What is Crowd Funded Government?

15 Second Summary:

Transparent Budgeting + Local Oversight + Voluntary Crowd Funding = Accountable Government Programs

15 Minute Summary:

Crowd Funded Government is a new approach to government funding that can be applied to all levels of government. Crowd Funded Government would eliminate any undemocratic influence of lobbyists. Crowd Funded Government would create a system of government that truly is "of the people, by the people, for the people."

CURRENT SYSTEM

Under our current system of government:
The citizens elect the politicians. The politicians make laws, such as the requirement to pay taxes. Lobbyists provide assistance to politicians to create laws. The taxes are used to fund the laws that the politicians and lobbyists made. If the citizens don't like the laws that the politicians and lobbyists made, then they can elect new politicians.

Very few government budgets fund all programs using only taxes. Many government budgets require loans to bridge the gap between how much the politicians want to spend and the amount of taxes collected.

CROWD FUNDED GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSAL

Crowd Funded Government proposes changing the relationship between the citizens and the laws:
Instead of using involuntary taxes to fund the laws, Crowd Funded Government funds the laws using only voluntary contributions. The citizens still elect the politicians. The politicians still make laws. Lobbyists can still provide assistance to politicians to create the laws. However, the politicians can't force the citizens to fund unpopular laws.

Instead, each government department issues a budget with a detailed list of programs. Each program identifies how it would operate with various levels of funding. The citizens then voluntarily contribute to only the programs that they support. Programs would only operate with the support of citizens. Programs that are only supported by lobbyists would not receive funding. Unpopular programs would cease to exist.

FISCAL YEAR 2030 EXAMPLE

For example, if a government were to start operating a budget using Crowd Funded Government in Fiscal Year 2030, the first year of the collection of voluntary contributions would begin in Fiscal Year 2027. After the end of Fiscal Year 2027, the government departments would issue reports for each program regarding the current funding levels. During the review and public discussion of the current funding levels for all programs, the collection of voluntary contributions would continue through Fiscal Year 2028. After the end of Fiscal Year 2028, the programs would have their final budgets set for Fiscal Year 2030. There would be no voluntary contributions for Fiscal Year 2030 during Fiscal Year 2029. Departments with programs scheduled for Fiscal Year 2030 would use Fiscal Year 2029 to prepare to operate during the following year with their final budget.

In this example, the first year of the collection of voluntary contributions for Fiscal Year 2031 would begin in Fiscal Year 2028. The second year of voluntary contributions would be Fiscal Year 2029. Fiscal Year 2030 would be used for preparation of the programs for Fiscal Year 2031. This three-year funding and preparation cycle would continue indefinitely.

Continuing this example, Fiscal Year 2030 would begin the operation of the programs using the funds collected in Fiscal Years 2027 and 2028. Additional funds that are needed during Fiscal Year 2030 beyond what was collected for the budget would be paid for using a daily discretionary spending account. Voluntary contributions would be solicited frequently for the daily discretionary spending account, which would allow the government to provide immediate funding to programs that have needs that were not known during the budgeting process.

To summarize this example, five years in the future, Fiscal Year 2035 would have three concurrent funding operations and one preparation operation:
1. Fiscal Year 2038 first year of funding
2. Fiscal Year 2037 second year of funding
3. Fiscal Year 2035 daily discretionary spending account funding
and
1. Fiscal Year 2036 preparations based on the final budget 

OVERHEAD: LOANS, PROMISES, AND OPERATIONS

Crowd Funded Government would require no loans in order to operate. However, many governments have existing loans that need to be paid off. The schedule of principal and interest payments due on existing loans would be calculated for the upcoming fiscal year, and then those payments would be deducted from the total collected from that year's voluntary contributions.

Crowd Funded Government would not impair previously promised payments to citizens. Unless laws are passed that change the promised payments, those payments would be deducted from the total collected from that year's voluntary contributions.

Crowd Funded Government would require a special government department in order to effectively operate. This operations budget would be deducted from the total collected from that year's voluntary contributions.

For example, consider an annual budget in which the citizens voluntarily contributed $4,000 total. In this example, the government owed $500 in principal and interest payments on existing loans, promised $400 in payments to citizens, and required a $100 budget for operating the Crowd Funded Government operations department. The cost of the loans, promises, and operations, which is collectively referred to as overhead, was $1,000 out of a total of $4,000 collected. Therefore, 25% of each voluntary contribution would be used for the overhead instead of the designated government project. If the citizens voluntarily contributed $8,000 total, then only 12.5% of each voluntary contribution would be used for the overhead.

THANK YOU

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional details.

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