October 19, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

taxation is theft

Taxation is Theft and a Destructive Plague, Especially in 21st Century America

Introduction

A running joke in libertarian circles is that taxation is theft. For example, when I interned at a libertarian-leaning think tank, every time we went out to eat the other office employees would always write “taxation is theft” in the tip line and leave a cash tip for the waiter or waitress instead, so that he or she would not have to pay taxes on those earnings.

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While that was mainly a joke, it does contain some truth, which is that taxation is horrible for the economy. Taxes, as Christopher Baecker wrote about in a recent RealClearMarkets article entitled “Taxes: A Destructive Plague in Their Own Right,” are a plague that are horrible for the economy. Read why by reading this article!

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Summary of Why Taxation is Theft and a Plague

First, Baecker gives some background for his article on why taxation is theft and a plague by discussing the yearly endeavor of trying to complete his taxes and why withholding taxes are a terrible idea that lets the government take even more of our money than it is supposed to:

My wife and I fret annually about doing taxes: partly because of the time and money required, and partly because of different amounts we’ve had withheld, a requirement that is perhaps one of the worst ideas in any way attributed to the late Milton Friedman. 

Withholding is a unique two-way narcotic. 

It provides politicians a way to loot their involuntary benefactors with frequent regularity, for pet programs/projects they otherwise wouldn’t have the wherewithal to finance.  The fact that they can wash their hands of the inevitable failure of their schemes is all the more an enticement for them. 

On the flip side, never seeing that chunk of our pay relieves us of the responsibility to save adequately for the bill.  This façade shields us from incurring more directly the expense of government’s wasteful spending.  The fact that we can actually be penalized for not having enough withheld adds insult to injury.   

From: Taxes: A Destructive Plague in Their Own Right

Next, Baecker discusses why it is not only true that taxation is actual theft, as seen in his previous section on the withholding tax, but also is a force the government uses to social-engineer society. And not only that, but the loopholes used for said social engineering are just inefficiencies that have created cottage industries built around them, all of which place further unnecessary costs on the taxpayer:

Turbo Tax may have been drawing on our information from last year, which includes multiple child credits.  In other words, permission we grant to our representatives to be pawns on their social engineering chess board.

These loopholes are political busywork that do little more than keep artificial industries, like tax preparation, afloat.  Such trades (regulatory compliance also comes to mind) are a waste of good minds and good capital, cast adrift in a sea of deadweight loss, much like the enterprise they’re latched onto. 

From: Taxes: A Destructive Plague in Their Own Right




Then, Baecker discusses how taxation is theft from not only taxpayers, but also the charities that would receive more donations if Uncle Sam did not steal so much from his citizens. So, in addition to costing you money and being a force for social engineering, taxes are an attack on charity and hurt those that are most in need:

When going through our paystubs, I was reminded how much I give to United Way-affiliated orphanages and domestic abuse shelters.  Imagine how much more I could donate if Uncle Sam didn’t “wet (his) beak” so much, regardless that he blesses this activity with its own loophole.

From: Taxes: A Destructive Plague in Their Own Right

Finally, Baecker discusses a potential solution for America’s tax problems, replacing the outdated and overly complex income tax system with a national sales tax, and why cutting and streamlining taxes would lead to more prosperity:

The government would have all it needs with a 5ish% tax on sales.  Moreover, if big-government types knew their history, had their demons of envy exorcised, and/or were purged of their propensity for controlling others, they’d know revenues to public coffers have risen every time taxes are reduced and/or streamlined.

Even if I didn’t subsequently rush out to buy another guitar, gun or something, my savings are not sitting idle.  Someone else is borrowing them for their immediate needs or desires.  Or better yet, they may be financing a new venture, the kind of activity that actually creates value, and hence fosters prosperity. 

From: Taxes: A Destructive Plague in Their Own Right




My Take on Why Taxation is Theft and a Plague

Generally, I do not particularly like saying things like “taxation is theft” that are so easy for leftists to make fun of. While it might be true that taxation is theft in certain circumstances, such as with the withholding problem mentioned by Baecker or the wealth tax or the death tax, taxation is generally necessary for a society to function. The role of government is to protect the nation from foreign threats and domestic criminals and to maintain the court system. It needs money for that. So, I do not think it is true that in every situation taxation is theft.

But, frankly, those things do not require all that much money and the current system is really just robbing Peter to pay Paul. The British Empire was able to maintain an entire empire without an income tax. Before World War I and the rise of the liberal fascists in America, Americans knew that was taxation is theft and refused to allow an income tax. And we were hugely successful and our economy was growing tremendously.

Nowadays, however, we have forgotten that taxation is theft and a destructive plague that is holding back our economy. Taxes are too high right now, mainly because of the confiscatory tax policies that Baecker wrote about.

Those high taxes drain the economy of investment, steal hard-won earnings from working families, and are used to pay for useless government programs that contribute little to nothing of value to society. America needs more freedom, not more taxes.

taxation is theft meme

Conclusion

Make no mistake, Joe Biden does not understand that taxation is theft or a plague on society. In fact, Joe Biden will raise your taxes to pay for idiotic ideas like “free” college and Medicare for All. If you want to honor your American forefathers, men who revolted largely because they knew that taxation is theft, then you need to reelect Donald Trump and keep tax-raising Joe Biden out of office!

By: Gen Z Conservative

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