Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sequential thinking on taxes

"Uncle Sam" toy savings bank
Image via Wikipedia
One of the things the folks in Washington don't seem to get is that citizens want them to demonstrate a change in their spending behavior before we sign on to giving them more money. That's just common sense. Their handling of our money has caused them to lose credibility big time.  They cook up useless programs and dangerous regulations, overpay for under performance, continue policies, programs and services that have long outlived their purpose, duplicate services at every level of government, fund foreign governments whose leaders pocket the money, allow massive waste, fraud and improper utilization of services, micromanage or manage using outmoded technologies and practices. I could go on.

They need to change their ways before we sign on for any new spending, and they need to stick to the new behavior for a few years to show they are not going to backslide right away. Then I might be willing to pay more in taxes, but only to pay down the debt. This would be similar to charitable giving where the donor chooses to restrict the gift to endowment. In fact, that is what Warren Buffett should do, write a check to Uncle Sam and restrict it to debt pay down.

Another change I would like to see is the exact opposite of the President's Buffett strategy. I belief that every citizen should pay something so that every one of us has skin in the game. I call my strategy the Sawbuck strategy. Everybody pays $5. We should stop picking on specific groups, and approach this as a team.
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