The Numbers Game

Take a look at this page on Wikipedia. It shows US federal tax revenue by state. The interesting figure is at the bottom of the table: total revenue per-capita of $8,528.22.

Let's imagine that we got rid of a huge swath of government programs - entitlement programs, mostly. Including things like medicare, medicaid, social security, and the like. Let's be optimistic and imagine that we can pare the government down to 20% of it's current size. (Actually, I think that's pessimistic, but bear with me).

20% of $8,528.22 is $1705.64. So we're imagining we can run the federal government for a year at a cost of $1705.64 per person.

That leaves $6822.58 per person that's collected each year in excess income taxes. Not per filer, per person. Just to keep things simple, let's round that number down to $6000. Now imagine that congress, instead of doling out tax receipts to whatever organization promised it the most votes, still collected taxes... but at the end of the tax year, everybody - every man, woman, and child - got $6000 back.

That's almost 2 trillion dollars fed back into the economy every year, year after year. That's one heck of a stimulus. It will never fly, of course - you're too ignorant to be trusted spending your own money. You'd probably just fritter it away on food and health care instead of the important things in life, like artwork.

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