By Chris Rickerson
Taxation is always a hotly debated topic in any public space. A few weeks ago, I made a post in the Liberalist Facebook group asking people about their opinions on taxation. A rather intense, spirited, even hostile debate and argumentation took place in the comment section. It became clear to me then that there is a lot of fertile ground here for discussion and growth in the movement.
I think that abolishment of income taxation is not only demanded by Liberalist principles but is essential for defeating the modern political force that we usually refer to as “the Left.”
The economic freedom section of our Liberalist principles stresses the importance of property rights but in particular states our belief in personal self-ownership. Among other things, self-ownership establishes our right to be entitled to the fruits of our labor, or more precisely, to negotiate a wage and collect a paycheck. On a purely logical level, I have a hard time understanding how we are supposed to maintain any firm grip on our self-ownership if we continue to allow the government to put itself between us and our paycheck, extracting whatever percentage of income tax from it that politicians and the people who voted for them deem appropriate.
One thing that should strike anyone who listens to a debate about tax policy (at least in the United States) is that people seldom want to pay more themselves. If anything, they are a Sanders socialist who is obsessed with just about everyone but themselves paying more in taxes. But as a general rule people really like the prospect of having more of their own money back in their own pocket.
If I were to be asked what the greatest weakness of Classical Liberalism is, I would say without hesitation that it is that Classical Liberalism came before Marxism and so it is relatively ill equipped to combat the virulent and predatory nature of Marx’s philosophies.
To my knowledge, no other philosophy in human history has developed such a reliable playbook for calling together an alliance of the most lazy, resentful, and malevolent people in a society, no matter their cultural and historical background, then placing that alliance under the control of a party of hypocrites and psychopaths that set their minions to work tearing their own societies apart.
In the twentieth century, many Marxist regimes came to power through violent revolutions or were elected democratically and then cemented their hold on power by imprisoning and exterminating anyone who would oppose them. However, as we see occurring in the twenty first century, Marx’s philosophies have been stuffed in a new wrapper of postmodernism and very ironically cloaking the all-too-well-established murderous nature of Marxist doctrines in the obnoxious, excessive, and fake empathy with which we are all too familiar. Honestly, at this point who hasn’t seen a video of some middle class white kid blocking the stage at a political talk on a college campus, screaming at the top of their lungs just how much they care about whatever oppressed minorities they can think of while holding up a huge sign with a message saying just about the same?
Now, these cringey cucks have the right to advocate to advocate for Marxism no matter how they choose to wrap it. So long as they are not threatening violence or infringing the rights of others, we must stick to our principles and allow them the freedom to do so. This, however, presents a particular problem.
When Bernie Sanders or a socialist like him gets on stage and promises people free healthcare, free college, or promises some new government program, everyone realizes that “free” is a term of convenience. Someone is going to have to pay for it. And Bernie definitely isn’t going to pass a hat around his rally, collecting cash from only those people in attendance, then taking that cash and negotiating a good deal on behalf of his supporters.
He’s ultimately talking about wealth redistribution.
He’s buying votes with your money.
This is all modern socialism really is; a lobby based on using other people’s money to buy votes. Sure, the socialist will tell you that they’re only going to take the necessary funds from those greedy rich bastards who are just hoarding it, but somehow the numbers never really add up and the rich aren’t the only ones who see their taxes go up. Under our current paradigm, we have no firm way of stopping the socialists from reaching into our wallets to fund more gender studies degrees, import and house more Muslim migrants and illegal immigrants, and paying for gender reassignment surgeries.
Of course, the bill for the socialist’s votes is also partially charged to the nation’s credit card, creating the silent crisis of ever increasing debt which will eventually lead our nations to bankruptcy. But that is another topic, perhaps for another article.
Abolishing income taxation would be a great sort of populist tool for us. As I said before, people don’t often object when you tell them that they get to keep their own money.
However, abolishing income taxation would undoubtedly shake things up in our respective countries. In the United States, where I am from, nearly half of all federal tax revenue comes from individual income taxes alone and yet more comes out to pay for things like Medicare and Social Security.
The change in policy and the resulting change in revenue would necessitate a total rethinking of spending priorities, what we task government with as opposed to private enterprise, and most importantly, change the financial relationship between governments and their citizens.
There are quite a lot of solutions to the issues of funding public programs like Social Security, whatever form of universal healthcare your country may have, etc. I would propose returning these programs to the free market, privatizing them, and encouraging your respective governments to do whatever is necessary to encourage as much competition as possible.
Anyone who has ever followed one of Rand Paul’s Twitter rampages about ridiculous budget items knows that there is a lot of fat to be trimmed from the US budget and I am sure that the same is true of other Western countries.
And, most importantly, if the government needs money from us for this program or that program, they actually have to obtain the money from us, not simply take it before handing whatever is left of our paycheck to us. This will help keep the amount of taxes we pay very much in sight and in mind, encouraging budget accountability and making it that much harder for the socialist to make promises with other people’s money to gain him/herself votes, since mass non-payment of taxes could easily become a possible and legitimate form of protest if people feel strongly enough about an issue.
As the old saying goes, money is power, and taking back control of how we are taxed is going to be a very important step in taking back power over our governments.