It’s Time to Put an End to Taxes

Date: Sunday, August 1, 2010 2:05 AM
Category: Allgov Blogs

Nobody likes taxes. The problem is that the United States government needs money—lots of it—to do all the things we want it to do. So we tend to think of taxes as unpleasant necessities. I believe we can eliminate taxes completely. We just need to be more aggressive about creating new sources of revenue. Here are a few suggestions:

Sell Advertising on Paper Money
Take a look at a dollar bill. See that blank border that surrounds the designs on the front and back? There are dozens of companies that would pay huge sums of money to insert their logos and slogans into that space. Why bother with television commercials that last 30 seconds or newspaper ads that are read once and thrown away when you can sell your product on a piece of paper that consumers fondle lovingly? I know that some so-called purists may consider this a desecration of an American icon, but let’s be honest—the symbolism is perfect: use money to make money.
Reinstitute the Draft and Allow Paid Exemptions
During the Civil War, draftees in the North were able to avoid service by paying the government $300. Let’s do it again. Raise the price to $3000, draft everyone between the ages of 16 and 60 and we would probably raise $300 billion. Does it seem unfair that we would end up with an Army consisting almost entirely of poor people? That’s pretty much what we have now anyway, so why not make a little money on it?
Sell Nights at the White House
Right now the only way to gain personal access to the President of the United States is to contribute lots of money to the campaign coffers of the president’s party. Instead of giving this money to the Democrats or the Republicans, let’s demand that it go to the U.S. government. President Bill Clinton sold the privilege of sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom. Why limit the program to something so simple? How about selling rides with the president on Air Force One? Or attending cabinet meetings? Or sitting in on a top secret security briefing?
Create a National Presidential Access Lottery
Why should the above-mentioned examples of presidential access be limited to rich people? Make them prizes in a national lottery and bring equality to the world of corruption. Runners-up could dine with members of the Supreme Court, the cabinet and Congress. The 500th person to have his or her name drawn could lunch with the vice-president.
Sell Naming Rights to Famous Buildings, National Parks and Warships
It works with sports stadiums; why not try it with government-owned buildings and other federal possessions? How much would Goldman Sachs pay for the White House or AT&T for the Grand Canyon or Lockheed Martin for the Pentagon?
Sell Invasion Insurance to Dictatorships
The United States spends almost as much money on our military as all the other nations of the world combined. This is an enormous drain on our national budget and we don’t get much in return for all the money we spend. Currently, the U.S. tries to intimidate other nations, such as Iran, by threatening to invade them. Instead, let’s just charge each dictatorship in the world an annual fee in exchange for the promise to not bomb them.
Create a Royal Family
Royal families, when handled properly, are a profitable institution. Take a look at the British royal family. They sell tons of royal family memorabilia—and the British are not as good at marketing as Americans are. The key is to choose a family that is dignified, yet prone to scandal. The Bushes and the Clintons are the obvious choices, but too many of their family members are involved in politics. A profitable royal family has to be powerless. Both the Bushes and the Clintons are too dangerous because they might try to develop into a real royal family. Perhaps we could induce LeBron James to mate with Paris Hilton.
These are just a few ideas for creating revenue. Feel free to add your suggestions and together let’s eliminate taxes and make the federal government pay its own way.
-David Wallechinsky

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