Sunday, April 24, 2011

Magic Bullets part VIII - The Oxygen Standard

We seem to have reached a stalemate in Washington trying to get a handle on our out-of-control deficits. Is it possible there is a simple way to deal with this and finally find out what our politicians are made of?

I propose we put our government on the “Oxygen Standard”. The Oxygen Standard is similar to the Gold Standard in that dollars are converted into a set quantity of oxygen, only in this case, the dollars are our government deficits or surpluses, and the oxygen is for our government officials to breathe.

Here’s how the Oxygen Standard would work: First, all three branches of government (yes, the court too!) would be housed in airtight chambers which would be locked-down during budget negotiations. If the resulting negotiations yielded a balanced budget, there would be exactly enough oxygen pumped in to balance the breathing needs of all the members. However, if there is a deficit, the same ratio will be reflected in an oxygen deficit being pumped in. Of course, if there is a surplus, extra oxygen will be supplied which would result in a “strategic oxygen reserve” which could be drawn down in times of war or natural disaster.

To make the Oxygen Standard even more real, there will be an additional way government can “tweak” the supply of oxygen during deficits. They could draw down the oxygen supply of future generations by allocating the needs of infants and the unborn for their own breathing consumption. Mass suffocations would eventually result, but government officials could at least spend away and breathe easier.

Any guesses as to how this would play out?

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