Monday, May 26, 2008

Choosing taxes. Could be an eye opener!

Over the past couple of months or so, I've been getting increasingly more aggravated by what I'm hearing coming out of Washington DC. I'm not one of those that's screaming "The sky is falling! We're in a RECESSION!!", because by definition that's not where we are. I am, however, seeing rising prices as the dollar loses value, which is not happy, happy fun times. What's really driving me crazy about all this is that the people that We the People elected to represent their interests seem to be so out of touch that I can't quantify how wacky they are. They seem to think that there's no end to the money they can spend and that earmarks are Constitutionally protected. They don't seem to understand that what they're spending is OUR MONEY. Its not theirs, first last or ever, and yet their actions lead me to believe that they don't have any idea that its not theirs to spend with impunity. I don't understand how they account for that in their own heads. When I spend more than I have, it causes real trouble and has real retributions attached to it. How its any different for a government defies explanation.

It's gotten me to thinking, though. Part of the problem that Americans seem to have with taxation, besides that there's so doggone much of it and that its my money taken against my will, is that money is just being pissed away on some ridiculous projects-you've heard of them; I thought about listing some here, but all it was doing was raising my blood pressure-that could be going to pay off our massive debt. Make no mistake: debt is not a good thing. We cannot continue to refinance our debt with more debt indefinitely. Sooner or later, that bill comes due.

Since earmarks seem to be the fun thing for the Legislature to do, I got to thinkin'. What if we had that power? What if Americans got to choose where their money went? It wouldn't be that tough to do. Add a page to the tax forms we already file. What, like another page would make any difference? It would be a basic survey, with categories to choose from. Perhaps one thinks, mistakenly, that welfare is where money needs to be spent. That person could choose that box, and his tax money would be applied to that budget. If one was interested in funding defense, one would check that box, and probably a few others. Of course, there would be a write in slot, or slots, in case somebody felt passionately that their tax money needed to go somewhere else.

Of course, this system has some holes. The progressive system we have now, where there are a ton of people not paying tax, and the highest earning 1% of Americans pay something like 65% of the total tax bill, would concentrate the funding wherever they want it. That might lead to disenfranchisement. Perhaps going to a simple flat tax system would solve that. Oddly enough, new Republics that have gone to flat taxes, and found their economies booming. The only loser seems to be IRS employees, but if more companies can keep more of what they earn, chances are there would be no problem in finding jobs for those displaced people. I don't advocate somebody keeping a job over what's best for the rest of the country, even if its my job. I'll find another.

What we'd find out real quick is what's important to Americans. If a certain program doesn't gain any funding, then it goes bye-bye. At least citizens would have a chance to say where their tax money goes. As it is, we just get to be baffled by what Congress spends money on, and how much. If they want to keep doing that, they'll have to do a much, much better job of communicating with their constituencies as to why their money should go to that stuff.

I know its not gonna happen anytime soon, if at all, but it is an interesting mental exercise. But, since it's Memorial Day, I'm gonna go make myself a mojito and toast my friends and acquaintances that are still deployed, or who gave all. There have been entirely too many of those. A big chunk of my money would go to getting that job finished right.

3 comments:

DirtCrashr said...

...The people that We the People elected to represent their/(our) interests seem to be so out of touch that I can't quantify how wacky they are. Beyond simply being out of touch, some are downright criminally negligent and careless.
As a part of the housing market meltdown, one of our Congressional representatives here in CA has defaulted on THREE homes. One in Long Beach, one in nearby San Pedro, and one in Sacramento. Now she's in DC - God help us all, whatever she'll do there...
"Richardson is renting an apartment in the Washington, D.C., area. She declined to disclose or discuss her credit score.
She has begun to pay down her congressional campaign debt, and repaid herself $18,000 of the $77,500 in personal loans. She still owes $220,000 to her campaign consultant - which is unusual for a successful campaign - and about $330,000 overall."

Haji said...

I don't even know what to say about that...except that people elected her! What the hell did she promise to get voted into Congress with those money skills?

DirtCrashr said...

California's gerrymandered districts enable such idiot Party-Puppets to run without opposition, or with only the opposition of another same-Party idiot-puppet.
We don't really have free elections, the state is Democrat controlled and they choose who to run and where based on "performance". In the recent primary election there were no republican candidates in my district on the ballot, it's a secure Democrat district.