A government without taxes?Submitted by snakepit22 on Thu, 02/28/2013 - 13:15
Can government exist without taxation? Should government exist without taxation? I'd say, yes and yes.
Our definition of "government" has been perverted through centuries of federal expansion. From a broad interpretation, government is only defined as a political body which controls the actions of its members. From an only slightly less broad perspective, government has just three functions, legislation, arbitration, and enforcement. It is a method to decide what laws should exist (am I allowed to commit fraud?) It should arbitrate disputes (was this really fraud?)And it should enforce the result (how are the damages paid to an individual who was defrauded?)
Outside of these functions, consider the fact that military, education, roads, and postal service all existed before the federal government. When the colonies needed militias, they were raised locally, independent of a large federal mandate or draft. Roads and trails existed far before the United States Government did. Education has always been available in the private sector and the public intrusion into that realm has been nothing short of a disaster. As Lysander Spooner would tell you, mail service is also available and far more efficient when done privately.
Now I realize it is difficult to grasp a government which functions without taxation, or as I'd say, without stealing from its citizens. However, consider the fact that most government positions used to be part time. Most government positions, even things such as fire departments, used to be manned by those patriotic few who felt the "call" of public service (maybe a stretch to say they were all patriotic, but you get the point, they were part time).
In a minimalist government which I speak of, the role of goverment is so small and so non-invasive that only a small number of citizens are really needed to fulfill government obligations.
As you can guess, I am not an anarchist. At the very least, I agree that the best society is one in which it's members have gathered to agree upon a set of rights which that society promises to protect for each individual. Even if that government is nothing more than a document listing those rights, and the tendency of the people to attempt to protect each other when individuals rights are infringed by others,I'd still call that a government. And in such a society, that government has no more power to control it's citizens than is necessary to protect our individual rights. However, with the mindset that this government, just like any individual, should use no more force than is necessary to secure individual rights, taxation then becomes an uneccesary use of force which only serves to grow the power and scope of a government.
Even as I realize that our nation is not ready for this idea, is it too much of a utopia to think that a nation full of freedom loving individualists could function without stealing money from each other and calling it taxation?