If you improve the efficiency of tax collection, what happens? The extra money is used to expand the size of government.
That’s the view of Dr Stephen Kirchner, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, in a new paper, “Why Does Government Grow?”
He makes the point that a lot of effort is made to improve the efficiency of tax collection, but the same rigour is not given when examining how effectively the money is spent. The danger, he suggests, is that we move from a position of citizen over state, where government responds to our needs, to a situation of state over citizen, where politicians becoming more self-serving.
The answer is to ensure examination of tax reform includes equal analysis of how the money is spent — the tax and expenditure sides of the budget need to be reformed together to reduce the size and scope of government.