Finally. A good use for what's left of that bailout bundle.

December 19, 2008: 10:17 AM ET

paulson_hearing_0923_ap_01Looking over the list of poor saps who were hoovered into the Madoff money vacuum, it occurred to me that we might have found an excellent beneficiary of at least some of Mr. Paulson's remaining bailout bonanza.

Why not make the straggling losers in the ponzi parade sign a statement attesting to their credulity, greed and overall foolishness, issue them each a nice, pointy dunce cap - and then help them out with a piece of what they've lost? Sure, we can take off a significant percentage of their ill-taken losses as punishment for their sins. Then let's help them.

I spoke to my broker yesterday. She's in Southern Florida. It seems that a lot of the old people there who are living out their lives on their investments, assembled after a lifetime of work, are now selling their modest, two-bedroom condos and pawning their jewelry. They're broke. Imagine that. Eighty years old and without a dime to your name, all because you had to get in on the latest sure thing from the guy everybody trusted. It's not right.

Likewise, a bunch of very credible charities are sucking the hose, funds that helped indigent widows and holocaust survivors and people suffering from illness so dire that they will be gone long before Madoff will have to spend one night where he belongs. And why is the guy still walking around on Park Avenue, anyway? Don't they have jails for such people? 

Anyhow, even after Mr. Bush dribbles a little rain on the parched Big Three, there's still going to be hundred and hundreds of billions just sitting around collecting minimal interest. You've got a whole bunch of victims out there who are guilty of nothing more than believing in the risk/reward game. Didn't we all?

Please, Mr. Paulson! Have a heart!  It's Christmas!

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