Taxation (tak-ˈsā-shən), n, Theft by Another Name
The U.S. Constitution permits the federal government to collect certain taxes to fund constitutionally-authorized government functions.
Because Americans pay taxes on income/earnings under threat of civil or criminal action for noncompliance, in effect, taxation is “legal” confiscation.
Disputing taxation’s “legality” in moral terms, economist Murray Rothbard once alleged, “If…taxation is compulsory, and is therefore indistinguishable from theft, it follows that the State, which subsists on taxation, is a vast criminal organization…according to the common apprehension of mankind, which always considers theft to be a crime.”
Rothbart observed, “The fact that a majority might support or condone an act of theft does not diminish the criminal essence of the act or its grave injustice.”
Agree or disagree, though, clearly, the purposes for which government takes taxes today are no longer limited by constitutional language. America’s political class exceeded its constitutional tax authority decades ago.
Among its many omissions, the U.S. Constitution does not authorize taxation as a substitute for charity.
Confiscating the assets of productive, taxpaying Americans for redistribution to other, non-working, but otherwise able citizens is not “sharing the American dream.”
It is theft by another name.
Rothbard: “It is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost.”
The Constitution doesn’t authorize distributing tax revenues as a substitute for paying attention in school, for work, sexual responsibility or marriage – in other words, the things that contribute most reliably to personal and family prosperity. Nor does the Constitution allow for those who ignore them to escape the consequences of lousy decisions.
Originally advertised as a “safety net,” public welfare quickly became a handout, and almost immediately encouraged irresponsible behavior.
In the 1960s, when President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” created welfare as is exists today, the federal government effectively began making single motherhood, to some, at least, a rational “career choice.”
At the same time, men were spared assuming responsibility for the children they fathered. Public welfare increased payments incrementally for greater rates of illegitimacy, and reduced payments if there was an able-bodied husband in the house, so, in addition to encouraging illegitimacy, welfare also discouraged marriage.
In the past 50-plus years, taxpayers have spent trillions of dollars on public welfare, and, in the process, created a nearly-permanent American underclass.
One wonders why there is no policy component in public welfare that requires work in exchange for cash benefits. After all, if the money is to be spent anyway, shouldn’t there be “work” strings attached to receiving benefits, a la Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration?
Sadly, the answer is simple: “workfare” jobs are vehemently opposed by public service employees unions such as AFSCME and SEIU that bankroll the election campaigns of left-wing politicians. The unions don’t want welfare and SNAP recipients doing useful work that highly-paid, dues-paying union members might otherwise do.
Pennsylvania is a union-friendly, closed shop, non-right-to-work, prevailing wage-mandated public projects state, one of six that account for about half of the nation’s total unionized government workers. The Commonwealth uses taxpayer resources to collect public employee union dues, fees, and PAC contributions.
Putting one more brick on the load of overburdened Pennsylvania and American taxpayers is a small price to pay for the power, cash rewards and special deals the unions receive from bought-and-paid-for politicians.
Arguably worse, though, social activists have begun to promote the notion of “equity,” a nebulous term chosen because it sounds like a good thing: “equality.”
In fact, the American system already guarantees “equality.”
But, achieving “equity” is a cynical liberal/Democrat invention designed to control and punish people who don’t vote with or for them, and to reward and keep the people who do.
Remember, when left-liberal politicians promote “equity,” and call on Americans to “share,” it is they who demand the sole right to define what is “equitable,” and it is they who profit from spending other people’s money, and harvest votes by funding public welfare, a perversion of the American dream.
It’s win-win for liberal officials and their union paymasters, but it’s a lousy deal for taxpayers, and even worse for the people who were encouraged or volunteered to become dependent on unconditional government handouts, because, generally, it is they, the least prepared, who will suffer most egregiously when the fiscal wheels fall off.