Are taxes ethical?

56 sec read

Girl with gun to her head

If taxes are taken without consent, then they are theft.  If they are taken with consent, these are three possible reasons someone might argue:

  1. By voting, you give your consent to have taxes taken from you.
  2. By residing in the territory of this country, you give consent.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.