Death and taxes are the only certainty for 51 weeks out of the year. This week, it's taxes then death.
Taxes are in the limelight in the here and now but that light isn't making income tax look so hot so maybe it's time for taxes to get a makeover.
What if our tax system went through a redesign? What if the government -- that's you and me -- hired a cool design firm like IDEO to rethink the way Americans approach taxes? Designers would talk to lots of people about what they like and dislike about taxes: paying them, getting a refund, doing them, hiring someone to do them and then paying that someone ... that's probably what they'd hear for starters.
Designers could certainly create a more user-friendly form: better fonts, better layout; that'd be a good start. But what about helping taxpayers feel empowered? What if we could redesign the system to give taxpayers a say in where their taxes went?
For instance, wouldn't it make you feel better to know that you could direct nine percent of the federal tax coming out of your paycheck towards national parks? Or infrastructure? Or healthcare? Keeping the math simple, you'd get to direct your hard-earned dollars not ear-marked for your savings account towards up to three government entities.
Couldn't hurt. (At least not as much.)