As silly as you think it may be, you can't deny the fact that the government owns the money. You're giving it to them. Albeit not willingly, but you're giving it to them. When you give someone money, it's theirs, they own it. If you were loaning it to them, and they had to give it back, yes I'd say the that people own the money.John Adams said:Contrary to what I stated previously, I'm cool with ending it on that if Spunky is. I still think it's silly to believe the government owns the money, but I'll admit it's semantics and open for interpretation. Who the investors are isn't.
However you pay taxes on a lot of things you won't get back. If you buy a bike, or a car, or certain kinds of food that are taxable. That 5,6 or 7% tax goes to the government. You won't get it back, ever. It's the governments, they can spend it on what they want, with the influence of the American people. Which is where the 'co-ownership' comes into play. The taxes you can get back, are when you receive a paycheck, or when you spend money on something that's taxable for business related reasons or work related reasons. That is money that can be argued is neither the governments or yours, simply because you're giving it to the government now, but eventually they're going to give it back. Much like a loan.
We'll use my job as an example. When I first started I had to pay for my uniform, it came out of my check. Because it's an item, it's taxable. However, once tax season came around, I got the taxes that were taken out, back because I needed it for a work related reason. So that money which was once in possession of the government is given back to you.
I think in this case, the most simple answer would be; the government physically owns the money until it's distributed to something or someone else.
Just because you have some control over what they do with the money doesn't really make it your money. It's the same concept of the owner and the investee. I can tell my friend to buy a video game, but whether or not he buys it is up to him. And to make it more to the point, we can say that I gave him the money for his birthday. Although the money was once mine, he is now in possession of it, and I am trying to influence what he does. He can agree or disagree with me on what I'm trying to influence it on, but when it comes down to it, he's the one that makes the decision. And the money is no longer mine, I gave it to him.
I don't like the idea of the money the government spends is still the money of the citizens because then that makes me feel like I'm responsible for the decisions they make, and, well, I can bet everyone here will agree when I say, our government doesn't always make the best decisions.
Not to mention the fact that, if it were my money, going back to the seals, would have said "nuh uh, no way you're spending my money on two animals that are going to die soon anyway."