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Use TARP repayment to create businesses, not just jobs


Word on the street, or Internet, is that funds repaid from the $750 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program, about $200 – $400 billion so far, will be used for a job creation bill.

And what are we hearing? Infrastructure.

It’s time for something new, though. Here’s what they (House, Senate, President) should do.

Divide that $200 - $400 billion up amongst the Congressional Districts, based on population, and have each Congressman put together a panel of business professionals. Next, tell constituents “Submit your business plan to us” with the stipulation that the business, if it were funded, remains in the congressional district that the submitting constituent lives in. Then, have the panel and Congressman review the plans over 45 days, and select the best plans for businesses, then take the funding allocated to the congressional district and give it to the entrepreneurs who submitted their plans.

I would also have some requirements for the new businesses.

One, they must be green – energy-efficient light bulbs and heating systems should be purchased and installed.

Two, the person submitting a plan should divulge how many jobs their business would create.

Three, there are no tax breaks or credits from the state for these new companies for a set amount of time. If the federal government, aka the taxpayers of the country, are dishing out a heap of money to start your business, then sorry, that’s one handout that you should be able to survive with.

Now here’s an example of what my jobs plan could create.

For instance, I have always thought it would be cool to own my own novelty t-shirt company and store. So I would put together my plan, including equipment purchases, and submit it to the panel for Michigan’s First Congressional District. Jobs included in the plan would be a couple of design artist, two or three screen printer operators, and store cashiers (unknown, since I’m throwing this together off the top of my head) and managers. There may also be a maintenance person or two to deal with the equipment, plus someone would have to be in charge of ordering shirts, ink, paper for shirt art and other supplies.

My rough estimate would be this could create maybe 10 jobs, since I would also work there.

But that small job creation isn’t the only way the economy would be stimulated. A building for the company would have to be either purchased or built, thus meaning either construction or renovation (either way local contractors are winning) would be necessary.

This, of course, is only an outline and opinion, but am I the only one who thinks this would be a better avenue than continuing to think fixing roads and bridges will save the economy. No offense to the people who do it, it is an important job. But does it grow our economy? Does it make us more competitive with China?

Not in my eyes.

Plus, the beauty of my plan is that the business panel for each district could fund a diverse variety of businesses, and they could be for any sector (if I were writing the bill). Maybe someone would even start a manufacturing business that could help with our export/import imbalance. The possibilities are endless!

Of course, and I don’t mean to toot my own horn, this plan is pretty creative and outside of the box.

So I’m sure it will be nothing like the bill that comes forward.


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