You may have been seeing or hearing this phrase around town lately – and for good reason.
So, is taxation really theft?
Leftists argue that taxes are part of the “social contract” we enter by living where we do – and that we must pay them. (is it even possible to opt out of society?) They also argue that government passes laws that define what is taxed and how much. They also argue that taxes are the price we pay for law and order and to prevent our society from collapsing.
This article smartly refutes all of these arguments, but here is my take:
Taxes are collected by many levels of government – town/city, county, state and federal – and they should be proportional to the level of benefit and the authority of said government layer:
- Local taxes pay for services we regularly utilize, such as schools, road management, trash processing, libraries, police, fire and other emergency services, among other things. And our control over spending, and the resulting taxes, is relatively high at this level; if we don’t like it, we can force change simply by raising a raucous with a handful of like-minded neighbors.
- As we go up in the government hierarchy, the services become more abstract and our level of control diminishes – as should the taxes. Have you ever tried organizing people to fight spending or policy at the State level? It can happen, but it takes money and people with a lot of free time to give to the fight. And good luck if your issue doesn’t emotionally inspire people off their couches and on to action.
- And don’t even fantasize about making real change at the Federal level.
So, what’s the point here? It’s that many taxes are proportionally out of line. Federal spending is huge, always in deficit, typically unauthorized, politically motived and wasteful. And the same can be said for a lot of State spending/taxation, typically in larger states.
If being forced to pay taxes for unauthorized, wasteful, politically-motived programs (with very little chance of recourse) isn’t theft, then what is?
This will be true until we force all government to its authorized, lowest level – where citizens have the highest potential for control and accountability. Unless this happens, all we can do is pay up or risk having it forcibly taken from us.