Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, October 01, 2010

Check Please

Third Way has a nice little graphic that shows what we’re up against in balancing the budget.  It’s essentially a receipt for what your taxes are buying. And Third Way suggest that all taxpayers should get one so they know what they’re paying for.


As you can see, a typical taxpayer forks over $5,400 in income tax.  Of the seven most expensive items—totaling $2835.13—none are on the agenda for anyone this side of Paul Ryan (although there are indications that the debt commission will tackle Social Security).  Even cutting things like foreign aid and NASA will only make up a tiny fraction of the debt, least of all allow taxes to be cut.

One problem with this analysis is that it doesn’t account for deficit spending, which is currently equal to 40% of the tax revenue.  If we’re going to send our receipts, send out honest ones.  Put numbers in red next to the numbers in black to show what your taxes haven’t paid for.

Update: One thing that’s interesting about the receipt is it really should have cross-partisan support. Lefties will love it because it will show the taxpayer that their cash is being spent on such wonderful things as Medicare.  They’ve recently been flogging a stupid meme that opposing taxes means you want to live in an anarchist wasteland since all government spending is wonderful. But I think the effect will be the opposite—support for programs like Medicare and Social Security and even defense may erode when people see just how much it’s costing them.

Either way, information is good.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 10/01/10 at 09:03 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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