Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Taxpayer is King

Last year Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) proposed legislation that would make it easier for people to donate money to the US government.  He called it the "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act".  Coincidentally I recently created a Wikipedia entry for the same expression...put your money where your mouth is.  Unfortunately the bill seems to only have a 1% chance of being enacted.

It's a really great idea though so I sent an e-mail to Rep. Campbell.  Unfortunately, I forgot to read the small print (it really wasn't that small).  Here was the automated message I received...
Your zip code indicates that you are outside of the 48th District of California.  Regrettably, I am unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the 48th District of California.  Click Here to return to my home page.
Eh.  I'm only an hour away from Orange County.  "Close enough" shouldn't just count for horseshoes and hand should also count for political representation.  Anyways, I decided to just post the letter here...



I really liked your "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act" so thought I'd share a proposal based on the same concept.  It's called tax choice.  It would give taxpayers the option to choose which government organizations they give their taxes to.  Here's the Wikipedia entry I created for the concept...

One topic that frequently comes up is the issue of granularity.  That got me thinking about whether taxpayers might want the option to give their taxes to specific congresspeople.  People who voted for you could give their taxes to you...and you'd have complete discretion over how you spent their taxes in the public sector.  If they were happy with their ROI then they'd continue giving their taxes to you.  If not...then they'd just give their taxes to another congressperson or shop for themselves.

Did you know that there are 3,520,000 google search results for "the customer is king" and only 55 results for "the taxpayer is king"?  That's a problem.

So nothing would be a stronger signal of your genuineness than proposing the Taxpayer is King Act.  Go big or go home...right?



  1. I am curious to know why taxpayer sovereignty isn't pushed more. Is it because so many people want to force others to pay for things and don't consider how it's robbing them?

    1. Top down systems are a lot easier to grasp than bottom up systems... Unglamorous but Important Things.

      I figure that taxes are just fees... so taxpayers are just subscribers. So if it makes sense for taxpayers to choose where their taxes go, then it also makes sense for subscribers to choose where their fees go.

      Can we persuade Netflix to allow subscribers to choose where their fees go? If so, then it will be easier for people to see and appreciate the benefit of bottom up systems.

      If you get a chance, you should check out one of my recent stories on Medium... Facilitating The Evolution Of Economic Systems.