Following up on yesterday's post that suggested you needed to gross at least $270,000 a year in order to "pay your fair share", I've been noodling about something else lately along similar lines.
One of the reasons the debt and deficit don't have much impact is that they're impersonal. They're just big, blobby numbers and the money is owed by the government. The connection between the commitments made by the government and the responsibilities of the citizens doesn't seem to be grasped by many people. After all, if you thought you had to pony up 12 grand per person, you might be pretty ticked at the boneheaded fools that locked you into that bargain. Whether you recognize the connection or not, however, the connection is there. You owe that money. All of it.
Some people can't pay their portion. Some are handicapped, some are unskilled, some are lazy, some are drugged out of their minds. They owe 12 grand apiece, too and someone is going to have to cover them. Wouldn't it be cool if we personalized your taxes to the point where the rich knew who they were paying for and the poor knew who was paying for them? The government could send you monthly updates on just what your adopted non-taxpayer was doing, complete with charming photos and perhaps even a hand-written thank you note from them.
Before the era of monstrous government programs, you knew the people you were helping. What's wrong with that?