The Problem With the Tax Debate


With the advent of the Tea Party we’re seeing the tax debate being held more and more in the public square.  I actually hear people talking about the “death tax” and “tax cut vs tax extension” in coffee shops and YMCAs.

I think it’s great.

However, in almost every single conversation, there is one aspect of the debate that I think gets left out; and it drives me crazy.

Everyone talks about taxes, they BEGIN the conversation withe the basic assumed fact that the money first belongs to the government.  That is, we’re not talking about how much of a right the government apparatus has to claim your property, we’re talking about how much of a right YOU to have your property.

The conversation begins with the fact that the money is the government’s, and we’re really just talking about how much of it you get to keep.

There is no other explanation to describe the logic that is our current tax policy.

For example, when friends all go to eat, the idea that we’d split the bill based on our incomes is gross.  No one would EVER suggest that we divide a bill that way.  That’s because we’re operating from the basis that we each own our own money.

If, however, we operate from the basis that the government owns the money, and we’re just going to let people have some part of their income that’s left over, we begin to enter into these arcane calculation as to how much each person should get to keep.

There can be no other way to explain comments like this:

By extending these tax breaks on the wealthy, it will cost the United States $800 billion.

Serious.

Not getting what isn’t yours to begin with isn’t “costing” you shit.  What’s costing you is the random garbage you buy.

So, next time you discuss or think through taxes, consider this, how much of my property does the government NOT have the right to take from me?  At what point has Liberty ended and theft occurred?

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2 comments
  1. Henry said:

    “…when friends all go to eat, the idea that we’d split the bill based on our incomes is gross. No one would EVER suggest that we divide a bill that way.”

    We each pay for what we eat, and this is fair for both wealthy and poor because each of us also controls what we order. Each person orders only what he/she can afford. I talked to a coworker yesterday about this exact issue. I suggested that we be permitted to control the distribution of half our tax dollars. The first half of our taxes the government could spend as it pleased, but the second half would be controlled by each tax payer. The technology is available to enable each tax payer to direct the distribution of their portion of the taxes paid. I could give $22.50 for a new bridge over the river; $1.15 for a new earthquake detection station, $0.00 to reprint all state maps with the name of the new governor. I might even give $2.25 for the First Lady’s backyard garden project. You would likely select a different distribution plan, and that is not only okay, but it is actually encouraged. We each send half of OUR tax dollars to projects, needs and goals that are important to each of us.

  2. pino said:

    I suggested that we be permitted to control the distribution of half our tax dollars.

    Beautiful!

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