With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holding Americans hostage in an effort to get pet projects into the third installment of federal coronavirus bailouts, people are left to wonder what will happen to friends and family around the country. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin doesn’t really seem to understand who he’s supposed to be negotiating for.
While Mnuchin, whose first job out of college was with Goldman Sachs, has done quite well in the world of high finance, he may not be the man with the best understanding of what Main Street needs today. That’s why he needs to be replaced, stat.
The clock is ticking and our elected officials, who are still getting paid, need to get this done. Who can sit down at the table in his stead? Here are five options.
1. Montgomery Burns
Fellow Yaley Mr. Burns may be another rich guy, but he has the benefit of running a nuclear power plant staffed by a lot of blue-collar types. Plus he’s shrewd and ruthless, as evidenced by his successful attempt to score some uranium.
He can also confound his opponents, particularly in union negotiations. Given that Pelosi was trying to lard the stimulus bill with a massive expansion of collective bargaining powers, among other things, his mettle and experience could be invaluable here.
2. Scrooge McDuck
Adventure capitalist and business magnate Scrooge McDuck is known for many things, being fabulously wealthy and “swimming” in a pool of his own money among them. As to how he accumulated such wealth, McDuck once explained, “Banking? (Snort!) I made it on the seas, and in the mines, and in the cattle wars of the old frontier! I made it by being tougher than the toughies, and smarter than the smarties! And I made it square!”
In other words, he understands regular folks. He’s also not afraid to tussle with politicians, as he did with Teddy Roosevelt on more than one occasion. Any duck who can go flipper to toe with the Bull Moose can handle Pelosi.
3. Rich Uncle Pennybags
Better known as the Monopoly Man, Pennybags is a real estate investor who made his money in hotels. Although President Trump isn’t the problem here, this background means they speak the same language, while his time spent running a monopoly means he understands where the pain points are for average people. Pennybags can more effectively negotiate on behalf of ordinary citizens. More important, he can send Pelosi to jail if she makes an incorrect move during the process.
4. Lex Luthor
Luthor normally focuses on complicated schemes to increase his wealth, which means he fits right into Washington D.C. He’s also a supervillain, which also means he fits right into D.C. But while we don’t normally send supervillains in to try to help people, Luthor’s love of battle and willingness to win at any cost mean he’s a solid choice.
5. Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks
Although suspect because he’s a defense contractor, Little Orphan Annie helped turn Warbucks around a bit and remind him that the sun will come out tomorrow. His experience in dealing with FDR shouldn’t be ignored, either. While the New Deal may have been a grab bag of policies that actually made the Great Depression worse, it often sounded good, just like Congress’s bailout plans now.
What Warbucks said Annie when she said to FDR, “That’s a swell idea,” he can also say to Pelosi. “It isn’t a swell idea, Nancy. It’s mistaken foolishness.”
Are there other people who could replace Mnuchin and deliver the economic relief businesses and markets need? Of course there are, though you’d be hard pressed to find better options than the above. And Mnuchin, fortunately, has one highly redeeming quality: He’s a stock character and can be easily replaced without threatening the franchise. President Trump, the time is now. Make the call.