Should Tennessee Take Bailout Money?

That’s what Blue Collar Muse is asking.  Here’s my take..

If bailouts are bad, they are bad. If people think they are good, they are ok still bad.

But here’s the thing….if Tennessee (or any other state) were to refuse the bailout money, does that mean those dollars wouldn’t be invested spent in another state? Someone is going to be standing there with their hand out.

Wouldn’t we be better off to take the money and then, ahem, “invest” it for an interest in future revenues of another state? For instance, why not buy 1% of Georgia’s state income tax for the next 10 years, or a piece of California’s lottery action, a some of Florida’s sales tax?

I’m just thinking out loud here.  I’m sure what I’m proposing is either illegal or would be deemed so pretty quickly by an executive order–can’t have the States exercising this kind of power and making these types of decisions, right?

I know I’m wrong here…tell me why.

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Comments

I like the way you think … :). But unfortunately, all the federal money that’s available are “restricted funds.” Meaning … those funds can only go toward what they’ve been allocated for.

I think ultimately the vision you’re talking about is inspiring. We don’t hear the debate enough in public policy the need to explore possibilities for providing additional public services from the nonprofit sector.

Theoretically, imagine if instead a branch of the government was a just a giant non-profit foundation with elected office positions. Rather than have a $11 trillion debt, imagine if we had a $11 trillion public trust fund that that paid out an average of 5% interest to support annual expenditures. So, that’s basically $500-$600 billion that could be covered in public services without the need for additional taxes — between a fourth to a third of the Federal budget. The trust fund money would be essentially accessible capital to fund additional economic development. This, in turn, could improve the size of the principal. Over decades, we could eventually phase into a voluntary tax — and any tax revenue collected would go into the principal rather than straight into expense accounts.

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