A better tax for Mississippi

I posted this some time back on my other blog (http://cavalier973.blogtownhall.com/2009/10/27/a_better_tax_system_for_mississippi.thtml)

In Mississippi, we have a combination income tax and sales tax.  Now, on a national level, I support the Fair Tax as a better alternative to the current mess we have (www.fairtax.org).  States could adopt a version of the Fair Tax, as Missouri has done recently.  Mississippi could follow suit, and I believe it would be an improvement over how the government is currently funded.  But I think there is a better way, still, for Mississippi to tax its citizens, as the Fair Tax shares a problem with all other tax systems proposed and implement to date: it is still involuntary.  “That’s silly,” one might rightly claim.  “How can any tax be voluntary?  Who would pay it?”
Well, I got this interesting idea from listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day.  He stated that he likes lotteries because they are taxes he doesn’t have to pay.  So, I propose that Mississippi’s government fund itself through a series of voluntary, ad hoc lotteries.  This would, of course, completely replace the income/sales tax scheme currently in force. The “tax lottery” would work thusly: the state legislature decides to build a bridge near Melonsquashville.  It puts the project out for bid, and the winning bid amount becomes the basis for the new lottery. Say the winning bid is $100 million; a certain amount, say 30% (or $30 million in this case) is added to the bid amount for the lottery winnings.  People then are able to buy lottery tickets for the “Melonsquashville Bridge Lottery”.  No money is spent on the project, and no winnings are paid out until the project is fully funded.  If the project is not fully funded, the legislature can pay out the winnings, holding the remaining funds in a trust fund while a second lottery is implemented to make up the balance.  Or, the state could simply extend the date, while increasing the winning amount.  Or, the state could simply cancel the project altogether and pay out all the money.
Ongoing funding projects (universities, state highway patrol, paying interest on bond issues) would have continual lotteries, paying out weekly or monthly.
The appeal of this plan (I hope) is three fold: first, the tax is voluntary–no one is going to jail for “tax avoidance”; second, the ad hoc nature of the “tax” puts a limit on government spending, and allows the “taxpayer” to know exactly where his money is going; third, the lottery aspect acts as an incentive for people to “pay their taxes.”
I invite criticism and comments.

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