Sheila Bair was chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for a five-year term that expired last year. At the agency she was a power player with sharp elbows that she deployed to defend and extend the agency’s turf. Today RealClearPolitics features her Washington Post column “Fix income inequality with a $10 million loan for everyone.”And from Bair's column in the Washington Post:
Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)I published a parallel proposal to PolitiFact's Facebook page back in 2010.
Why wouldn't it work for the government to give everyone jobs with the federal government paying $1 million per year?
Great minds think alike. Though it's worth mentioning that vacant minds also think alike.
To be clear, the general idea of an expansive federal income subsidy, whether via loan or employment, is a pretty natural reductio ad absurdum for the "fairness" aspect of income inequality arguments. I don't think Bair stole my idea. But I'll claim my slice of credit.