With so many states battling massive budget problems it’s no surprise that some of them might start getting creative in new ways to raise cash. Hawaii is clearly blazing a new trail in this area by tapping in to one natural resource unique to the islands. No, it’s not sugar cane or lava rocks. A proposal has been brought up to sell copies of the president’s birth certificate for $100 a pop.
The state would charge $100 for a copy of President Obama’s birth records under a bill introduced in the Legislature by five Democrats. It would change a privacy law barring the release of birth records unless the person seeking them has a tangible interest. The bill has not been scheduled for a public hearing, and cannot move forward unless that happens. But the idea behind it is to end skepticism over Mr. Obama’s birthplace while raising a little money for a government.
A little money? That may be a rather modest assessment. This plan is genius, plain and simple. As recently as last August there were still more than a quarter of Americans who were at least “birther curious.” And the defense of Obama’s eligibility has turned into something of a cottage industry on the Left. If even 10% of these people ordered a copy, Hawaii could be flush with cash in no time.
How many more states will be able to forge a path to fiscal stability with unique offerings such as this? Washington State could auction off random hair samples from animals found in the woods, allowing the curious to test them for proof of the existence of Bigfoot. Mississippi might sell off authentic tar balls taken from the local beaches, each signed and dated by Al Gore. (For a vastly inflated fee you can have your own oil soaked pelican! What… too soon?)
Alaska isn’t facing as much of a debt problem as, for example, New York, but might they not get well back into the black by selling DNA samples from Governor Palin’s children, assuming she was willing to donate a few toenail clippings? (Sully would probably order a few thousand of them by himself.) Kentucky could begin mailing out chupacabra teeth for better than $500 each.
This is the kind of innovative creativity which is doubtless what President Obama had in mind as our “Sputnik moment.” Three cheers for Hawaii. This is precisely the sort of out of the box thinking we’re going to need in tough economic times.