Did you know the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent $6 million to study daydreaming, examine the sexual habits of quails that are high on cocaine, and train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job? Sure, the cost to run these asinine projects represents a minuscule fraction of the overall budget, but it is indicative of how much waste occurs daily in the U.S. government. And you’re paying for it.
For Americans fed up with the government’s abuse of tax dollars, it would be nice to have the option to cover the tab for federal arts grants, foreign aid to enemies, and bureaucrats’ lavish trips to conferences in exotic destinations. Whether you subscribe to the philosophy of “taxation is theft” or “taxes are what we pay for a civilized society,” a case of voluntarism could be in store to fund non-essential services.
…the current system of the state recklessly throwing away your money on any pet project…
A simple method to raise funds for a myriad of government expenditures? Crowdfunding, the process of collecting financial contributions from strangers on the internet.
Crowdfunding All the Rage
Everyone is crowdfunding these days. In 2014, a man sought $8 in funding for a Chipotle burrito, and another guy asked for $10 to craft a successful potato salad. Both campaigns went beyond their milestones. Others are cyberbegging for bathroom makeovers, opulent weddings, and vacations.
Could this 21st-century service be the future of government revenues? Well, we are witnessing a case study of this concept unfold in real-time.
As Liberty Nation’s Leesa Donner recently reported, a wounded veteran launched a GoFundMe page to partially fund construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Since its creation on Dec. 16, more than $18 million has been raised from about 300,000 people.
Two competing GoFundMe pages were later established. One initiative has raised roughly $157,000 from 7,000 donors to send ladders to illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the country. The other effort to stick it to President Donald Trump and his supporters garnered $5,000 from 356 people to dig tunnels under the barrier.
While these campaigns are unlikely to meet their targets or complete their objectives, they might be the start of something new.
How Would It Work?
Suffice it to say, not everyone agrees with doling out finite resources to determine if smiling in a selfie makes you happier, to renovate cafeterias only to shut them down shortly after, to pay for atrocious diets of welfare recipients, or to educate illegal immigrants.
So, the obvious question is: Why should you have to? It’s the fruit of your labor, so you decide how it’s spent – not politicians, civil servants, or tax agents.
Those who advocate for any state-run program would bear the responsibility to foot the bill. The departments that administer these initiatives could open an account, start a campaign on any of the major platforms, and then collect money from those who endorse handing out smartphones to low-income households or training Walmart cashiers in Mexico.
Unlike the current system of the state recklessly throwing away your money on any pet project, you will have an itemized receipt of where a certain percentage of your income is going. You can then determine if the government-managed expenditures are succeeding or failing, which will then help you decide if you will continue to fund or to save your dollars and cents.
Better yet, it resolves two other issues: the threat of force by The Man and resentment from taxpayers.
Write a Check
The federal government receives an average of $3 million a year in voluntary contributions. How much of that was donated by Rep.-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)? That’s a putrid amount for a state that is always clamoring for the state to do more.
Every year, left-leaning millionaires and billionaires beg the government to tax them more. It is a befuddling request because they could easily write a check and drop it off at the Treasury Department without having to wait for legislation. But they choose not to, preferring to virtue-signal to the world.
Ditto for your typical latte-sipping socialist hipster who wastes most of his disposable income on vaping and posters of Paul Krugman. Rather than demanding their neighbors give more to the leviathan, they could walk the walk and lead the charge by contributing a little more to the public purse. Like the wealthy liberals, they come up with a diverse array of excuses instead of setting an example that might encourage others to do the same.
Another example of hypocrisy.
It’s akin to a politician who is willing to sacrifice his two cousins, his friend’s brother, and his wife’s nephew to the war effort but never himself. They always want someone else to do the fighting or pay for some progressive cause du jour. Crowdfunding is another mechanism to have some skin in the game.