psychick: (Speak No)
Now that I am feeling more human, and in the interest of regaining a few more points of self-control, I am musing on concepts of social change.

One thing I have heard bandied about lately is the complaint that tax dollars that you and I pay go to fund programs that we do not approve of or that do not benefit us in any way. This is, in some cases, a necessary evil. Joe Schmoe may be a pacifist, but there is still a need to spend money on the armed forces. Jill Shmill may be a vegetarian, but money still needs to go to hunger relief programs that may serve meat. I may not have children, but my tax dollars still need to be spent to pay teacher's wages.

But what if we could have more control? What if 50% of our federal and/or state taxes went into the treasury as normal, and we had the option of choosing where the rest of it went? What if there were some programs that existed no matter what and some that depended entirely on taxpayer choice? For example, I would love for my money to go to improving the subway system here in NYC, but I would prefer not to fund the building of a new stadium. I don't mind my taxes being spent to provide medical help for the needy across the nation, but I don't think we need any more nuclear warheads. We've got plenty.

On the one hand, I am not sure that I trust the average American to choose for me (then again, I do go on about how dumb I think the electoral college is, so what's good for the goose...), but on the other, I think it would definately encourage government programs to work intelligently and carefully, as we're not going to fund programs that don't work or spend frivolously.

What do you think? If you could choose where your taxes went, what would you spend them on?

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psychick

January 2012

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