The US is more polarized politically than ever before, and nearly 50/50 split.
The idea of “allocatable taxes,” is that people pay the same amount of tax total, but are able to specifically allocate that amount by percents to different categories like healthcare, military, food stamps, foreign aid, etc.
Sounds very democratic, moreso than the current system! Who wouldn’t want to be able to make sure none of their money goes towards blowing up brown people in the third world, or maybe that none go to any of those welfare queens rolling up in their Cadillacs to pick up steak and lobster every month with their food stamps? It’s win/win for both sides of the aisle!
The actual categories in the President’s proposed 2015 budget are:
[li]SSI, Unemployment, and Labor - 33%[/li][li]Medicare & Health - 27%[/li][li]Military - 16%[/li][li]Energy & Environment - 1%[/li][li]Science - 1%[/li][li]Housing & Community - 3%[/li][li]Education - 2%[/li][li]Interest on Debt - 6%[/li][li]Veteran’s Benefits - 4%[/li][li]Food & Agriculture - 3%[/li][li]Transportation - 3%[/li][li]International Affairs - 1%[/li][/ul]
For the sake of the hypothetical, let’s assume that payroll taxes are also allocatable (currently used to fund the two the biggest line items in the budget, SSI and Medicare), giving us a round 80% of the total tax revenue of the US government that is now democratically allocatable.
What would the effects be of the US having allocatable taxes?
My initial hypotheses would be that SSI and Medicare would both take big hits right away. Although seniors are a powerful voting block, by percent of population they’re pretty well outweighed by younger folk, many of whom may not even believe SSI will be there for them in 40 years, so why fund it now.
I would also expect a rise in Science and Energy & Environment from their current 1%, and a drop in Food & Agriculture from 3% (with only 2% of the US living as farmers, it’s hard to believe most people would collectively allocate ~$500 billion to this).
Aside from those, I don’t see any really obvious changes, what do Dopers think the effects might be?
And would you be in favor of this initiative, and if so why / why not?