Every individual in the world should know that taxation is extortion. This is true because ‘extortion’ is defined as “to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power”. Being that people only pay taxes because of intimidation from the government – in which the government uses force against people who don’t pay them – taxation is a classic example of extortion. Many people either subconsciously or consciously are uncomfortable acknowledging that they are perpetually being extorted while being afraid to fight it, so they use mental gymnastics involving the concepts of ‘voting’ and ‘fairness’ to justify the extortion. Many people simply have never thought about taxation enough to challenge the indoctrination that they were taught in government-operated schools about ‘paying taxes being a moral duty’.
Taxation by the numbers
In general, taxes fund the governments at all levels. On the federal level, the US government collects around 3.3 trillion dollars per year via taxation and spends around 5 trillion dollars per year. That gap of around 2 trillion dollars is called the ‘budget deficit’ and it adds to the national debt and/or forces the US government to print more money.
What do politicians spend that 5 trillion dollars on?
The government’s largest expenditure is Social Security. Nearly a trillion dollars is spent on Social Security benefits (paying back the money that politicians stole from people throughout their lives via taxation).
The next largest expenditure is non-defense discretionary spending, totaling $639 billion. This includes federal programs related to education, housing, health, transportation, and other programs that the federal government has no business being involved in.
The US government spends $623 billion annually on their military, most of which funds unnecessary perpetual wars, battles, and other illegal and immoral missions throughout damn near every state on Earth. If you don’t support policies that cause soldiers to get injured and die in battles totally unrelated to our interests and if you don’t like that 20 veterans commit suicide every day, you should stop paying for the US government to do those things. If you want the US military to station troops in less than 177 countries, you should stop funding the US government!
The US government spends $582 billion a year on Medicare – the money stolen from all workers in the US and given back to people over 65 in the form of a bureaucratic health insurance policy. Millions of workers are forced by the US government to give thousands of dollars per year to DC politicians and bureaucrats so that they can claim to be righteous when they ‘give’ Medicare benefits to the elderly. Remember: Every penny the government ‘gives’ must have first been taken from an American with the threat of force. Another way to look at this form of extortion is to imagine that the entire Medicare system simply redistributed money from all workers to only the elderly (which would still be immoral due to being theft, of course), each senior would receive roughly $11,000 cash per year, with which they could do whatever they desired. Instead, they are forced to rely on the government teat 24/7 – and they have to vote keeping in mind that politicians own them.
The US government steals and spends $389 billion annually on Medicaid – a program that provides health insurance for people whose earnings are at or less than 133% of the poverty line. Keep in mind that many people can work off the books – or choose not to work despite being healthy – and still collect part of the near $400 billion dollar pie the government offers.
The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year on many other programs, all of which are inherently immoral, in addition to being funded by extortion. Many of those other expenditures fund extortion programs or other authoritarian, anti-freedom, statist agencies. The US government spent $85 million building a hotel in Afghanistan that could never be used. The government spends $4 billion annually on the FDA, which distorts the free market and interferes with health care and medications in the US. The FDA is only one of around 400 federal agencies, nearly all of which have the primary role of controlling your life and distorting the free market – and you pay for all of them!
The US government also uses the extorted money to control states, coercing state politicians to do their bidding. Nearly every state receives billions of dollars in federal ‘grants’ every year in exchange for using the money to implement policies that DC politicians desire. For instance, states have been bribed by federal grants to implement mandatory seat-belt laws. Like many other states, New Hampshire’s police have received federal grants for military vehicles with which to terrorize citizens and they often operate warrantless checkpoints to ‘just make sure that every driver is sober’ by stopping every vehicle and harassing and investigating every driver with federal grant money – because that’s what the DC politicians want them to do. Where did the federal government get that money from? Well, you know the answer to that by now.
Is it moral to pay taxes?
Now that we’ve established that the government obtains money from extortion and uses that money for so many immoral purposes, we could surmise that paying taxes is not a moral act. We must acknowledge that our tax dollars are used by evil politicians to abuse, control, and extort peaceful citizens in order to serve their own immoral and selfish interests. Children are taught that it is moral to pay taxes and that our taxes help society prosper. In reality, our taxes fund bastards like Obama, Clinton, and Bush. Our taxes fund ISIS. Our taxes fund the DEA – the drug war agency. Our taxes are used to bribe states into abusing their own citizens. If you’ve paid taxes, you may not be an evil person, but you have given money to evil people and you have contributed to evil causes. While it seems like the politicians have infinite power, they are nothing without their perpetual cash flow. And we can turn that cashflow off if we decide to.
Is taxation necessary?
Personally, I despise terrorism, coercion, violence, and authoritarian communism so much that I do not believe that anyone should be recognized as our rightful leader and nobody should be above the law. No human has legitimate dominion over another. That said, the government can continue to exist and it can operate with a multi-billion dollar budget without using extortion. The Liberty Block published an article explaining how this could be accomplished. Bottom line: taxation is immoral AND unnecessary.
What could we do about it?
I’ve heard many dissatisfied extortion victims (referred to as ‘taxpayers’ by politicians) tell me that they have considered keeping all of their money, but haven’t done so due to the politicians’ threats of punishments for failing to ‘pay taxes’. These punishments could be severe and may include prison. From time to time, someone will mention that maybe we should all stop paying federal income taxes at the same time so that the politicians have no recourse. The IRS can’t arrest or kill 165 million people if every worker in the US decided to stop allowing themselves to be extorted.
Of course, many people will remain unconvinced that they could or should stop allowing themselves to be extorted. In general, the acceptance of slavery or the unhealthy love of a slave towards their master or a victim towards their ongoing perpetrator is referred to as ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. Even if only a small fraction of individuals stopped paying federal income taxes – say, the 4.5 million people who voted Libertarian in 2016 – it might be enough to impair the federal government significantly, while also getting away without punishment.
Due to the brilliant policy in which employers ‘withhold’ federal income taxes from each employee’s paycheck before the employee even sees the money, it would be quite difficult for most employed people to stop paying income taxes. Self-employed people could simply stop filing/paying taxes, though. Everyone else would have to ask their employers to give them their full paychecks without paying (payroll and) income taxes to the government. Just like it would be with individuals, solidarity among many large businesses might be the key to accomplishing this. If you are a business owner and you disagree with how federal politicians (people like Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) spend taxpayer dollars or if you simply oppose extortion, all you need to do is stop withholding money from your employees on behalf of the politicians.
I propose that everyone who is tired of being abused and extorted (and abused again with the extorted money) make a true new year’s resolution at the end of 2019:
“Beginning January 1st 2020, I will not allow politicians to extort me. I earned all of my money and I will keep all of it.”
If federal politicians lost a trillion dollars or even a few hundred billion dollars in 2020, politicians would be forced to make a difficult decision. They could concede and abolish the federal income tax, because once American workers realize that a few million workers are getting away with paying no taxes, it’s only a matter of time before they stop allowing themselves to be extorted, too. The US government could print more money, which would devalue the pathetic fiat US dollar so much that it might finally collapse. This would hurt, but it would be an amazing win for freedom in the long run. They could try to borrow even more money from the federal reserve, which would hurt the government and the dollar, or they could make the most rational and moral choice: cut spending. The government could easily cut a trillion dollars in spending without harming any US citizens. In fact, society would benefit immensely from keeping an additional trillion dollars (around 10k per worker) with which to buy houses, cars, or anything else they desire. And the federal behemoth that has grown by leaps and bounds every year since 1789 would be shrunk for the first time in its history. Indeed, this would be the first significant win for liberty since the American revolution. Are you in?