No Taxation Without Justification

—–

Greetings,

—–

—–
Would you please examine an idea for changing the balance of power between voters and politicians?
——
First, an annual one week town hall meeting for an entire country must created via state and local newspapers by convincing Congress to create a new paid vacation day for government employees — or reschedule Presidents Day — so it will always be celebrated on the Monday closest to our average rate of taxation.  (29% = April 15 for 2019)  This new or improved holiday will undoubtedly make most taxpayers madder than an unregulated firecracker.  But their anger will make it profitable for state and local newspapers to publish a one week series of audits and analyses during the week of the holiday.  Just like the 4th of July making it profitable to sell firecrackers, and Thanksgiving making it profitable to sell turkeys, and Christmas making it profitable to sell toys, and New Year’s Eve making it profitable to sell alcohol, and Presidents Day not making anything profitable, and Memorial Day making it profitable to sell American Flags.  And the demand curve for the newspaper audits and analyses will be increased every year by every newspaper creating its own Whistle Blower of the Year Award.
——
Second, every state must be required to reschedule their caucuses and primary elections for the Presidency and Congress so they occur at least two weeks after the Taxpayers Holiday.  Then the voters should become excited to study the budgets of their federal, state, and local governments right before they vote.  It should also make it very profitable six months later for the newspapers to publish a one weekend review of the baseline budgets right before people vote in November.  That will make the one week reviews and the one weekend reviews work like the report cards that teachers use two times a year for communicating with parents.  Then the voters can punish their politicians like children who have gotten too many bad report cards in a row.
-–-
For example, Social Security and Medicare.  Both of these entitlements are headed toward a bankruptcy but Congress has not made any significant changes in either program since the tax increases that were enacted more than thirty years ago.  Which is hard to understand because every voter in America knows that the programs are headed toward a bankruptcy.  But if a Taxpayers Holiday had been enacted during the Reagan Presidency, both programs would definitely be in much better shape because the biannual report cards on Social Security and Medicare would have stimulated the voters to react like my father did almost fifty years ago when I was still in high school.  He became silently angry for an entire semester while he waited for my next report card.  His silence was an unmistakable message that I had run out of excuses for my bad grades.  The report cards were sent on a schedule and my father’s anger always grew stronger and stronger during the week before each report card.  He felt repeatedly insulted by my numerous promises and failures to improve my grades.  The schedule for my report cards created deadlines for my improvement.  But this can’t happen with Social Security and Medicare because reporters are communicating like entertainers instead of teachers.  So the voters are repeatedly forgetting yesterday’s headlines about the oncoming bankruptcies because they are concentrating on today’s headlines.  Which is why they can’t use their elections as deadlines for demanding that their politicians make improvements in their grades.  With a Taxpayers Holiday and rescheduled caucuses and primary elections, on the other hand, the voters will be able to punish their politicians if they don’t improve their grades.  Which is why no one in Congress or my state legislature wants to support my proposal.
—-

(In 2018, the average taxpayer paid 29% of his income in federal, state, and local taxes.  So a Taxpayers Holiday could have been scheduled on April 15, 2019 because that Monday was the 115th day of the year’s 365 days.  To make it easier for people and businesses to plan for the holiday, any changes in our taxes or economy would be handled by scheduling each holiday twenty years into the future based on a twenty year moving average.  Consequently the Taxpayers Holiday for 2039 would be based upon the average tax rate for 1999 to 2019.  And the holidays for 2020 to 2038 could be based on the same rate.  The holiday for 2040 would be based upon the average tax rate for 2000 to 2020.  And the holiday for 2041 on the average rate for 2001 to 2021.)

——

Third, every newspaper should use one day of their annual one week review to publish their best divide and conquer journalism.  With this business strategy, the largest newspaper in every state will publish a comprehensive one day report on its senior Senator to Washington, D.C. and his most important committee assignments.  While the second largest newspaper will publish a comprehensive one day report on its junior Senator to Washington, D.C. and his most important committee assignments.  And in every Congressional District, the largest newspaper that is not investigating a Senator will publish a comprehensive one day report on its Congressman and his most important committee assignments.  (As for the newspapers that are not investigating a federal legislator, they can publish a one day report on their respective state Senators.  This will even enable weekly newspapers to participate in reforming our country.)  Every newspaper could also increase the excitement created on the day for publishing their divide and conquer investigative journalism by releasing the name and details of the winner for their Whistle Blower of the Year Award.  The winner will undoubtedly be connected with the Congressman and Senator’s committee that the newspaper is investigating.  And with the divide and conquer investigative journalism, some voters will be inspired to become expert voters on one aspect of our government.  Which will be very attractive to either their egos or their sense of patriotism.  Regardless why some people want to become expert voters, the best way to reform our government of the people, etc, etc is to create large blocs of angry swing voters in the districts and states of every Congressman and Senator.   
——  
For example, the federal tax code.  There have been many news reports on the tax code since the 1986 reforms by Ronald Reagan and everyone knew that the tax code was being repeatedly corrupted by lobbyists and special interest groups.  But the voters never did anything to stop Congress from creating a new tax deduction for anyone with enough money for many large campaign contributions.  So all of the hard work by many reporters was an almost complete waste of time.  Their only positive accomplishment was the money they earned from entertaining both voters and politicians with gotchas.  Which is why the reporters failed to communicate.  They were entertaining their customers instead of education voters.  But the divide and conquer investigate journalism be able to neutralize the power of lobbyists and special interest groups in the same way that the bridge to nowhere was defeated.
——
The bridge was already approved by Congress when a single sound bite in a national magazine forced nearly every Congressman and Senator to vote against it.  Their constituents were so angry that they had to defy a powerful Senator and cancel his pet project.  Well, the divide and conquer journalism will do that every year with enough swing voters.  They will be so angry at the corruption in the tax code that every Congressman  and Senator will have to line up in circular firing squads and shoot at the lobbyists and special interest groups supporting another Congressman and/or Senator.  Even regulators will feel much more pressure to regulate instead of accommodate powerful special interest groups.  The Congressmen and Senators on the committees that supervise the regulators will insist that the regulators not let the special interest groups do anything that will embarrass the Congressmen and Senators.
—–
Fourth, every newspaper should republish their annual one week reviews as ebooks or print on demand paperback books.  Then the voters could buy an annual textbook of recent history.  The largest newspapers could maximize their profits by including books reviews for the previous year’s best books.  Reading a book review can make a normal person feel like he is an expert.  And reading fifty or a hundred book reviews for the most important books of the past year will make many people feel like they must become a statesman.  A fantasy they will want to nurture secretly by reading more newspapers.  Medium to small sized newspapers could maximize the demand for their ebooks or print on demand paperback books by including the prices and addresses for all of the residential real estate sold in the past year.  If the data is presented in an user friendly format, the medium sized newspapers could make enough money to pay for another reporter.  Of course, some local governments may need a little bit of persuasion or coercion to supply the information in the proper format.    
—–
Fifth, it will be both cheaper and more effective to reschedule Presidents Day as a Taxpayers Holiday instead of creating a new paid vacation day for government employees.  A rescheduled Presidents Day should stimulate newspapers to use one day of their seven days of audits and analyses publish newspaper articles from one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, and four hundred years ago during their one week review of events and conditions.  While this may not sound impressive, these history lessons will be subconscious reminders to voters that future generations will be reading about them.  This should make everyone much more serious about their responsibilities as a voter.  And children should become more excited to study American History both when they are in school and when they have graduated.  As for the morality of rescheduling a holiday meant for honoring our Presidents, I think George Washington would approve of celebrating on a holiday that is dedicated to fighting for freedom with No Taxation Without Justification.
—–
——
Stanley Krauter
Lincoln, NE  68508
stanleykrauter at yahoo dot com
——
——
P.S.  Unfortunately, persuading reporters that they should communicate more effectively with a Taxpayers Holiday is going to be even more difficult than persuading politicians to line up in circular firing squads.  Everyone in the news media seems to think that their time is too valuable to be wasted on the intellectual weaknesses of their lower class customers.  None of my letters and emails in the past twenty seven years have had any effect.  Even my advertisements in the Lincoln Journal Star were ignored by the newspaper’s reporters and editorial department.  In my opinion, reporters don’t care that their own surveys have shown repeatedly that a majority of Americans are too ignorant to vote intelligently.  Moreover, they also don’t care that they have accomplished nothing with their reports on Social Security and Medicare.  And the federal income tax code.  And the national debt.  And campaign finance reform.  And infrastructure repair.  They are too selfish to care about getting some improvement in voter education.  In fact, it would be a violation of their code of honor to communicate like a teacher instead of an entertainer.
——
——

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s