Recently I had an idea which seemed a bit crazy to me. I tried to find as many flaws in it as I could, but I came up with many positives and few negatives. Thus, I’m turning this idea over to the SDMB, in the hopes that it will be thoroughly vetted: choosing tax allocation.
One of the most often heard complaints in regards to the government is along the lines of “So this is where my taxes are going, huh?”. People of all parties view themselves as funding things they disagree with. What if people could choose where their taxes go? I’m not necessarily talking about the specifics, such as how you’d actually go about doing it, as the system would be fairly complex, but as a basic idea, it seems to work. As an example, paying off the national debt is an issue different people prioritize in different ways. If you feel it’s very important, you could allocate a higher percentage of your tax dollars to paying it off, while your neighbor could choose to weigh things differently. In the end, you’re really just cutting out the middleman - we already elect officials who agree with us on where money should go and vote on the budget accordingly. As a less radical option, some areas of the budget seen as too important to be voted on - like, say, defense or safety net programs - could be pre-determined, but apart from those, I think it would work. The split up of the budget would mirror what the general population wants. So - yay or nay?