Suggestion for Steve Chu - the new energy secretary.
Let's think about persuading the administration to release some stimulus money to specifically fund graduate students in alternative energy research.
This would have several advantages:
(1) would be cheap (they are about 20K each) (2) in fact you need tuition on top of that, but that then would help solve another crisis - the university budget shortfall. (3) would be training scientists in the administration's favourite R&D area (4) would keep bright minds off the streets and out of trouble, so that they wouldn't continue to contemplate careers on Wall Street (if it ever reopens) or similar destructive futures...