h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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Taxation has many negative connotations, including its
involuntary nature and the perception of inefficient and
wasteful spending. And of course, the feeling, for most of
us, our money is not being spent on our priorities.
Much has also been made recently of the "Buffett Rule",
often pointing out that those who feel under-
taxed are free to pay more, with the US House passing a
symbolic resolution to that effect just days ago. But as we
all know, few are likely to take advantage of this
opportunity, for all the reasons listed in the first
The governments ability for raising money for specific
projects via bonds, be it for war or construction purposes
has always existed, of course. But it seems to me that
crowdfunding would be a much more efficient method to
achieve the same goal, allowing project backers to
streamline marketing and fundraising, and perhaps even
privatization where appropriate, so that rather than debt
you might receive equity (finally, you can get a piece of
that Brooklyn Bridge -- just send in some bucks for that
Accredited projects with tax authority approvals would
count towards your overall tax burden, but the notion of
paying for things that you are actually interested in, and a
sense of ownership that comes with it, might actually
encourage people to spend beyond their minimal
Like this. But for the moon colony. Or whatever.
[theircompetitor, Sep 25 2012]
||What about line-item tax allocation? But then, who will choose to have all their taxes go to paying off interest on the U.S. debt, for example?
||Who will decide how much the U.S. military is spending when the GAO found 2011, 'serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable'?
||[bigsleep] -- perhaps i should have been clearer -- I'm
not envisioning this as a private enterprise. I'm
envisioning this as a government run initiative.
||And [4and20] -- I'm not implying this would replace
the tax code -- only supplement it in a directed way.
||Monetary policy is such a strange animal. At least at the national level, countries are manipulating the rate at which they issue or borrow currency at ever-changing rates. Yet it seems to be more goal-oriented than a system based on strictly accountable math.
||So offloading a significant amount of that responsibility to "the people" who make comparatively nothing and have no way to make it up wouldn't necessarily increase the rationality.
||Still, locally, or even as national discretionary spending, which includes defense, bonds would have some place, provided it's not a mechanism for the mostly rich to vote with their money.