Interesting Idea for Government Self Correction

Credit Al Brown from the comments of this post on Marginal Revolution:

Taxpayers should have a direct say over what money is spent and borrowed, in proportion to how much tax they pay. Putting such a system in place will curtail the persistent problem of ever expanding government spending.

I find this interesting for a few reasons.  First, it’s different than another suggestion I’ve heard, to give voting power to people proportional to the taxes they pay.  Second, it might actually work.  Stripping politicians of taxing and spending power and giving it to the people funding the government would solve the incentive problems inherent in any government.

2 thoughts on “Interesting Idea for Government Self Correction

  1. Thank you!

    I do believe a bicameral system would be best where representatives in one house are chosen proportionally without regard to tax paid. And the second house proportionally by tax paid.

    I don’t wish to see everything decided by who provides the money, but certainly how the money is spent should be. And we need to balance the tendency to use government to redistribute.

    One point I should make is that this house can’t really decide how taxes should be levied. If it were, it could pass taxes to change its own composition. I think its better if taxes were set by everybody. the ability to vote against spending is probably enough of an improvement

    we might not even need a second house for this. the votes of proportionally elected representatives could be weighted by how much tax money supports each rep and that weighting could be used on budget and borrowing votes.

  2. Interesting thought. This agrees with the Friedmans’ “4 Ways to Spend Money”.

    Another idea is trading your vote for direct receipt of government aid. It seems like a conflict of interest to cast a vote when you could directly benefit. Choose one or the other. That would cut some of the legs out from under the “chicken in every pot” candidates.


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