home of the canton movement

 This is not a new idea. Mike Rozeff and I wrote about it. Pope Benedict XVI refers to it as “fiscal subsidiarity”. It intrigues me how easily we could fix everything that is wrong with the US government by this simple means.   

The idea is this: put a series of checkboxes on the IRS 1040 forms, allowing every person who submits the form to choose their party. Let’s be generous about this and include any national party that has at least 100,000 enrolled members. On April 15 or so, tally up the numbers by party. All revenues not coming from personal income taxes would be apportioned to the parties in proportion to each party’s percentage of income tax allotments.

Next, put the parties in charge of dolling out the taxes based on the results of these choices by taxpayers. Congress would have to consult with the parties when creating the legislation that expropriates funds, to see who was paying for what. Each year, every citizen would consider how well the actions of his party adhered to his personal values, and would determine which party got his taxes the following year.

Simple. Powerful. Impossible, of course, because too many special interests would lose out. Only disaster awaits us.


Comments on: "Simple. Powerful. Impossible." (2)

  1. Dwight Johnson said:

    This post received a comment on 4/8. I will spare you the overall juvenile snarkiness of the comment (made by a fellow I will identify by his initials: KH), but address some of the more lucid points made. I will intersperse his comments with my responses (DJ).

    KH: The Republicans, who at present oppose taxation of businesses which enjoy corporation status, would be clamoring for an increase in corporate taxes. In fact, they’d want partnerships, too, to be taxed as entities separate from their members.

    DJ: If Republicans pushed for higher business taxes, the revenues would go PROPORTIONATELY to EVERY party, based on the number of members they had. So why would they do it? They would get no particular advantage, and alienate many.

    KH: Presumably the Democrats and Republicans would fight like wild cats to attract members. They’d struggle to prevent any parties but their own from being included among the list of approved parties and would pass laws that make it difficult to join any party but their own. In fact, any political party, or coalition of parties, with a majority would strive to criminalize nonmembership in political parties.

    DJ: You describe the current situation. The two party system works well for both parties, since it lets them pretend that there are meaningful differences between them, while allowing each to take turns winning the winner-take-all prize. But you would only need a minority from each of the parties, working together, to overrule them and allow a breakdown of the two party system. Why would they do this? Because, unlike the present winner-take-all system, having even a small piece of the pie means having some real power and influence. By splitting away from the bigger party, they are actually able to diminish its power, which is not the case today. Each party gets a proportionate share of revenues based on their membership. A party split would not put the smaller party at a great disadvantage as it does today. Add to this the enormous pressure from below to split over disagreements.

  2. Great new take, well put. Panarchy in the form of taxes alone would solve a great deal of the division on tax reform and basic fiscal policy within the U.S. alone…

    Of course, the simpler and more peaceful the solution, the more it will be villified and abhorred by the powers that be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: