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Taxation Is Robbery


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Mar 31, 2010
The 57th State
Very long article touching on numerous subjects and historical accounts, but well worth the read, or at least a quick scan if you don't have the time. A few snippets below.

Taxation Is Robbery
This article was originally published in 1947 as a pamphlet from Human Events Associates. It was reprinted in 1962 as chapter 22 of of Out of Step: The Autobiography of an Individualist.

Direct taxes differ from indirect taxes not only in the manner of collection but also in the more important fact that they cannot be passed on; those who pay them cannot demand reimbursement from others. In the main, the incidence of direct taxation falls on incomes and accumulations rather than on goods in the course of exchange. You are taxed on what you have, not on something you buy; on the proceeds of enterprise or the returns from services already rendered, not on anticipated revenue. Hence there is no way of shifting the burden. The payer has no recourse.

Social security taxation is nothing but a tax on wages, in its entirety, and was deliberately and maliciously misnamed. Even the part which is "contributed" by the employer is ultimately paid by the worker in the price of the goods he consumes, for it is obvious that this part is merely a cost of operation and is passed on, with a mark-up. The revenue from social security taxes is not set aside for the payment of social "benefits," but is thrown into the general tax fund, subject to any appropriation, and when an old-age pittance is ultimately allowed it is paid out of the then-current tax collections. It is in no way comparable to insurance, by which fiction it made its way into our fiscal policy, but it is a direct tax on wages.

Taxes of all kinds discourage production. Man works to satisfy his desires, not to support the state. When the results of his labors are taken from him, whether by brigands or organized society, his inclination is to limit his production to the amount he can keep and enjoy.

In principle, as the framers of the Constitution realized, the direct tax is most vicious, for it directly denies the sanctity of private property. By its very surreptition the indirect tax is a backhanded recognition of the right of the individual to his earnings; the state sneaks up on the owner, so to speak, and takes what it needs on the grounds of necessity, but it does not have the temerity to question the right of the owner to his goods. The direct tax, however, boldly and unashamedly proclaims the prior right of the state to all property. Private ownership becomes a temporary and revocable stewardship.

The Jeffersonian ideal of inalienable rights is thus liquidated, and substituted for it is the Marxist concept of state supremacy. It is by this fiscal policy, rather than by violent revolution, or by an appeal to reason, or by popular education, or by way of any ineluctable historic forces, that the substance of socialism is realized. Notice how the centralization hoped for by Alexander Hamilton has been achieved since the advent of the federal income tax, how the contemplated union of independent commonwealths is effectively dissolved. The commonwealths are reduced to parish status, the individual no longer is a citizen of his community but is a subject of the federal government.




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