Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Discussing Taxes

I found this interesting article that considers the drawbacks of raising taxes and what to do about that. I am not really a fan of high taxes, although I believe that rich people and companies have done an unfairly thorough job of dodging their share of taxes, leaving the burden on middle and lower class people who can least afford it but have fewer loopholes. The thing is, that point this article raises -- that people resist when they feel the taxes are unfair -- applies everywhere not just at the top. Tax structure needs to be fair, and perceived as fair, or people will balk and cause problems. Big tax increases are rarely a good idea.

I think a good solution would be to give people more control over how their tax money is spent. They should be able to indicate on their tax forms what government projects they wish to fund, and what they wish to avoid. Do you want to fund roads, education, national parks, and the space program? Do it. Do you want to fund the military and government offices? Go ahead. Maybe you don't want your money to go towards abortion or warfare; mark the "never fund this" box. After a couple years, maybe you realize that something is falling apart, and you aren't happy about that -- give that project your support next time. The system would need some "overflow" controls so that one or two things didn't get funded to the total exclusion of everything else; maybe say "Mark these items in order of preference" so once a certain program was fully funded, any further money aimed for it would be shunted to the next item down. Crucial core items should also be funded before fringe benefits. But in general, people would probably be a lot more willing to give the government their money if they had more control over how it was spent, so they wouldn't feel as much like they're just getting robbed.
Tags: discussion, economics, politics
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