Since April 15 is rearing its ugly head again, I'm redating this post from last year. Feel free to leave a comment (you can disagree and I promise if you do I won't call you an asshole unless you are one).
"Stop thief! Help, help! I've just been robbed!" If you were to hear someone say this and you ran to find out what had happened and they told you that an organized group of thugs had stolen a large portion of their hard earned income, you would certainly be sympathetic, wouldn't you? Of course you would, until they explained that it was the government in the form of an agency called the IRS that had committed the thievery. Upon hearing this you would probably laugh or call the person insane or a nut or something. But why would you react in such a manner? Here is one definition of theft:
In the criminal law, theft (also known as stealing) is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent. As a term, it is used as shorthand for all major crimes against property, encompassing offences such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, mugging, trespassing, shoplifting, intrusion, fraud (theft by deception) and sometimes criminal conversion. In some jurisdictions, theft is considered to be synonymous with larceny; in others, theft has replaced larceny.
Someone who carries out an act of or makes a career of theft is known as a thief.
I like that last sentence in particular. It means everyone who works for the IRS and almost all of those holding elected public office is a thief. Beyond that it's important not to be confused. If something is wrong or immoral, it doesn't matter who does it. Just because something is "legal" by the laws of a country means nothing. If you believe theft is wrong when an individual or private criminal organization engages in it, then you have to be consistent and oppose it when government does it, otherwise you have no real standard of morality that can be called objective, but a sort of divine command theory with government as God deciding what is right or wrong and granting to itself the right to violate the rights of everyone else in the society.
I was originally inspired to write this by an atheist who had written against conservatives and libertarians who want lower taxes or the income tax eliminated. This atheist thought this was immoral, as to oppose taxes is to take money from programs that help the poor, etc. This same atheist also is against the Iraq war! Why the exclamation point? Because your taxes, idiot, also support the war and the US occupation of Iraq. You are funding the killing of thousands of innocents with your tax dollars. Fool! Be consistent, you politically correct jerk. Massive taxation means a huge federal government, and only a massive tax base can support our current evil interventionist foreign policy.
And whoever came up with the notion that wages equal income? Most of us that pay the income tax do so on the remuneration we receive for our labor, not from interest or dividend income. If I trade 40 hours of my time and labor for a weekly paycheck, I have gained nothing. It no more can be called income than if I trade you a bag of apples for an equally valued bag of oranges. Should I be taxed on such an exchange? What if I had to give the government 30% of the oranges I got from you? I'd actually be behind on the exchange, wouldn't I? But that is what is actually happening when I pay tax on the wages I've earned by the sweat of my brow. Think about it. Not only am I a victim of theft, but I'm now also a part time government slave, being forced to work for my master, Big Brother.
I was listening to some stupid talking airhead news anchor on one of the cable networks regarding the rebate most tax payers will start receiving beginning in May. The airhead asked what people are going to do with that "free" money. That would be like a burglar stealing things from my house for years and then giving back a TV set and then having someone ask me "What are you going to do with that free TV?".