Well it is tax season and you should be worried – but you don’t have to be. Taxes should feel like an honor or duty, but they feel like a burden imposed on us by the evil empire. So we would like to get you thinking about alternatives to this faulty system. Perhaps you don’t like funding wars against people far away. Perhaps you don’t have to. Maybe you don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood (because you are an asshole). Maybe you don’t have to. If we are willing to come together in spite of our differences we can have a tax policy that is effective, and one that increases participation. Be ready to open your mind…and wallet.
We are proposing that we include the concept of choice in our tax policy – but not TOO much choice (the American people are not so good with choices these days). Here is how it might work. Say my tax burden for the year is $12,000. The government takes half of that and applies it as they see fit. After all, the public is unaware of most of what the government does and needs to do so they should still retain some discretion with respect to tax monies. Here is where the fun starts. The other half of my tax burden is returned to me electronically so that I may go on a government “drag and drop” web page and apply my taxes as I see fit. $1,000 to NASA, a little something for Planned Parenthood, throw a little bone to the HUD and I am done. Fuck Defense and the NSA, make them beg for it and manage their funds more effectively, then I might consider it. Or maybe you want to blow your entire wad on missiles, bullets, and invasions. More power to you my friend, they are your tax dollars and you should have some control over how they are spent.
What would “Democratization of Taxation” (trademark!) do for us? Who knows really. We have some ideas though. A feeling of ownership in the government could increase participation in all levels of governance; programs that are actually favored by the people would get the funds they are in need of instead of being held up in committee or floor debate; pork barrel politics and earmarks could see the end of their days; politicians will have less flexibility to ignore public will; the IRS would not be such an authoritative institution; left and right wingers could stop arguing over what should be funded and simply fund whatever they wish; and corporations might actually start paying their fair share (OK let’s not get out of hand here – that will only happen by force). You get the point.
There could be plenty of issues as with any time you change a system. But this one feels pretty much bullet proof. The program will be funded by the savings that it creates. Less processing for the IRS, less wasted time debating spending bills by our ridiculous public servants, diminished influence of special interests meaning money is actually spent more efficiently – all mean the program would save money rather than cost money. We are technotards to be sure, but we know enough to understand that a secure and effective web application would not be too difficult or costly to produce. Security and oversight would be of concern but nothing more convoluted or difficult than exists within the current system would be required.
If you think this won’t work you are probably on the payroll for some major special interest. If you are worried, let us open up a dialogue and discuss how this might work. This is an idea that is not partisan, radical, or emotional. This idea just makes sense. Let’s make next tax season the inaugural tax season of choice and begin the long and difficult process of re-establishing control of our government!