Deep democracy

Let me dictate where my taxes go

Politicians all over the country are trying to decide how to spend government revenues. That’s mostly what they do anyway, but there’s not nearly as much to spend as there used to be just a few years ago, so something’s got to go.

I’d like to try deep democracy, where I vote with my tax dollars the way corporations vote for legislators with their dollars. I would directly choose the way my taxes will be spent, as opposed to leaving everything up to a politician I’ve never met and will never know.

So I could send money for, say, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts and nothing for the White House—no maids, no cooks, no groundskeepers. Some for national parks, Social Security, and community radio and television. Nothing for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Security Agency, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and all government public relations departments—nothing.

I wouldn’t mind paying for universal health care, as opposed to mandatory health insurance. Nothing for juntas, a little for public schools run by parents, a lot for private tutors. Nothing for the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, nothing. A little for the Coast Guard.

Corporate taxes can serve as proportional matching funds for lower individual income taxes, so I’d get more bang for my half-a-buck. Politicians clearly don’t care what we think, so if we all pay the same amount we’d pay anyway except we pay it directly to the people doing what we want done, we can send the bozos home for good.

I’d eliminate pension plans for all government employees, including elected officials, in favor of a revamped Social Security system for everybody, even scum. Government and I will settle up once a year, like we do now, and that’ll be that. No deductions, only popular wars, less flim-flam.

Meanwhile, although we’ve effectively lost our health insurance and a good chunk of income, my family is determined to stand tall in the face of worldwide threats of terrorism. We will, of course, continue to upgrade our arsenal, probably moving this year to fully automatic weaponry capable of firing more bullets faster than ever, and we’ll certainly be wanting the newest, most patriotic ammunition to keep ourselves in line. This is no time for freedom.

It’s too bad about our food allocation, but after our teeth fall out we won’t be able to eat so much anyway, so I expect it’ll all turn out good in the end, which might be sooner than we think.