TED Conversations

Albert Hong

Student,

This conversation is closed.

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.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 16 2011: I think it's a great idea. Instead of leaving the decision of resource allocation to the politicians. If any political party would want a budget allocated for their pet program they would have to present a spending plan. This would achieve at least 3 things 1, it could weed out any frivolous spending, 2, the public will be given a chance to provide input on how to better spend that money and can vote out any unjustifiable budget items, 3, the transparency imposes a built -in accountability. This would probably free up a lot funds that would otherwise be spent corruptly or ineptly.

    It doesn't have to be done all at once. We can start with the top 20-30% of the budget allocation and work our way to a 100%.This assessment can undertaken by students as part of their curriculum. Groups of cross- disciplined students can conduct the audit and assessments of the budgets and present their findings and recommendations to the public for consideration. The system won't be perfect but it can be streamlined over time. Just some thoughts, I want to put out there for refinement.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.