Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

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April 17, 2007

People Who Enjoy Paying Taxes?!

by Brad Warbiany

Really? Really?! I mean really, are you kidding me?

I just paid my taxes, and I have to say, I always take pride when I do so. I don’t like having less money to spend, of course, and the complexity of the process is really upsetting. But I am proud to pay for democracy, and I feel when I do send money to the DC Treasurer and the US Treasury that that is what I am doing. The right-wing likes to pretend as if taxes are a burden instead of the price of democracy. And I suppose, if you hate democracy, as the right-wing does, then taxes are the price for paying for something you really don’t want. Personally, I find banking fees, high cable and internet charges, health care costs, and credit card hidden charges much more abrasive than taxes, because with those I’m just being ripped off to pay for someone’s summer home.

You like it that much, huh? Want to pay mine? If you love democracy that much, you should certainly give it extra voluntary contributions, to offset those of us who don’t love democracy.

Yep… You heard me. I don’t love democracy. Democracy is a horrible form of government. Democracy has its place, but unless you restrain its scope, you’re looking for trouble. Of course, I don’t expect Mr. Stoller to understand that. After all, he’s interested in socialism, not liberty. And if you’re interested in socialism, democracy is a wonderful tool to chain those above you on the economic ladder into the machine. Democracy is an incredibly effective tool of authoritarians, and socialism cannot exist without authoritarianism.

But I’m not interested in socialism, I’m interested in liberty. I like democracy when compared to, say, monarchy or oligarchy, as a method to decide who will control a tightly constitutionally-limited government. But the key isn’t democracy, the key is limited government. Because when government grows, liberty shrinks. I don’t ask much from government, only to leave me the hell alone. And when they’re taking 50% of my income, that’s not leaving me alone.

But I have another question for Mr. Stoller… Are you getting your money’s worth?

I am proud to pay taxes because I take pride in America, and paying some tiny burden to keep our society running is an extremely small price to pay for being able to call myself an American citizen. The old expression ‘you get what you pay for’ is apt for all sorts of situations.

Now, if you’re paying a “tiny burden”, you’re poor and probably getting a pretty good deal. Government is probably giving you a good deal of “stuff” in order for your “tiny” burden. But, as we pointed out here, many of us aren’t getting what we pay for. After all, my burden isn’t “tiny”. I’m getting screwed, and you’re telling me to lie back with a smile and enjoy it. The only way I could be getting what I pay for from “our” government is if I were a masochist, but I’m not one to willingly pay for pain.

When the penalty for not paying is a stint in a jail cell, government doesn’t have to give you services commensurate with your contribution. They don’t have to give you what you pay for. Because if you don’t pay, they put the screws to you. It’s called extortion and theft, and the only reason I still pay taxes is because I’d rather be a slave for 50% of my time than in a cage for 100%.

Hat Tip: QandO

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10 Comments

  1. Want to pay mine?

    Something tells me that Matt Stoller won’t be accepting that generous offer.

    Comment by Kevin — April 17, 2007 @ 9:26 pm
  2. The old expression ‘you get what you pay for’ is apt for all sorts of situations.

    Except when you are being swindled, conned, or robbed. Then you pay for them to give it to you; and it is never very comfortable.

    Comment by Ted — April 17, 2007 @ 9:30 pm
  3. “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
    — Sir Winston Churchill

    What form of government do you propose?

    Comment by Openwookie — April 17, 2007 @ 9:55 pm
  4. How about a constitutional republic?

    Comment by Jason — April 17, 2007 @ 10:22 pm
  5. “Personally, I find banking fees, high cable and internet charges, health care costs, and credit card hidden charges much more abrasive than taxes, because with those I’m just being ripped off to pay for someone’s summer home.”

    Is he serious? Cable fees are a rip off, but taxes aren’t? Wow. Does it not matter that you choose to buy cable, but don’t choose to pay taxes?

    Comment by Jason — April 17, 2007 @ 10:24 pm
  6. There can be no public goods without taxation to pay for them. Without public goods there is no civilization.

    Places like Somalia and Afghanistan and are what you get when there are no public goods. Unless Somalia is your idea of utopia, taxation is entirely necessary.

    Comment by anon — April 17, 2007 @ 10:25 pm
  7. anon,

    There’s a difference between funding a necessary evil, and forking over your paycheck to armed thugs who will use it for completely unnecessary, counterproductive purposes. Do you really need 1/3 to 1/2 of my income to pay for the necessary public goods?

    Openwookie,

    To me, the form of government isn’t as important as the limits upon that government. That being said, the government as designed in the Constitution is pretty close to optimal, if you’re going to have a government. Federalism to devolve power locally, a central government that does little more than negotiate treaties and defend the nation from foreign attack, and a bill of rights that clearly and explicitly provides a line in the sand to said government which says “Beyond here you cannot go”. It would be nice if we still listened to that silly old document, huh?

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 17, 2007 @ 10:30 pm
  8. Anon,

    Lets break this down just a little.

    There can be no public goods without taxation to pay for them.

    Define public goods. Do you mean good done for the sake of the public? Do you mean products given to the people by the governemtn? Do you mean service given to people by the government?

    Good done for the sake of the public is rarely what one would consider good for the individual. Have you ever noticed the amount of people who say that certain freedoms must be restricted for the good of the public?

    As far as products given to the people by the government, I’ve had to pay additional fees for every one of them. From a social security card, to a drivers license, to a hunting license.

    How about services? Social Security? I’m paying in to it, but I doubt I will ever see a dime of it. Welfare? Just because a girl got knocked up means she is more entitled to my money than I am? This could easily be handled by private charities and churches. It’s what they live for, after all. Unemployment? Let that money be put into private funds and savings accounts that earn intrest, and we might have a system.

    Without public goods there is no civilization.

    So your view is that civilization cannot exist without a government redistributing wealth, and sucking loads of it up for itself?

    Eliminate taxes and you open all new realms. People serving in public office for the honor to serve, not to be paid. You need a road built or repaired? Take a collection. Those who really desire it will pay. Welfare? There are always bleeding hearts, and always people who can collect for charities.

    These, of course, are speculative ideas… But I present them to say that such ideas that civilization depends on the government taking my money and giving it to someone else is foolish. I am perfectly capable of redistributing my own wealth if I have the desire, which I have on occasion.

    Places like Somalia and Afghanistan and are what you get when there are no public goods. Unless Somalia is your idea of utopia, taxation is entirely necessary.

    Last I checked, Somalia had Taxation. Wasn’t it Somalia that had a Jihad tax?

    Somalias condition has little to do with Taxes or a lack of social programs and public goods.

    Comment by Ted — April 17, 2007 @ 11:44 pm
  9. Take Pride in Taxation!…

    Perhaps the greatest crime ever committed by the American left is the equivocation of freedom and bondage. And it couldn’t be more clear than in Matt Stoller’s column in praise of taxation, which appeared on Monday at MyDD. The Agitator i…

    Trackback by ...no third solution — April 18, 2007 @ 11:40 am
  10. Brad, if you haven’t read No Treason by Lysander Spooner then put it on your short list. It can be found fairly easy with a google search.

    Comment by tkc — April 18, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

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