Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What Is Important To You?

Republicans hate government. Keep that in mind as you listen to their solutions to problems. The Republican approach to financing government is to cut taxes then figure out what services to cut to live within that new number. How about a different approach?

What if we tried to agree on what is important to us and then figured out the most cost effective way to make it happen?

For example, what if we said that it is a national goal that all senior citizens are able to live out their final years with dignity, access to health care, housing and nutrition? We could then talk about what levels of assistance meet these goals, who qualifies and how we pay or provide this assistance.

Money is the easiest way to transfer value from one person to another, but there are other ways. We might help offset some costs by requiring two years of community service from all young adults. One of the options would be for some these young people to help take care of the elderly. Or build and repair houses. Or cook and deliver food. Or staff a community home. This would decrease taxes and offset the lost revenue with labor.

Anyone might be able to opt of paying taxes to support elderly and instead meet their obligation by working some number of days each year. I'm sure there are other, much better ideas. The point is instead of generating n dollars of revenue and then deciding how we divide that pool of money, why not decide what is important to us and then figure out how to make it happen?

As a country, how about discussing what is important to us?

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