Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

April 2016

Need a government program to stimulate the economy?

Here’s an idea: Every high school graduate should receive an inheritance to do with what they want — buy a car, start a business, go to college, buy some land, take a year off, whatever.

First problem: Why must a person graduate high school to inherit? Fair question. Change the program to one that grants an inheritance to everyone on their 18th birthday. That’s also a good way to spread the cost of the program throughout the calendar. Can you imagine the crowded showrooms on high school graduation day with the other program? Whoa!

How many people turn 18 in a year? An outfit calling itself “Rock the Vote” posits that nearly 12,000 people turn 18 every day. Call it 4 million a year. (What. That’s less than 12,000 times 365.33333333 anyway.)

So ... what’s this inheritance thing going to run per year? Let’s go large —$100,000 a birthday boy or girl! So, 100 thou times 4 million is a ton. Like for the lottery or the twin perfecta, the IRS steps in and takes 25 percent. Think of the taxes raised on the incremental business activity invigorated with a program like this! And the program is quarter funded out of the gate.

What’s the multiplier folks use when they justify laying a pipeline or something? If it’s greater than 1.33, the GDP effect would be 1 net of taxes.

Picture what you would have done with $75,000 (after taxes) when you reached your 18th birthday.

Picture how many opportunities would have been presented to you.

If that program were put in place now, what business would you start to shear the young heirs?

What would be the over-and-under number on the daily survey of the average net worth of 19-year-olds as the program went into its second year?

Here are a couple of tweaks to the program. Only 18-year-olds born in the USA will receive an inheritance. People serving prison terms on their birthday are out. People with outstanding parking tickets and past due library books are out. People with Colorado medical marijuana prescriptions are out.

There will be more rules but this program is a winner!