Faced with a mountain of debt totaling more than $18 trillion, the United States is planning to auction off a large section of the Midwest, starting with the state of Nebraska.
The Treasury Department estimates that the sale could fetch as much as a trillion dollars, while a further $250 billion could be garnered from selling the rights to the name “Nebraska,” access to the aquifers below the state, as well as sponsorship deals for the state’s many public universities.
President Obama is expressing remorse at having signed the order to sell the 37th state admitted to the Union, but he remains hopeful that in the long term, his decision will benefit everyone.
“It’s never easy to part ways with a state, particularly when it’s a fairly innocuous one,” he said. “Nebraska is known to be the popcorn capital of America, and it’s said to have a very tidy highway system. I have no doubt that a very kind, loving nation or financial institution will snatch it up.”
Republican senator John Thune has been chosen to act as auctioneer. In September, he successfully lobbied the White House to have his home state of South Dakota kept in the Union on the grounds that it’s home to Mount Rushmore.
“Getting rid of Nebraska is a good start towards a sound fiscal policy,” said Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., who chairs the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. “Many people, including myself, admire the Cornhuskers football franchise, but truth be told, there’s nothing else in the whole state — save a giant train yard and a bunch of portly yokels sucking off the teet of government farm subsidies.”
The auction is to take place on Friday at Homestead Auction Center in Omaha, which will then itself be sold on eBay. Nebraska residents will be given the option of relocating to Iowa and keeping their U.S. citizenship, or should Chinese investment giant Lo Capital outbid all other potential buyers — which seems increasingly likely — becoming Chinese.
Kansas and Oklahoma are slated to be put on the auction block sometime early next year. A report from the Cato Institute predicts that the two states together might not even bring in $500 billion, meaning that eastern Colorado may need to be sold off as well.