Like most adult Americans, I’ve begun to think about maybe starting to perhaps kinda almost commence doing my taxes. Conceivably, it could happen sometime between the Winter Olympics and March Madness. Or not.
The public’s general lack of enthusiasm for filing a return could be mitigated if the IRS added some incentives. Perhaps a comment form, or better yet, a survey, mailed out with every tax manual, allowing us to critique the stewards of our tax dollars. When you buy a toaster they include a consumer survey, why not when you write out a big fat check to the government? The results could be read on the floor of the House and Senate every April 15th, during mandatory sessions of Congress.
A sample survey might look something like this:
1) Do you think stimulus tax dollars should be spent on the companies that created the financial crisis, or the people who are suffering from it?
2)Do you think your tax dollars should go towards everyone’s health insurance plan or just the health insurance plan for members of Congress?
3)Do you think your tax dollars should be spent to finance elections or should corporations be left to take care of that? (See questions one and two above.)
Maybe it would be more enlightening to just let people choose where a discretionary portion of their tax dollars, say 5%, should go. I’m sure there would be a significant discrepancy between Congress’ agenda and the priorities of the American public. Talk about voting with your dollars.
As simple as this plan is, I’m sure it will never happen. Sounds too much like … Democracy.