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Jobs are what matter most. Here’s a stimulus idea to send to Washington.

Create a 100,000 loan grant run through the federal department of your choice, backed by the Treasury.

Businesses of any size may apply for and receive a100,000, one year loan at the Federal Funds Rate. If a business then spends that loan funding solely on employment (verified by new payroll taxes and W-2 data from the IRS), at the end of one year, the loan is forgiven, essentially giving the business a free employee or three for a year.

Conditions: payroll taxes and W-2 data should verify that the business spent the equivalent of $100,000 solely on employing new hires. Using data the government collects anyway, controls should be able to easily verify that these are new hires and not existing employees. Don’t spend it correctly? IRS detects a little hanky panky? Interest capitalizes and the loan enters repayment immediately.

Why a stimulus idea like this? Rather than attempt to plow money into specific industries, this lets businesses hire or rehire based on what that specific business needs to grow. The Student Loan Network might need a junior web developer but the Advance Guard might need an admin. By giving businesses the discretion to hire who they need, the market can get the talent actually required, rather than decided by government fiat.

This kind of stimulus will, by design, disproportionately benefit small businesses. Because they’re more agile, this will help them grow faster. Because it’s small business, the ability to bring unemployed citizens in for retraining will work better – after all, you’ll learn the craft of baking bread faster at a small family bakery than you will at Omni Consumer Products Grain Division. (though certainly they can apply and get the same loan)

What’s the cost? The IRS estimates roughly 30 million small businesses exist in the US. Guess what? This is a three trillion dollar stimulus. Considering some of what’s being flung around Wall Street and DC, that’s in the ballpark of other proposals. What makes this one different? If 10% of businesses get the loan and start hiring, the 3 million job deficit goes away immediately, rather than waiting for government funding to flow through states, cities, and banks.

What’s your stimulus idea?

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A different stimulus idea that might work 1 A different stimulus idea that might work 2 A different stimulus idea that might work 3

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