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Free Minds & Free Markets

Taxation Is Theft

The Constitution doesn't permit the feds to steal your money. But steal, the feds do.

With a tax code that exceeds 72,000 pages in length and consumes more than six billion person hours per year to determine taxpayers' taxable income, with an IRS that has become a feared law unto itself, and with a government that continues to extract more wealth from every taxpaying American every year, is it any wonder that April 15th is a day of dread in America? Social Security taxes and income taxes have dogged us all since their institution during the last century, and few politicians have been willing to address these ploys for what they are: theft.

Alan Cleaver FlickrAlan Cleaver FlickrTexas Gov. Rick Perry caused a firestorm among big-government types during the Republican presidential primaries last year when he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. He was right. It's been a scam from its inception, and it's still a scam today.

When Social Security was established in 1935, it was intended to provide minimal financial assistance to those too old to work. It was also intended to cause voters to become dependent on Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Democrats. FDR copied the idea from a system established in Italy by Mussolini. The plan was to have certain workers and their employers make small contributions to a fund that would be held in trust for the workers by the government. At the time, the average life expectancy of Americans was 61 years of age, but Social Security didn't kick in until age 65. Thus, the system was geared to take money from the average American worker that he would never see returned.

Over time, life expectancy grew and surpassed 65, the so-called trust fund was raided and spent, and the system was paying out more money than it was taking in -- just like a Ponzi scheme. FDR called Social Security an insurance policy. In reality, it has become forced savings. However, the custodian of the funds -- Congress -- has stolen the savings and spent it. And the value of the savings has been diminished by inflation.

Today, the best one can hope to receive from Social Security is dollars with the buying power of 75 cents for every dollar contributed. That makes Social Security worse than a Ponzi scheme. You can get out of a Ponzi investment. You can't get out of Social Security. Who would stay with a bank that returned only 75 percent of one's savings?

The Constitution doesn't permit the feds to steal your money. But steal, the feds do.

At one of last year's Republican presidential debates, a young man asked the moderator to pose the following question to the candidates: "If I earn a dollar, how much of it am I entitled to keep?" The question was passed to one of the candidates, who punted, and then the moderator changed the topic. Only Congressman Ron Paul gave a serious post-debate answer to the young man's question: "All of it."

Every official foundational government document -- from the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution to the oaths that everyone who works for the government takes -- indicates that the government exists to work for us. The Declaration even proclaims that the government receives all of its powers from the consent of the governed. If you believe all this, as I do, then just as we don't have the power to take our neighbor's property and distribute it against his will, we lack the ability to give that power to the government. Stated differently, just as you lack the moral and legal ability to take my property, you cannot authorize the government to do so.

Here's an example you've heard before. You're sitting at home at night, and there's a knock at the door. You open the door, and a guy with a gun pointed at you says: "Give me your money. I want to give it away to the less fortunate." You think he's dangerous and crazy, so you call the police. Then you find out he is the police, there to collect your taxes.

The framers of the Constitution understood this. For 150 years, the federal government was run by user fees and sales of government land and assessments to the states for services rendered. It rejected the Hamiltonian view that the feds could take whatever they wanted, and it followed the Jeffersonian first principle that the only moral commercial exchanges are those that are fully voluntary.

This worked well until the progressives took over the government in the first decade of the 20th century. They persuaded enough Americans to cause their state legislatures to ratify the Sixteenth Amendment, which was designed to tax the rich and redistribute wealth. They promised the American public that the income tax would never exceed 3 percent of income and would only apply to the top 3 percent of earners. How wrong -- or deceptive -- they were.

Yet, the imposition of a federal income tax is more than just taking from those who work and earn and giving to those who don't. And it is more than just a spigot to fill the federal trough. At its base, it is a terrifying presumption. It presumes that we don't really own our property. It accepts the Marxist notion that the state owns all the property and the state permits us to keep and use whatever it needs us to have so we won't riot in the streets. And then it steals and uses whatever it can politically get away with. Do you believe this?

There are only three ways to acquire wealth in a free society. The inheritance model occurs when someone gives you wealth. The economic model occurs when you trade a skill, a talent, an asset, knowledge, sweat, energy or creativity to a willing buyer. And the mafia model occurs when a guy with a gun says: "Give me your money or else."

Which model does the government use? Why do we put up with this?

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written nine books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty. 

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  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

  • Counterfly||

    Sexist bastard.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    HEY! I'm not a bastard.

  • andrew79||

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringin home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, Mojo50.com

  • An0nB0t||

    What's wrong with being sexy?

  • Counterfly||

    No, I meant it as a compliment.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    If she were being forced to smell the glove pay taxes, you'd have a point.

  • Tony||

    *Exceptions include the tax money that pays for my property rights and criminal justice.

  • Lemmiwinks||

    Except we don't require tax money for those things, we merely accept the use of tax money. It's almost as though we assume we would voluntarily pay a gov't like body to provide such services for us and therefore begrudge the gov't less for providing said services.

  • Tony||

    "gov't like body"

    By which you mean the mafia.

  • Lemmiwinks||

    I have never heard of a mafia which respected the rights of individuals outside the mafia. So, no. Do you have a less stupid point?

  • Tony||

    I've never heard of any entity that enforced individual rights that wasn't a government.

  • Lemmiwinks||

    Really? Never heard of individuals enforcing their rights outside of gov't? Never heard of arbitrage outside of a gov't legal system?

  • Tony||

    No. Care to point to a society in some time or place where such things happen absent a stable legal system?

  • Lemmiwinks||

    I don't think I can engage someone who exists outside reality.

  • Contrarian P||

    What's your point? Enforcing the rights of an individual is why governments are needed in the first place. I need a government to protect me from those who would take my property by force, prohibit me from traveling where I need or want to go, force me to spend money I don't want to spend on things I don't need, search my communications without my consent, ignore contracts that I entered into, and so forth. I'm not sure you've noticed, but the government that you think is so great and wonderful doesn't protect me from those things, in fact it does those things itself. The government is not doing what you maintain it's supposed to do, therefore the taxes it charges are illegitimate. Maybe you shouldn't have gone down this road, Tony. Your arguments are so inconsistent that you inevitably contradict yourself.

  • Tony||

    I have no problem with governments also facilitating individual liberty with positive action, such as building roads and providing for education and healthcare. In fact there's no good reason why they shouldn't. "I want to keep more money" is fine I suppose, but you're keeping more money in an economically stagnant uncivilized shithole, so is it really worth it?

  • Contrarian P||

    So in other words, you cannot refute my position, or even posit a decent argument against it, so you change the topic. Of course, your latest argument is crap too:

    "facilitating individual liberty with positive action, such as building roads and providing for education and healthcare"

    Please explain how the government has expanded liberty by erecting a dysfunctional health care system (and yes, health care is the most highly regulated sector of the economy) that forces people to participate in it and severely restricts consumer choice, how the government has expanded liberty by created a dysfunctional educational system which forces parents to send their children to schools selected for them and generates graduates who don't even have a basic grasp of history, economics, personal finance, language, etc., and, if government is doing such a great job of road building, why the highway trust fund is empty and we constantly hear about our crumbling infrastructure.

  • Tom Beebe||

    Like this?
    Government shall collect no taxes other than provided in this act and make no payment except in return for goods or services received, or as provided for herein. There shall be no tax on business.

    Each year congress shall set a "minimum wage" and "tax rate", to be applied to the previous year’s incomes to determine the budget of the government.

    Exempt from taxation:

    Earnings at the minimum wage rate, for adults (age 20-65), decreasing 10% per year to 50% at age 15, and increasing 10% per year to 150% at age 70.

    Health care by a recognized health care professional, vision and hearing aids. Health care insurance premiums may be deducted but not health care expense paid for by such insurance.

    Educational expense including day care, state and local taxes spent on education, parochial school expenses going for non-sectarian education, and private school education.

    Income saved into an account. Withdrawals from this account for the benefit of any member of the household are taxable. Withdrawals that are not for a members’ benefit are exempt from taxation.

    The "tax rate" shall be applied to any income over and above the deductions listed above, regardless of amount. When deductions exceed income, the government shall make payment to the household equal to the tax rate times the deficiency.

  • Contrarian P||

    "but you're keeping more money in an economically stagnant uncivilized shithole"

    Not true. Before the government effectively took over healthcare, the system was not only much less expensive but worked better. Before the feds came in, education was much less expensive and the results were better. There's evidence that private schools, on average, are more efficient monetarily and do a better job of instruction than their public counterparts. If things could be done more efficiently with better results and with less cost without the government, why would we have an economically stagnant uncivilized shithole?

  • coma44||

    "If things could be done more efficiently with better results and with less cost without the government, why would we have an economically stagnant uncivilized shithole?"

    because Tony and his buddies would not be getting "their" checks.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    You don't have a problem with the war state plundering the productive to finance global invasions, wars and child-assassinations-by-predator drone.

  • forestgombosi39||

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    (Go to site and open "Home" for details)

  • Contrarian P||

    The money that pays for the enforcement of property rights and contracts as well as prosecutes legitimate crimes (i.e. those that directly harm the life, liberty, or property of others) is such a small percentage of the taxes collected that it barely registers. As usual, you completely ignore the fact that libertarians are not anarchists. Having a government to protect the rights of the individual (including maintaining a military force for defense, which, to avoid confusion on your end, does not mean maintaining troops in other countries) is entirely appropriate. Please explain where we've said these aren't legitimate government functions. After that, explain how having legitimate government functions and the need for a small amount of revenue to support them in any way relates to your vision of vast government powers that require whatever level of taxes those in power think they need.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Tony cannot do that because it does not fit his narrative. The narrative being reason is filled with people who want to smash the state, smoke pot and fuck hookers all day.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Tony's Fearless Leader Obama could be caught committing anal rape on a drone-crippled Somali child and Tony would get a thrill out of it......then change the subject to raising taxes on middle-class retirees in order to fund the Police State.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    "The narrative being reason is filled with people who want to smash the state, smoke pot and fuck hookers all day."

    uhhh...yeah?

  • Go_Cats||

    In essence, taxes used for the protection of rights (i.e. the purpose of government) justifies violating rights and the taxes to finance those violations.

  • Faithkills||

    Well Judge still has a little statism in him. St8ists gonna st8 I guess.

    1) It's immoral to socialize the cost of protecting your property onto your fellow man.

    IE: It's wrong.

    2) It's absurd to give someone the legal right to steal in order to somehow prevent theft. In fact property crimes are almost NEVER prosecuted in reality, nor is property repatriated courtesy of the state.

    IE: It doesn't work.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    My father works at Social Security. He agrees it's a Ponzi Scheme. Calling it anything else would be intellectually dishonest.

    (First--comment of 2013. Have I really been on hiatus that long?)

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Your Dad must want to throw grandma off a cliff. And I bet you don't even care about the children.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Well, I don't think they should have to pay taxes for something they'll never see a return on, so I guess I don't care about them.

  • Counterfly||

    You monster.

  • grey||

    Real caring means taking from someone and givng them back less than you stole.

  • Matrix||

    Your father is wrong! A ponzi scheme, by definition, is illegal. Social Security is not. See! There's a difference!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Well, if you want to get all technical:

    "Pyramid" scheme.

  • Counterfly||

    Also, because when people want their money back out of a Ponzi scheme, eventually the scheme manager will run out.

    Whereas the government can just print more money and add it to the pot, so they will never run out.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "they will never run out."

    I wouldn't be too sure about that.

  • robc||

    Zimbabwe eventually did.

  • phandaal||

    B-b-but everybody WANTS dollars! They'll always take dollars because they WANT to spend them. Can YOU print more money? I think not. Checkmate, Austrians.

    /Krugman

  • Turin||

    And yet your dad continues to work for the thieves. So much for his conscience.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Just about every dollar spent on me came from the taxpayers or deficit spending. I don't let it keep me up at night.

  • Turin||

    most people don't... so the looting continues

  • sarcasmic||

    Why do we put up with this?

    Because it's hard to support a family from prison?

  • An0nB0t||

    We also would have accepted "concentrated benefits and dispersed costs," "They fasten the chains to their own ankles," or, ideally, "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

  • An0nB0t||

    Oh, oh, and "The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich."

  • Gorilla tactics||

    the bastiat line I think is the best

  • CatoTheElder||

    "Thus, the system was geared to take money from the average American worker that he would never see returned."

    That's why it is technically called "old age insurance". By design it insures against the prospect of living to a ripe old age.

    It pretty much turns the whole concept of insurance upside down.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibi.....cript.html

    Depends on how we're defining "theft," but you're right.

  • ||

    I think $park¥'s Constitutional point is this:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • Libertymike||

    It doesn't say that Congress can take an individual's income without the consent of the individual.

    Given that the supporters of ratification repeatedly told opponents and skeptics of the constitution that the document establishes a general government of limited powers, it is only through cognitive dissonance and a lifetime of swallowing statist propaganda that one could avow that the 16th amendment provides that Congress can confiscate an individual's property, without his consent, or that Congress can incarcerate an individual for failure to file or pay income taxes.

  • Libertymike||

    Moreover, nowhere in the Unanimous Declaration is there support for the proposition that any government can forcibly confiscate the property of any individual.

    If any statute, be it local, county, state or federal, in any way, conflicts with or violates the Declaration of Independence, it is void. The Unanimous Declaration is the charter and analogizing to corporate governance, any act or practice not authorized by the corporation's charter or articles of organization, is void.

    Thus, given that each and every individual possesses god given, unalienable rights, inclusive of which are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, any statute which interferes with the exercise of such rights, is a dead letter.

  • Tony||

    The Declaration has no force of law, and there is no god.

    Glad I could help.

  • Libertymike||

    Tony, thanks, so good of you.

  • sasob||

    ...and there is no god.

    Perhaps you would care to define the word "god" so that we at least know to what it is you refer?

  • sasob||

    ...and there is no god.

    Perhaps you would care to define the word "god" so that we at least know to what it is you refer?

  • sasob||

    (I hate worn out touch pads.)

  • Tony||

    An intelligent creator of the universe?

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    How about Barack? You cede him Godlike Power to rob, bind, imprison and murder at whim.

  • CatoTheElder||

    " In reality, it has become forced savings."

    NO, it is not. In reality, it is what it is, and SCUSA has ruled that SS participants have absolutely no property rights in SS.

  • ||

    Over time, life expectancy grew and surpassed 65, the so-called trust fund was raided and spent, and the system was paying out more money than it was taking in -- just like a Ponzi scheme.

    No mention of Social Security's inherent unsustainability is complete without mentioning the recipient of the first monthly retirement number 00-000-001, Ida May Fuller:

    Ida May Fuller worked for three years under the Social Security program. The accumulated taxes on her salary during those three years was a total of $24.75. Her initial monthly check was $22.54. During her lifetime she collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.
  • Joe M||

    Looks like a clear example of multipliers to me.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Well, she only paid for a few years. Most of us will pay for around 40 years before drawing. Presumably we'll contribute a bit more than that.

    Still unsustainable, just a bit less unsustainable.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    The numbers that really matter are here:

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/20.....cheme.html

  • Steve G||

    And 'thou shalt not steal', right judge? sorry, couldn't resist

  • Libertymike||

    Right. Does the Bible say that "thou shalt not steal, with the exception of the united socialist cesspool states of America?

  • Joe M||

    SOSHUL CONTRAKT

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • StackOfCoins||

    This video is awesome. Thanks.

  • ||

    See this is why libertarians are selfish and should move to Somalia, they just don't want to pay their fair share!

  • Gorilla tactics||

    you know if we could mobilize all forum commenters to go, im sure we can bring prosperity there. I mean most of us have guns, so we set up shop, grow weed and sell 32 ounce sodas and shit. We can local somalis for cheap labor and improve their standard of living. Somalia is getting more and more attractive to me.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    ROADZ!

  • maayani||

    Less spending? Yes. Lower taxes? Yes. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme? Yepper.

    But any form of taxation is theft? Not so much. Taxes are a necessary component of a safe and orderly society. I quite like having a police force and a stable infrastructure so I don't have to worry about my fellow humans going all "The Road" on me.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary. Since the proper services of a government—the police, the armed forces, the law courts—are demonstrably needed by individual citizens and affect their interests directly, the citizens would (and should) be willing to pay for such services, as they pay for insurance."

    Involuntary taxation is theft. Voluntary taxation isn't really taxation at all.

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/taxation.html

  • creech||

    In other words, contra Holmes, we pay taxes because our fellow men can't act in a civilized manner. So taxes are the price we pay for not having a civilized society.

  • DarrenM||

    ...we pay taxes because our fellow men can't act in a civilized manner.

    And... our fellow men pay taxes because *we* can't act in a civilized manner. Win, win.

  • sasob||

    We pay taxes so as to be allowed by others to continue breathing. And that's the nitty gritty of it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because if the state didn't force the police as we know it on us, no one would have a desire to keep safe and provide said safety for themselves. Because we would never have a bridge or electricity without government. Derp.

  • Cloudbuster||

    If I lived in a community where contributions for roads, schools, police, etc. were voluntary, then I'd be able to judge for myself the proper level of contribution.

    If I was feeling the pain, say that crime was growing, or the roads had potholes, I'd incentive to up my contribution.

    To be fair, there are game theory and economic models that are in opposition to this: "The prisoner's dilemma" and "the tragedy of the commons."

    In the former, we learn that people will often make choices that are beneficial to themselves and harmful to others, even when a different choice would be beneficial to both. They do this because of the inherent doubt that the other guy will uphold his end of the deal -- the "beneficial to all" choice requires both prisoners to make the same choice independently.

    In the tragedy of the commons, we learn that people will let a common resource languish when nobody has individual ownership. We see this in action today in world fisheries. There's no incentive for anyone to conserve the fisheries, because they have no faith that the other fishermen will do the same -- meanwhile, by doing the "right" thing, they sacrifice profit and, due to the other greedy fishermen, the fishery is depleted anyway.

    This is where the limits of anarchism are reached.

    Most libertarians believe that some form of taxation and central management of common resources is required in a civil society. Such instances should be kept as rare as possible, though.

  • An0nB0t||

  • Libertymike||

    Cloudbuster, upon what basis do you proclaim that "most libertarians believe that some form of taxation and central management of common resources is required in a civil society"?

    If a libertarian believes that centralized management of common resources is efficacious, he is both (a) ignorant and (b) a LINO.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    But any form of taxation is theft? Not so much. Taxes are a necessary component of a safe and orderly society.

    Your two statements are not necessarily contradictory. Taxes could be both necessary and theft.

  • sarcasmic||

    Necessary? No. Unavoidable? Yes.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I don't think they're necessary either.

  • Tom Beebe||

    What is done with the taxes? If used in a way to benefit the taxpayer, such as roads, education, protection, they are legit; we can discus the degree later. But then what are taxes taken to pay somebody for something else, such as their health care (medicaid), their education (student loans), their basic needs(welfare, food stamps)? Not much different than if that "somebody else" put a gun to my head. Does the word "theft" apply?

  • 0x90||

    When you've become the last person whose belief runs counter to the rest, you can argue all you like that your position is correct in principle, but it won't matter, because the inescapable fact is: might makes right.

    People like to argue in terms of right and wrong, but at the end of the day, recognize that for what it is: personal preference, couched in terms appealing to something larger, because we know that "because I said so" is not a very persuasive argument. That's the case for you, and for those with whom you disagree, and it's not a strong position.

    Just ask yourself: where did my "rights" come from? Generally, the line is that they come from God, that they just are, that they are derived from objective reality, or from some notion of "the common good," or whatever else you care to claim. But these are just bare assertion, and your rights are actually nothing but this: the manifestation of those points where the preponderance of people are in agreement regarding what may or may not be done to you, and what you may or may not do to others.

    So my suggestion is just to avoid the temptation to argue by way of appeal to concepts upon which you know there is no agreement possible. Rather, recognize that your preference is just that, and that the only fight before you is to shift the thinking of those with whom you disagree. Because that is ultimately what determines the balance of power, and consequently, the nature and extent of your freedom.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    You can do both. My coming around to libertarianism was done largely because of the first principles argument. Things like recognizing the stupidity of the WoD came later.

  • Libertymike||

    Ox90, take a minute and review your first paragraph.

    Your entire thesis is predicated upon a hypothetical fantasyland. What world is it that you describe where one individual "become[s] the last person whose belief runs counter to the rest"?

  • 0x90||

    You take that too literally; it is argument from absurdity, in support of the statement that, ultimately, might makes right. That was the point, and you are welcome to try and refute it.

  • Libertymike||

    There is no arguing around the fact that might often makes right. Most of us would not be here expressing our disgust with statism if might rarely, if ever, made right.

    However, if the proposition is that might always makes right, reality renders a negative verdict. Put another way, those with the most guns and the most firepower, do not always get their way.

    Would you concede that the United States has the most powerful military? Would you concede that it has more firepower than any other military, state or non-state?

    Yet, the US military, notwithstanding all of the empty jarhead noise to the contrary, got its ass handed to it by a much inferior force.

    How about Beirut, Lebanon, 1983? All of those marines (241 or 265?) were sent to Mohammed by a force with greater firepower? Of course not.

  • Libertymike||

    In the second to last paragraph, I neglected to finish the sentence. It should have read, "by a much inferior force in Vietnam".

  • 0x90||

    I really was not talking about physical firepower and confrontation; those things are relatively temporal. I'm talking about the real motive power behind the physical manifestation of the state, without which 1793, 1917, etc, never occur. It is the psyche of the people in general that determines the nature and existence of what we perceive as our rights.

  • 0x90||

    Sure, depending on the person, one type of argument will tend to be more persuasive than another, but that can be extended to include any number of outright dishonest lines of reasoning, too. I'm referring here more to how one regards the basis of one's own arguments.

  • Unindicted Co-conspirator||

    Or I could just say, "Fuck off, slaver," and have done.

  • ||

    0x90,

    When you say that rights are just subjective assertions, is that a subjective assertion? You seem to dislike a lack of proof in strawman assertions, but I fail to see yours.

  • eyeroller||

    For 150 years, the federal government was run by user fees and sales of government land and assessments to the states for services rendered.

    Uh, where do tariffs fit into that? I mean, I wish it was true, but...

  • Loki||

    To paraphrase some lines from Office Space:

    "So the government is going to make a lot of money?"

    "Yes."

    "And it's not their's?"

    "Well, it becomes theirs."

    "How is that not stealing?"

  • sarcasmic||

    One thing that doesn't get mentioned often enough is that before Prohibition, governments (state and federal) relied heavily on alcohol taxes for their revenue. In some cases as much as 75% of the government's revenue was from liquor taxes.

    The income tax preceded Prohibition because Prohibition ended that revenue stream.

    So if it wasn't for Temperance, it's likely there would be no 14A and no income tax.

  • califernian||

    Income tax ratified* in 1913.
    Prohibition ratified in 1920

    *yes i know it's disputed

  • sasob||

    The federal income tax authorized by the 16th Amendment is not the first federal one to be imposed on the country. There was one during the Civil War, and then there was another in the late 19th century which was found unconstitutional.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Some things are so damn self-evident that they do not require lengthy articles to explain.

  • Tony||

    Duplicitous corporate whores, sorry, libertarians, don't get to bitch about how annoying and difficult it is to do taxes. There's only one reason for that: the tax preparation business lobby.

  • sarcasmic||

    There's only one reason for that: the tax preparation business lobby.

    That's quality derp that is!

  • califernian||

    good god this may actually be Tony's stupidest comment. Ever.

    And that's saying something.

  • Tony||

  • sarcasmic||

    Distilled derp!

  • califernian||

    hahaha yes if it weren't for the damn CPA lobby taxes would be so simple and fair!!

    What.
    The.
    Hell.

  • Contrarian P||

    That article is not supported by any evidence whatsoever. It just asserts that conservatives are trying to keep the tax code complicated, although why they would want to do such a thing seems to be a mystery. The link to conservatives blocking legal reform goes to an article which discussed how the makers of tax prep software were against such reform. There's no evidence of a conservative conspiracy to be found. The article citing Grover Norquist's opposition points out that he does not believe the IRS to be trustworthy to implement the system in question, thus he was opposed to it. He believes that it would be too easy to manipulate and would defraud taxpayers. How are those not legitimate concerns? Where's the conspiracy? And how exactly did conservatives and tax preparers create a tax code that's 70k pages long? You really should read things and think about if they actually support your point before linking to them.

  • Unindicted Co-conspirator||

    Yes, Tony. Intuit and H&R Block lobbying is the only reason that the tax code is and remains irredeemably complex. There's absolutely no possibility that the situation owes anything to corrupt statists using the tax code to buy votes and reward constituencies.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Everything Tony says is his dumbest comment yet. It's because everything Tony says is devoid of rationality. Responding to him gives him strength. Ignoring him relegates him to the level of bot status.

  • Contrarian P||

    Maybe, but completely crushing his flaccid arguments is kind of fun. Besides, a message board where everyone is a libertarian cheerleader would get kind of boring.

  • Calidissident||

    "Duplicitous corporate whores, sorry, libertarians, don't get to bitch about how annoying and difficult it is to do taxes. There's only one reason for that: the tax preparation business lobby."

    WTF kind of logic is that? Liberals and conservatives create an extremely complex tax code. Libertarians argue for a simpler tax code, in spite of the tax preparation lobby, and libertarians are duplicitous corporate whores that can't bitch about how "annoying and difficult it is to do taxes?"

  • DarrenM||

    There's only one reason for that: the tax preparation business lobby.

    Uh, no. The reason is the explosion of government regulations, taxes, exemptions, credits, etc. These are created due to the myriad other lobbies and politicians' willingness to complicate tax provisions for a campaign contributions (monetary or otherwise) from special interests.

  • sasob||

    One reason the tax code is complicated and "full of loopholes" is the simple fact that politicians don't like to pay taxes either.

  • Tony||

    What's the difference between the income tax and any other tax in terms of stealing? A sales tax is an income tax in another form--you're forced to pay more than would otherwise be market price for something, the extra bit going to government. You're out the money whether it's taken at the cash register or from your paycheck. The only difference is the income tax is progressive, which is the only reason you guys are obsessed with it.

    If all taxes are stealing then you don't get to bitch about what government should be doing instead--without taxes you can't pay for a government, and with no government then I don't have to so much as say howdy do when I'm actually stealing your shit.

  • sarcasmic||

    The difference is choice. You need income to survive. Well, most people do. So you don't have a choice in paying the tax.

    What you purchase is by choice. Mostly. Food and some other essential items are exempt from most sales taxes because you need food to survive. Other taxable things that are not essential are subject to the sales tax. If you don't want to pay the tax, don't buy the item.

    Before Prohibition most government revenue was from alcohol tax. If you didn't want to pay taxes, well then you didn't by booze.

    Choice actually has meanings other than abortion.

  • sarcasmic||

    *buy*

  • Tony||

    "You need income to survive."

    You need a certain amount of income to survive. If you make $10 million in a year, not even a confiscatory income tax rate will force you into starvation. And nobody is forcing you to make that kind of an income, just as nobody is forcing you to buy that TV and pay a sales tax.

    The bottom line is if we got rid of the income tax then our overall tax system would be highly regressive. It's just barely progressive as it is. Once you brush aside all your pointless idiotic moral flimflam, you're just advocating for the poor and working class to pay for the bulk of the society that the rich benefit most from.

  • sarcasmic||

    The bottom line is if we got rid of the income tax then our overall tax system would be highly regressive.

    Not really. If the income tax was replaced with a consumption tax that exempted things you need to survive, the things that the poor will spend a greater percentage of their income on than the rich, you would indeed have a progressive tax.

  • Tony||

    Even if a consumption tax worked out, it wouldn't be any less "stealing" as you guys define it, and if it were as or more progressive than the current system, then you'd have no motivation to support it.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "What's the difference between the income tax and any other tax in terms of stealing?"

    "The difference is choice. You need income to survive. Well, most people do. So you don't have a choice in paying the tax.

    What you purchase is by choice."

    "Even if a consumption tax worked out, it wouldn't be any less "stealing" as you guys define it"

    Dumbfuck just argues in circles and doesn't read anything

  • Tony||

    Nobody is forcing you to work for enough income to be subject to the income tax.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    And nobody is forcing you to be an idiot either

  • buddhastalin||

    Tony, sarcasmic proposed a way to lessen the regressivity of a consumption tax. Do you find it acceptable or not?

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony, sarcasmic proposed a way to lessen the regressivity of a consumption tax. Do you find it acceptable or not?

    He moved the goalposts. That's what he does when he's shown to be wrong.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Tony is not here to argue, Tony is here to troll. Ignore, ignore, ignore.

  • Tony||

    I am not wedded to the status quo. Any proposal I'd favor would be more progressive and raise more revenue than now. If we can all agree on a system that does that, wonderful.

    I just don't buy that libertarians would ever actually get behind a system that resulted in the rich paying more and the poor paying less.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    That's right, the oppressive Police/Military state is short of money and the rich must pay their share to support it! There are prisons to build, civilians to assassinate and regimes to topple! Tony has no problem getting his share of the action.

  • EdwinNJ||

    I'm all for that Tony, coming from a family of rich assholes, I know how little they deserve or need that money.

    But you know that the income tax, as it stands is NOT really as progressive as you'd like to admit. There's no doubt that some simplification is needed, and a consumption tax would do that easily. We might need to come up with a system of taxing certain things which might otherwise not fall under that umbrella, like vacations, and real estate, but it could still be done and made to be progressive.

  • Contrarian P||

    "The bottom line is if we got rid of the income tax then our overall tax system would be highly regressive."

    Bullshit. You act as though there are only two possible choices of tax system. The Fairtax gives every household a tax rebate to the poverty level, making it not in any way regressive, and it's a consumption tax.

    "Once you brush aside all your pointless idiotic moral flimflam, you're just advocating for the poor and working class to pay for the bulk of the society that the rich benefit most from."

    The only pointless idiot around here is you. If the government carried out its legitimate functions and not the extraconstitutional garbage that you support, the amount of taxes required would be very small. In that case, the rich probably could entirely fund the government. It is because the scope of the government is now so large that it needs so much tax revenue to sustain itself that the tax bill for all classes is so high. If you were in any way consistent, you'd want a very small government to avoid screwing the poor and "working class" (whatever that is). Instead, you consistently advocate for a bigger and bigger government that needs more and more money. Maybe you should get some morals, Tony. It might make your arguments more consistent.

  • Tom Beebe||

    Fairness in taxation, in my opinion, would be a flat tax on income above a level necessary to sustain an acceptable level of living. We can quibble about what that level is and what the flat tax should be.I suggest it should be part of the government's budget process, setting both the personal exemption and the tax rate each year, and applying them to the previous year's reported incomes to determine the budget, thus attacking several problems: tax "fairness", budget balancing, and the effect of federal taxation on the growth of the economy and jobs. Sure could be done in a simpler method than today's monstrous tax code.

  • Contrarian P||

    You've just described the Fairtax essentially. It's a consumption rather than an income tax though, so compliance is much easier and it captures underground income too, which our current system doesn't. It's also much harder for politicians to manipulate. Is it perfect? No, but perfection doesn't exist. It is pretty much in all ways better than what we have now.

  • Tom Beebe||

    "Consumption", or sales taxes are indeed easier to implement. That to me is their main defect. We need taxes right up front, in our faces. The current buzzword is "transparency". My characterization is "death by a thousand cuts". I prefer getting a big bill, perhaps four times a year, reminding how all those great things "government is doing for us" are paid for by us. I'd love to see some follow-up comments on this....puhleeze!

  • Tom Beebe||

    PS: I've also proposed that net savings be exempt from taxation. What you receive in earnings of any type, less what you save, IS what you spend (consume). Comes out the same.

  • DarrenM||

    Taxes are taxes. Anything is a choice. An income tax is merely a tax on trading one's personal labor for dollars. It's no different from a sales tax.

  • sasob||

    It is also a tax on trading one's labor or goods for the labor or goods of another - or barter income.

  • Go_Cats||

    Government's often charge higher taxes for activities the enlightened want to discourage. If income tax is sales tax on labor, government must want to discourage labor.

  • sasob||

    The only difference is the income tax is progressive, which is the only reason you guys are obsessed with it.

    Uh...no, that's the reason people like you are obsessed with it. You despise anyone who might have a dollar more than someone else...because you despise anyone who might have it easier in life than others. And not because you wish to have it easier either, but because you're a dog in a manger.

  • Tom Beebe||

    You want "progressive"? Why not exempt from taxes earnings up to what we believe to be essential for basic costs of living? Then apply a falt tax to all income above that amount. Perhaps the minimum wage, with age-related adjustments, would be a good guide as to what that exemption should be. oesn't this more accurately address "fairness"? Taking an equal amount of what every person can spare?

  • sasob||

    If all taxes are stealing then you don't get to bitch about what government should be doing instead--without taxes you can't pay for a government, and with no government then I don't have to so much as say howdy do when I'm actually stealing your shit.

    Well no, you don't have to say "howdy do" - but Mr.Smith and Mr. Wesson might be highly offended by such rudeness.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    If taxation is theft, how do you justify working as a judge, paid entirely from taxes?

  • Lincoln||

    Hmmm, well it seems federal taxes are no longer relevant anyway:

    http://www.thedailysheeple.com.....ria_042013

    You are now federally tax exempt under 18 USC § 2339A "Providing material support to terrorists" as our own government is now providing material support for terrorists, you would likewise be liable for criminal prosecution if you continue to pay federal taxes of any kind. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2339A)

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    This is a point that must be repeatedly stressed.

  • lucien||

    my buddy's sister makes $82/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 5 months but last month her pay was $13025 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here and go to home tab for more detail--- http://www.BIG76.com

  • Tom Beebe||

    I have suggested a more modest take on this. To me, there are four forms of transfer payments:
    1. Voluntary and bi-directional, as in commerce
    2. Voluntary and uni-directional, as in charity
    3. Involuntary and uni-directional, as in taxation for the general good (roads, fire, police, basic schooling)
    4. Involuntary and bi-directional, as in taxation for payments to others (grants, welfare, food stamps, most if not all "entitlements")
    Category 4 also includes theft. What distinction is there if it is undertaken by government or by a thug with a gun?

  • sarcasmic||

    What distinction is there if it is undertaken by government or by a thug with a gun?

    The distinction is that when the government does it, the government will not dispatch the police to help you. "Fuck you, that's why."

  • Tom Beebe||

    You make clear why, as Reagan said, "Government is not the solution, government is the problem".

  • sarcasmic||

    Then he ramped up the war on drug users and the militarization of the police, forced states to change the drinking age and speed limits, doubled the debt...

    Reagan may have talked a good talk on liberty and limited government, but in practice he was a fucking fascist.

  • buddhastalin||

    The tax code is 72000 pages long because both flavors of the Statist Party like to use it as a political football in handing out favors to their friends and social engineering our society to death.

  • DarrenM||

    This is the problem with implementing any 'flat tax'. Over time, it will again become laden with exemptions and credits as politicians hand out political favors and won't look much different that it does now.

  • Tom Beebe||

    See my detailed plan posted earlier that assesses a flat tax less only four exemptions: personal, health care, education and savings. Also no tax on business which we as consumers actually pay. This last defeats the motive for special favors to special interests. Read it and please commet.

  • Arminda321||

    my classmate's ex-wife makes $67 every hour on the internet. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her income was $17038 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more kep2.com

  • hannah65||

    If you think Clarence`s story is flabbergasting..., last month my brothers father in law actually earned 9315 just sitting there a eighteen hour week an their house and the're neighbor's step-sister`s neighbour has been doing this for 4 months and earned over 9315 in their spare time online. follow the steps at this site... http://www.wow92.com

  • forestgombosi39||

    Anna. although Richard`s artlclee is nice, last monday I bought themselves a Mercedes after making $7877 this munth and-just over, 10 grand this past-munth. this is really the nicest-job I've ever had. I actually started 4 months ago and practically straight away began to bring home over $78... per-hr. I work through this link http://www.wow65.com
    (Go to site and open "Home" for details)

  • Tom Beebe||

    How do we get these "work from home" ads deleted. Does any fool fall for this BS?

  • J_West||

    Here's the dilemma:

    "You're sitting at home at night, and there's a knock at the door. You open the door, and a guy with a gun pointed at you says: "Give me your money. I want to give it away to the less fortunate." You think he's dangerous and crazy, so you call the police. Then you find out he is the police, there to collect your taxes."

    When confronted with the above argument, you have a lot of people who will respond: "My ancestor was a [designated minority]. They were brought to this country by force, or had their lands taken by force, or were discriminated against by government force. And so today America owes me and my descendents."

    They believe they have a right to use the government to force taxpayers to hand over wealth to "remedy past wrongs." Whether this is in the form of a war on poverty, or courts raising taxes for school busing, or for endless government programs, grants and minorities-only contracts--they have a right to use force. Which means they have a vested interest in the expansion of state taxing power.

    What is the libertarian response to that?

  • Tom Beebe||

    Stand with Rand

  • J_West||

    I'd like to agree with Judge Napolitano's argument, but the problem is that there is a growing sector of people who do not. Are anti-tax libertarians going to march down to their local college campus and tell the assorted minority/women's studies programs that they are wrong for supporting everything from affirmative action on up? Or march into their local equal opportunities office and tell them that they must quit their jobs because the taxes to pay for them are the result of government force?

    Until libertarians can get out into the real world and confront those people, the "taxation is theft" line is never going to work.

  • Tom Beebe||

    It began with Ron Paul's campaign. It is carried on by Rand's stand agains using drones to kill Americans on our soil. Step-by-step may be painful, but its the only way. There's a "STAND WITH RAND" sticker on my car bumper. How about yours?

  • EdwinNJ||

    Just to clarify, the libertarians here keep claiming that taxes are stealing. Except that YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY THEM.

    They're called airplanes and boats, ever heard of them? Yeah, you can LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY. Most countries are pretty liberal with this.
    The only thing that's not voluntary is that you were settled in whatever area you are by your guardians by the time you got old enough to achieve full self-volition. But that's an unfairness of the universe, not anybody doing anything.

  • Dave Ives||

    Great explanation of our tax system. Government control; of private citizens; of private businesses. All done through the taxation system; along with rules, regulations, permits, fees, and laws. It can only go on for so long before the tent collapses. My feeling on the income tax as follows ... http://ivesguy.com/what-did-fr.....ncome-tax/

  • ||

    altough i agree with the overall idea of taxation being theft, i beleive there is a problem, the central goverment does require funding and some things might be problematic to leave for private corporations to do, like healtcare, education and maybe defense systems, altough they all have different reason to be problematic.
    healthcare
    there is always going to be a portion of the population that will not be capable of paying for this, and relying on charity is fine until major procedures are required or long term treatment.
    education
    this is counterproductive for the entire nation, and as healthcare there will always be a portion of the population that wont be able to afford it, so what are they supposed to do?.
    defense
    private companies can conduct research sales or whatever they want without being regulated, in most cases this will not be a problem but technological advances will make this very problematic, missile shields, nuclear weapons, biological weapons, unregulated drone armies, surveillance etc. the techonolgy needed for a citizen to counter any of this will make it impossible.

    The first two could be regulated at state level but the last one even if that was the case i think state level funding will not be enough.

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