Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Taxation is Theft
sourcery | 15 April 2002 | sourcery

Posted on 04/16/2002 2:29:49 AM PDT by sourcery

 Taxation Is Theft

What is the moral justification for taxation?  What gives the government the right to collect taxes by force, whether force of law or force of arms--which in the end amount to the same thing?

The coerced collection of taxes is allegedly justified by four arguments--all of which are demonstrably false:

1. The "majority rules" argument: The majority in a society has the right to impose its will on the minority, either absolutely, or within the limits prescribed by a Constitution.

The refutation: It's been said that a democracy is where two wolves and a sheep vote on what (or who) is for dinner. The moral to be understood from this is that a vote by the wolfish majority to have the sheepish minority for dinner does not justify violating the rights of the sheep to life, liberty and property. By the same reasoning,  just because a majority votes to put those who don't "voluntarily" pay taxes in jail does not make it morally right.

The "majority rules" argument is based on the false premise that what just one of your neighbors would not have the right to do--appropriate your property using unjustified coercive force--society as a whole (who are just the aggregation of all your neighbors) somehow magically is morally justified in doing. Were this so, what principle would limit it just to taxes, or to just those things allowed by a Constitution?  Where did society get the authority to use a Constitution to give its agent, the government, powers that none of the individuals in the society possess by themselves as single individuals?

If your neighbor does not have the right to force you to be his slave, could it be that two of your neighbors have this right? If not two, then what about 1000 of your neighbors? 10,000 neighbors? 100,000 neighbors? 250,000,000 neighbors? Everyone living on the same continent?  What gives a group (or a society, or its agent, a government) any right to act that any individual member of the group would not have? Rights are not additive: two people who form a group have no more rights than either one has separately. The rights of any group, even society as whole, are simply the union of the rights of all the individuals in the group. It therefore necessarily follows that a group cannot have any rights that any individual member of the group does not also have. So if your neighbor has no just right to simply take from you whatever he or she wants, then neither do any group of neighbors--not even the entire society.

The conclusion is inescapable: you don't owe taxes merely because one or more of your neighbors say you do. I don't have the right to take your property without your consent.  Therefore, no group of people has the right to take your property without your consent--no matter how many people are in the group, nor how many of them vote in favor.

2. The "debt for services rendered and benefits received" argument: Government provides benefits and services. The recipients of said benefits and services owe the government something of value in exchange.  Furthermore, society is entitled to a "payback from," or "return on its investment in," each member of the society, and a "return on its investment" in the infrastructure of the society, payable as "dividends" from the earnings of the individuals who live in and benefit from the society and its infrastructure.

The refutation: The argument is flawed in several ways. Firstly, it falsely assumes that a valid debt is created whenever someone receives either direct (or collateral) benefit(s) as a result of actions voluntarily performed by someone else--even when the person receiving the benefit(s) did not consent to the creation of a debt, and even when the person performing the action(s) was largely motivated to perform those actions in his own self interest and for his own benefit.  Secondly, it falsely assumes that every taxpayer was a willing participant in a commercial transaction, where he agreed to pay a freely-negotiated price for some service or benefit. Thirdly, it falsely assumes that the amount of tax a taxpayer is assessed is reasonably proportionate to the market value of the services or benefits he received. Finally, the argument falsely assumes that a debt can convey an equity interest in the life, property, or profits of the debtor, without the debtor having consented to the granting of any such equity interest.

It is admittedly possible to accrue a debt without having first consented thereto: such a debt automatically accrues when the debtor causes harm to the life, liberty or property of someone else without valid cause (the only valid cause that comes to mind would be acting in justified self defense).  But other than this one exception (infringing on someone else's rights without his or her consent), debts cannot be justly created without the consent of the debtor.

Therefore, you don't owe anyone anything for those things that someone else voluntarily chooses to do without your consent to pay for them.  Conversely, you have no right to coerce payment from others who have not consented to pay you for the value of the work you voluntarily choose to do that happens to benefit them. 

Even more ludicrous is the idea that you owe anyone anything in exchange for the collateral benefits you may receive as a consequence of actions performed by others.  If I choose to build a dam for the twin purposes of generating electricity and controlling floods, solely because the dam benefits me (I make money selling the electricity, and my home is made safer against the threat of flooding), then why should the fact that your home also is made safer against the threat of flooding entitle me to send you an invoice for any part of the cost of building the dam?  I would have built the dam whether or not you benefited from it, and whether or not you agreed to pay anything for the privilege of benefiting from the dam.

If you benefit from what someone else has voluntarily done, and have not agreed to provide compensation, then you have no more obligation to pay than does the receiver of any other gift.  As long as we do not violate the rights of others, each of us may do—or not do—as we please.   If we do not like the fact that what we voluntarily choose to do happens to also benefit others, our only morally-correct remedy is to refrain from doing such things. If you think otherwise, go sweep the street clean and then send an invoice to the city—or to your neighbors—for the hours worked.  Good luck.

Typically, the amount of tax assessed is not reasonably equivalent to the fair market value of the services provided. One important reason that this is true is because the amount of tax that is assessed is not negotiated between "buyer" and "seller" in a free market.  Both overcharging and underpaying for goods or services makes one party a thief and the other party the victim of a crime.

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

The debt you owe to a lienholder does not entitle the lienholder to an equity interest in your life, in your property, and/or in the fruits of your labor.  If you think otherwise, try billing (or even suing) your employer for a percentage of profits in lieu of salary, without his prior agreement.  Good luck.

3. The "social contract" argument: A society has the right to dictate to all members of (or residents in) the society what each individual must contribute (or "give back") in exchange for being allowed to live in, and/or be a member of, and/or receive benefits and services from, the society.  By agreeing to live in a society, an individual is deemed to have "consented" to this "social contract."

The refutation: This argument is based on the false premise that "society" as a whole has a right to coerce consent to debts as a condition for being "allowed" to be a member of the overall society.  

A society is just a group of people who interact.  It has no more rights or powers than does any one of its members.  Therefore, unless some individual member of a society has the right to coerce other members of the society to agree to conditions in exchange for membership in the society, then it cannot be that the society as a whole has any such right.

It's true that an individual has the right to refuse to interact with any other individual. However, each adult only has the right to make such decisions for himself, not for other adults.  Therefore, even though 67% of the citizens of a particular community do not wish to interact with a particular person, the remaining 33% would still have the right to do so, if that is their wish.

No person, or group of persons, has the right to prevent any two adults from interacting, as long as both adults freely choose to do so. It therefore follows that the only way that an individual can morally be denied permission to be a member of society as a whole, is for all the other members of the society to unanimously (and permanently) refuse to interact with him or her. Therefore, society as a whole has no right to demand that individuals agree to conditions in exchange for being allowed to participate in the society--because society has no right to prevent free association (or interaction) among consenting adults. You have the right to interact socially, economically and politically with anyone who is also willing to interact with you, regardless of how many third parties may object.

In fact, the only way that someone could be expelled from society would be to violate the rights of the one expelled.  Society would have to kill the person, and/or steal his property, and/or forbid him the right to live on his property, and/or interdict his right to contract with others for a place to live and/or to produce income, and/or violate his right to travel.  No one has the right to deny anyone the right to live, to own property, to travel, to engage in commercial transactions with others who are willing, or to do anything whatsoever so long as no else&#8217;s rights are being violated. Therefore, society has no right to do any of these things, and so it therefore has no right to threaten to do them unless individuals agree to be taxed.  Such a proposition would be extortion&#8212;a fancy word for theft.

You have inalienable rights because you are a person, not because you agree to pay taxes.  To make the free exercise of your rights contingent on the payment of taxes converts inalienable human rights into privileges that must be purchased.  That way lies slavery.

Society is an epiphenomenon that emerges from the actions and interactions of the individuals of which it is composed.  Society is thus a creation and manifestation of its members, who are therefore its rightful masters.  To posit instead that society rightfully owns and controls the individuals who are its members wrongfully makes each individual a slave to the group.  Others do not own you just because you interact with them. Neither do you own others because they interact with you.  Therefore, society does not own you because you live in it.

It must also be noted that the so-called "social contract" is not properly a "contract" at all.  At no time are individuals ever told what are the conditions of the "social contract" to which they must agree.  At no time are individuals ever asked to formally agree to the terms of this alleged contract.  I have never agreed to any such contract, and I strongly doubt that anyone who ever reads this essay has ever done so, either.  The alleged "social contract" is therefore nothing more than a fictitious "blank check," drawn on the life, liberty and property of the enslaved population, that those in power can cash in any amount that suits them, at any time&#8212;again and again.

4. The "moral debt to those in need" argument: Those who have more than they need are morally obligated to provide for those who have less--and it is a necessary and proper function of government to make sure that the "haves" contribute their "fair share" to the "have nots."  Therefore, the needs of society for the services and benefits of government outweigh the property rights of individuals.

The refutation: This argument is based on the false premise that the needs of one person constitute a moral debt or lien on the life, property or liberty of someone else. This is a wide-spread, but very dangerous, fallacy. No such principle can be morally justified, because it inevitably leads to logical contradictions that destroy individual life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is maliciously inimical to the very foundations of freedom.

Obviously, if I give (almost) everything I have to charity (or to taxes), then I become the "needy" person, and can then "rightfully" (sic) demand "help" from others.  Just by having less, and doing less productive work, I can "create a moral obligation" (sic) for others to provide for my needs.  As a result, those of you willing to work become the slaves of those of us willing to leach off the efforts of others.  But the resulting "negative feedback loop" must eventually lead to social, moral and economic decay.

To make each individual responsible for meeting the needs of others would have the following consequences:

<![if !supportLists]>a)     <![endif]>The individual would become a slave to all those with greater need,

<![if !supportLists]>b)     <![endif]>The principle of "moral risk" would result in many people failing to act responsibly with respect to their own welfare and best interests, and

<![if !supportLists]>c)     <![endif]>The "haves" would use the fact that they are coerced into supporting the "have nots" to impose laws and regulations restricting everyone's freedom&#8212;on the grounds that social welfare paid for by coercive tax collection gives the taxpayers a legitimate stake in preventing citizens from making poor life choices.

Down this path lies tyranny.

Fundamentally, neither my needs, nor someone else's needs, justify coerced taking from others. Just because I need a heart transplant does not justify my taking your heart without permission. Just because my neighbor needs food to eat does not justify either of us taking from you the food you need to feed your family. Just because I and my family need a place a live does not justify my evicting you and your family from your apartment. Need is not a valid or workable basis by which to assign ownership of property. You are not a slave to my needs, nor am I a slave to yours.

The principle that your life, liberty and property belong only to you, and that you have no obligation to give them to others, and cannot rightfully be coerced into doing so, is the foundation of freedom.  Any society that violates this principle makes slaves out of its members.

You should not be responsible for the consequences of my actions and decisions, and I should not be responsible for the consequences of yours. Each person must be fully and solely responsible for the consequences of the way he/she lives his/her life.   

If you wish to feel guilty because you are able and willing to earn a living, that's your affair. If you wish to donate some or all of what you have to others, that's your affair. Nothing prevents you from giving as much as you like to the charities of your choice. But you have no right to select the charities that others must contribute to, nor to specify the amount or percentage of their charitable giving. If you did, then they would have the same right with respect to you, and you might not like their choices!

No one has the right to be "generous" (sic) with other people's money without their permission. That's not generosity--it's theft.

Working to support yourself and your family is not immoral. Expecting to receive the full benefit of the work you do is not immoral. Expecting others not to steal from you is not immoral. Your hard work helps both yourself, your family, your community, your country and the world at large.  You owe no one any debt merely for having worked to accumulate property, nor for having done productive work.

Conclusion

The fact that your neighbors have voted in a law that says you owe taxes does not mean that you do, because others have no right to take your property without your consent. 

The fact that you benefit from the operation of government does not mean you owe taxes, because no moral debt can be created without either your consent or your misbehavior. 

The fact that you are allowed to operate as a member of society does not mean that you can be construed to have agreed to pay taxes in exchange, because a) you have not in fact agreed to any such contract, b) you have the right to interact (and do business with) anyone else who is willing, and c) no one has the right to violate your rights, or make the enjoyment of your rights contingent on the payment of a fee.

The fact that there are those whose needs are greater or more dire than yours does not mean you owe any taxes, because you are no one&#8217;s slave, no matter how needy they may be.


TOPICS: Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: morality; taxation
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-143 next last

1 posted on 04/16/2002 2:29:49 AM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: VW-Catman; Storm Orphan; Buckeroo; Doctor Stochastic; Bryan
Ping!
2 posted on 04/16/2002 2:33:30 AM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Bump, quiet in here
3 posted on 04/16/2002 5:31:30 AM PDT by steve50
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
tin foil hat alert! You forgot to mention that the treasury dept is really an offshore corporation liscensd by the Fed to mint money and collect usary fees known as a sales tax-totally illegal! Also aliens are examining me rectally.
4 posted on 04/16/2002 12:24:39 PM PDT by ffusco
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ffusco
You forgot to mention that the treasury dept is really an offshore corporation liscensd by the Fed to mint money and collect usary fees known as a sales tax-totally illegal! Also aliens are examining me rectally.

Stay calm. Nice men in white coats whill be arriving shortly. They will take care of you.

One can only assume that your use of an ad-hominem attack indicates that you can't refute the thesis I put forward. My challenge to you is this: put up or shut up.

5 posted on 04/16/2002 3:00:26 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
And if you fail to report that you owe taxes, and fail to pay them, you might go to jail, and I certainly hope that you would go to jail. I think these tax protestors and cheats and just selfish bastards who hide behind tendentious and species logic and reasoning to mask the truly noisome nature of their own greed. Even better than jailing them, would be to put them in stocks in the public square, under a sign that says "I am a selfish tax cheat, who wanted you to pay my share of the bill for the general welfare. Nothing harder than a rotton tomato may be thrown at me. Thank you for your cooperation."
6 posted on 04/16/2002 3:05:03 PM PDT by Torie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Taxation is Theft

Yes it is. Good article. Bump!

7 posted on 04/16/2002 3:07:58 PM PDT by southern rock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Ookay--so, the government should just hold monthly bake sales in order to raise funds?
8 posted on 04/16/2002 3:09:39 PM PDT by jrherreid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Torie
And if you fail to report that you owe taxes, and fail to pay them, you might go to jail, and I certainly hope that you would go to jail. I think these tax protestors and cheats and just selfish bastards who hide behind tendentious and species logic and reasoning to mask the truly noisome nature of their own greed. Even better than jailing them, would be to put them in stocks in the public square, under a sign that says "I am a selfish tax cheat, who wanted you to pay my share of the bill for the general welfare. Nothing harder than a rotton tomato may be thrown at me. Thank you for your cooperation."

Thanks for sharing what you really feel.

I filed my taxes yesterday, as I do every year. I obey many laws I disagree with, because I do not wish to suffer the consequences of not doing so. Nor do I intend to encourage others to illegally fail to pay taxes. What I wish to encourage is to have the tax laws changed--hopefully eliminated.

Do you have as much wrath towards those who legally pay no taxes, as you do for those who avoid paying the taxes they legally owe? Morally speaking, there is no difference. If my tax bill of about $50,000/year is morally justified, then there is no conceivable moral justification for not imposing the same tax bill, in the exact same amount, on everyone equally: we all benefit from the existence and operation of govenment equally, do we not?

9 posted on 04/16/2002 3:13:51 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Well, in a democracy we decide how to allocate the burden. And the vast majority has decided that ability to pay is releveant, and cross subsidization is acceptable. If you don't like it, move to Hong Kong.
10 posted on 04/16/2002 3:15:47 PM PDT by Torie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Ookay--so, the government should just hold monthly bake sales in order to raise funds?

The government has no more right to appropriate funds than you or I do? Can you go to a bake sale and take as many cakes as you want, simply because you need them? If not, then what justifies your hiring IRS agents to come to my door and take my cakes, just because you need them?

There is an alternative to theft. It's called working to earn the capital required to afford the things you need or desire. There is no reason that governments should not have to earn their keep, just as anyone else must. After all, the government is just the agent of the individual persons who are its citizens.

11 posted on 04/16/2002 3:18:22 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
After all, the government is just the agent of the individual persons who are its citizens.

Exactly. And if you know anyone who doesn't pay his agent, let me know. I'd like an agent that works for free, too.

12 posted on 04/16/2002 3:21:29 PM PDT by jrherreid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Torie
And if you fail to report that you owe taxes, and fail to pay them, you might go to jail, and I certainly hope that you would go to jail. I think these tax protestors and cheats and just selfish bastards who hide behind tendentious and species logic and reasoning to mask the truly noisome nature of their own greed. Even better than jailing them, would be to put them in stocks in the public square, under a sign that says "I am a selfish tax cheat, who wanted you to pay my share of the bill for the general welfare. Nothing harder than a rotton tomato may be thrown at me. Thank you for your cooperation."

Hillary, is that you??

I really, really hope your post is sarcasm. I love how you managed to throw in all the usual liberal buzzwords into your leftist rant. You got "selfish", and "pay my share", and the ever popular "greed". LOL!! Your post has to be a goof, Right??

If not, you should really back to DU where you belong.

13 posted on 04/16/2002 3:24:14 PM PDT by southern rock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Torie
Well, in a democracy we decide how to allocate the burden.

In a democracy, they vote to whatever the majority pleases, without regard to whether or not it is moral.

And the vast majority has decided that ability to pay is releveant, and cross subsidization is acceptable.

That does not make it morally right. Nor does it imply that I have no right to petition for a redress of grievances.

If you don't like it, move to Hong Kong.

If you don't like being revealed as morally corrupt, then don't listen to what I have to say (although it doesn't seem like you really did, anyway).

14 posted on 04/16/2002 3:24:23 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Torie
Well, in a democracy we decide how to allocate the burden.

We are NOT a democracy!!! Now I know you are a Demo!

15 posted on 04/16/2002 3:26:01 PM PDT by southern rock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Exactly. And if you know anyone who doesn't pay his agent, let me know. I'd like an agent that works for free, too.

How about an agent that works whether you wanted to hire him or not? And whose price is decided by him, and isn't negotiable? I'll be your agent on that basis--the fixed, non-negotiable price I charge is exactly my annual tax bill.

16 posted on 04/16/2002 3:26:49 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: southern rock
Yawn.
17 posted on 04/16/2002 3:31:25 PM PDT by Torie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
How about an agent that works whether you wanted to hire him or not? And whose price is decided by him, and isn't negotiable? I'll be your agent on that basis--the fixed, non-negotiable price I charge is exactly my annual tax bill.

Hey--it's part of being a US citizen. If you don't want to pay the agent, don't join the club. You're always free to move to another country, you know. You also have to pay for electricity, water, and phone use--is that theft?

18 posted on 04/16/2002 3:32:12 PM PDT by jrherreid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Hey--it's part of being a US citizen. If you don't want to pay the agent, don't join the club. You're always free to move to another country, you know.

Um, I've just started my own country. It's territory includes the entire universe. Everyone living in my country owes me taxes: $50,000/year. You consent to this obligation as a condition for living in my country. Pay up.

You also have to pay for electricity, water, and phone use--is that theft?

No, not as long I can choose whether to engage in the transaction, and am not coerced by others into doing business only with certain persons.

19 posted on 04/16/2002 3:37:58 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Um, I've just started my own country. It's territory includes the entire universe. Everyone living in my country owes me taxes: $50,000/year. You consent to this obligation as a condition for living in my country. Pay up.

Somebody isn't thinking. Check back if you have a logical argument.

20 posted on 04/16/2002 3:41:01 PM PDT by jrherreid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Thanks for the post.
21 posted on 04/16/2002 3:42:38 PM PDT by Tymesup
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Somebody isn't thinking.

Agreed.

Check back if you have a logical argument. Check back if you have a logical counter-argument, or can demonstrate why my theses is illogical or irrational. As I told someone else: put up or shut up.

22 posted on 04/16/2002 3:56:12 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Anarchists claim "Property is theft".

Anyone have other things that have been equated with "theft"?

23 posted on 04/16/2002 3:56:12 PM PDT by weegee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Anarchists do not claim that property is theft. It's communists who do that. Anarchists claim that goverment is inherently evil, and will always steal property from the politcally villified and give it to the politically favored.
24 posted on 04/16/2002 3:58:05 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Check back if you have a logical counter-argument, or can demonstrate why my theses is illogical or irrational.

I did.

As I told someone else: put up or shut up.

You want I should repeat myself? Just scroll up a few posts.

25 posted on 04/16/2002 4:03:48 PM PDT by jrherreid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
I did a quick search of that phrase on the internet (Google) before I posted and the anarchists took it to heart. They claimed that even under state socialism, there were some divisions of property. Anarchist socialism is different (I do not defend it but know that it is the underlying ideology of a number on the extreme left including Ted Rall and left end dial Pacifica radio types).
26 posted on 04/16/2002 4:17:39 PM PDT by weegee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
You left out an additional argument,

The nation instituted under the Constitution was designed to achieve certain strategic goals, by specific and enumerated powers and tactical means.

The intent and strategic goals:

We the People of the United States, in Order to

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

That document, the "Constitution for the United States of America", is a statement of a will, an intent and law, a trust ratified by the People who ordained and established that nation compounded out of those People's own sovereign rights, properties and wealth as a bequest, that the intended protections and goals be propogated in trust to themselves and their Posterity as beneficiaries.

The means to finance and perpetuate that trust, to achieve the stated goals, was selected to be through levies of taxes in regard to its beneficiaries, the citizens of that nation. The specific means of those levies at the discretion of representative members of those beneficiaries in accord with the provisions of that trust.

REFER: Constitution, Article I. Section 8, clause 1

So long as an individual may partake in the benefits and protections of that trust, one is lawfully bound to its provisions and to its support.

The individual may choose to rescind that birthright and duty laid by that trust through renouncing citizenship and leaving its shores and protection. In that lay the choice of the individual, "the consent of the governed" that renders the requirement of financial support by its beneficiaries through levy of taxes something other than mere "Theft".

27 posted on 04/16/2002 4:26:15 PM PDT by ancient_geezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Are you referring to this article? If so, you should read it more carefully. The only requirement for anarchy is the absence of government, as you can see by checking the definition in the dictionary. The fact that some anarchists may also believe that property is evil has nothing intrinsically to do with ancharchism.
28 posted on 04/16/2002 5:02:34 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ancient_geezer
Hi there, ancient one! Glad to hear from you again.

Yes, I am well aware that the Constitution imposes a legal obligation to pay almost whatever taxes Congress votes to impose, subject only to either the uniformity or the apportionment constraint (depending on the nature of the tax). I have no argument with that, and have supported you efforts at educating those who believe otherwise.

However, the thesis I am making here is that the Constituion--and those who wrote it, approved it and voted it into effect had and have no moral right to impose taxes on me as a condition for living on my own property. You can't logically refute my claim by quoting edicts from the Constitution (or Federal statutes) that say otherwise. You have to argue from first principles. Care to try?

29 posted on 04/16/2002 5:08:40 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Well, we obviously disagree. You haven't said anything that I find worthy of any further response. Perhaps you feel the same about what I have written here. But the issue isn't what you believe. The issue is the consensus of opinion among all. To that end I will continue to work, as best I can.
30 posted on 04/16/2002 5:12:53 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: ancient_geezer
So long as an individual may partake in the benefits and protections of that trust, one is lawfully bound to its provisions and to its support.

The individual may choose to rescind that birthright and duty laid by that trust through renouncing citizenship and leaving its shores and protection. In that lay the choice of the individual, "the consent of the governed" that renders the requirement of financial support by its beneficiaries through levy of taxes something other than mere "Theft".

I believe I demolished the entire basis of your argument in sections 1, 2 and 3 of my thesis. Nothing you say here demonstrates any reason to doubt the validity of the arguments I have already stated, showing that 1) the vote of a majority does not turn what would otherwise be theft into non-theft; 2) you don't owe anything in return for services you didn't agree to buy, and 3) you can't morally be coerced (extorted) into agreeing to conditions for being allowed to live (especially not on your own property).

31 posted on 04/16/2002 5:22:02 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Basically, you just said that any form of government is immoral.

Go live in a place where there is no government. (They do exist.) Let us know how your experience goes.

32 posted on 04/16/2002 5:26:57 PM PDT by Poohbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Actually I was referring to Anarchist Socialists as a political movement.

This was the primary link that I was referencing:

"PROPERTY IS THEFT"

Anarchists oppose private property (meaning land and means of production, in particular) and class distinctions based on wealth as innately and ultimately oppressive. Once you have established property rights, you will begin to have some people growing more powerful at the expense of their neighbors, as they acquire (by whatever means) more land. These people become the owning or ruling class.

States exist to ensure that property remains in private, and not public hands--note that even socialist states do this; in the place of private owners, you have party members.

Here is another link, to the writing "Property Is Theft" by Proudhon Proudhon's Writing - What Is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government

...with a handy dandy link to the "Anarchy Archives" at the bottom. More leftist anarchist lit can be found at AK Press (thousands of books of extremist philosophy).

33 posted on 04/16/2002 5:33:58 PM PDT by weegee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
Basically, you just said that any form of government is immoral.

No. There are those who agree with you, and who therefore advocate anarchy. Myself, I advocate minarchy: a government that has no power or right to do anything that a private individual would not also have the right to do (assuming he has the requisite means and skill). Such a government would have to charge for its services the same as any other business (no payment, no service, just like a volunteer fire department). You would buy insurance to help cover any unexpected government expenses (e.g., a major court case or criminal investigation, for example).

Go live in a place where there is no government. (They do exist.) Let us know how your experience goes.K/i>

I am always amazed at the willingness of people to become extortionists in order to get their hands on others poeple's money--as long as they themselves don't have to point guns at people and throw them in jail.

But yes, there are places with no government. The Somalis haven't had a government for over ten years, and appear to be doing far better than they did when they had one. Consider: Is Government a Mistake? Exploring the Anarchist Option.

34 posted on 04/16/2002 5:44:56 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
If government operates solely on the ability of the individual to pay, then you have essentially voided the concept of "equality before the law" and replaced it with "if you're poor, you're screwed."
35 posted on 04/16/2002 5:47:56 PM PDT by Poohbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Actually, the Somalis DO have a government. It's called "Al Qaeda."
36 posted on 04/16/2002 5:48:38 PM PDT by Poohbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: weegee
Check out Anarcho-capitalism for an example of non-socialist anarchism.
37 posted on 04/16/2002 5:49:01 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
Somalia re-invents itself
38 posted on 04/16/2002 5:53:32 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
If government operates solely on the ability of the individual to pay, then you have essentially voided the concept of "equality before the law" and replaced it with "if you're poor, you're screwed."

Firstly, the fact that you can't pay for something is not a violation of your rights, no matter the cost, and no matter the urgency of your need. Your needs are not a lien on the property of others. Period.

And I don't see how the current system ("if your not politically favored, you're screwed") is any improvement over a pay-for-what-you-get system. At least such a system is morally correct. I'll take that over politically correct every time.

39 posted on 04/16/2002 5:57:46 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Eventually, the poor will simply shoot the officers of your perfect government, and impose a Jacobin terror that will take decades to get over. The only way to avoid this outcome is to exterminate the poor first.

Revolt or genocide. Your choice.

40 posted on 04/16/2002 6:00:14 PM PDT by Poohbah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Poohbah
Eventually, the poor will simply shoot the officers of your perfect government, and impose a Jacobin terror that will take decades to get over. The only way to avoid this outcome is to exterminate the poor first.

Revolt or genocide. Your choice.

You are terrorizing yourself with unjustified paranoia. It seems to me that a government that is doing all the same things Jefferson so eloquently criticized in the Declaration of Independence--only to a far greater extent--is the one that should worry about revolution (not recommended, by the way--but it could happen).

It is logically impossible to revolt against a government that doesn't exist. And in the case of a minarchy, revolt would be logically possible, but there would be little motivation. The more powerful the government, the greater the potential rewards for taking it over. And the less poweverful the government, the less there is to be gained by its overthrow.

But you object that a minarchy would be overthrown and replaced with a severe Tyranny. And that is certainly possible. But it is only likely in the case where there is a social consensus for tyrannical government, such as we have in this country today. A society gets the form of government it thinks is right. No minarchy will be established here, or anywhere, as long as the social consensus does not favor it. But the same constraint would protect minarchical government in a society that was committed to minarchy.

Consider:


42 posted on 04/16/2002 6:43:20 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: big'ol_freeper
A little bump your way.
43 posted on 04/16/2002 6:44:25 PM PDT by Lil'freeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
They don't care about your feelings or thought on the issue. The Treasury wants the $3.32 you owe in tax for your yearly earnings NOW!
44 posted on 04/16/2002 6:45:25 PM PDT by A CA Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
All told, state & fed (fica, ss, & med) took about 20 grand from me this year. I feel robbed. The unaccountability of lost federal cash really bothers me. Liberal claptrap getting some of my cash drives me up the wall, but my fair share goes to fund those clowns, too.

NRST is the only fair tax. But idiots can still misspend even that.

45 posted on 04/16/2002 6:53:09 PM PDT by xzins
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Titus Fikus
Yes, but when we had such a system, aka the tariffs, it was full of the exact holes you describe. No sense reinventing the wheel.

The tarrifs were also theft. And they worked fine for raising revenue. The problem with them was solely political. Of course tarriffs wouldn't work now, because the government now--unlike 90 years ago--spends so much money on things that it has no Constitutional authority to buy.

Remember, the issue isn't how can the government eliminate taxes and still spend as much money as it currently does. The issue is how the necessary functions of government can be funded: police and military, courts, legislative operations, executive branch operations. It does not take anywhere close to 10 trillion dollars/year to do those things for the entire North American continent. We're paying Lambourghini prices for Yugo-level service. And the fact that taxes are coercively collected by theft is the major reason why.

46 posted on 04/16/2002 6:55:15 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: A CA Guy
They don't care about your feelings or thought on the issue. The Treasury wants the $3.32 you owe in tax for your yearly earnings NOW!

Gee, if that's all they want, maybe I should just pay it and get it over with. But, if it turns out that they actually want substantially more than that, will you agree to pay the difference? :-)

47 posted on 04/16/2002 6:57:55 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
I pay quarterly. NO THANKS!
48 posted on 04/16/2002 6:59:56 PM PDT by A CA Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: sourcery
Taxation Is Theft

If you really think that, get used to feeling ripped off for the rest of your life unless you are in prison.

49 posted on 04/16/2002 7:01:31 PM PDT by biblewonk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xzins
NRST is the only fair tax.

Well, I'll admit that it's a substantial improvement over the present system. But it's still not moral. Nevertheless, since it is substantantially better than the status quo, I'm all in favor (I am not unrealistic, I know that taxes aren't going away anytime soon, and that the only hope of getting rid of them is incrementally).

But idiots can still misspend even that.

Yes. And why not? It's not like the government actually earned any of that money itself. There's just not much motivation to be frugal or effective with other people's money--especially when you'll be getting more next year, and can always increase the take whenever the urge strikes you.

50 posted on 04/16/2002 7:04:33 PM PDT by sourcery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-143 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson