I, and I believe a majority of Americans, are delighted to see that the banks, insurance companies and auto manufacturers which were so recently bailed out by the U. S. tax payer are doing so well. It seems like only yesterday they were threatening to die and bring down Western Civilization with them if they didn't receive money and lots of it. Now they (or at least their CEO's) seem to be doing just fine. I believe therefore this is the time those companies should show the tax payers a little love in return.
I don't mean just having some square jawed, Mitt Romney look alike get on T.V. and say thanks, although that might be a start. What I would prefer to see is each one of these recipients of our largess step up and bail out the U.S. government in turn. Big companies should take over funding major government programs which are threatened to be defunded by ideological politicians. I can see a country where working people can look forward to their golden years with the sure knowledge that General Motors Social Security will be there. The indigent will be told "Pick out an organ. This transplant is on AIG." And wouldn't it be nice to hear "Welcome to Morgan Stanley Planned Parenthood. How may we help you?"
You may wonder where the money will come from to finance this corporate bailout of the federal government. First, in the spirit of everybody sharing the sacrifice, executive compensation at these companies will be capped at just $10 million a year for each executive, not a penny more. As draconian as this approach is, I realize it is not the total solution. The rest of the funding will come from a revolutionary approach to corporate taxes: these companies will actually pay them. Just think of the savings. No more phony headquarters in the Caribbean or fake subsidiaries in Lichtenstein. And best of all no more need for thousands of tax attorneys whose job it is to avoid the payment of taxes.
There you have it. Here is a plan to bail out the government in time of crisis and at the same time turn our mendicant corporations into model citizens. Not a bad morning's work.
Written in collaboration with Frank Suttell