Would You Pay More in Taxes if You Could Designate the Money?

by Scott on September 19, 2011

in Business Advice

This is an idea that I had a few days ago.  The basic premise is simple.  Most taxpayers think that the government does a poor job of spending money effectively.  That explains why so many people in the US give so much money to charity – in a tax-deductible sort of way.

The better charities of today (my favorite example is charity:water) are very good at showing the effectiveness of every dollar raised.  They also realize that if they become inneffective, that donations will flow to a competitor.  This has created something of a free-market system where donors can see how well their money is being spent.

Which brings me back to the topic at hand.   Would you pay more in taxes (or feel better about what you do pay) if you could designate specific government programs or departments to send the money to?  I realize that this will never happen, but its a good question regardless.  Examples would be infrastructure, education, defense, food stamps, intelligence, etc.

With all the hoopla in our government right now about fixing loopholes and reforming the tax code, it might be interesting to see government agencies actually compete for our money.

  • Charles Le Pere

    This is a very interesting idea.  I probably would pay more taxes if I could specify where it goes.  However, I would be very thrilled about the converse idea where I could specify where my tax money cannot go!

  • http://www.thegetsmartgroup.com/ Scott Reynolds

    I like your thinking….   Though I would hope that accentuating the positive would have some merit :)   Also, I really like the idea of government agencies competing for my dollars.  Would really change the game.

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