The single-mom solution

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” — Will Rogers

Several weeks ago, novelist and political commentator Andrew Klavan in his biweekly commentary, “Klavan on the Culture”suggested  that to relieve tension in the Middle East, we should make the entire region Jewish. Although intended as humor, his analysis was so laden with common sense, it almost sounded workable (albeit offbeat). With American concerns focused so heavily on the economy, I wondered if a similar outside-the-box answer might be found for our ever-mounting national debt.

Dennis Miller came up with the “deadbeat solution” on the O’Reilly Factor. He proposed we tell our creditors, “Suck it up, guys! We’re not gonna pay the $14 trillion we owe you!” He reasoned that they wouldn’t do anything about it, so life would go on uninterrupted. It was good for a chuckle, but hardly honorable.

My brother suggested “the 10 percent solution” (hats off to Sherlock Holmes), where we cut the budget by 10 percent across the board. Six months later, we’d cut each federal employee’s salary 10 percent (excluding the military). We repeat this each year until we finally and substantially begin paying off the debt. The beauty of “the 10 percent solution” is that those balancing the budget don’t have to decide what programs to cut and what to leave in place — that’s up to each agency’s administrator.

Although I really like this idea’s simplicity, I ultimately felt that it left open the possibility of too many unintended consequences. I moved on.

I mentally ran through a list of the country’s leading economists and realized they were all too old, too Keynesian or too unacceptable to this administration. Then it hit me — “the single-mom solution.”

No economist is more attuned to reality than the home economist. She can make a dollar last all day, a chicken all week and a tank of gas for two weeks if it’s required — and it often is.

Here’s how it would work. We find a typical single mom — a working single mom. I have nothing against welfare moms, mind you, but this requires someone who intimately knows the sweat that goes into each tax dollar.

We give her a nice, quiet office with a calculator, computer and a secretary. We keep her coffee pot filled, her pencils sharpened and her kids fed and entertained (that could be the president’s job). Then we give her the budget.

She’ll have the budget balanced within a day. In two days, she’ll be paying off creditors. Keep her on the payroll, and she’ll make sure Congress doesn’t screw things up again.

Let’s face it, guys, we blew it, and the professionals made a bigger mess of it. Let’s give Mom a chance. Mom has lots of common sense, works wonders on scraped knees, and she always knows when we’re lying.

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