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Albert Hong

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Tax System that allows people to choose how their money would be spent.

My idea is to set aside a SMALL percentage of taxes which the taxpayer got to choose how to spend it. Options would include a listing of various social programs, new technologies, public education, healthcare, public works like roads, defense or even programs registered by ordinary citizens. The taxpayer could also have the option to let the government handle the money like before.
The advantages might include:
1. an increased accountability of these programs since the taxpayer might do a considerable amount of research into the efficiency and total effectiveness of the program.
2. a democratic way to fund programs that people want
3. a way to introduce new programs and ideas
4. a way to increase taxes without upsetting people
5. a percentage of the budget would be accountable by the public.

My vision would be to have a website where taxpayers would browse through a variety of programs, read up on the information, and decide how to allocate their money. They also would have the ability to create their own program and try to attract supporters.

Obviously I don't know if this plan would be viable (and please correct me if i'm wrong). Thanks for considering.

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    Oct 12 2011: How could this possibly work? Because the rich, who provide most of the tax revenue, would then be dictating how the tax revenue is used. And you can be certain that it would be used to benefit only programs they support. How would you protect essential programs that assist the needy?
    • Oct 12 2011: Indeed the rich do control most of the tax revenue.
      1. this is only a small percentage of the tax revenue. many programs would still rely a large amount upon their regular budget, and would barely be effected.
      2. many preexisting nonprofit social programs for the needy are already largely funded by the rich. Not everyone acts according to their direct benefits, and there is a large overlap between the needs of all social classes.

      It is perhaps plausible that the rich do indeed choose to favor certain programs over others. With the statistical information gathered from the system, we could determine if this is truly how the rich would behave.

      The goal here is not to completely reallocate the budget, but to promote social engagement, program accountability and transparency, provide useful statistical information, and provide a mechanism to introduce new ideas.

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