MEMO TO: President Barack Obama

RE: Economic Recovery Stimulus Ideas

Mr. President, it has come to my attention that you're having some challenges with the economy. If I understand things correctly, we're in a recession, consumer confidence and spending is down, credit is tight, investors are spooked , we need renewable energy, and health care costs are through the roof. Trillions of dollars, not to mention our future, are at stake, Mr. President, I'm just a regular citizen, but I think I have a solution.

Give every American a horse.

My proposal may not make sense to you at first, but let me give you a little background. First of all, horses in the U.S. are a multi-billion dollar industry, and that's just at my house. I suggest you have your economic advisors do a little research on the spending around horse ownership. You'd be surprised, Mr. President.

Start by visiting the tack and clothing retailers like State Line or Dover. Look at the variety of goods available there. Now take into acco unt that every horse owner, especially if it's a woman, is buying not just one or two, but tons of these items. Believe me.

So my thinking is that if you give every American a horse, starting when they reach the horse-receptive age of 10, you're going to do two things: boost consumer confidence and boost spending immediately.

Horses make us feel good, and once Americans all own horses (at the government's expense, of course), they will all logically fall into the pattern that every horse owner succumbs to: accessorizing. For starters, we need horse-care implements like buckets and muck rakes, hoof picks and curry combs. And we need at least basic tack, halter, leadline, saddle, saddle pad, bridle and bit. But then the fun begins.

Zebra print leg wraps. Neon bright fly masks. An assortment of sheets and blankets for all seasons; you've got your cooler, your lightweight blanket, your medium blanket, your heavy blanket. Then there is your stable sheet and your pasture sheet. Also your hoodie, and tail wrap items.

And that's just the clothing for the horse. Don't get me started on the clothing for the rider, even if he or she doesn't show. Since most Americans don't have a basic riding wardrobe, the stores would be swamped for jeans, boots, breeches, T-shirts, dozens of pairs ofcute boot socks, and the ubiquitous ball cap. Tell the retailers to get ready. It'll be Christmas all year long.

Now let's talk about support industries. In addition to the usual veterinarian and farrier expenditures, people also give their horses chiropractic, massage and acupuncture, not to mention buying more beauty products for their horses than they do for themselves. All those professions and industries will benefit. And of course there will be a big spike in hay and grain demand, so the farmers will be happy too.

You see, that's the secret to jump-starting consumer spending through my stimulus package. People will spend money on their horses when they won't spend money on anything else.

But, your advisors might say, there's a catch. Aren't we paying the price, in global warming, of the large number of livestock animals we currently have? They produce all that methane!

Ah, Mr. President, here is the real beauty of this idea. When you introduce the Methane-Assisted Natural Unrefined Renewable Energy plan (M.A.N.U.R.E. ), you'll be a hero for coming up with an alternative, renewable, home-grown source of clean energy. Just challenge the energy gurus to come up with a methane gas collectio system that can harness all the natural resource produced by all those horses to power our cities. Talk about shovel ready projects: M.A.N.U.R.E. fits the bill!

And you keep stressing how we need new industries for investment; well, under the M.A.N.U.R.E. plan you can sell Petroleum Offset Opportunity units to investors. By buying these units, investors can help us gradually convert from a petroleum-based economy to one based on horse P.O.O.

Health care costs will go down, too, as everyone cares for their horses.

You can give tax credits based on the amount of time people spend working, riding and hanging out with their horses, which will automatically make them healthier. (Don't tell the docs, but most horse owners already get their own basic healthcare from their vet.)

One more thing: everyone is annoyed by these corporate CEOs and their big bonuses in a down economy. So give the executives, say, one horse for every $100,000 of bonus money they've received. Those bonuses will be plowed back into the economy in no time.

Finally, because you, Mrs. O, and the girls are such role models, you can encourage us all by getting a pony for Sasha and Malia. It will teach them responsibility, help the First Lady plow the garden, and as a bonus: free fertilizer for the Rose Garden.

If you don't believe me that horse ownership stimulates spending, go ahead, Mr. President. Buy that pony for your girls. You'll see.

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