For Sale: United States

First of all, we need to remember that the Congress and President Obama are working on Plan B. Their predecessors already botched Plan A, to the tune of $350 billion. Sooner or later, we're going to run out of letters in the alphabet. And money.

So let's not be too tough on the fat cats. We're going to need their ill-gotten gains when the time comes to pay back the trillions we're laying out to try and clean up their huge litter box.

It's not too early to begin planning for ways to get them to pay their fair share — well maybe fair share is asking too much, but maybe a little bit more than the tax crumbs they have been grudgingly giving up when their lobbyists aren't entirely successful, which is, like, never.

Let's face it, they're not going to pay more to rescue their country than they absolutely must. I mean, let's not carry this patriotism thing too far.

We need to be creative. We need to come up with some ways to make these captains of finance part with their own money, instead of everybody else's. Here are some ideas they might buy:

*NAMING RIGHTS TO FEDERAL BUILDINGS
From the sports world we know how these guys love their corporate monuments — think Enron Field.

Wouldn't it be so cool if the Treasury Department worked out of the Goldman Sachs building, so the bosses (from both parties) could feel right at home? Better yet, how about the Payday Loans building. As a special bonus, the offices could be decorated by John Thain.

Can you imagine the bidding war by insurance companies to have their brand on the HHS structure? Oh, I forgot — they already do.

The possibilities at Transportation are equally boundless — so obvious they don't even need to be outlined here.

*CONGRESSIONAL LOGES
The use of the galleries, those seating areas where people can watch the House and Senate inaction, is a missed earnings opportunity. They don't even make us pay to use them. At least directly.

Sometimes it’s easy to miss the obvious. Why not build special boxes there instead, and charge companies an arm and a leg to rent them? Think of the convenience for staff members when the lobbyists influence them with invitations to watch the games going on below. It's just a short walk back to the congressional office to pay back the gift with legislative favors.

*VACATION HOMES
We know how the rich love having as much real estate as possible. So they will clamor to spend big bucks to buy still another place to fly their private jets.

Where else features tropical sun, surf, beautiful beaches and unparalleled seclusion? Of course, I'm referring to Guantánamo Bay.

Whatever you do, Mr. President, do NOT close down Gitmo! Particularly since the condominium units are already there. Talk about a gated community. And talk about solid construction.

Of course, we'll have to do something about the current residents, but how difficult could it be to relocate them?

It should be a, uh, slam-dunk. One approach might be condemnation proceedings. From what I understand there were already efforts under way to condemn some of them.

By now, you get the point. At the same time we're nationalizing so many industries, we need to make plans now for when the time comes to go back and return our government to control by the private sector.

These are just a few outside-the-box suggestions. And what makes all of these so appealing is that the corporations can pay for them by tapping into their bailout money.


Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.