Re: Flat Tax.

Darin Sunley (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 23:28:00 -0500

This is probably going to sound like a dirty question, but would the government have enough money to function based only on a sales tax? I'm no fan of government expansion, but there ARE certain essential services that governments currently provide.

Of course, one likely response is that the government can and should function on dramatically less money, providing correspondingly less "essential" services.

Even if everyone were to decide tomorrow to completely privatize every single government department, the government would have to keep functioning during the transition period.

It's not just a matter of deciding what the ideal system would be. We also need a plan for the orderly transition/decentralization of power. Given the current American system of government, how WOULD you gradually eliminate/down size/decentralize the government without massive drops in service levels, or massive unemployment. (Sad fact: when a given agency employs a significant portion of the population, their elimination makes a significant change to the unemployment figures).

Big government can be likened to a drug addiction. Going off it cold turkey can have dramatic negative health effects for the system as a whole, as bad or worse as the effects of remaining addicted. Given that simply firing all government officials one day would cause a brief period of anarchy followed by some form of dictatorship almost certainly worse then the current system, how do we escape it?

Darin Sunley
[Canadian, and thus living in a system even MORE addicted to large central
government, but asking questions referring to the U.S. as they're likely to be more interesting :)]