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Washington Post Column: To solve our debt problems, letís sell Alaska
Washington Post ^ | 12/15/2012 | Steven Mufson

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.

Sell Alaska.

hat’s 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 now’s 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.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: alaska; debt; sellalaska; trialballoon
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1 posted on 12/15/2012 10:38:38 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I have a better idea. Let’s sell Washington DC and surrounding area. Lots of “educated” people.


2 posted on 12/15/2012 10:39:54 AM PST by bergmeid (FUBO)
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To: SeekAndFind

No freaking way!

Next.


3 posted on 12/15/2012 10:40:04 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: SeekAndFind

Or trade it for Baltic Avenue and two railroads.


4 posted on 12/15/2012 10:40:18 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: SeekAndFind

Only to Canada NOT to Russia. That would be a BIG mistake.


5 posted on 12/15/2012 10:40:32 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: SeekAndFind

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.....


6 posted on 12/15/2012 10:41:04 AM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: SeekAndFind
Who would buy it? It would have to be someone with more money in the entire world. combined. Otherwise, it would not cover the unfunded debt of 70 to 120 Trillions.

Oh, of course Murcowski would be out of a job... and Reed (Sick!) would be in power forever.

7 posted on 12/15/2012 10:41:26 AM PST by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: SeekAndFind

Sell California to Mexico first.


8 posted on 12/15/2012 10:42:41 AM PST by rintense
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To: SeekAndFind
Selling Alaska could fetch at least $2.5 trillion...

Where'd he come up with that number? Rectal extraction?

Even if he's right, that would cover the federal deficit for two years.

Then what?

9 posted on 12/15/2012 10:43:00 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Can we sell Berkeley to Red China? Sell? I meant give Berkeley away.


10 posted on 12/15/2012 10:43:07 AM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: SeekAndFind
He has enjoyed visiting Alaska without needing his passport.

...blink...blink...
11 posted on 12/15/2012 10:44:13 AM PST by Vision (Obama is king of the "Takers." Don't be a "Taker.")
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To: SeekAndFind
We could give Kalifornica back to Mexico and solve a lot of problems, at least for us.
12 posted on 12/15/2012 10:44:51 AM PST by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Drango

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?


13 posted on 12/15/2012 10:45:19 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: bergmeid

How about Hawaii? If we’re going to sell something, make it a blue state!


14 posted on 12/15/2012 10:45:36 AM PST by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


15 posted on 12/15/2012 10:47:39 AM PST by Will88
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


16 posted on 12/15/2012 10:49:13 AM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s the WaPo. What do you expect?


17 posted on 12/15/2012 10:49:13 AM PST by kitkat
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


18 posted on 12/15/2012 10:49:13 AM PST by Gulf War One
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To: SeekAndFind

Keep Alaska. Sell Hawaii.


19 posted on 12/15/2012 10:49:30 AM PST by Enterprise ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire)
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To: SeekAndFind
It would make more sense to sell Hawaii. We basically stole it anyway and it is highly desirable to a number of countries.

And then Obama could be a citizen of China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, etc.

20 posted on 12/15/2012 10:50:49 AM PST by oldbrowser (Put Obama in check, now.)
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