Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What are the justifications for paying tax?

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The justifications that people have for paying tax are:
1. Its the moral thing to do: There are those who would argue that its moral to help those who are less fortunate. Well that is the communist-socialist creed, so its a rather strange argument given that the West has been fighting communists from Libya to Vietnam to Cuba. Why is their communism any less legitimate than theirs? Well, they might claim that their collectivist has the sanction of the public. Hmm... Castro and Hitler had popular support too though. And since when does it matter how many thieves or despots raid your house. But yes, altruism is consistent with religion, which preaches self-sacrifice for the sake of others. I just have no stomach for the notion of being a slave to a state that does not represent me.
2. Essential services have to be financed: This is a lame argument because essential services are precisely the type of services that dont require expropriation because people will willingly pay for them because they need them. Afterall thats how taxation was conceived - to fight Britain's enemies at sea. But look where money is being spent by governments. Libraries, daycare, even subsidies to encourage people to give birth, foreign aid. Are these essential?
3. There is a price to be paid for living in a prosperous society: Yes, but who decides how much should be paid and for what. We are no more prosperous for having taxation, as generally governments are very poor at allocating funds.
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