Time for some real old-time American populism — before The New Bonus Army marches on The Village. USAmericans are getting restless over the AIG bonuses that can’t be undone, Bernie Madoff’s hardships in pre-sentencing solitary confinement, the difficulty of having to wear a ten-year-old dress to a charity event. It’s time for STIM TWO: THE BONUSING.

A bonus for the rest of us. A little trickle-down from the BonusWorld Boys who have benefited for so long from this crooked, rotten economy of ours.

Here’s my proposal: one thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child who is a citizen of the United States, excluding the top ten percent who did just fine under The Bush Economic Miracle. Yes, I propose a one-grand payment to 270,000,000 Americans, at an approximate cost of $270,000,000,000. The United States Treasury can identify the top ten percent of taxpayers, since they did just fine during the past eight years, and then send everyone else a check for $1,000.

Call it the People’s Retention Bonus. You want to retain our silence, Mr Geithner? You want us to maintain our cool in the face of utter financial depravity among our elites? You want us to keep our torches unlit and our pitchforks unsharpened? Bribe us all, quickly and bravely, with a one-thousand-dollar keep-quiet-and-spend-this bonus. Charge the top ten percent of taxpayers a special surcharge. Call it the Off-With-Your-Heads-NOT excise tax.

Because we are angry. The news from BonusWorld has made us restive. You need to retain our goodwill, and quickly. You need to reward us for our good behavior. And, believe me, Mr Geithner, we have been well-behaved. Consider the alternatives: Sony executives held hostage in their offices while laid-off French workers demand better severance packages; middle-class Icelanders riot to demand some value be returned to them after their economy was looted by BonusWorld Boys; restless Greek youths ask, not so nicely, that general prosperity return to their land.

Things could get worse in America, Mr Geithner — and they could get worse for your pals very quickly. Better act now. Time to make a down payment to stop the Other Class from fighting back in the class war the upper class have waged on us since the 1980s.

It’s coming to America, Mr Geithner — and you need to spray some foam on these smoldering embers, not accelerant. The AIG bonuses are an accelerant, Tim. A Bonus for The Rest of Us might just keep scared and angry Americans at bay long enough for you to turn this ship around. Maybe.

Americans are living in dozens of tent cities.

Americans are forgoing medical tests and procedures.

Americans are paying outrageous debit card fees to access our unemployment benefits.

Americans are sending in seven hundred applications for one janitor’s job in Ohio.

It’s time to calm the people down, Mr Giethner, with one simple, immediate direct cash payment, regardless of how worried the Chinese premier is about our debt he’s holding.

The descamisados elected your boss. We want our shirts back, please.

Send one thousand dollars to every man, woman, and child in the bottom ninety percent of American taxpaying families. We need it. We’ll spend it. We’ll pump it into the economy immediately. And we might cut you some slack on your inability to make AIG obey you on bonuses. Because we’ll be breathing a little easier ourselves, for a change.

Just send money. Do it now.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge