a villa big enough to house at least ten couples, (with everyone having their own bath – and although I would never invite ten at a time you never know what kind of entertaining you might want to do that would require overnight accommodations.) The kitchen would have a pizza oven as well as the kind of equipment that, God forbid, you couldn’t go out for dinner, you could still have a great meal. Of course there would be a pool as well as a mineral bath fed by natural warm springs, tennis courts, a pitch and putt course, movie theater, bowling alley (for friends from New Jersey) and a massage therapist on duty 24/7. There would have to be a private plane for travel to and from anywhere in the world but I think leasing per trip makes much more sense. I don’t need to have a car with a driver on staff but it would be nice to have someone available for trips to the city – any city. I would spend like the CEO of some big corporation .
It would be awfully nice to have someone to do my laundry, clean my house, fudge my taxes and take my car to be inspected. but those are things I don’t have to have won the lottery to do. I need to learn to think bigger. OK I’ve got it. Since there will be no money left in the US treasury to fix education, implement an adequate health care plan, help single mothers—who decided to have their kid -- (Palin line item vetoed that in Alaska so I don’t think we can count on much assistance from that side of the aisle), work on programs which create opportunity for women or continue to fight many more wars (that’s a good thing), I could use my lotto winnings to create a national Lotto where the winner would be a social program rather than a person. It would be like what they do on American Idol only different. Here people could buy a ticket for $1 and if they won, they would donate that money to the government program of their choice. Yes, I agree that if some people would be reluctant to just turn that money over to the government ... maybe it’s not such a great idea. How about if we look at the last ten years and pass a law that any CEO who has been compensated well above what they deserved (I’m happy to make that decision or we can all agree on a number, say 6 million—that’s pretty generous), has to give that money back to the taxpayers, or even the shareholders of the company they raided, or they can pick a social program but it can’t be their country club. Even if they started a foundation to help children—I don’t care if they help with a disease (after the bailout there won’t be any money left for research grants), or education or health issues, just as long as they invest in helping this country become a better place instead of buying extravagant houses, private planes, and absurdly opulent parties. They are not allowed to have benefited from the fact that they appointed their Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors determined that their severance would be millions of dollars in overgenerous compensation.
Which brings us back to how I would spend the piddly little $80 thousand I didn’t win. Actually, when I was working in my first political campaign my salary was $50 a week, which they never paid me so I asked them to raise it to $100 – which they also didn’t pay me. There it is again, I wasn’t thinking big enough. I’m going to change that right now and as long as I didn’t win 80 mil, I might as well not have won 700 billion dollars – which I could also spend in much more reasonable and thoughtful ways than the people who have been in charge and are responsible for this devastation. The first thing I would do is buy a place for all our aging mothers and fathers... It’s like the “Song That Never Ends”. We’re just sayin...Iris