The New IRS compares government spendings with real people’s desires.
How people want their tax money spent, and how the government actually spends it is often a big point of contention. A new project called “The New IRS,” wants people to choose from the causes they think are most deserving of their money. Their “Personal Allocation Plans,” will then be pooled together, and compared against the actual Federal budget to see how right, or wrong, they’ve got it.
Founded by Alex Ebert, the frontman of indie folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the project aims “to stimulate not only the intellect, but the imagination, so that we may re-develop a taste for political possibility,” according to TheNewIRS.com. “What we are really doing when we vote for a politician in this country is saying where we want our tax money to go and not go. A politician’s platform–even their ideals–require additions and subtractions of money to implement. Tax Money.”
There are 14 categories to choose from, which include Agriculture, Local and Regional Development, National Defense, and International Affairs. Participants can allocate a certain percentage to each of the categories based on their importance, as perceived by the individual. The hope is that glaring differences between what people want, and what they’re getting, will come to light.
According to a press release, The New IRS is the first in a series of similar web-based experiments, which fall under the moniker Second Gov. The movement describes itself as “Second Life meets Change.org,” on their official Twitter account, which should be enough to indicate the direction it’s headed.