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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 3, 2010 11:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was It's not just the bloggers. The next post in this blog is Fine, fresh, fierce, we got it on lock. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Make the IRS more like Burgerville

When you buy a hockey puck at our favorite local burger joint these days, your cashier receipt tells you a lot about what's in it. Here's a proposal for something quite similar that you'd get when you filed your tax return.

Comments (13)

Jack knowing anything about high finance or how our systems works I wonder.
Are people who are of retirement age and still generating income of over say $50k per year able to collect social security benefits? Or someone of weath or means above a comfortable amout. If they are what would happen if the fed cut them off?

The next logical step after getting a receipt itemizing the expenditures is the ability to pick and choose which categories you want your tax money to go to. That would be would happen after the cable companies let you choose what channels you want to pay for.

What John Benton said.

Are people who are of retirement age and still generating income of over say $50k per year able to collect social security benefits? Or someone of weath or means above a comfortable amout. If they are what would happen if the fed cut them off?

Alan, everyone who pays into social security qualifies for benefits for disability or retirement. That's how the system works. (That, and taxation of benefits as income above a certain threshold.) If benefits were means-tested, the system would remain solvent, without further changes, beyond the current horizon (estimated at 2037). But then it would be a "welfare" program and subject to attack as such. Conservatives, including Bill Clinton, have successfully done away with the rest of welfare, so this change seems likely to subject social security to a similar fate.

Wow. If MultCo and CoP had to provide receipts I have no doubt that the SOBs would be gone in a minute... well unless they found a palatable way to lie about pork to developer weasels, consultants, and the Paulson nobility.

You are right Nick, so you would see things like Sustainable Soccer, It's for the children housing development, Neighborhood policing, Green transportation,and Diversity Restrooms....

Just went to portlandmaps.com to see what I pay in urban renewal fees. Of course my actual bill from years pastis not listed unlike other counties in the state; so dug out the property tax statement from last year. 11% of my tax bill goes to "urban renewal" 11% to the boondogle of a police and firemaen's pension. Less than 30% to PCC and PPS. Think of how the pot holes would be filled and the schools improved if urban renewal was knocked down or out. I do not consider most urban renewal projects worth this expense and at the cost of more basis services. So much for the city that "works"....it "works" to keep us passively paying and never questioning.

"Alan, everyone who pays into social security qualifies for benefits for disability or retirement. That's how the system works."
===

It is a wonderful system that treats the Bill Gates of the world and the peons like me equally. I can imagine in my retirement, me and Bill crossing paths, and swapping stories about how we each spent our last month's soc security checks. Such a wonderful and equalizing system; me and Bill... equals for a day!

"If benefits were means-tested, the system would remain solvent, without further changes, beyond the current horizon (estimated at 2037). But then it would be a "welfare" program and subject to attack as such."
===

Exactly. And the death of that program, maybe even before 2037. Tragic, no?

The comments above suggest a lot of bias, sometimes strong and emotional bias, about taxes and what they are used for. I agree though with Jack and The Washington Post article that we should be told clearly where our money is going--and why. And it needs to be an executive summary so we won't get overwhelmed by the details. Then it's up to us to work through the political system to change what we don't like. And enjoy what we approve of.

Executive summaries are too vague in this case. I want to have the ability to see details. Far, far too much waste.

I think the receipts should have budgets for all federal depts and agencies. And salaries, phone numbers and addresses for all federal employees. And govt contractors. I want details!

The counter-argument, of course, is that most people are too stupid or ill-informed to participate in Governance. This elitist argument is the direct antithesis of Democracy, which is why most Democrats and Republicans alike oppose a check-list of what you want your money spent on, alongside your yearly bill.

And to go along with this, how about a statement of benefits and an allocation of national debt?

Under current payout rules, this taxpayer, for example, would receive benefits (actuarially determined) for social security and medicare/medicaid that outstrip his/her contributions. And he/she could watch his/her personal share of the national debt jump through $50K and push towards $100K -- even more if one includes offspring.


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