- How much is enough?
- Who will pay it?
- What will it be used for?
- How do we make sure it is used properly?
- How do we collect it?
- What is the responsibility of the government toward its citizens? - and -
- What is the responsibility of the citizen toward its government?
When we read the news, we see charts and percentages, major categories and large spending amounts that are hard to comprehend. In budgeting, the smaller details are what matters. What were the pennies spent on to make that final dollar amount? I don't believe anyone has the time to really explore all the wasted money our government spends, and how that lost money affects each citizen. We wouldn't have to spend as much on taxes if it was spent more carefully, budgeted, planned, and kept within the departments that it is allocated to...for growth, for development, for improvement.
I have lived at a critical survival level for pretty much all my life...and it hasn't been easy. I struggle with budgets every month, and sometimes those efforts fail because of unexpected events, but the process of creating an ongoing budget is very helpful. It requires I make lists, try to make sure I include the most important items, prioritize my payments because my funds are so limited, and struggle to find a way to plan for the future in the middle of all the current needs.
Poverty households really don't have an option of planning for the future because the current needs are never met. I think the reason Social Security was created was because no one planned for old age and it became a cost issue for the government.
I heard on a recent Truth About Money show that taxes were started in 1913, which was right after the first World War...or somewhere near it. I had heard on another PBS program that recovering from the first World War was very costly, and the effects of it were long-lasting... in terms of family destruction, economic stability, and other related national issues. I assumed that taxes was that government's solution to recovering from the war. It has only gotten more entrenched and more costly since then.
One of the tactics that governments use is to create "temporary" taxes...which never go away, and only seem to increase as the years go by. It isn't any different than the personal or family finances. We get use to a certain level of existence, and anything less seems like deprivation. Temporary becomes permanent...like subsidies for farmers who get paid NOT to grow some kind of food crop... and only gets worse.
So many people think that the government money is free money, for businesses, for programs, for funding all kinds of activities the government has no purpose being in...like art, education, and subsidies. Communities need to be more involved in those issues.
You may already know I think all the other taxes we pay need to be consolidated into ONE sales tax of ten percent (10%), and be divided equally between federal, state, and county governments (3% each), with the remaining one percent (1%) being allocated to international government commitments already in place and that will grow because of criminal activities that exist at the international level. Each government level would need to be responsible for certain duties, and can partner for the ones that are shared.
This would limit the reach of government into the financial lives of its citizens, reduce labor costs, allow each community to develop their own allocation priorities, and can be collected in real time because of computer transactions. Community programs would be developed to meet the needs of their residents, involve the community, and help to develop more participation within the community.
By limiting the tax structure to sales tax only,
the government would not have a reason to access personal information, those who are rich would pay more and those who are poor would pay less - but everyone would pay according to their income. The war over wealth disparity may not go away, but everyone would know that taxes were paid by everyone else at the same level. Tax evasion will still be a cause for arrest with those who commit illegal acts, and may be easier to prosecute. Solutions to barters and wholesale transactions will need to be worked out, but focusing on a sales tax ONLY would limit the reach of the government into our private lives.
The "rights" of the government are growing more and more invasive, especially because of our technology developments. It may take a crash of economic systems to force a change. Our current tax system is based on jobs, primarily. When the government wants more money, they create a new tax. Fraud and "creative financing" is rampant. Maybe a smaller tax structure will help us to create a spending process that can be held more accountable than the one we have now.