Administration officials confirmed rumours that public subsidies for publicly traded stocks would coincide with the retirement of Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan in 2005 or early 2006. "For too long the government's intervention into the marketplace has been limited by tedious bidding processes and the expectation of services performed for transferred funds, or by poorly understood manipulation of interest rates. Now, the communist dream of public ownership of industry will be closer than ever- every citizen will be required by law to divert some of their income to the purchase of shares in government approved corporations" said Treasury Secretary John Snow. Some critics see the plan a form of welfare, but Snow rejected those claims: "This isn't rewarding people who are the most desparate, it is a shot in the arm for those who have proven their ability to succeed". He later noted that some dividends or profits from the sale of the government owned stocks may go to benefit the elderly.
Sources on Wall Street said the move was sound: "Any negative fluctuation in the market can be corrected by lobbying for increased social security spending. And the federal government will be able to inside trade on a scale unheard of in a normal market."
The scheme is a cornerstone of the Republican campaign promises of increased government intrusion into every aspect of business and the personal lives of citizens. A parallel proposal that the military pay its own way with real estate ventures has also been put on the table, but has gathered less momentum.