Here’s an idea we were discussing last night over a few beers.
On the bottom of your income tax, put an extra field where you pick where you want a portion of your own taxes to go toward. Some miniscule amount, less that 1% or a flat $5. In that field would be boxes for things like “military”, “welfare”, “education”, “parks”, “roads”, “foreign aid” etc. With all the subheadings, no more than 30 selections. They just mark off which one they choose to see that portion of their taxes go toward.
Except for that small fraction, the services would still get their money normally. And some areas will benefit from the extra money.
But then the IRS could publish the results and politicians could see how the people want their money spent. If a lot of people don’t select their tax money going for welfare or foreign aid, maybe those need to be re-evaluated. On the other hand, if a lot of people want more military or education, they could look into increasing the funding.
I wonder if this is really practical, to have people “vote” where they want their tax dollars to go for.