If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, then it’s no secret that I think taxation is theft. Or, more specifically, that income tax, property tax, and any other tax that is not voluntarily paid is theft. I am okay with use tax. That is to say that I don’t like it, but it’s fair and is not theft.
There are two ways that I can transfer my money to another person – either voluntarily, such as by purchasing gasoline or groceries, or it can be involuntary, such as when a thief steals my wallet or the federal government takes money out of my salary.
The reason use taxes are fair is because I have the option of paying those taxes. I don’t have to buy my clothes at J.Crew. I could go through the trouble of manually weaving the fabric, making the thread, designing patterns, etc all myself. Instead of this, I choose to pay sales tax and buy my clothes from other people. I could also grow my own fruits and vegetables, but instead I choose to buy them at the store. This is acceptable because I have a choice. Furthermore, it is acceptable because I can decide to purchase less of an item and or a less expensive item to pay less in taxes.
However, to simply maintain my life by having an income, I have no choice but to pay taxes at risk of force and kidnapping if I do not. If I own my house and property free and clear, which I maintain and develop the value of, the government could potentially kick me off of it for not paying property tax. The only way to escape income tax and property tax would be to abandon society and go live in the woods, and to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s even legal because someone (perhaps even the government) has got to own those woods.
The common argument against this ideology is that someone has to pay for the services the government offers, or perhaps that the government services are useful/enjoyable. In the case of the former, if the government has to steal from citizens to pay for those services, then it does not have the right or the authority to offer those services. Similarly, and in the case of the latter, you are paying for these services through taxes anyway, so why not privatize them, pay for them when you use them, and enjoy what will likely be a better quality of service?
If the government did not have the ability to steal from citizens, then it would have to innovate just like private enterprises do. A friend of mine recently brought to my attention the possibility of a government lottery, which would be run just like a private lottery, and would likely be highly profitable for the government by completely voluntary means.
I do encourage discussion on this matter, despite the highly opinionated nature of the content. :)