Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tax Day



The Libertarian Forum, edited by Murray N. Rothbard; April 15, 1969.  Just a tidbit for this post in my ongoing review of this compilation.

April 15, that dread Income Tax day, is around again, and gives us a chance to ruminate on the nature of taxes and of the government itself.

The first great lesson to learn about taxation is that taxation is simply robbery.  No more and no less.

This who claim that taxation is, in some mystical sense, really “voluntary” should have no qualms about getting rid of that vital feature of the law which says that failure to pay one’s taxes is criminal and subject to appropriate penalty.

Rothbard asks: does anyone really take this idea seriously?

Then why don’t we try it for a few years, or a few decades, and find out?

Conclusion

I am no martyr; nor, it seems, was Rothbard.  There have been several individual martyrs on this issue; what has been achieved via this method?

In any case, this isn’t the point.  Taxation is robbery; it is not voluntary.  If you don’t believe this, try to internalize Rothbard’s thought experiment.  If you still don’t believe it…well, you take the next step!

25 comments:

  1. Without the IRS the USD would soon be valued at zero, and the empire would fall almost as fast. It only makes sense the most vulnerable institutions would also be the most protected.

    I personally believe it is still highly vulnerable to a massive and sustained attack on its credibility in much the same way libertarian sites go after political parties. It's really too bad the politicians are such easy targets, as they provide a useful distraction for things that mater more.

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  2. Mr. Schiff (Peter Schiff's Father) spent way too many of his Golden Years in prison on a tax protest and all that happened was that a some people agree with him (I am in this group), more admire his courage and convictions (I am also in this group), more think he got what he deserved (My opinion only. AND I AM NOT in this group), more do not even want to hear his messages (My opinion only), but the mass majority have no idea who he was.

    By far the most well known tax fighter was Wesley Snipes. And Wikipedia tells the tale better than I have time to do so. But what stood out was this sentence that should make any Libertarian/Freedom Oriented person cringe.
    "The government also charged that Snipes failed to file tax returns for the years 1999 through 2004. Snipes responded to his indictment in a letter on December 4, 2006, declaring himself to be "a non-resident alien" of the United States; in reality, Snipes is a birthright U.S. citizen.[20]"

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    1. Irwin Schiff, while a great fighter, did not fully understand tax law or liability of the income tax. It was this failure that partially lead to his conviction (sadly, he was a good person). Wesley Snipes understood the income tax even less (he used a poor argument). The person who best understands the applicability of the income tax is Dave Champion who has not paid or filed income taxes for nearly 25 years. His book, "Income Tax, Shattering the Myths" is absolutely terrific. It explains the law clearly and shows precisely how the income tax does not pertain to a very large majority of Americans (in the government's own words, not his). I've not filed or paid income taxes in 18 years and have no problems. Read Dave's book and get a real understanding of what the income tax is and what exactly it is taxing (hint, if you are paying income taxes now then you really don't know). http://www.taxrevolt.us/

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  3. I don't think Rothbard's point was to be a tax martyr. His point was to suggest that those who believe taxation is in some sense voluntary should eliminate the penalties for not complying... And see how many taxes get "voluntarily" paid!

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  4. As Hoppe stated in his recent speech, libertarians should not compromise on matters of theory, but should comprise in regards to political strategy. I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    With that said I'm going to steal Max's thunder. Well, I'm not going to actually post a link to Gary Norths website, but I am going to paraphrase him.

    North's tax reform suggestions are simply brilliant.

    1. Eliminate tax withholding, so that taxes are paid in a lump sum each year.

    2. Change tax day to the first Monday in November.

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    1. Jeff, you have enough of a track record here such that you have earned a mulligan. One.

      :-))

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    2. I do appreciate that, but I don't think I can find anything better from Mr North. ; )

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  5. Most of my left relatives say they're happy with the services that they receive in exchange for taxes. "OMG, who would build the roads?" Never mind how much less it might cost to get a higher quality "service" if there were direct competition.

    Also, they don't understand it's all or nothing, you can't say yeah smokey the bear is cute but I don't want you to bomb that wedding party. Its like being forced to purchase a standard soviet lunch, say mcsoyburger with sawdust fries, but you have to pull it out of a bucket of horse crap first. If it looks and tastes good after you brush it off well that's an accident or you've lost your senses.

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    1. Tim, I have thought about the line-item tax return. Check the boxes for the services you want - each with a price tag based on your tax bracket.

      How many people would check the "I want to bomb a wedding party" box?

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    2. Unfortunately, too many. Thems peoples at those weddings er bad. Meanwhile, in 'merica, Land of the Free, you must bake a cake for any wedding party, and too few connect the logical dissonance.

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    3. I'm not so sure, VfPI. If checking that box cost them $1000, I am guessing almost all of them would keep the money in their pocket.

      They might check the box $50 for street maintenance. Most of what is truly despicable about the state, I doubt they would voluntarily pay for.

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    4. Income tax revenues do not pay for roads or many other things people commonly believe. Most people are truly ignorant and simply do as they are told, not what the law says.

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    5. As your next post mentions, the Communists in the Pentagon would not truthfully label that the freedom bombs were actually meant for the wedding guests.

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    6. Means tested line items? Certainly an improvement!

      It's interesting how goods and services that people really want are funded voluntarily, Patreon, Indiegogo, buying something at the store, investing, no coercion necessary. Are the "experts" really better at allocating the products of our life and labor? Seems like a grand scam!

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Wouldn't bad roads lead to more people choosing road construction on their line item tax return? Would this not further incentivize road construction companies (owned by connected cronies who are not too worried about losing their contacts) to build roads that don't last long?

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    9. Jeff, I think if they were getting bad roads, they would stop checking the "government build roads" box and instead hire a private firm.

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  6. Cannot hold it ... bwahahahahahaha
    πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

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  7. It was possible to fund the central government for decades without withholding taxes on earned income of individuals.

    A populist may come along some day and promise to stop taxing the income of citizens. There are other ways of stealing money via taxation. I think such a man would win in a landslide of historic proportions.

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    1. Ron Paul has stated many times that the tax rate should be 0 (it is for most people anyway) and he was not elected. What many libertarians fail to understand that slaves have come to accept and embrace their slavery and what is the modern American citizen if not a slave?

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  8. Irwin Schiff, while a great fighter, did not fully understand tax law or liability of the income tax. It was this failure that partially lead to his conviction (sadly, he was a good person). Wesley Snipes understood the income tax even less (he used a poor argument). The person who best understands the applicability of the income tax is Dave Champion who has not paid or filed income taxes for nearly 25 years. His book, "Income Tax, Shattering the Myths" is absolutely terrific. It explains the law clearly and shows precisely how the income tax does not pertain to a very large majority of Americans (in the government's own words, not his). I've not filed or paid income taxes in 18 years and have no problems. Read Dave's book and get a real understanding of what the income tax is and what exactly it is taxing (hint, if you are paying income taxes now then you really don't know). http://www.taxrevolt.us/

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    1. Note: The views expressed in the comments are not necessarily those of the bionic mosquito, and no endorsement should be assumed.

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  9. During the Bush Jr. years I'd talk to liberals quite a bit, we had a common ground on some important issues at least until Obama got elected.

    We'd inevitably argue about taxes. Their argument at the time was that paying taxes was the equivalent of donating to charity, so they didn't mind it. They even argued that they were volunteering their money (Because, y'know. They're volunteering their money to everyone out there whether they've asked for it or not. They paid the hot dog stand for the hot dog that wasn't received, let alone ordered)

    They were satisfied with this argument until it was pointed out that their generous and completely voluntary taxes were being donated to the War in Iraq charity.

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