There’s been a lot of talk over the past 24 months about the economy and the ability for the credit rating of federal, state, and local governments to stay strong.
Usually these conversations focus on cutting spending and increasing governmental funds.
The governments are always looking for ways to increase revenue. They increase license fees, taxes, penalties for simple mistakes, penalties for not complying with their ideas of health, etc.
When politicians announce their new tax ideas (let’s be honest and call it what it is, a tax), they usually try to paint the victims as greedy/wrong and they extol the virtues of having the extra funds.
In general I don’t favor increasing taxes. I think the average person struggles to get by day-to-day and should have fewer taxes.
However, I do acknowledge that there are governmental services that need funding. (I can argue that there is too much spending, but politicians would never cut spending intelligently.)
So, how do you keep spending at its current levels without increasing taxes on the citizenry or running up a deficit?
The common answer to this question is to isolate a small segment of the population (so they can’t defend themselves), demonize them, and apply a levy. Examples of this are “rich” folk who are greedy, “smokers” who are sick and dirty, “soda drinkers” who are sick and gluttons, “bridge-crossing drivers” who ruin the environment and didn’t really need to cross the bridge, “drivers with a visible cell phone” who cause accidents, etc.
A while back I was watching a news show and they showed how the personal finances of federal congress representatives increase tremendously once they start serving.
As much as people lament that all the personal investigations into politician’s past and characters will lead to fewer candidates for public office, this has not proven itself to be true. It’s clear that there will always be people who will aspire to public office so they can gain power they lack and control others.
Therefore, it seems like the solution is simple. Add a new, large (non-deductible) tax for all federal politicians. This includes all members of both houses of Congress and all members of the Executive branch. I would not levy this tax on Supreme Court members unless there was accurate data showing that their personal finances also increase far beyond their federal salary.
This tax would begin from the day they are sworn in and end when they could prove that they are not earning far beyond their federal salary/pension.
The advantage of this plan is average Americans wouldn’t be harmed by politician’s frivolous spending. Federal, State, and Local governments would have a large funding stream that allow essential programs to continue without worries. And, it would allow politicians to finally contribute towards society.
Of course, one major problem with this plan is the necessity to have Congress vote for it and the President sign it. That is highly unlikely.