Saturday, March 5, 2016

Is Taxation Theft?

Thou shalt not steal. 

You may recognize that from Exodus 20:15. It is part of what we call the Ten Commandments, the laws given to God's people, through Moses. I am going to make the case that taxation is a violation of this command.

The reason I'm sort of stirred up about this right now is that our local school board is asking the voters to undertake a 25 year bond in the amount of 5 million dollars which will be paid by adding a levy to what property owners pay every year in property tax. Let's talk about the local school district. 

Current enrollment is 161 students. For the entire district. Kindergarten through grade 12, there are 161 students in the entire district. Including all sources of funding, the spending per student in this district is over $20,000. You read that correctly, $20,000 is being spent per pupil to educate the little crumb crunchers in our district. The state government has awarded a grant (money taken from tax payers all over the state) of 4 million dollars to our local district based upon the fact that we are one of the most impoverished districts in the state. 100% of the students get free breakfast and lunch at school, because our district is so poor. However, the grant comes with strings. The district has to match the grant with at least 4 million dollars from the local taxpayers. (Remember how the state has already determined that we are one of the poorest districts in the state?)

Now, for $20,000 per pupil, I could take charge of the entire district and I would enroll every student at a private school 60 miles away, bus them to school every day, get yearly passes to the zoo and aquarium and science museum (and bus them there twice per year), and provide them with new clothing. That's right, I could arrange for a superior private education for EVERY student in this district for what is being spent to keep them in the local government school. 

So, even if taxation was not theft, which it is, it would still be the height of foolishness to spend one more cent on this over-spending district.

Let's suppose that a man in my town wanted to have relations (of the marital type) with a woman from this town who did not wish to relate to him. Now suppose he took her by force. Would that be rape? Of course it would be. 

Now, let us change the story a bit and say the man in question has the same desire as before, but instead of taking her by force he holds an election. In this election, a majority of town's people vote that the man MAY legally take the woman. The town's enforcers hold her down and the man has his way with her. Is that rape? Why or why not? If the majority of the people vote for the act to occur, does it change from a crime to a legal act? Does it go from being immoral to being moral? Why or why not?

We shall now change the crime from rape to theft. If a man in my town wants a percentage of the value of the property of another man, and he goes to the second man's house with a gun and demands the money, is it not robbery? What if he intends to use the money for a good cause?  Let us now say that the first man holds an election whereat the majority of the people vote that the property owner should turn over a percentage of his property value to the first man. Does it cease to be theft because of an election?

What other crime, besides theft, becomes a non-crime based upon the will of the majority? Murder? Arson?

My conclusion is that theft is theft is theft. My neighbors have no more right to vote on whether my money can be taken and used for a school than they can vote on whether to murder the man who has pink flamingos on his lawn.  

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