Skip to comments.Taxation is Theft
Posted on 04/16/2002 2:29:49 AM PDT by sourcery
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True. I'm also under no moral obligation to leave, whether nor not I pay taxes, and whether or not I am a citizen of any particular country.
Morally speaking, there is no free rider problem. Here's why not:
The fact that the 'free rider problem' may make it uneconomic to achieve one's goals is not a problem in the domain of morality. The universe does not guarantee anyone that any of their goals will be realizable, or realizable at any particular cost. Violating someone else's rights is not morally justified by need, no matter how urgent.
Taxation (or whatever) cannot be morally justified by economic considerations, any more than slavery or cannibalism can.
Of course it is. It's no different than if a robber came up to you and threatened bodily harm if you didn't turn over your money. The only difference between government and the robber is the government says it's legal.
That no longer holds if one can be cruel without being seen for what one is--then it is one's rational self-interest to screw whatever poor sod's unfortunate enough to need one's help.
Helping those in need is not morally required
Things that are required incur a penalty--most often in the form of reprobation--if not done, correct? Do we not (justly) call a man cruel who gives no aid to a starving child or a person drowning in a river, especially when such aid is easily within his power?
So, if I create a trust out of my own property, that gives me the right to tax you?
Only if I accept being a beneficiary of the trust.
Based on what? You have a right to offer the trust. What supermajority has ratified it? If I don't like the terms I renounce the benifice and go my merry way.
But if you think otherwise, the tax bill for this year that you owe to the trust I've set up is $50,000, payable immediately.
What does it offer me in protection and service that I don't already have under the Constitution of the United States and what provision are in it? How am I better off?
Show us the trust document, and go through the ratification process for adoption and we'll see. Otherwise, I simply renounce your "gift" and stay with what I have, the Constitution of the United States.
I think the Founders would be shocked to discover, that their Constitution, whose purpose was to form a government for the purpose of protecting and defending the rights of the people (including the rights to Life, Libery and Property,) was in fact nothing more than a stealth taking of all property from all private individuals, with the effect that the government would be the de facto owner.
They were well aware of the extensive powers of the taxing clauses. Looking over the debates, they were quite aware of the broad extent of the Constitution's powers to tax the individual and Madison among others argued specifically to assure those powers had no boundries in amount. Interesting that they proposed and ratified it to tax as much as necessary to assure the continued survival of the nation, isn't it.
Also, I don't see any documentation from 1789 (or any time, for that matter) that actually sets up a trust such as you describe
It certainly is not a contract.
It's true that a club can set whatever conditions for membership that it wants, so long as there is nothing about those conditions that would be intrinsically wrong morally. This follows from the right to Liberty, which is the right to do whatever is not morally wrong.
Sorry the Constitution is not a Club. A measure of morality? Which measure do you intend to adopt. Christian?, Moslem?, Hindu? Jewish?, Buddist?, Zorastrian? Humanist? Agnostic?, Atheist? Communist? Third Reich? ...
Better leave it to a least a supermajority ratification of charter members to kick it off the launch pad.
sending armed men to your home and evicting you from your community, on the grounds that only members of the chess club can live in the community?
The community was established under the charter of the Trust (i.e. Constitution). Sorry your analogy simply does not fly. You are provided an all expense paid vacation at club Fed by operation of law under due process instead if you decide to stick around but don't pay the dues.
If you don't like that you may renounce membership and depart the jurisdiction.
By what right does the club do either of these things?
The Constitution is not your club. Your hypotheticals fail to meet the conditions of a ratifiable trust charter thus do not fall within the parameters of a reasonable conjecture. Quit throwing up meaningless strawmen arguments.
My problem with the US tax situation is precisely analagous to the problem you would have with the chess club in the example.
No parallel exists, your chess club is an unratifiable imaginary hypothetical strawman with no existence in reality. Anyone can construct there own tightly constrained hypotheticals all day and shoot them down. That establishes nothing more than your imaginative abilities.
Therefore, the US has no moral right to remove me from my own land
Sorry but a tax debt is as valid as any other kind of debt, if you are unable to pay such debts then a sale of property can be morally ordered under due process and there is certainly a moral right to remove from you any possessions sufficient to service a debt owed.
So my apparent continued "acceptance" of the club's rules is invalid, because it is coerced by the threat of having my inalienable right to Liberty, Free Association and Property violated (in other words, by extortion).
Again you have tried to use a strawman argument to bluff your way through.
The only threat that arose was out of your decision to not renounce citizenship and still expect to not pay the tax. Due process under the provisions of the trust charter set the ultimate and predictable result. Be current in your debts, then renounce your membership and depart, no problem other than those you have created for yourself by make illconsidered decisions in your attempt to extract more than is due you under the Trust provisions.
They certainly had the Liberty right to create a trust. They didn't, though.
The Constitution certainly is not a contract. By your own arguments and admission.
Trust or Will is all that remains. Which is it? The qualities of the Constitution are those of a charter, establishing the provisions of a Trust. Your mere assertion otherwise, is neither useful to the debate nor consistent with your own arguments.
But even if they had, they still would have no right to do what is morally wrong--
True, but the only practical measure of moral is the supermajority ratification of chartermembers.
such as violating the rights to Liberty, Free Association and Property
Such rights pertain to the charter provisions governing the protection of rights through trial and due process.
of those who don't care to be beneficiaries of such a trust
Those who don't care to be beneficiaries simple recind any protection by the trust. Sorry but that is life.
(or members of the club, which is a more accurate analogy of what actually pertains).
The strawman doesn't fly.
The only right they didn't have, was to violate the rights of others.
Shall we look then at whose rights you intrude on in attempting to demand protections as one who has renounced protections of the Trust?
What right do have as an alien to the trust to call upon the trust member's consideration or concern in jury. That certainly is an imposition on those citizens for one who has renounced participation in the provisions of the Trust. Due process is a function of the established trust. The courts and rules therefore are provided in the trust. The members operate in accord with provisions of that trust and fund those operations through the trust provisions of taxation.
When you stand outside the trust jurisdiction, you have your rights, but it is incumbant upon you to protect them.
Liberty? As long as a warlord with a bigger guns and a gang doesn't want something from you.
Property? As long as you can protect it from the wolves circling round.
Life? You might get to keep it if your strong enough, or run fast enough giving up the other two to the wolves. Then it only becomes a matter of how long you survive, knowing you cannot impose on the rights of the members of the trust.
The society you renounced owes you nothing. The wolves are always there, circling, and they care not for your "Rights" only their own personal gain.
I see the Constitution as the deed of title whereby those who voted in favor in 1789 granted certain authority to a designated agent for certain specified purposes.
And how does this concept of "deed of title" of yours differ from the charter of a trust? Descriptively I see a trust charter being described, with a name substitution which apparently pleases your fancy. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
On what resource has that agent been specifically authorised to draw on to facilitate the exercise of that authority and pay the debts and incurred costs advancing those certain specified purposes appropriately.
I will offer you a moral reason for taxation of each and every citizen;
To appraise the electorate of the true burdens of their demands for largess or more from government, that the historical imperative of Tytler may be impeded:
Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1742-1813). Scottish jurist and historian:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Without that substantive and necessary feedback of the cost of general government operating in common, and introduced into, the life of each citizen, the electorate cannot and will not excerise due diligence or that Eternal Vigilance that is their duty and obligation to preserve Liberty, or any other rights.
No - it shouldn't spend so much of our money on stupid things to start with. What is this addiction to government that so many of the people on this site have? There are only two things that government does better than private enterprise, and those are make war and destroy freedom. What is the fascination with having so much government? Kongress passes more laws every day that restrict my actions and cost me money (and that RINO Bush signs them). Does the quality of my life improve because of that? No - quite the opposite.
However, it MIGHT put our rulers who art in Washington on notice that the natives grow restless and if they want to keep their cushy jobs, they'd better get on with a LONG OVERDUE AND SERIOUS DEBATE ON TAX REFORM.
Your solution is by far the easiest and the best: Do NOTHING -- and that's precisely what will happen: NOTHING! As it NOW stands, the current situation is as depicted below:
In other words, "If you won't give me a free lunch, I'll take it."
This is what it comes down to. It is disgusting that those who challenge you here can not understand this.
The founding fathers wrote probably the greatest document ever. However, they were short-sighted, made some errors and were naive enough to think that the vague wording of some parts would not be abused by future generations.
No doubt those aliens are looking for your brain! They won't find your brain, because you're obviously a Status Quo Junkie! Since you love to give the government money that you don't owe it- why don't you double up on your taxes, and pay my share too!
Above you said: Constitution for the United States of America and made a link.
However, have you ever seen the original Constitution?
What is the title of the original Constitution?
There is no Title line on the original Constitution.
Is it not "The Constitution of the United States of America"?
No that is a label applied by news outlets of the day, and in speaking of it.
What is the distinction between of and for?
The "of" reference does not exist in the Constitution, "for" does.
I take the reference from the Preamble as the only identification of the document in the actual Constitution.
Incidentally, I looked for a picture of the original Constitution which also included the title, but I couldn't find one. Perhaps you or someone else out there knows where one is and can provide a url for such???
You will never find one for there is no "Title" line on the document.
Go here for a picture of the the Constituion as it really is.
Sorry No TITLE line containing "of".
Perhaps James Madisons discription of the Operation of the Government under the Constitution may cause you to think abit more about what the individual citizen's relationship is intended to be by the founders with respect to the National govenment ordained & established under the Constitution.
I do believe you may have been taking the descriptions of the government established under the Articles of Conferederation as being applicable to the Constitution and the government established there under.
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation and instituted a profound change in the intended operation of goverment.
- "The difference between a federal and national government, as it relates to the OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, is supposed to consist in this, that in the former the powers operate on the political bodies composing the Confederacy, in their political capacities; in the latter, on the individual citizens composing the nation, in their individual capacities. On trying the Constitution by this criterion, it falls under the NATIONAL, not the FEDERAL character;"
- "The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important; and yet the present [Continental] sic Congress have as complete authority to REQUIRE of the States indefinite supplies of money for the common defense and general welfare, as the future [Constitutional] Congress will have to require them of individual citizens;
The Constitution was ratified with the above clearly stated intent foremost in knowledge and debates of the ratification assemblies and voters at large.
In other words, "If you won't give me a free lunch, I'll take it."
I am not occupying anyone's property without their consent. Therefore I am not a trespasser. The same cannot be said of the thugs who would deport me, were I to take your advice.
And I am not asking for a free lunch, nor am I "taking" anything that does not belong to me. The same cannot be said of the US government.
The fact that I benefit from the existence and operation of society does not make me a thief. Nor is society a thief because it benefits from my actions, even though it does not pay for them. I cannot obligate you to pay me for the value you recieve from my actions, without your consent. You cannot obligate others to pay you for the value they receive from your actions, without their consent. If you don't like like the fact that there are those who happen to benefit from your actions, but who refuse to pay the price you demand, your only moral recourse is to refrain from doing the actions in question.
You may freely exercise your right to Liberty. If that happens to benefit others, they don't owe you anything whatsoever as a consequence, absent their prior agreement to pay.
We cannot say judicially that Kelly received no benefit from the city organization. These streets, if they do not penetrate his farm, lead to it. The water-works will probably reach him some day, and may be near enough to him now to serve him on some occasion. The schools may receive his children, and in this regard he can be in no worse condition than those living in the city who have no children, and yet who pay for the support of the schools. Every man in a county, a town, a city, or a State is deeply interested in the education of the children of the community, because his peace and quiet, his happiness and prosperity, are largely dependent upon the intelligence and moral training which it is the object of public schools to supply to the children of his neighbors and associates, if he has none himself.
The officers whose duty it is to punish and prevent crime are paid out of the taxes. Has he no interest in maintaining them, because he lives further from the court-house and policestation than some others?
Clearly, however, these are matters of detail within the discretion, and therefore the power, of the law-making body within whose jurisdiction the parties live. This court cannot say in such cases, however great the hardship or unequal the burden, that the tax collected for such purposes is taking the property of the taxpayer without due process of law.
KELLY v. CITY OF PITTSBURGH, 104 U.S. 78 (1881)