So let’s think about it for a while.
I’m thinking that since we’re all Americans and since we all recognize we’ve had a spending problem and now have a debt problem, and since we want to make it better, I say let’s all pitch in.
Kind of like what happened in the old days when somebody’s barn burned down and the town came out and helped put up a new one.
We’re not pitching in right now. We’re standing around pointing fingers. And when we’re not pointing fingers we’ve got our arms folded and our noses up and we’re refusing to wield a hammer because it was someone else’s fault that the barn burned down and because our other neighbors have bigger barns anyway and because we don’t like the mayor to boot.
So the barn isn’t getting built.
But how about if we didn’t wait around for Congress to work out a solution because they’re not. How about if we didn’t wait for the president to create more jobs because jobs generally come from somewhere else.
How about if we made it happen all by our American independent, capable selves.
It could start with those wealthy men who committed half of their wealth to charity. What better cause than the United States of America?
It could be embraced by those millionaires who say they wouldn’t mind a tax 5 percent higher at all. They wouldn’t have to wait for a new tax law, they could just go out and pay it.
It could continue to the farmers who had a good year after all and really don’t need the farm subsidy that once kept them afloat. They could refuse to accept it or return the checks uncashed.
Those homeowners who want to contribute to a good cause could not take the mortgage deduction.
And those 47 percent who don’t pay anything to the government anyway (oops, thought it was someone else’s problem?) could contribute what they can just because they want to.
I know this is against our nature. We like a good deal. We like getting our loopholes and subsidies and our deductions. We hate paying taxes. We like getting that refund.
But how about if we all combined our collective, ingenious resources.
How about if CEOs whose needs and wants are already being met took a few extra millions from their bonuses and gave it back to the company for hiring, or for divvying out holiday bonuses?
How about if the hospitals realized that maybe if they didn’t charge $5,000 for a night’s stay that the government would be able to stay out of their business all together.
How about if banks worked out new loans for people whose houses were underwater to keep them paying their mortgages even if it’s for longer, thus preventing more crises and more government-funded solutions.
I’ve Googled many things in my day. I’ve Googled to get names spelled correctly, to learn the words in an acronym, to find out the story in an Italian opera, to find a word that has an ending that rhymes with a phrase in a poem I’ve been writing. I have the utmost confidence in Google to find whatever answer I’m looking for.
But I wasn’t sure I’d get an answer to the information I requested last week. I Googled “make a donation to the U.S. government,” with not the slightest confidence in a response.
But I got one. You actually can make a donation to the United States Government. You know, that institution that keeps you free, that protects you from outside invaders, that builds interstate freeways and secures your deposits and the safety of your food, that ensures your ability to speak your mind and worship at will. You can actually send them money.
So I did. And I used two stamps as a further donation.
And even though it said the donated money is considered “an unconditional gift to the United States Government,” I wrote on the “For” line: “debt reduction.”
And it felt good. A lot better than paying taxes.
And it didn’t even matter that I didn’t know if my contribution was tax deductible (there would be a smiley face here if this was an e-mail) (the link to IRS that might have answered my question took too long to open – probably has 16,000 pages).
So let’s start our own movement. We could call it “Give back to America,” or “The buck starts here,” or “Change we can make ourselves.” Or send me your suggestions.
Just send your check to Gifts to the United States, US Department of the Treasury, Credit Accounting Branch, 3700 East-West Hwy., Room 622D, Hyattsville, MD 20782.
This is government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Let’s step up people.
I know it’s crazy. Certifiably.
But let’s think about it.