Washington, DC — One year after it launched, the Tax Revolution Institute (TRI) — true to its name — is radically distinguishing itself from other organizations in the tax-reform space. TRI’s claim is that the fundamental problem with our tax system is not that it isn’t flat enough, fair enough, low enough, or simple enough — but the simple fact that the government does not have to earn our money.
Our tax system guarantees politicians an uninterrupted stream of revenue, regardless of whether it is spent honestly, wisely, or effectively. This, TRI claims, creates an environment of weak accountability and a lack of responsiveness to the impact of government spending on people’s lives.
The evidence surrounds us: millions of poorly educated children, tens of millions of Americans still living in poverty, contaminated water supplies, countless lives ruined by abusive IRS practices, and so much else.
Meanwhile, the public has the false impression that their responsibilities to each other are being met.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Tax Revolution Institute is asking the public a simple question:
What if the government had to earn our money?
In other words, what if individuals could redirect their tax dollars whenever they saw them spent wastefully, corruptly, or in ways that just don’t have a positive impact on people’s lives? What if Americans had much more choice over how their tax dollars are spent — and even by whom.
Many Americans have heard the expression “voluntary tax system.” Our politicians, the Internal Revenue Service, and even our tax code, insist that we currently have one. They are wrong, of course, but TRI is determined to make it so — to make the “voluntary” tax system truly voluntary.
“In a truly voluntary tax system, individuals would be able to choose to send their tax dollars to wherever they can do the most good,” TRI Executive Director Dan Johnson says. “This could mean choosing not to fund corrupt state agencies, diverting money to charitable programs and nonprofits that outperform the government, or even directing money away from politicians’ pet projects and using it to meet the fundamental needs of local communities.”
TRI Communications Director Robin Koerner explains that the tax revolution is about exposing the government to the corrective forces that incentivize every other economic actor to provide quality: “The most important problems with government can be traced back to the coerciveness of our tax system. The antidote to this coercion is choice. Giving taxpayers choice will force the government to compete for the dollars that it spends — just like everyone else.”
About the Tax Revolution Institute
The Tax Revolution Institute (TRI) is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) organization committed to researching and developing innovative, voluntary tax solutions to promote transparency, accountability, and integrity in the delivery of public services in the United States.
Through FOIA requests, briefings, testimonies, advocacy, research studies, white papers, and educational programs, TRI will expose and explain how the coerciveness of our current method of funding government lies at the root of some of its greatest flaws — such as waste, inefficiency, incompetence, corruption and even the complication of the tax code and its inhumane enforcement by the IRS.