What would be required to convince me that taxation is not theft.Submitted by moralibertarian on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 21:39
My dad dismisses much of my libertarian rhetoric because he does not view taxation as theft and does not see that the government is obviously organized force.
I've made my case quite convincingly. He's disagreed but offered no concrete defense of his position, just collectivist appeals to "governmental"/"societal" responsibilities.
What would be required to convince me that taxation is not theft, but a debt paid and a duty of citizenship? That's a toughy.
First you'd have to elaborate to me if there ever was a time when taxation would become so severe that it was indeed reprehensible thievery.
For instance, if the government taxed half of my property would this qualify as theft? 75%? 100%?
Now if you say that a government CAN tax totally, all that I have and all that I am, We would simply have to differ and part ways.
On the other hand, if you did reach a point of concession and admit that at point x the government's taxation constitutes theft, we may proceed.
Then you'd have to offer a rational, non-arbitrary defense as to why x%/amount of taxation is the true threshold, as opposed to another point.
If you can proceed from here I will be willing to hear you out. Of course my assumption is that there is no principled, non-arbitrary point.
It is easier to defend an individual's complete private ownership over his own property than partial ownership of that property by many actors.
That is, unless of course there is a binding contract explicitly stating otherwise; like a lease or a mortgage owned by both spouses.
Now you might assert that government is a contract, and this is how this once arbitrary, now agreed upon threshold was formed. Produce said contract.
You say the power to tax is "granted" (by whom, upon whom, how much, and for how long?) in the constitution. Suppose you are correct. Where is the maximum threshold expressly stated?
Even if this threshold was stated, where is my signature? Did I consent? By what right can one man commit unborn men to comply to contracts?
By what authority does government demand compliance from millions of noncompliant men to an arbitrary threshold or infinite degree of taxation?
I assert there is no such authority. Initiating force is unjust. Force must only be used negatively to punish plunder, not to partake in it.
We may tolerate taxation or legal plunder so far as it is used negatively to punish wrongful aggression. Anymore than this is intolerable.