T Nation

’Governments can only give things they first take away from someone else’

’Governments can only give things they first take away from someone else’


Note: the article is too big to post the whole thing so I post link

Good article. Ron correctly points out that recession (and hence, average quality of life) is intimately tied to how much the government spends – and is independent of the rate of taxation and the various laws that politicians create to solve the problem.

Average quality of life can improve in only two ways: through technological advance, which increases efficiency and hence lowers the costs of goods and services, and decreased government spending, which reduces inflation, and can ultimately lead to tax reduction (though tax reduction has no effect if the government is spending more money than it takes in – hence the need to reduce government spending before or concurrent with a reduction in taxation).

Mike its obvious to me, and to you, but why isnt it being shouted from the rooftops, why is it so ignored?

Great article. Time to go bust my balls working so that someday, if I work hard enough to get a raise into the next tax bracket, I can have proportionately even more taken from me! Hooray!

good article!! I would add that I think the government spends too much money without making sure that every cent spent is accounted for, and I think piling up on arms is utimately a waste of time and money, because since the dawn of nuclear arms, a full fledged war is an impossibility. another thing that pisses me off, are these multi-billion dollar corporations that don’t pay any taxes, through swiss bank accounts, money laundering, etc, such as the rich oilmen who get the oil depeletion allowance, which essentially makes their profits tax free. If these problems could be solved things would run much more smoothly.

Bryan, you are missing the whole point.
The whole idea is that the government should stop stealing other’s property, be it your or an oil company’s. The problem is not rich businesses getting away with stuff, it is that the government continues stealing things.

My arguement is that if the government didn’t waste so much money, and if the wealthy elite, not the wealthy per se, paid their fair share, not more than their fair share, it would ease the burden on everyone else…I’m talking about these bogus tax exempt foundations, swiss bank accounts, etc and to be more specific the oil depletions allowance, which is a special provision of the Federal income tax under which oil producers can treat up to 27.5% of their income as exempt from income tax-“supposedly” to compensate for the depletion of oil reserves, which I must add that I feel is a crock of shit and just a ploy for wealthy oilmen to make money, and a tremendous tax-free advantage for wealthy oilmen. In addition, foreign taxes from multi-national corporations are also deductible from United States taxes. Here are some real specific examples, which I must admit are not current but relevant to what I am discussing because the oil depletion allowance is still in effect. "Argo Oil Corp. for the year 1952 made net profits after taxes of $3,496,477 and paid federal taxes of $91,660. “The Superior Oil Co. for the year ended August 31, 1952 had net income of $11,900,165 and paid Federal income taxes of $200,000.”…SO I ask you is this fair? Who picks up the tab for these rich corporations? Does it not make it unfair on everyone else, which includes not just poor people but many rich as well? And isn’t it funny that Bush and Cheney made their fortune from oil? And did you know that their opponent in the last election, Al Gore, whose family fortune was made in occidental petroleum?..Now, Colin is the governemt stealing or treating unfairly the people I just mentioned, or giving them special favors? Am I really missing the point?

Not paying their fair share? I’ve forgotten the figures now (someone help me out), but I believe the top 1 percent wage earners pay the vast majority of the tax burden. Too lazy to look up the figures right now, maybe someone else can provide them. How about a low flat tax? Or Sales tax? That way the tax code would be pretty much nonexistant, self explanatory, and straightforward. You either pay or you don’t. No little hiding spots or headaches trying to figure out what is legal or illegal in the endeavor to save yourself some extra money during tax season.

Brian, we libertarians APPROVE of companies that avoid paying taxes, since we view all taxation as indistinguishable from theft – and companies have as much right to evade theft as anyone else.

The problem is not that companies and wealthy individuals do not pay their fair share. The problem is that requiring them to pay anything is unfair.

Yes you missed the point Bryan.
Oil companies can’t steal your money, the government can. If the government steals less of someone else’s money, they are still stealing. If the government steals your money and gives it to me, you have the government to blame, not me. If you and your rich neighbour’s houses got robbed, and you got cleaned out and the neighbour lost a toaster, who would you be mad at, the robber, or your lucky neighbour?

I would beat the shit out of my neighbor and steal his stuff. I guess I would have to buy a toaster though. Some low-life bastard stole his.

I think where Bryan has a problem is that he is assumming that the money belongs to the government, not to the oil companies. Obviously, it is our money. If the gov’t gives a tax break to any individual or corporate entity, it is not a gift, because the money was not the govt’s to give. They are merely agreeing to steal less from that person or company. As to the proportions of income tax paid by individuals, here is an excerpt: In 1993, at the end of the Decade of Greed, the top 1% were paying 28.7% of all taxes. They earned only 13.8% of all earned income. Oops! sounds like they are paying a bit more than their fair share, doesn’t it? What about the top 10%? They were paying 58.5% of the income taxes but earning only 39% of the income. The top 50%? Paying 95.2% of the taxes, earning 85% of the income. The bottom 50%? Earning only 15% of the income but paying just 4.8% of the income taxes. Here is the link: www.boortz.com/taxstats.htm

FANTASTIC!!! I commend your abilities to think for yourselves! I cannot stand it when ppl take what they heard on the news as the iron law of the universe. How many times has the media in general had to apologize for screwing info up? but anything they say is still the truth? I dont get that…

Sorry, I don’t believe that taxation is a form of theft. While I don’t necessarily agree with the current system, governments need money to function. And while many people may feel it would be best for the government to not function, I think that upon further inspection, most would not want to give up the benefits that the government provides (paved roads, public education, state-funded Universities, etc.)

Governments provide no benefits that you do not pay for – usually, you pay for them double, due to the gross inefficiency inherent in the forced monopoly that is government. The free market can provide every service currently provided by the government, only cheaper and better than the government can provide them.

It’s only idiots like you who believe the government somehow provides you with a benefit that you don’t pay for. Get a clue.

No argument that we need govt. There are functions that can be performed only by govt. However, I can count them on the fingers of one hand. My issue is the constant mis-information and denial seen in the media and accepted by most people. Do you EVER see someone that is making only a little money express gratitude to those that pay excess taxes so they can get free medical at county, drive on paved roads, have police protection, go to the library, on and on. Of course not. In our culture, they are instead encouraged to look upon those that generate wealth as greedy people that do not want to share. They do not know or cannot accept that the wealthy do share – at gunpoint. Lest we forget, the only real power the govt has is legitimised use of force. If you don’t beleive this, try not paying your taxes, and see how long it takes for people with guns to come to your home. There would be a lot of back and forth in the courts first, but eventually you would get that knock on the door. Unfortunately, the stupid are outbreeding us, and they vote.

You really are a pompous, arrogant little prick of a man, aren’t you? I realize it’s easier and intellectually less taxing for you to simply berate me or my intelligence, but that doesn’t make you right. First of all, I never said that you “don’t pay for” government services. That was my argument about taxes, that they are necessary to provide those services. And while everyone might not agree as to what those services should be, it is unreasonable to suppose that there should be none. Try defending the country without taxes. When Osama, or Hussein, or whoever decides to attack, we would have no defense. Or would you want that taken care of by the private sector? I would not be comfortable with Microsoft owning an army, would you? When the thug next door breaks in and steals your car or rapes your wife, how would you have him tried? By an unpaid judge? Or would you simply exact vengeance upon him yourself? If your bank decided that it wanted your money, and your balance suddenly dropped by half, who would you have get it back for you? It doesn’t sound to me like libertarianism, it sounds like anarchy to me. While the government may be bloated, and I have no argument with you there, that does not prove that it is an unsound mechanism. I doubt you could really maximize your individual rights without a government to protect those rights, unless you’re willing to essentially fight tooth and nail for the rest of your life. Maybe I should go over to one of the Christian threads… even the fundamentalists seem less self-righteous than you. I would like you to point out even one personally intended word in my previous response, that would justify your response. Grow up.

have a sufficient and standing army, navy, airforce, etc. Regulate nuclear industry. Regulate banking and coinage. Regulate Patents… now what free market company could do any of this???