Fred Kessler: Desperate times call for ... selling Florida?

As the sun sets upon the Neo-Con Empire leaving every single U.S. taxpayer saddled with a multi-generational national debt of unimaginable proportions as a direct result of Bush Administration domestic and foreign policies, how will U.S. taxpayers collectively raise the hard cash needed to retire the national debt? Bush and Cheney will have sailed off into the sunset leaving all of us behind in their wake holding a very large bag full of bonded indebtedness.

The good news for U.S. Taxpayers born before 1959 is that you won't live long enough to pay off the national debt because you are either at or nearing the end of your taxpaying years. The national debt burden will fall upon the shoulders of succeeding generations to pay off. The downside is that federal funding for Medicare and Social Security may have to be diverted to pay down the national debt to prevent default.

For those of you born in or after 1959, the truth of the matter is that you were "Born to Pay Bills." Your parents didn't want to scare you with this revelation while growing up, but this is now your fate as a direct result of Bush Administration financial idiocy. During your working lifespan, yours and future generations will collectively be forced to pay trillions of dollars in federal taxes to pay off both principal and interest upon the national debt run up by Neo-Con fanatics of a bygone era. Your standard of living will be significantly lower than it could have been without this debt burden, because federal tax dollars that should have gone to public infrastructure, education, healthcare, law enforcement, clean energy, the environment, basic scientific research, homeland security, etc. will now have to be diverted instead towards debt reduction.

One alternative to this gloomy debt-ridden future is to sell off U.S. assets to raise cash as would any Wall Street investment bank in a similar financial squeeze. The federal government owns a considerable amount of real estate and hard goods that could be declared surplus and sold off both domestically and internationally over the Internet. A federal on-line auction Web site might just raise enough cash to retire a hundred or so billion dollars worth of outstanding debt.

As long as we are selling hard assets to pay off the national debt anyway, why not sell Florida as well? This falls under the George Bush "Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures" school of Depression-Era economics. Why Florida, you ask, and not some other state? Well, it is common knowledge that Katherine Harris, who was Florida's Secretary of State during the 2000 presidential election, used the power of her office to ensure that George Bush won the Florida election. This in turn gave George Bush the electoral votes that he needed to win the Presidency. Had George Bush lost the 2000 election in Florida, U.S. taxpayers would not be facing the Wall Street financial crisis and trillions of dollars worth of national debt that they are today. When you add the Iraq War debt into the equation, the total cost of Neo-Con fiscal mismanagement is beyond calculation.

Given that Florida is directly responsible for George Bush's electoral victory, it is only fair that Florida be sold on the auction block to pay for the consequences of Katherine Harris' electoral actions.

More good reasons to sell Florida are:

1)Global warming is melting polar icepacks and glaciers causing sea levels to rise that will result in 1/3 of Florida being flooded by the rising waves. Consequently, in order to get the best price for Florida, the U.S. had better sell it off quickly before its lowlands become worthless submarine property.

2)Selling Florida will eliminate the never ending cost to U.S. taxpayers for repairing Florida's hurricane damage year after year which is increasing due to global warming.

3)Once Florida's perennial hurricane damage is removed from the U.S. risk pool, Homeowner's insurance premiums throughout the rest of America will go down.

4)The disproportionately large senior citizen population in Florida requires huge expenditures of federal tax dollars for Medicare and related senior health care costs. Whoever buys Florida will have to pick up this elder care tab.

5)Florida's long coastline is forever being penetrated by drug smugglers, Cuban refugees and Haitian boat people. The cost of dealing with these groups is substantial and could be eliminated.

6)Millions of Florida homeowners are in or near foreclosure. By selling off Florida these non performing loans will transfer from the U.S. economy to the buyer's economy, thereby significantly decreasing the US foreclosure rate.

7)And last but not least, Fidel Castro will no longer live a mere 90 miles from US territory, thereby making the U.S. safer from attack by this octogenarian arch villain.

The question of whether Florida is worth enough to pay off the national debt can only be answered by a sealed bid auction that will ultimately determine the true value of Florida real estate. Hopefully, the sale of Florida will raise enough hard cash to pay off the national debt with a few bucks left over for a rainy day fund.

One possibility is an "Oil-for-Debt" swap whereby the U.S. sells Florida to an oil producing nation that pays for it by shipping crude oil to China and trading it for U.S. bonds held by that nation. This triangular trading system would work equally well for any other oil importing nation that holds US bonds.

The choice facing U.S. taxpayers is either a lifetime of indebted servitude to U.S. bondholders, or selling off Florida to pay down the national debt run up by Bush Administration policies. Wall Street investment banks will applaud this fiscally responsible downsizing of U.S. territory, because they will undoubtedly make billions of dollars in fees for financing the deal with mortgage backed securities.

- Fred Kessler of Carson City is a general contractor.


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