If taxes are taken without consent, then they are theft. If they are taken with consent, these are three possible reasons someone might argue:
- By voting, you give your consent to have taxes taken from you.
- By residing in the territory of this country, you give consent.
- By existing as a human, you give consent.
For #1 – Does that mean if I don’t vote, then I don’t have to pay taxes? Of course not. This pay-to-vote system existed in early American history, but it is not true today.
For #2 – This means that if you reside anywhere, you give consent to whatever government claims that territory to take your money. This is untenable for the following reasons:
- By what right does any government claim any territory as its own except by right of conquest, a feudal concept? That is not a civilized system at all, as it turns people into conquered subjects.
- Any government can (and does) expand its territory at any time it can, so there is no escape, even if you are in the wilderness.
- The US government claims authority over the entire globe, due to its global income taxation for American citizens, and recent limits on revoking American citizenship. This shows that territoriality is a laughable rationalization.
For #3 – Here we get to the real meat of the argument, distilled into the pithy observation that only death and taxes are certain in life. But this is slavery, not consent.
I can only conclude that taxes are unethical because they are not collected by consent, so they are morally indistinguishable from theft.