Yesterday on Facebook, I asked why we let politicians steal our money to then turn around and attempt to bribe us with it with tax credits, cuts and incentives. One of my newer Facebook friends then mentioned how the federal government bribes the states as well. I responded that maybe we should only be taxed by our states. Then if the feds wanted taxes, they would have to tax the states. This would cause friction between the feds and the states again, and I may just be dreaming, but I think it would cause states to tell the feds to go pound salt when they wanted to create new federal programs.
If you are a governor or state legislator, would you not want to keep your state’s tax money in your state? You are accountable to your people, and the better your state is ran, the better your chances of getting re-elected. If the feds decide to create a new entitlement program, would it improve your state? Would your people say, “Yeah, send our hard earned money to Washington. They will handle it properly.”, or would they say, “What the hell are you sending our hard earned money into that cesspool for? You know they are going to waste it. Guess I’ll be voting for your opponent next election.”
Also, wouldn’t this give “The People” more power? Wouldn’t the people basically be able to overturn federal laws by changing their state legislators? If a bunch of candidates who say, “We are not going to send your tax money to Washington for tracking down pot heads. It’s a complete waste of money.” gets elected by the people, wouldn’t the people be better represented? The states could then basically nullifying the laws each election.
OK, I can hear some of the concerns now. “Yes, but wouldn’t you just then have state legislators doing the same things as federal legislators, stealing your tax money and then bribing you with it?” The answer is yes. Here’s the catch though. With states, they have to be competitive. If one state taxes too much and promises too many programs, they’d become uncompetitive. Businesses and people would move to a more competitive state. This would force states into restraining themselves. Competition is the key, and there is no competition with the federal government.
“Yeah, yeah, but what about those states who don’t have a lot of tax payers?” Well, then they’d have to be really restrained. They’d probably be a great draw to people who want less government all around. While not completely government free, they’d be about as close as you could get, and that would entice many people. Also, if there aren’t a lot of tax payers there, then why should other tax payers have to subsidize them? If they want to live there, then let them pay to live there. Other citizens should not have a gun stuck to their head and robbed to pay for some other states government when they chose to live in a more populated state.
“What about federal laws? They would become meaningless, because states could nullify them so easily.” OK, I’m waiting for the negative consequence. This sounds great to me. This would keep the federal government down to the size it should be. It would only have the power that is specifically granted and approved by the states. For example, most states want military defense, so I’m sure they would all be willing to contribute. On the other hand though, would states have paid for our empire around the world? Would they have funded the war in Iraq? Chances are they would have not. The people would not want to waste their money, which they would have much more control over under a tax system like this. They also would not allow the federal government to steal their money to hand it off to other countries as bribes…I mean AID. I’m not saying AID would be non-existent. Maybe you have a state with a large Latino population, and they would like some of their money contributed to AID in Latin America. The beauty is the entire country is not compelled to do it. The entire country is not compelled into sending money to countries where their interests are not being represented.
Lastly, this would help both conservatives and liberals get what they want. Conservatives can migrate easily to small government, low tax states, while liberals can move to high tax, socialized states. The great thing about it is socialism could collapse on it’s own. A state that became heavily socialized would have to bear it’s own burden, and if it’s as great as the liberals tell us, then people will voluntarily move there. They would choose to live under socialism, but it could not force the productive parts of the country to subsidize it’s ideology.
I’m sure other people have contemplated this idea and have had much better dialog on it than I. It would be great to hear other people’s opinions, both pro and con. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.