How James Patterson Could Solve America’s Debt Crisis

Whenever the government faces a shutdown, the novelist could pull out his checkbook

Janice Harayda
3 min readDec 10, 2023


U.S. Capitol / Kaz Vorpal, The Graphic Details, on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons CC

Nobody has asked for my opinion of how to solve America’s federal debt crisis, but I have one. The U.S. Treasury should borrow money from James Patterson.

Think about how easy this would make the nation’s political life.

Whenever the government faces a potential shutdown, it wouldn’t have to ask members of Congress to act like reasonable adults and work out a compromise spending bill that would keep the country running. It could just ask the novelist to pull out his checkbook.

This idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Patterson reportedly makes about $100 million a year from his more than 200 books, and he lives in Florida, which has no state income tax. He probably saves a fortune each year just by not having to fork over part of it over to Gov. Ron De Santis so he can use it to fund more “Don’t Say Gay” laws.

And Patterson writes at least a book a year, so his computer is a cash cow that keeps on giving. Or, as he told USA Today, “I don’t have writer’s block. I have writer’s diarrhea.”

Patterson is also a generous guy. He gives lots of money to his co-authors to write his books for him, or as reporters like to say, to act as his “collaborators,” who get to work after he does a detailed synopsis.

Why wouldn’t Patterson want to help 335 million people, the population of the U.S., in one swoop, instead of doling out smaller amounts to needy writers?

Patterson also funds scholarships and educational activities. One of his projects is called ReadKiddoRead, and it helps parents, teachers, and librarians find books children will like. He could launch an initiative called PayUncleSamPay to reduce the country’s $44 trillion national debt.

If all else fails, Patterson has friends in high places, who could give him ideas to how he could use his millions to enable the country stop trying to solve its fiscal woes by borrowing more money from China.

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Janice Harayda

Critic, novelist, award-winning journalist. Former book editor of the Plain Dealer and book columnist for Glamour. Words in NYT, WSJ, and other major media.