The resignation of the Navy Secretary James Webb (Part I, Feb. 23) can be treated as a "guns or butter" issue. It shows how remote the taxpayers are from any control over how taxes are used. I propose that a portion of each taxpayer's payment be declared "discretionary"--meaning that each taxpayer may designate that portion for specific uses, e.g. 50% for defense, 30% for education, 10% for medical research, etc. Within limits, the government must use the money as dictated by the taxpayer. The taxpayers would at least have some input in the spending behavior of the government. With tax collection being computerized nowadays, this should not be that difficult to do.
West Los Angeles