On this 2017 tax day, we sit here and contemplate the question, is Taxation Theft?
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.
The idea that taxation is morally equivalent to theft goes at least as far back as a 19thcentury philosopher, lawyer, entrepreneur, and historically unrivaled beard wearer Lysander Spooner:
The government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat. The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account.
The Libertarian Party has made it a point to include in their platform the idea that taxation is theft.
All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.
The LP is right. The fruits of our labor are exactly that. They are ours.
The government does not have the legal authority to take money from me by force. Yes, the 16th Amendment does give the government permission to tax my income, but it doesn’t allow them to force it out of me.
It is inherently theft when you take something from me that is rightfully mine. And with our government, they do it with the barrel of the gun.
So, on this Tax Day, we answer the question is Taxation Theft with a simple answer. Hell yes!