Thursday, February 04, 2010

Taxation is slavery?

Taxation is not slavery. To equate the two is an insult to every unfortunate soul who has ever suffered under that despicable institution. And yet, people who know better continue to spout such nonsense.

Taxation is legal, constitutional, and necessary.

From the Declaration of Independence:
"...[G]overnments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

From the Preamble to the US Constitution:
"We the People of the United States ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

From Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution:
"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes..."

When you go into a store with some money in your pocket, grab an apple, and take a bite out of it, that apple now belongs to you. When you used the apple, you entered into an agreement to pay for it. It is an enforceable contract, even though there is no piece of paper with your signature on it. The money in your pocket now belongs to the store, even if it's still in your pocket, once you take possession of the apple.

When we make an informed choice to reside in the US, we agree that we will live by its rules. That agreement imposes certain responsibilities on us in return for accepting the services provided by our country on our behalf. The government regulates the utilities that deliver electricity and gas to our homes, schools, and businesses. Water is pure (usually) because a government utility has purified it and pumped it to our faucets. We drive to work on roads that are built and maintained by the government. Radio stations broadcast on airwaves that are owned by the people and managed by the government on our behalf. The government makes the rules and enforces the business framework that allows commerce to function reliably. The government provides healthcare to many citizens, and protects us from foreign enemies via the armed forces. All of these services, and thousands more, that we take for granted are paid for with taxes levied on you and me.

Living in the US and using the services provided by the government is just like picking up an apple in a store and taking a bite. You agree to pay for them because you live here and you use them. The agreement takes the form of taxation. The obvious conclusion is that the money that goes to pay taxes was never yours in the first place. It is the money that you owe to cover the costs associated with services that you use every day. To claim that it is "your" money is to suggest that you are separate from and above the social contract that we all agree to when we continue to live in the US. When you say its "your" money, what you are really saying is that you don't honor the social contract. You don't believe in paying for the services that you use every day. Such an attitude is anti-democratic and dangerous to our great country. And, if you really don't believe in that social contract, then maybe it's time to find a new place to live.

Conservatives no longer honor the social contract. Liberals do. And that makes all the difference...