“Taxation Is Theft” Watch

John Stossel:

As I’ve said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some — by force — and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.

If James Joyner is right and very few think taxation is theft, those who do certainly are noisy.

9 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    Yeah, but do real people talk like that or think like that in real life? Stossel is not real and the blogosphere is not real. What the blogosphere really needs is a Slats Grobnik.

  • As I said in the post they may not be real but they’re certainly noisy.

    FWIW Mike Royko used to live five houses down the street from me. After he divorced and re-married, he lived across the street from one of my best friends. I encountered him pretty frequently at social gatherings of one sort or another.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Wow. Royko was the best. I used to read pale imitations of him twenty years ago, but I don’t think anyone even tries any more. The news room has certainly changed.

  • Of course, there are many differences between today and thirty or forty years ago. However, I can tell what I think the main difference is: J-school. Royko became a journalist the same way that several generations had before him, by doing it, as a columnist and as a reporter. He wasn’t a journalism graduate. He didn’t have any sort of college degree.

  • Well it isn’t exactly a voluntary payment, so if it isn’t theft and it isn’t a voluntary payment…what is it then? To imply it is voluntary is I think intellectually dishonest. So please spare me the “the price for living in a civil society” nonsense. You would once again making a reference to a voluntary transaction (i.e. I voluntarily give the young lady at the grocery store money and in exchange she voluntarily gives me the food items I want).

  • PD Shaw Link

    Taxes are a gift from the People.

  • Damn that is a good one.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Lifted from William Pitt’s defense of the American Revolution:

    “They are the subjects of this kingdom, equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural rights of mankind and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen; equally bound by its laws, and equally participating in the constitution of this free country. The Americans are the sons, not the bastards, of England! Taxation is no part of the governing or legislative power. The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the Commons alone. . . .

    “When, therefore, in this House we give and grant, we give and grant what is our own. But in an American tax, what do we do? ‘We, your majesty’s Commons for Great Britain, give and grant to your majesty’—what? Our own property! No! ‘We give and grant to your majesty’ the property of your majesty’s Commons of America! It is an absurdity in terms.”

  • Rich Horton Link

    I’m no libertarian (thank God), but there may actually be a distinction here. Think of it as analagous to the case of Eminent Domain. When the government takes your land, with the legal compensation, for public use very few would think of that as “theft” in any way.

    However, when the state takes property from one private party and gives it to another private party (ala Kelo) the word “theft” suddenly sounds more suitable.

    It can be the same way with taxation. It is one thing for tax dollar to be spent for public concerns (eg running the government, infrastructure, defense, public services, etc.) but it can be another thing to use the money to help pay Dan’s mortgage, or to help pay for Fred and Barbara’s kids to go to college, or any other program designed to transfer wealth. Maybe the term “theft” is too strong a term for such activities – I’d agree with that – but there is no doubt that it is qualitatively different from spending tax dollars on public works.

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