Skip to comments.Washington Post Column: To solve our debt problems, letís sell Alaska
Posted on 12/15/2012 10:38:30 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Steven Mufson is a Washington Post reporter covering energy and other financial news. He has enjoyed visiting Alaska without needing his passport.
The prospect of once again hitting the federal debt ceiling has provoked the ritual round of hand-wringing about the intractable nature of this $16 trillion conundrum. But there is a simple, elegant option that involves no tax increases, no spending cuts and just a bit of imagination.
hats right. Put the entire state from Juneau to Deadhorse, from the Bering Strait to the Beaufort Sea on the auction block.
Absurd? No more absurd than the spectacle taking place right now as we skid closer to the fiscal cliff.
Selling real estate at top dollar is all about timing, and nows a great time to unload the Klondike state. The federal government, which owns 69 percent of Alaska, could cash in on the vast, resource-rich state at a time when oil prices are high and wild salmon is flying off the shelves at Whole Foods. Selling Alaska could fetch at least $2.5 trillion and maybe twice that amount, enough to lop off a huge chunk of the national debt and perhaps as much money as President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner hope to save or raise over the next decade.
The return on investment would look great, too. Secretary of State William H. Seward you might know him as the handsome fellow played by David Strathairn in the new Steven Spielberg movie, Lincoln bought Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, drawing ridicule. One New York newspaper that year called Alaska a sucked orange, saying Russia had already drained all the value out of it.
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I have a better idea. Let’s sell Washington DC and surrounding area. Lots of “educated” people.
No freaking way!
Or trade it for Baltic Avenue and two railroads.
Only to Canada NOT to Russia. That would be a BIG mistake.
Selling Alaska could fetch at least $2.5 trillion and maybe twice that amount, enough to lop off a huge chunk of the national debt”
Well, not actually. That’s not even two years of obama-era DEFICITS, much less the debt.
That said, if Alaska was “sold” woudl that mean it is no longer part of the US? If so....looks like a race to Alaska, at least from freepers.....
Oh, of course Murcowski would be out of a job... and Reed (Sick!) would be in power forever.
Sell California to Mexico first.
Where'd he come up with that number? Rectal extraction?
Even if he's right, that would cover the federal deficit for two years.
Can we sell Berkeley to Red China? Sell? I meant give Berkeley away.
Don’t sell anything to China.
China has four times our population, and an ever more vibrant economy.
Selling any part of America to China would be suicidal.
Now can we please start bringing BACK American jobs?
How about Hawaii? If we’re going to sell something, make it a blue state!
I’ve at times joked that we’d some day have to sell Alaska to settle our debts. But with the fools we have in DC, my morbid joke might turn out to be all too true.
How ‘bout we sell California.
Sell it to China or Russia.
California is a drain on the country’s economy, and selling it would bring positive value to the rest of the country, and we’d end up with a country with much better human values while we’re at it. Plus, it would mean a loss of a lot of liberal votes in the electoral college.
I can’t see any negatives in selling California, since, the big companies that do business in the state, would sooner or later shift operations to what’s left of the U.S. But, we would have to make sure that the liberals in the state cannot move into the other 49 states without promising to leave their liberal ideology behind.
It’s the WaPo. What do you expect?
Oh, so a state can buy its way out of this?
Texas should become the Republic of Texas once again, via buyout. Pay whatever they ask in USD. When Texans sever the relationship with the dollar, and covert to a currency actually backed by something other than debt — say oil — they can easily repay their buyout debt with USD that will worth next to nothing in the future.
This sounds like a plan.
Keep Alaska. Sell Hawaii.
And then Obama could be a citizen of China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, etc.
For the right price, maybe Alaska would buy its freedom from Washington. Perhaps a few more states as well.
We could make Canada take back Detroit. All we’d have to do is doctor the text of the Treaty of Ghent and claim that the British were supposed to keep it at the end of the War of 1812. Of course they may not want it, even if it would give them a second MLB team.
Careful, Mufson. Put something like that on the table and we might end up selling Manhattan or Washington DC.
I would expect a marked improvement in California's quality of life and productivity as a Capitalist government friendlier to the rest of America replaces the existing anti-American Communist government. :)
If we gave away about a dozen Rat parasite and socialist infested cities away the deficits would go away.
The US federal government has no more right to sell Alaska than it does to sell France.
Leave Detroit, we’ll take the Red Wings and move them to Hamilton.
Wealth is not static. Wealth is dynamic. Wealth is a revenue stream. A pile of money shrinks from moment to moment.
But let's convert our revenue streams to piles of money and shriek against the extinct "rich" when the piles of money are gone.
So is the intramountain West, the Southwest, the Southeast, and certainly all of the states underlain by Pennsylvania limestone.
One of the reasons we have foreigners continuing to stash dollars in US treasury securities is they really do expect us to be around tomorrow, and the next day, and maybe 50 to 100 years from now. That's because we have enough untapped energy, mineral and other resources owned directly by the federal government that we can meet all demands on debt for the indefinite future.
WE ARE RICH BEYOND THE DREAMS OF AVARICE!
agree if we can find someone stupid enough to buy it.
posted from San Diego.
Sell Washington DC, California, New York!!! That would solve our debt problem!
This is what you call ideological mental masturbation for a liberal. It doesn’t have to make sense, only the ‘feeling’ that precipitated the masturbatory thought is operative.
I Googled him and got a bunch of pictures, plus some narrative bio BS about his BA from Yale. The one thing I noted that in all the images I’ve seen of him, NONE, absolutely NONE were in the presence of or in connection with a female....hmmmmmmm.....
Methinks he had a “bad lumberjack” experience when he visited there sans-passport.
Clinton did sell some of Alaska during the war in Kosovo. If I remember right 100 US citizens became Russian Citizens over night. no one seemed to notice or care.
Maybe Alaska should say AMF and secede.
How about we sell Congress to China to use as crash test dummies and veterinary surgery test subjects instead?
Just like the people that mortgage their homes so they can run their credit cards up again.
To solve our debt problems let's give away our liberals.
Not that anyone would take 'em.
I say yes. We don’t need to sell it to a foreign power. Sell it to the private sector. That’s eventually going to have to happen. Won’t solve the debt problem though.
Personally, I say just give California to Mexico. It will be just like the rest of that country in 5 years.
No matter how much money we got for it, 0bama and his regime would find a way to fritter away the money before the ink was dry on the closing papers.
They apparently just don’t get enough oxygen over there at WaPo.
On credit if necessary and give them New York City to boot.
On credit if necessary and give them New York City to boot.
Here’s another idea. Declare all debts to the Federal Reserve bank null and void. Arrest and imprison the members of said Federal Reserve and the TBTF banks. Try them for treason and hang them on the mall in DC. Declare a jubilee for all debts to the TBTF banks and reinstate gold and silver money as required by the constitution.
let’s sell New York, New England and San Francisco
let’s sell New York, New England and San Francisco ... they bring nothing to the table but moochers and whiners
Alaska brings plenty of resources
come to think of it, the market value of Alaska would be much higher then the other three combined... and you’d have a tough time finding anyone that would want them. hell, the majority of America doesn’t want them
This one has merit.
(though we would want to arrange a window, for the FR servers to be relocated somewhere nicer)
PS: Also posted from CA.