View Poll Results: Good idea or not?

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  • Great idea!

    2 11.11%
  • Good idea, but unworkable

    6 33.33%
  • Not a very good idea

    5 27.78%
  • WTF is this ****?

    5 27.78%
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Thread: You disburse the taxes

  1. #1
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    You disburse the taxes

    Just a quick thought running through my head, haven't really had time to weigh it all but I thought I'd throw it out here for fun.

    We pay taxes. We give a portion of our money, to the government, which the government then decides which way they see fit to spend it.

    How about changing it, so that we decide (at tax time) the way we want to disburse the money we have given the government. For example. If, after I have filed my taxes, it shows I paid in a net of $5,000 to the federal government rather than waving goodbye to that money to be disbursed by the government to agencies/programs I do not fundamentally support, I could choose which programs I wanted to send that money to and disburse it as I see fit, amongst as many or few agencies as I wanted to.

    It would require that the federal government list all of the areas it spends money. This would lay bare, the size of our government to all. For simplicities sake, lets just say that the overall agency would receive the monies. For example, if you wanted to disburse $2,000 to defense, it would go to the DoD. You could not elect to send it to the V-22 program exclusively. Or if you wanted to send a certain amount to the interstate program, you could send it there but not choose only an interstate in your area.

    Replicate this on state and local levels, and then people can really have a voice in how their government is run. They support the programs they will use/benefit from and will not have to pay for programs they deem useless or unecessary. Considering the diversity of this country, everything should reasonably be funded by its own supporters. It would also remove the need and power of lobbyists in Washington, who try to redirect your dollars from elsewhere, in essence they would be constrained to arguing for specifics within a budget of what the tax provider has given that particular agency.

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    Last edited by WI Crippler; 07-21-09 at 10:38 AM.
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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    The best option I ever heard was that everyone would have to pay their taxes at the end of the year by sending a check to the govt. If people had to do that they would be much more likely to show concern about how the govt spends it and how their elected officials vote.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)

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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    Let's jus cut your taxes and be don with it

  4. #4
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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    I would shudder to think of this program in action. Even assuming that the majority of taxpayers were willing to take the time and had the intelligence to make an informed payment, they would be acting blind as they only know where their own money is going. Of course most taxpayers aren't even halfway motivated or knowledgeable, making it even worse.

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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    The best option I ever heard was that everyone would have to pay their taxes at the end of the year by sending a check to the govt. If people had to do that they would be much more likely to show concern about how the govt spends it and how their elected officials vote.
    Just have them pay it monthly, like their rent. Absolutely no reason the people can't do this.

    Oh, and make the filing deadline, where the annual paperwork is submitted and calculation of the full annual amount owed, November 1st, the day before the Congress things setting the taxes are voted for.

    Now, as far as the OP goes, would never work. First off, the government TAKES my taxes, I don't give them a penny, and secondly, I find it easy to imagine that the Department of Defense would discover itself to be the proud parent of the National Endowment for the Arts, of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, and everything else that the Shell Game Artists want to protect.
    Last edited by Scarecrow Akhbar; 07-21-09 at 11:41 AM.

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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    I would shudder to think of this program in action. Even assuming that the majority of taxpayers were willing to take the time and had the intelligence to make an informed payment, they would be acting blind as they only know where their own money is going. Of course most taxpayers aren't even halfway motivated or knowledgeable, making it even worse.
    I would shudder to think of this program in action. Even assuming that the majority of Congressmen were willing to take the time and had the intelligence to make an informed vote, they would be acting blind as they only know where their own money is going. Of course most Congressmen aren't even halfway motivated or knowledgeable, making it even worse.

    I mean for Christ's sake they don't even read what they vote on.

  7. #7
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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    they would be acting blind as they only know where their own money is going.
    Uh, no they know exactly where the money is going. Congress votes on a budget that allocates exactly how much money each program gets. This system would involve everyone diving the money as an individual. Only after everyone was done, would you have a clue where the money ended up. A congressman can say " i think we should increase defense spending by 5%" and add the money on the budget. An individual says "I think we should raise defense spending by 5%" then they have to second guess the entire country to decide how many money to spend. Some people will give less, some people will give more, and thus you have no idea how much to give to end up at a 5% increase.

    Furthermore, congresscritters don't have to make up individual budgets on their own. They start with last years budgets, having hundreds of people working to make changes on it. Then once they have something, they simply have to vote on it with 3 options.

    The system has a noble goal, but unless humanity turned into a hive-mind its completely unworkable.

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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    Let me make a point. Try and take 5000 dollars and divide it up so that it proportionally matches today's budget. Tell us how much research you have to do.

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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Let me make a point. Try and take 5000 dollars and divide it up so that it proportionally matches today's budget. Tell us how much research you have to do.
    But thats the point here. So many people pay taxes into things they don't want to support.

    How many people would have hamstrung the DoD during the Iraq War? How many people would have hamstrung No Child Left Behind? Etc.... The point isn't to try and make it so everything remains the same, but that people direct their money into government programs they see as beneficial.

    I understand that the amount of people don't know what's going on. Prehaps with a little perrogative towards "investment" into things they believe are worthwhile would spur some education on their part.

    Its just a fun idea to toss around, I neither expect it to gain traction or be taken too seriously.
    "Loyalty only matters when there's a hundred reasons not to be-" Gen. Mattis

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    Re: You disburse the taxes

    My point is that to alter the budget in any kind of rational fashion, you would have to know what it is to begin with. Nobody knows the breakdown of the budget off the top of their head. Increasing highway spending by 10% requires that you know how much highway spending is, and then know the value of the program(s) you want to cut spending for. Even getting that far requires effort even from hopeless political junkies like us. A normal taxpayer is hosed.

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