Diary

A Dollar for Your Stimulus

Remember Robocop? The clobbering of the bad guys by the cyberonic cop was a tad too bloodthirsty for my taste. And the satire wasn’t exactly as subtle as Huxley’s or Orwell’s. Still, today’s economic news makes me remember that weird game-show line, horsily bellowed throughout the 1987 flick: “I’d buy that for a dollar!”

Fast forward to 2009 and dire economic times, and the question hangs there. What can you buy for a dollar?

Answer? Subsidy.

Washington state politicians have just sent hundreds of thousands of checks for . . . one dollar each — yes, just a buck — to the state’s poorest residents.

Lots of those residents have no bank account, and thus it will cost the recipients more to cash the check than the amount of the check. So what on earth are the Evergreen state politicians thinking?

Well, there’s method to their madness.

Remember the nearly trillion-dollar so-called stimulus package Congress just passed? Apparently, there’s some rule that says if you’re a food-stamp recipient and you get at least one dollar in energy bill assistance, this qualifies you for even more federal assistance.

So, Washington legislators mail out completely ridiculous, wasteful, dollar-each checks to “prime the pump” of the federal money machine — proving that the bailouts are not only lunatic themselves, but the cause of lunacy in others.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.