What sort of wild mumbo-jumbo is this you ask? Let me explain my thinking on this.
At the moment there are 2 classes of employees, those who produce “capital” and those who redistribute and tax that capital.
That isnt to say most government workers arent performing a service, but that service is (in many cases) provided by imposing a cost on non government workers. By paying those employed by the government without removing tax from them it would make the true costs of government much more obvious.
It would deliberately separate the 2 classes of workers from each other, the tax payers and the tax eaters.
This would be a good thing and strengthen the legitimacy of may government employees. Few will dispute the nurse earning their salary of $50,000 per year tax fee. (there would be an overall wage drop to reflect lack of taxes). However it would make an army of non productive government workers much more nervous.
How much harder would it be to justify paying a ministerial researcher or spin doctor $100,000 when they lack the legitimacy to say “but I pay taxes too”?
That might start to see a more rational check on the growth of government than any other idea I can come up with. I want to see resentment and defensiveness from overpaid and overstaffed sections of the public service. I want people to be able to get angry at inefficient or poor service and shout “I pay your bloody wages”, most customers have the option of taking their business elsewhere in the private sector, the government doesnt have that competition.
I badly want public service bodies to feel under pressure to justify their payroll, and Id love that tax gobbling monster that is Canberra properly resented as the money sink it is.
Which brings me to my second point.
No voting without paying tax.
With a few exceptions (those who are disabled/unable to work), the voting franchise should be limited quite strictly to those who pay tax. This would prevent the cultivating of a “client class”, that section of society able to be brought at election by promising to take more from the “capital” class, to give to them. There is a reason most of our labor party hacks seem to spring from public service/unions…
Canberra and sections of most capital cities will never vote for less government as they are effectively dormitory suburbs of tax eaters. As such they tend to be well serviced, “model” sections of the community, a Potemkin village version of the real world.
Is this harsh, yup, but no harsher than digging ditches for a living and seeing 1/4 of it pay for an arts council member or ABC TV presenter.
There are the vast majority of public servants doing just that, providing a service. But Id be willing to bet most of them can point to useless “mouths” within their organisations, which, if they had to justify their position/wages, they couldnt.
So tell me, why should public servants/government employees pay taxes?
This bloke seems to sum up the US problem well