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Taxes contingent on spending

Not the other way around
  (+11, -3)(+11, -3)
(+11, -3)
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The revenue code could be rewritten so that all tax rates are calculated backward from the total amount spent or budgeted. This way every vote in favor of an appropriation is automagically a vote in favor of a tax increase. Why separate cause from effect?
LoriZ, Jun 27 2001

"Pay as you go" http://www.billings...state/35-taxfix.txt
possibly a related development [LoriZ, May 30 2008]

[link]






       While I certainly appreciate the need to better associate taxes with spending, I'm not sure this is the best way to accomplish that. What's needed first is to rid the public of the perception that government spending is "free money".
supercat, Jun 27 2001
  

       This would solve issues of people seeking to vote for good, expensive public services *and* low tax.
Aristotle, Jun 27 2001
  

       This is the opposite of what responsible people do. What one is supposed to do is keep their own spending down to a manageable level relative to their income. This is the opposite of just spending money whether you can afford it or not, and then trying to find a way to pay for it.   

       It's the same way with the government. It needs to cut spending and adjust the tax rate accordingly. Remember, when the government puts money back into the free market, it multiplies and the taxes on the increased money supply serve to partially offset the reduction in tax revenue. Assuming that the budget was balanced prior to the tax cut, there will now be a surplus. That can now be used to pay down the debt. This lowers interest rates, and serves to further stimulate the economy, increasing tax revenue.. and this is a never-ending spiral of greater wealth, less debt, and less taxes.   

       At least, this is how it's supposed to happen. This half-baked idea would cause the exact opposite to happen. Less wealth, more debt, greater taxes.. .etc.
VeXaR, Sep 10 2001
  

       how would we hide the giant military-industrial-complex slush fund? Remember that the government can spend money in ways that do not immediately show up on a balance sheet and that ambiguity in government spending is crucial for the hand job under the table capitalocracy that is the American system. I suspect that if you are proposing this change you also live in a system that thrives on ambiguity and thus are likely asking the dog to bite the hand that feeds.
WcW, May 30 2008
  

       I do like this idea and agree with it entirely but it must go hand in hand with a legal requirement for frugality so strict that a paperclip in a government bin in a sacking offence.   

       I sincerely believe that government spending and waste should be legally limited to that which is absolutely necessary and unavoidable in order to complete the task assigned. Therefore, no chauffeurs or government cars when buses and a short walk are cheaper, no flights foreign summits when we can use a webcam and talk remotely, no flights above economy class, etc. etc.   

       When I can be sure that tax money is not being wasted, then I think the idea of giving the government a blank cheque (which is what this idea essentially is) is a very good one.
vincevincevince, May 31 2008
  

       You fail to realize that there are components of the old system in the new. We expect our leaders to live and behave as kings. If they were forced to live an behave as we do there would be little re-assurance in government. The symbols of power and authority have not changed. The masses will bear a king and thus kings are born and borne.
WcW, May 31 2008
  

       Given that we're well past the optimum point on the Laffer curve, the only way to control deficits are to cut spending and cut taxes (so as to boost revenue). Since the revenue boost from cutting taxes probably won't be enough to balance the budget, cutting spending will be necessary regardless.   

       Unfortunately, what usually happens when taxes are cut is that the increased revenues are used to justify increased spending. On the other hand, the solution to that shouldn't be to raise taxes--it should be to limit spending to those functions authorized by the Constitution.
supercat, Jun 02 2008
  

       //I do like this idea and agree with it entirely but it must go hand in hand with a legal requirement for frugality so strict that a paperclip in a government bin in a sacking offence.//   

       There is an optimal level of frugality. Go too far beyond it, and efficiency will drop like a stone. If throwing out a usable paperclip would be a sackable offense, anyone acquiring a used paperclip would need to take it to the paperclip testing facility to ensure that it would be placed in a hopper with pins of sufficient quality for a given task. Someone who needs to fasten twenty sheets together may need a brand new pin; someone who's only fastening twelve sheets could use a pin from the supply of 'still pretty good' pins. Someone who's fastening three sheets could need a pin from the 'possibly dodgy pins' pile.   

       Using such methods, one could probably reduce the wastage of paperclips to practically nothing. Such a program, however, would probably cost more than simply tossing out any paperclip that was even somewhat dodgy, and having one container for all the rest.   

       BTW, an alternative approach would be to have people buy certain supplies with their own money, and include a chunk of their salary for such purpose. That would require that employees have locking desks, and there might be some legal issues with the approach, but for some situations it could probably work pretty well.
supercat, Jun 02 2008
  

       //That would require that employees have locking desks// could make a fortune in stapler holsters then, and cause a resurgence in plastic pocket protectors. Sometime in the Jurassic I worked in an accounting department; both myself and my boss locked up our adding machines; they were the only ones that were any good (Canon P1010 for the anal-retentive in the studio audience; boss preferred some old clunker barely a generation removed from a hand-crank operated one).
FlyingToaster, Jun 02 2008
  

       Why are we even discussing INCOME taxes at all? Sales taxes are a better reflection of how well an economy is doing: policies that stop business development lead to less domestic sales revenue. This would result in less actual tax revenue. Combined with a balanced budget amendment making it illegal (and subject to impeachment) to vote for deficits would force Congress to think in terms of real budget limits.
Moonguy, Jun 03 2008
  
      
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