Thursday, August 13, 2009

Everyone needs to feel the pain

I have a suggestion that would do wonders for our democracy: give everyone $10,000 at the beginning of the tax year and then tax them on that $10,000 at the end of the tax year. I'm not just a nice guy giving away money, I'm a man with a plan. I want to inflict pain on Americans. I want them to feel the sting of paying for the services they demand. I want their skin in the game.

Everyone one of us adapts to the present. It takes just a short while to become accustomed to our new surroundings and reevaluate our baseline. It's human nature. When we are given $10,000 we will naturally tend to think of it as our own. Quickly, we will forget where it came from or what attachments came with it. Like a lost puppy you found, you won't want to give it back.

Eventually, the boy who owns the puppy will come along. He will ask for Rex back and you will protest. You say, "His name is Scruffy". Alas, you will unwillingly give him back because your mother makes you and it will hurt. You formed a bond and that bond has been broken. You won't think of all the good times you had. Good times that wouldn't have occurred had Rex, er, Scruffy not been in your life. That would be rational. It would be rational to weigh the good and bad and see which way the scale tips. As all good behavioral economists know, we are not rational.

To a rational person giving the government back it's own money would be a non issue. Thankfully, that wouldn't be the case. People would be sensitive to how much they had to give back and it would make them understand the pain of their brothers. Those the politicians like to decry as the rich, also known as taxpayers.

There is one last thing necessary to make my plan complete. That money must be taxed at the highest tax rate available so that the interests of those very few are not sacrificed to those of the many. (Evil laugh goes here)


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