All posts by sk42926

No Taxation Without Justification

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Dear President Trump,

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Would you please examine an idea for changing the balance of power between voters and politicians?
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First, an annual one week town hall meeting for an entire country must created via state and local newspapers by convincing Congress to reschedule Presidents Day — or to create a new paid vacation day for government employees — so it will always happen on the Monday closest in the calendar 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 very profitable for state and local newspapers to publish an annual one week series of audits and analyses during the week of the holiday.  Just like Christmas making it very profitable to sell toys, and Thanksgiving making it very profitable to sell turkeys, and the 4th of July making it very profitable to sell firecrackers, and Memorial Day making it very profitable to sell flowers, and Presidents Day not making anything profitable, and New Years Eve making it very profitable to sell alcohol.
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Second, every state must be required to reschedule their primary elections for Congress so they occur at least two weeks after the Taxpayers Holiday.  Then the voters should become excited to study federal, state, and local government budgets and baseline budgets every year.  This should also make it profitable six months later for the newspapers to publish a one weekend review of the previous audits and analyses right before people vote in November.  And the reports will be the perfect quantity and quality for children to enjoy discussing with their parents.  They will clearly be stimulated by their parents’ reaction to the holiday to be curious for at least one week every year.  Then when the children grow up, they will have developed a habit of becoming better educated voters than previous generations.

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(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.)

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To understand how a Taxpayers Holiday will improve our democracy, consider the infant mortality rate.  Even though America is the richest country in the world, and we have the best healthcare system in the world, we have the worst infant mortality rate among countries with advanced economies.  But the infant mortality rate will be the kind of statistical information that newspapers will want to repeatedly publish in their annual one week town hall meetings.  Just like the statistics for the poverty rate, the crime rate, the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, the underemployment rate, the high school dropout rate, the foreign exchange rate, the college dropout rate,,,  .  And in the annual town hall meetings, this kind of statistical information will work like the report cards that teachers use for communicating with students and parents.

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When I was in high school, more than forty years ago, my father became silently angry for an entire semester while he waited for my next report card.  His silence was an unmistakable message that I had ran out of excuses for my bad grades.  Because the report cards were sent on a schedule, he was able to set goals for me.  Which is the opposite of how the news media works.  So the voters are not able to set goals for their politicians because information is being forgotten.  If newspapers would just publish the infant mortality rate with every annual town hall meeting, the voters would realize that they are going to see the information next year.  And the year after that.  And the year after that.  Then like my father, they will become madder and madder every year there is no improvement in infant mortality.  Then their politicians will realize that they have to either improve our infant mortality rate and reform our healthcare system or find another place to live.  Just like me when I had too many bad report cards in a row.

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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.)  Then every voter can become an expert voter 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.   
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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.
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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.
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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 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.  Small newspapers could sell more photographic memories by publishing a list of local residents who were arrested in the past year.  Then they could sell more newspapers the rest of year to all of the people wanting to gossip about the latest scandal.   
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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 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.
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Stanley Krauter
Lincoln, NE  68508
stanleykrauter at yahoo.com
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P.S.  Unfortunately, persuading reporters that they can communicate more effectively with a Taxpayers Holiday and rescheduled primaries is going to be even more difficult than persuading politicians to line up in a circular firing squad.  Everyone in the news media seems to think that communicating like an entertainer is better than communicating like a teacher.  They don’t want to acknowledge that their failures to communicate will never be overcome without a Taxpayers Holiday and rescheduled primary elections.  None of my letters and emails have had any effect.  Even my advertisements local newspapers were ignored by the newspapers’ editorial department.  In my opinion, reporters are behaving like the doctors of the nineteenth century who refused to start washing their hands after being given evidence that they were killing their patients with infections that they were spreading.  So if you decide to promote my idea, please be aware that you may be driven mad by the reporters who refuse to see that they are also responsible for our government being ineffective.  Just like Dr Semmelweis was driven mad.
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