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[Ben]:Taxation No discussion found
Submission to taxation has become largely associated with being a good, contributing member of society. If someone is remarking on how upstanding they are, it isn't unusual to hear "I pay my taxes!". "Tax protestors" are generally looked down upon as lazy, uncontributing and selfish.

Most of you know my position on taxes. I'm against them on the principle that threatening someone with imprisonment or death for refusing to give you money is theft and extortion, and has no moral standing.

I do not oppose paying for services a person chooses to make use of.

Today I'd like to address some common arguments that I hear.

1. "If people didn't pay for taxes how would we ..."

Very simple - you find a moral method of raising money for your pet project. Shaking people down for money at gunpoint isn't made moral because you really, really want the government to be able to afford something.

2. "So how is the government supposed to 'morally' raise that money? Through bake sales?"

Voluntary funding. If people aren't willing to pay for a service rendered by the government, we do without.

This has the added benefit of giving you direct say in the way the system is run. If you feel a government program is a failure, you always have the option of cutting your funding from it and putting it towards your preferred program.

3. "But you owe the government for protecting you and educating you and ...."

Oh do I? At birth did I sign a contract to this effect? I note that it wasn't until I turned 18 that I could legally be bound by a contract.

And anyway, even the most destitute person in the United States was ostensibly offered the same protection by the same system. Why do they owe nothing?

The people I owe are the people who raised me, and the hard work they gave to support me.

4. "Well, your family couldn't have done that without government protection!"

If I own a business, and a punk comes in and breaks my windows and starts messing the place up, and a local gang comes in and beats him down, should I be required to pay that gang protection money?

The primary disconnect I run into is the idea that government programs are necessary, good and the methods used to fund them are immaterial. I simply can't agree with that idea.

So what inspired this particular rant? I glanced at my cheque today and noticed that more than 1/5th (actually, closer to 22%) of the money I earned had been pre-emptively taken from me by various levels of the government (who did nothing to earn that money) and realized I still have yet to pay sales tax out of the remaining amount. And when I own my own property, I'll have to pay further taxes just to keep it.

That means for more than 13 hours of each of the past two weeks, every cent of my pay went to the government and I have no say in the matter.

*grumble*
  2004-08-02
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