• Why “Taxation is Theft” is Bullshit

    It’s commonly said by conservatives and libertarians that taxation is theft. What happens to you if you don’t pay your taxes? The government will send police to your house and you’ll be escorted to prison. Ergo, the government forces you to pay your money to them, just like a mobster who will shoot you if you don’t hand him your wallet. So they say, anyway.

    Unlike the mobster, the government prints and issues all of the money you have ever held in your life. So it is really theirs, not yours. One of the very few things in the Bible that actually has a point to it is Jesus’ question, “Whose face is on this coin?” The answer: Caesar’s. So, “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…”

    The same thing holds true now if you replace “Caesar” with “United States government.”

    A similar conclusion was reached through a different method by enlightenment thinkers like Thomas Paine. Where did the businessman get his goods? Think about it. When you walk in a store and shop for a microwave, where did that microwave come from? It came from people taking plastic, metals, and various other things and transforming them into just the right shapes to be put together into a microwave. But where did the metals and other materials that were used to create the microwave come from? They come from the earth. Who owns the earth? We all do. So, when someone mines for metals or takes any other material out of the earth, they are taking something that belongs to all of us. Taxation is the only way for “everybody” (represented by our democratically-elected government) to be repaid their share of the goods that were harvested out of the Earth.

    Besides all that, most people who make the “taxation is theft” argument have benefited greatly from public highways, free public schools, social security, subsidized public colleges, discounted student loans and ten thousand other things that the government provides people with that are paid for with tax dollars. So if taxation was theft, the people pointing it out are thieves.

    Category: Uncategorized

    Article by: Nicholas Covington

    I used to blog at Answers in Genesis BUSTED! I took the creationist organization Answers in Genesis to pieces. I am the author of Atheism and Naturalism and Extraordinary Claims, Extraordinary Evidence, and the Resurrection of Jesus. I am an armchair philosopher with interests in Ethics, Epistemology (that's philosophy of knowledge), Philosophy of Religion, and Skepticism in general.

    8 comments

    1. Taxation IS theft when the government forcefully takes money from people that earned it to pay for things that are not appropriate functions of the government.

      For instance there is no constitutional authority for the united states federal government to forcefully take money from individuals to fund art, national parks, welfare, individual healthcare, public healthcare, bailouts to banks, ‘loan guarantee’s’, foreign aid, social security and medicaid…

      These MAY be things the public “wants” the government to provide however none of these things are authorized by the constitution. The constitution is a grant of power from the states authorizing the federal government to perform specific functions. If the functions listed above are to be provided by the federal government then there should be a constitutional amendment authorizing the federal government to perform these functions and to collect tax to provide those services.

    2. Keith,

      Every one of the items that you have pointed to has been judged constitutional by the only authority under the Constitution which can do so, the Supreme Court of the United States. They were voted upon by the Representatives of the people (Congress) and either approved by the President or his veto was overridden (the former in almost all cases mentioned).

      I find it really amusing how people with this viewpoint can ignore those facts, but so many of them insist that the decision about the Second Amendment is gospel as written, despite the simple fact that an entire clause of the constitution had to be ignored to reach that result. I wonder what the lady in Kentucky who refuses to her job (which she swore to “preserve protect and defend the Constitution ” in order to assume) because of her religious convictions would say about that dichotomy.

      1. The Constitution says no such thing granting such powers, and “your people” ignore that fact. The fact that some people (the Supreme Court, the President, and Congress) can say the law is something other than what it is doesn’t mean that they are correct.

    3. “We all own the earth!” So, since your house is on the earth, and it was made with materials from earth, I have a right to come inside and live in it? Nope.

      Individuals own land and they have a right to 100% of the resources they extract from it. If they decide to trade those individuals with other persons, they have a 100% natural right to do so. Any other position (taxation, collectivism) justifies violence as a means to an end.

    4. The Federal Reserve print as all the money. It has nothing to do with the government.mthe government will forever be in the Federal Reserve’s debt.

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