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Tax-Payer Receipts September 30, 2010

Posted by Dwight and Lynn Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics, Uncategorized.
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I doubt that I will agree with much of the Third Way’s deficit-reduction ideas, but this proposal (pdf) for a taxpayer receipt sent to each tax payer sounds like a great idea:

Corn syrup, milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, coconut, almond, soy lecithin … any consumer can read these ingredients and their nutritional value on every package of a 75-cent Almond Joy. What is provided to a taxpayer with a $5,400 tax bill? Nothing. For many Americans, the amount they pay in taxes is larger than any purchase they make during the year, but studies show they know almost nothing about where that money goes to.

This contributes to ridiculous beliefs, like the view that 20% of government spending goes to foreign aid, for example. An electorate unschooled in basic budget facts is a major obstacle to controlling the nation’s deficit, not to mention addressing a host of economic and social problems. We suggest that everyone who files a tax return receive a “taxpayer receipt.” This receipt would tell them to the penny what their taxes paid for based on the amount they paid in federal income taxes and FICA.

And here’s an example of what it would look like:

taxpayerreceipt.jpg

[This is not a complete list of government expenditures, hence the reference to “selected items”. ]

Perhaps with this receipt it would gradually dawn on the American public that cutting back on all the Republican bugbears—foreign aid, EPA, Amtrak, and public housing—would not lower anyone’s taxes much.

And perhaps they may come to the realization that most of what the government pays for they really like.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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