Want to Buy an Island? How About a Post Office?

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Everything's gotta go! The mailbox, the post office, even the lawn!
Photo: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

On page 25 of President Obama's deficit-cutting proposal to get the government "Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future," the administration put everyone with a bit of spare cash on alert: It's planning a fire sale. Among the list of federal assets possibly headed for the auction block is 840-acre Plum Island situated near the entrance to Long Island Sound, which comes complete with a "sandy shoreline," harbor, and biohazard site (it's formerly home to the Animal Disease Center); a decommissioned airfield outside San Francisco currently leased by Google's founders to park their private jets; over 3,500 post offices (being sold independently by the Postal Service); even unused broadcast spectrum. All told, the administration thinks it could raise as much as $22 billion from such a sale. And that's just the obvious stuff. The federal government actually owns 30 percent of all U.S. territory, including most of the western states — just under half of California, 85 percent of Nevada. What better way to stimulate the economy than to sell some of that land to Donald Trump so he can build something enormous, rather pointless, and covered in gold? [NYT]