Tag Archives: taxpayer receipt

A new – and very good – idea

Via Ezra Klein at the Washington Post, some new taxation ideas are percolating up and not from the usual suspects. An organization called Third Way has posted a deep deficit reduction plan on their website (never heard of them before, but liking what I’m seeing).  Among their ideas is a “Taxpayer Receipt“. From their proposal:

“Corn syrup, milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, coconut, almond, soy lecithin … any consumer can read these ingredients and their nutritional value on every package of a 75-cent Almond Joy. What is provided to a taxpayer with a $5,400 tax bill? Nothing. For many Americans, the amount they pay in taxes is larger than any purchase they make during the year, but studies show they know almost nothing about where that money goes to.

This contributes to ridiculous beliefs, like the view that 20% of government spending goes to foreign aid, for example. An electorate unschooled in basic budget facts is a major obstacle to controlling the nation’s deficit, not to mention addressing a host of economic and social problems. We suggest that everyone who files a tax return receive a “taxpayer receipt.” This receipt would tell them to the penny what their taxes paid for based on the amount they paid in federal income taxes and FICA.”

It would look something like this: