11/14/2017

Three Kinds Of Theft

Joe Jarvis, Daily Bell

Taxation is theft. But I’ve seen some people defend taxes with typical arguments like, “It’s not theft because you get something for your money.”

Perhaps the confusion lies in the fact that not all thieves act the same. There are at least three different types of theft in which the government engages.

1. The Con

The con artist cheats you out of your money. He makes you think you are getting something of value, or he tricks you into being robbed without your knowledge. Most people are conned into supporting taxation, assuming taxes are the price of civilization. They assume that is the way it has to be, and that taxes are justified because people get government services in return.

So when someone argues that taxes aren’t theft because you are getting something for your money, this is a con. Yes, the government maintains the roads, but both the price and delivery are the con. You must use the government to get the roads, you have no choice. The con artist convinces you roads could be built in no other way, and for no lower cost. The same goes for security, education, food safety, and so on.

And of course sometimes long after the government has taken your money, you realize that they never delivered on whatever promise they made: to keep you safe, to create more jobs, to strengthen the economy, to reduce crime etc. Think you’ll get your money back? Think again, you’ve been conned.

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Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

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