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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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To: SeekAndFind

For the right price, maybe Alaska would buy its freedom from Washington. Perhaps a few more states as well.


21 posted on 12/15/2012 10:51:51 AM PST by Redmen4ever
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To: mountainlion

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.


22 posted on 12/15/2012 10:53:15 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: SeekAndFind

Careful, Mufson. Put something like that on the table and we might end up selling Manhattan or Washington DC.


23 posted on 12/15/2012 10:55:31 AM PST by x
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To: adorno
I'd sell California to China in a minute, with the stipulation that it remain under US military control - but all the state's domestic, legal, and economic affairs would be China's to govern as it saw fit.

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. :)

24 posted on 12/15/2012 10:55:59 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: SeekAndFind

If we gave away about a dozen Rat parasite and socialist infested cities away the deficits would go away.


25 posted on 12/15/2012 10:56:32 AM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: SeekAndFind
Alaska is it's own sovereign entity (unlike when it was purchased). If this were tried, I guarantee that Alaskans would simply secede, and Alaska would stand on her own...

The US federal government has no more right to sell Alaska than it does to sell France.

26 posted on 12/15/2012 10:56:42 AM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Verginius Rufus

Leave Detroit, we’ll take the Red Wings and move them to Hamilton.


27 posted on 12/15/2012 10:57:42 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Lefties are so ignorant. They think "wealth" is a big pile of money for them to spend.

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.

28 posted on 12/15/2012 11:00:07 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state." - Cornelius Tacitus, Roman Senator)
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To: C210N
Forget about the spurious 'unfunded debt' computations for a moment, Alaska and its offshore economic zone is probably worth several hundred trillion dollars spun out over a couple of centuries ~ EASY!

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!

29 posted on 12/15/2012 11:00:17 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: rintense

agree if we can find someone stupid enough to buy it.

posted from San Diego.


30 posted on 12/15/2012 11:00:58 AM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: bergmeid

Sell Washington DC, California, New York!!! That would solve our debt problem!


31 posted on 12/15/2012 11:02:14 AM PST by tallyhoe
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To: SeekAndFind

32 posted on 12/15/2012 11:03:07 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: SeekAndFind
Are they really that desperate to make Sarah Palin disappear??
33 posted on 12/15/2012 11:08:02 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Republicans have made themselves useless, toothless, and clueless.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


34 posted on 12/15/2012 11:13:20 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


35 posted on 12/15/2012 11:16:23 AM PST by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: bergmeid

Maybe Alaska should say AMF and secede.


36 posted on 12/15/2012 11:17:38 AM PST by meatloaf (Support Senate S 1863 & House Bill 1380 to eliminate oil slavery.)
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To: SeekAndFind
No way, Alaska's cool.

How about we sell Congress to China to use as crash test dummies and veterinary surgery test subjects instead?

37 posted on 12/15/2012 11:17:53 AM PST by eldoradude (Let's water the tree of liberty with THEIR blood...)
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To: eldoradude

Just like the people that mortgage their homes so they can run their credit cards up again.


38 posted on 12/15/2012 11:21:27 AM PST by Cowgirl
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To: SeekAndFind
Alaska? Yah,right! Sell California...Massachusetts...New York and DC.And maybe Ohio and Michigan,not that anyone would pay anything for them.
39 posted on 12/15/2012 11:24:07 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (Benghazi: What Did Baraq Know And When Did He Know It?)
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To: SeekAndFind
Washington Post Column: To solve our debt problems, let’s sell Alaska

To solve our debt problems let's give away our liberals.

Not that anyone would take 'em.

40 posted on 12/15/2012 11:24:37 AM PST by EternalVigilance (Obamacare is the socialist cancer of the New Deal metastasized.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


41 posted on 12/15/2012 11:24:41 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: SeekAndFind

Personally, I say just give California to Mexico. It will be just like the rest of that country in 5 years.


42 posted on 12/15/2012 11:25:36 AM PST by Humble Servant (Work for the most conservative one in the race, and keep up the pressure.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


43 posted on 12/15/2012 11:32:00 AM PST by The Sons of Liberty (America 2012 - What Would Our Forefathers Do?)
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To: SeekAndFind

They apparently just don’t get enough oxygen over there at WaPo.


44 posted on 12/15/2012 11:32:35 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: rintense

On credit if necessary and give them New York City to boot.


45 posted on 12/15/2012 11:33:31 AM PST by sport
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To: rintense

On credit if necessary and give them New York City to boot.


46 posted on 12/15/2012 11:33:31 AM PST by sport
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


47 posted on 12/15/2012 11:33:45 AM PST by oncebitten (Obama: could not get a clue if he were covered in clue musk and standing in a field of horny clues.)
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To: SeekAndFind

let’s sell New York, New England and San Francisco


48 posted on 12/15/2012 11:34:14 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: SeekAndFind

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


49 posted on 12/15/2012 11:36:44 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Humble Servant

This one has merit.

(though we would want to arrange a window, for the FR servers to be relocated somewhere nicer)

:D

PS: Also posted from CA.


50 posted on 12/15/2012 11:39:34 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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