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Taxpayer ownership of The Treasury

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Taxpayer ownership of The Treasury

Dear Thom,

I'm as convinced as you that corporations are the problem—specifically as you spelled out in _Unequal Protection_ as to natural-person person hood. Twenty-five years ago I worked out a parallel critique of corporate influence in government, and would like to share it with you.

Our Social Security system assumes that it is possible for specific citizens to lay claim to ownership rights on specific money in the Fund. Likewise the first capitalist republics in northern Italy recognized a citizen financial ownership stake in the state's tax receipts, and paid 5% interest annually: the Venetian forced loans called prestiti. That particular human relationship between the individual and public authority actually goes back through the Bronze Age—as gifts of food given to the leader who then must return it in a banquet.

There is the germ of my proposal: that the individual tax payers be awarded financial ownership of The Treasury, with pro-rated dividends awarded in years of budgetary surplus. I have attached a paper conceptualization showing your stake in The Treasury, using numbers meant to reflect an average tax payer for the year 2000 when there was a surplus, not claimed by citizen owners, but spent in Iraq. There is, of course, much more to it.

The goal is to provide the voters with an objective measure of government performance in the form of a personal stake, (to add to their information in voting), to balance the oligarchy's use of The Treasury, and to make clear to everyone who has ultimate ownership rights over the nation's wealth. Congress will still spend the monies, but with interested owners looking on who expect representative government to correct to their interests as owners.

I share this for you to think about, nothing more. This idea came to me back in the 90s as I was booking the annual profit to the owners Capital Accounts. I have watched events since then unfold with the question always in my mind: "How might things have worked out if the citizens had the tools to watch the store a little more closely?"

I left my graduate work in History in 1968 due to the Vietnam War; now I have time in retirement to research this question. (I came across your work in the process.) Besides Bismarck and Social Security using the idea of citizen ownership over specific funds held by government agencies, I also discovered that the French Revolution wanted to use forced loans to raise funds, but never proceeded with the collections. It's an idea that begins in pre-history, but has hung on, if only barely, in the modern world: the church killed off Venice's solution to public finance in Medieval times with its ban against usury. Due to the usury ban, the West went to annuities for public finance that circumvented the ban, but also opened the door to unlimited borrowing and mischief

I think we could use it again, as a parallel to Social Security empowerment of the individual, and I am happy to offer it to you in exchange for your fine work on corporate personhood. I am finding the issues are all tied together: corporatism in society, developing over time; public finance options; and that factor that Venice had, but we, not so much: true corporate culture.
p.s. I was not able to attach your Stock Certificate

Carroll Bible's picture
Carroll Bible
Feb. 10, 2016 4:40 pm

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