I was reading about DonorsChoose.org in the magazine Fast Company, and was inspired by the idea that perhaps we can change the way our country funds various projects. I realized that people enjoy giving money directly to the people who can most use it, rather than paying money in taxes and seeing a lot of it wasted on jumping through various administrative hoops, all of it is used to buy school textbooks or microscopes or whatever. That hit me.
We should fund our government's various projects--war, schools, hospitals, railroads, highways, research, etc.--allowing those paying for them (taxpayers like you and me) to choose where we want our monies to go, rather than letting a lot of crooked senators and representatives, both at the federal, state and local levels, funnel them into their favorite special interest projects, the things that will enrich their posse rather than make life better for those of us footing the bill.
BRILLIANT! Hey, any genius politicos out there, some young Turk willing to do things differently? This is a truly democratic way to do things, and you may argue, but maybe everyone will want to fund war instead of schools, but I doubt that. More people will choose to fund their neighborhood schools than a war no one wants to send their kids to, believe me. Yeah, there will be billionaires who own a lot of private equity stock in the military-industrial corporations where all the money goes when we pay for a war, and they will funnel all their tax dollars into the war, so their tax dollars come right back to them. But most of us are going to fund our local hospitals, our local schools, our local homeless shelters, our local services for the blind, etc.
Go online and read the article on p. 96 of the March 2011 issue of Fast Company, and you will see what I mean. It is thrilling to see first hand how your money is being spent, and how deeply and completely it is appreciated by the students it has helped. You will never want to pay your taxes through the government again!
Come on, innovators! Come on, policy wonks. Let's have America lead the world into a new era of direct funding. DONORS CHOOSE!!!!