Thank you to all those who took the budget survey a few weeks ago. While not the solution to all of our problems, I still like the idea of giving tax payers a little more power by allowing a percentage of tax dollars to be allocated to certain departments and/or projects they support.
We had interesting comments to help round out this idea as well. Several people mentioned that focusing on projects would be a better way to know the will of the people because entire departments include a variety of initiatives. Pulling out specific items and asking for support through allocated tax dollars would be a good way to indicate if a project is really worth doing or not.
Other suggestions included making sure not all of the tax dollars remained in the hands of individual tax payers since the national budget is enormous and quite complex. It would be difficult to properly educate everyone on expenditures and get funding for items that were more or less necessary. It’s good to recognize the limitations of even the best ideas.
Looking at the pie charts below, it’s an interesting comparison to see how the average voter might allocate money and how the government has allocated the money for our national budget. While going through the data, I noticed that generally people were willing to select a few favored departments and then equally distribute the rest. Some also noted which departments they did NOT want to fund. While still an imperfect system, it was educational for me to see how people feel about the way our money is spent.
Note: The majority of responses came from “Moderate Leaning Conservative” or “Moderate Leaning Progressive” voters. Only one “Conservative” voter responded and no Progressive voters responded to this particular survey.