This is a great idea – from 3rd Way and via npr. Taxpayers would receive a receipt for their tax detailing where there money was spent. A person earning $34,140 would get something like this (minus the red notes)
And yes – it’s amazing that almost 10% of the tax is spent on military, that National parks artract more tax than the woefully under-maintained highways, and that poor Amtrak, their rail system, gets $2.23 while the highways get $63.
It’s also disturbing how high the IRD number is – $17.69 is just 0.3% of the total tax take, but it’s a lot of money in total, and should be added to the local and state system expenses. A simple tax system reduces IRD costs, increases compliance and, most of all, reduces compliance costs by individuals and businesses. Simplicity is found by removing all but a very few excuses not to pay set rates of tax.
But most of all the 5th highest expenditure is one of choice – the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Removing that cost would have allowed, say, an infrastructure boom, an environmental new age and massive lifts in education quality for all. Or something closer to a budget surplus.
I’d like to see one of these for NZ – and I’d like to see one for me.