Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Real Purpose Of Taxes

     Not once during the current fiscal cliff debate has the President talked about tax collection as a way of funding the essential functions of government, as is the only Constitutional basis for the government to levy taxes. No, the President looks at taxes in a completely different way than the founders did. He sees them as a way for the Federal government to impose some twisted sense of fairness that he and his intellectual elite decide based on taking from those who they deem to have too much, and ostensibly giving it to those they deem to have too little. It's ironic that after half a century of income redistribution that began in earnest with President Johnson's "Great Society", the poor are still poor and are additionally worst off because their families have been destroyed by Liberal policies.
     The founders gave Congress the Constitutional authority to impose and collect taxes to pay for the essential functions of government, like national defense. But these early taxes were in the form of tariffs and duties, which is why in 1913 Woodrow Wilson and his progressives had to push for a Constitutional amendment to allow for the income tax. The founders were turning over in their graves with the passage of the income tax because they would have thought it the height of tyranny to tax a man's labor. Once the Federal government was allowed to lay claim to a man's labor, then he became either a slave or a beneficiary to the power of a central government. The 70,000 page tax code is a testament to corruption, it is a tome of special deals handed out to certain groups of people by politicians. These politicians attained their power by granting themselves the authority to determine what percentage of a man's labor he is able keep for himself. Politicians decry "loopholes" as if they fell out of the sky and embedded themselves into the tax code, when in reality every "loophole" was created by politicians to exact political favors from those who benefited from them.
     I think a much more moral and just tax system would consist of a consumption tax, i.e. tax people when they spend their money, not when they earn it. Of course, any national consumption tax would have to require 2/3 vote in both chambers of Congress and a majority of the states' support to be raised at any time in the future. This would save the tax payers the estimated billion hours they spend each year filling out tax forms. It would also eliminate the billions of dollars spent on tax preparation. But the most important outcome of a consumption tax would be to mitigate the power of the Federal government over the citizen. And less government control always leads to an expansion of liberty, which benefits everyone in society, not just power-hungry politicians.

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