Democratize Income Taxes

Starting a fund-raiser to build a wall along the Mexican border was proposed in a recent commentary on the Fox News website. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/michael-goodwin-why-hasnt-someone-started-a-gofundme-for-trumps-wall.

Because Republicans see the wall as necessary for national defense, and Democrats see it as racist, it has been impossible to get Americans to compromise on building the wall and to allocate money for it. So why not let those who are in favor just raise the funds themselves?

What a great idea for all of government! Why not let people send their tax dollars to the programs and agencies they support? One person might choose to send more to NASA while another chooses PBS or the National Parks. Some would fund free college for all, while others would prefer more defense spending.

There are a few items that would have to be compulsory – we all really are responsible for the current national debt. But how satisfying would it be if you could direct at least a portion of your income to those government programs you deem most worthwhile? The programs might even have to come up with rationales justifying their individual worthiness.

Adopting such a program for the federal government seems overwhelming now, maybe at least start at the local level. Do you think your property taxes are better spent on a new fire engine? Or do you favor increasing teacher salaries? In a free market, consumer choices decide what stays on the market. The same principle should be applied to government programs.

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