Last Tuesday Sen. Jim DeMint (R – South Carolina) said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “I don’t think we need to extend unemployment any further without paying for it, and without making some modifications such as turning it into a loan at some point. It then encourages people to go back to work.” While making unemployment insurance a loan is lunacy that is devoid of any connection to reality that unemployed people have to live in, the idea seems like a good one for the right group of people: the milli-billi-silly-onaires poised to get a big extension to the huge tax-break hand-out they’ve enjoyed for the past decade.

The Senate is now scheduled to vote on the ugly Obama cave-in (a.k.a. “compromise”) tomorrow, and then it goes to the House. So here is my proposal on how the House should modify the tax bill before voting on it:

Continue the reduced tax rates for the first $250,000 of everyone’s income, and make it a jobs creation tax loan for any income over $250,000.

Let those trickle-down voodoo-economics zombies put their money where the mouths are—they constantly squawk that if you give out money to the super-rich they will only use it as breadcrumbs falling off their buffet table to feed everyone else with employment. So, you would have the option to turn it down, but if you accept the refund on taxes for income over $250,000, you would do so as a loan that you will use solely for job creation. Whatever portion of that loan you do not verifiably use to pay salary and benefits for a new job you created within the next year, you must pay back—with 29.99% APR interest, an 11.99% transaction fee for giving you the money, an 11.99% transaction fee for returning the money, and a 22.99% penalty fee for not using it.

Meanwhile, those who have no intentions of actually creating new jobs with a high-income tax refund can turn down the loan and sleep soundly knowing that those billions will instead be used to help balance the budget, create sorely-needed infrastructure and energy projects, help unemployed people buy food for the family and pay the rent so they don’t have to move into a shelter or a blanket in the park, and in the process be a big boost to re-build the economy out of the disaster that Wall Street and the banking industry created.

Stefanie Schur

Stefanie Schur