11 September 2020
When we look at the institution of government, regardless of the geographical region that they preside over, we can see there is a need for the operation to have funding. Anyone in a position within the government would agree that a government cannot function without resources to execute the governing they are expected to do. Different forms of government are funded through different forms of rules, regulations, and means of collecting resources. In the structure of a traditional democracy funded through the means of capitalism, we know this collecting of funds for the government as taxation. There are many on all sides of political ideology who feel that there are flaws in the current processes for taxation. From issues with the rate of taxes themselves to concerns over what the money is being used for it doesn’t seem anyone is ever happy about the nature of the taxation system. What solutions are there to improving the taxation system? This is the question we explore in today’s post.
When analyzing the best solutions for appropriate taxation and the appropriate spending of the funds gathered through taxation, we must first understand the purpose of the organization using the funds. When it comes to the case of the government, we can define their purpose as the act of governing the affairs, policy, and programs for a specific group of people defined by a geographical region. Regardless of the type of government one may have within their specific area, it is important to note that every government is made up of people from the group it governs, some governments are just more inclusive than others. In the case of this thought exploration, we will think of taxes within a democracy. With a clear vision of the purpose of the government, we can now start to set clear expectations of what we expect out of our tax contributions.
As members of the human species we must look at the contributions we make through taxation as an investment we are each making towards the functioning of our society. That is in itself the expectation of taxes, even for those who want to be taxed at the lowest rates possible, is that the funds gathered through taxation will be able to foot the bill for the items needed to have a functioning society. This of course brings about a heated debate around what we should use our tax money for, we will return to this question in a moment. In the meantime, before we can start spending the funds gathered through taxation there is another element of taxation that must be addressed. This element consists of the actual gathering of the funds and is derived from three essential questions. Who do we tax, how much do we tax them, and how do we collect those taxes?
To the first of these questions, the answer should seem relatively simple. Taxes should apply to all. Regardless if we like it or not, we are a part of society and in one way or another, we take part in services rendered in society that are funded by taxes. The next question is not so simple though. With a belief that all members of society should pay taxes, which we are all members whether we like it or not, we now must ask how much, in terms of fiscal amounts, people should be taxed. The more common label assigned to this question is the question of tax rates, and what the appropriate tax rates are. Addressing the question of tax rates though cannot be answered without the third question trickling in, how should we collect taxes? Another way of understanding this question is by contemplating what should be taxed and what shouldn’t be taxed. Only then when we can come up with models of what is taxable and what should not be taxable then we can decide at what rate those items should be taxed. Although we will not lay out a perfect policy prescription that will simplistically answer these questions today, as the Human Civilization Reformation Coalition we openly acknowledge that addressing these questions is crucial if we are to positively progress society in a manner that has the best interest in mind for all human beings.
When approaching most if not all people regarding the question of taxes and more specifically how they feel about their taxes, you are bound to receive sentiments on the subject that display an almost outright disgust for the fact they have to be taxed by the government. Why is this? For this question, I will make a generalized hypothesis based on my observations and conversations had with others regarding the subject. Most people have a disdain for taxes mainly in part because they feel the government is inefficient in utilizing the tax money appropriately for the greater good of society. Once you are under the mindset that there is no good coming from the contributions you are making to society and that since no good comes from these funds gathered through taxation, then the concept of taxation is pointless and the money would be better off left in the pocket of the individual to suffice their own needs. Though this may seem like a sound ideology, we must understand that the solution to this problem is not to eliminate taxation, rather it is that our society must become more scrupulous over how our tax money is spent in the first place.
Building a more scrupulous review of how our taxes are spent requires a three-phase process. First, we must build clear guidelines and expectations to what the taxes will be used for, secondly, we must have clear transparency regarding the actual spending, tracking, and use of tax funds, and lastly, we must have accountability when tax funds are either misused or can be used more effectively and efficiently.
As the Human Civilization Reformation Coalition, we believe that the most logical place to start when it comes to a reformation of the taxation system is to start with what we should be receiving with our tax contributions. This will be the nature of next week’s blog post. In the meantime, we encourage you to share your concerns with the taxation system in the comments below.
Until next time, I am Jeff McCarty and I just want to thank you for your time in reading. If you enjoyed this post, please share this with someone you think would enjoy it. Find the Human Civilization Reformation Coalition on Facebook for more content as well. Looking forward to seeing you next post. Thanks again.