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[Novation] 20% Tax Rule

If you want ideas:

A big issue I have with our current system is its lack of incentives for more active participation by the common citizen.  And I think that stems from a feeling of inability, a lack of power, this idea that as soon as you cast your vote it’s as though you’ve cast your die and the way the numbers turn out you have to deal with for the next 4 or 6 years.

Which means we need to find ways that encourage citizens to be more knowledgeable about what is happening in the government, what their senators and representatives are deciding on, hell, if they’re even voting.Imagine if you determined where %20 of your total taxes paid were used according to your opinion.

What I mean is, you pay 10,000 in taxes in a given fiscal year.  20% of that is…(carry the zero, times two) Yup, 2,000.  That means, that after Congress sets the budget for the fiscal year, with their 80% allotted to them, you get to determine how your 20% is distributed.

Obviously you couldn’t decide to spend it on Target, or JCPenney.  Then it wouldn’t be taxes.

But, if you saw the %s heavily in favor of the DEA, or the military, and you felt the EPA wasn’t getting enough, well you could designate your entire 20% to the EPA.  Or you could designate 1% to 20 different agencies.  Or any combination of whole percentages equaling 20.

You could choose to abstain, in two ways: 1. in line with the Congressional distribution, or 2. with the citizen’s average distribution.

Now, that’s a pretty easy pill of an idea to swallow, but imagine if Congress were unable to meet their deadline to establish the budget, like they did this past year, and our government almost shut down, and they extended the deadline.

If that were to happen with this new law, if Congress had to extend their deadline, it would trigger an automatic election for (all?, or some) Congressional seats, and would count as a full term.  They would serve out the year, elections would be held in June or July, new or incumbents would be sworn-in in November, and take control in December.

This is not a final idea.  This is a starting point.  This is the beginning of a discussion.


About Jared Krauss

traveler, reader, thinker, writer, photographer, doer


One thought on “[Novation] 20% Tax Rule

  1. Citizen involvement at this level is a very interesting idea but three problems spring to mind.The first is that problem is that only 54 percent of Americans will pay federal income tax this year. This also wreaks havoc on budget planning in areas that require long term commitment, think of military projects or health services. Lastly and most terrifying this concentrates power into the hands of a very small group of people. According to the Tax Policy Center, in 2011 the top 20 percent of Americans earned 53.4 percent of the total U.S. income, but payed 67.2 percent of total income tax. This could effectively hand them control of U.S. policy.

    I love the idea of personal involvement in the political process but for this to happen we first have to change the incentives. Tax policy has to be reformed so that people have a personal stake in how the money is being spent.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 10, 2012, 09:53

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