I made up the reason number this happens to be. But the number of reasons why taxes are evil are beyond my capacity to count, because there are new ones every morning.
Recently I came across an old Planned Parenthood internal memo discussing possible means of population control, which was all the rave decades ago and still is in some circles, though which ethnic groups they wish to affect won’t come up until after they’ve had a few drinks.
Though it was written in 1969, it is terrifying because our government has essentially gained the power to do almost any of the things on this list if it so chose. Read the memo yourself. While you observe almost all of these solutions involve harnessing the violence of the State, note the possible solutions in the second column pertain to methods of taxing people in order to coerce them into behaving a certain way. Taxing people for having children, taxing them for marrying, taxing them for having more than two children.
One of the most foolish and naive beliefs is that taxes are intended to pay for public services. Some are, to an extent, but much of the time their main purpose is to control people’s behavior indirectly. Think of the Shared Responsibility Tax, which is placed on those who choose not to have health insurance. They can call it whatever they want, depending the argument being made, but it is a tax.
President Obama admitted as much during the 2008 presidential campaign when discussing how higher capital gain tax rates actually lead to lower revenue. His response was high taxes are about “fairness.” To people like him, taxes are not about collecting revenue to fund a project or provide for a public service. It is not about doing it in a pragmatic fashion. It is about an ideology behind the system that condones theft as a means of righting perceived wrongs or injustices.
Consider the IRS Tax Code. It is one of the most hideous legal documents ever conceived in the history of mankind. Over the years it has been edited and added to and transformed into a convoluted monster that gives the State the power to harass citizens who dare to speak out against it. The current investigations into the IRS’ targeting of certain political groups confirms this, but it is hardly the first time it has happened. Tax audits are an effective way to frighten and intimidate people. We’re supposed to have due process, but with the IRS our rights become privileges they can revoke at anytime.
As the memo shows, taxes are also a wonderfully malicious way to inflict harm on people while hiding behind a facade of legitimacy. It is also an effective method of controlling people and forcing them to do what you wish. Without the State, all of this would be impossible; or, better yet, it would be regarded as theft by all and the use of violence to defend one’s property would be respected.
The fact is that even in the most idyllic situation, in which taxes are used with maximum efficiency and the minimal amount are collected, it is still a form of theft. Anytime someone takes something from you that belongs to you without your consent, it is theft. The rest are details.
When something at its best is a tolerable evil, you have a problem. Tolerable evils, particularly ones you are forced to comply with regardless of your sentiments on the matter, rarely remain tolerable for very long. There is no incentive for them to be tolerable.
Thus, this is how taxation can be used for insidious purposes. The lack of consent means that as long as there is the practical means of enforcing a tax, and one is able to gull, dupe, or trick the public into tolerating it, it will be done. Without consent, you lose a powerful check against abuse.
So if you’ve had trouble thinking of a good reason for why taxes are immoral, or you have a friend who wants to know why you oppose taxation, consider reason #2311575.