Progressive Taxation

Progressive taxation is nothing more than a euphemism for legalized plunder. It is, "legalized," because tax laws have been passed via a legislative process, but from a moral standpoint, it is "plunder" no less.

If we begin with the most basic natural law principle of self-ownership, i.e. – I own my life (corollary: You own your life), then government-forced wealth redistribution (i.e., socialism) cannot be morally justified.

If a man owns his life, he has a private property right to his mind, body, time, talent, and energy. Likewise, when he uses his mind and body to convert his time, talent, and energy into goods and services, he owns the "fruits of his labor" (so to speak). If a man subsequently sells his goods and services to his fellow man, he has a right to the proceeds. Any income or private property obtained in this manner belongs to the man who produced it; it does not belong to the government nor to "society."

Furthermore, a man cannot morally delegate to his government a right he does not possess as an individual. If I do not have a right to steal another man's private property, then I cannot delegate to my government the right to do the same on my behalf. The proper role of government, therefore, is to protect its citizens from force, fraud, and theft by others (both foreign and domestic). It is not the proper role of government to engage in activities like robbing one citizen in order to help another citizen, no matter how desperate for help the 2nd citizen might be.

For example, if I own my life and my private property, then I have an inalienable right to self-defense. Thus, I can delegate this right of self-defense to my government to act on my behalf via police and military protection services. Likewise, if I see a man lying in the street without food or shelter, I am perfectly free to give him some of my private property in order to help him improve his condition. This is a voluntary choice on my part. However, if I were to put a gun to a rich man's head, force him to make the involuntary choice of "your money or your life," and then give this stolen bounty to the indigent man in the street, this act would be morally reprehensible. How then can I go into the voting booth and instruct my government to do the same?

You might reply, "Well, so long as the majority decides, then it must be okay, right?" Wrong! Gang rape is not justified when the "majority" decides to commit this heinous crime, so how can government looting be justified?

As Frederic Bastiat wrote in "The Law" (1850) – "The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is… legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay… If such a law is not abolished immediately it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system."

To all you so-called "liberal – progressives" (i.e., do-gooders and would-be rulers of mankind), if you want to help your fellow man in need, reach into your own damn pockets! Don't vote to have the government reach into mine at the point of a gun. I am perfectly capable of deciding who I want to help and to what extent, and morally, I should be free to do so. And please, take some advice from Bastiat, "Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough."

The closest approximation to a fair tax system is one in which each citizen pays the same rate (%) as everyone else (no deductions, no loop-holes, no exceptions) on either income (including capital gains) or consumption. If it be a flat rate (%) income tax, those who earn more will pay more in absolute dollar terms. (Note: A fixed % rate of a higher income means a higher tax bill, for those of you who are mathematically challenged.) In this sense, the tax code will be "progressive." If it be a flat rate (%) consumption tax, those who consume more will pay more in absolute dollar terms, no matter what that person's income level might be.


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