End Compulsory Taxation
I have a suggestion: Why not eliminate compulsory taxation? Some would argue that taxation is by it's very name compulsory, but for the purposes of this discussion, let's consider it the method we fund public (govt) activities, voluntarily or forced.
Libertarian principles suggest that forced taxation is theft. I agree. Instead the govt should prepare a budget which is publicly viewable, and a suggested amount per household or individual to fund that budget. Citizens then send in the figure, or whatever they can afford. They will get as much government as they are willing to pay for.
There are a few standard objections to this but they all basically arrive at this:
"If people are not forced, they won't pay it"
Correct. Some won't. Many don't right now even when it is forced. And I would imagine almost everyone would not choose to fund the current government activities.
But consider this: We think it is democratic to go into a voting booth and cast a vote to spend other people's money. This way if a group of people believe that this or that program should be publicly funded, they can be first in line to pony up the dough, write the check and earmark it to there favorite fund.
Keep in mind that most people want the legitimate activities of government, protecting life, liberty and property. Government can hardly be in a position to do these things if they are authorized to violate one of it's prime directives (protecting private property), by relieving citizens of their property by force. I also think that a citizenry which needs to voluntarily fund the activities of government would be much more attentive to what that government is doing, and there would be far less ignorance and apathy, not to mention increased prosperity.
The bottom line is this, if you do not have the right to steal from your neighbor, you don't have the right to engage another party (govt) to do it for you.
Would people voluntarily fund the legitimate constitutional activities of government? I know many would. I would. And there would be enough to ensure that we could run the court system, and provide for the common defense.
I'm not attempting to justify this on a practical level, although I think it would work practically, I am justifying this on moral grounds and from the reality that there is no better way to keep government in check than to retain individual sovereignty over the funding of it. In this way government is able to perform it's duties, but is controlled as any other market entity is controlled.