While everyone needs revenue, only criminals and politicians insist that they have to get it through violence. The criminals, however, do not pretend they’re doing it in order to serve the public, and taxes make politicians public masters rather than public servants.
Certainly, the present size of government at all levels depends on taxation – not only the explicit kind, but the invisible kind that the Federal Reserve System imposes through inflation of the money supply. People probably wouldn’t voluntarily pay to bomb, invade, and occupy other countries, bail out large banks and other corporations, and try to dictate the personal choices of others. Good riddance!
Government-monopolized services such as education and health care could be provided for less than half the cost if they could be returned to the voluntary sector of society with cost-raising regulations abolished and incentives restored. Both mutual aid groups and charitable donations filled gaps prior to the rise of the Welfare State for those in need with an efficiency that is impossible when those in charge of aid get more money and power for themselves the worse the job they perform. We’ll have to take some personal responsibility for our own lives and stop using the excuse Ebenezer Scrooge made that his taxes supported institutions for the poor so he could ignore them.
It is obscene for those claiming to protect life, liberty, and property to obtain their revenue by violating life, liberty, and property. There are plenty of ways to obtain revenue without force: insurance, user fees, advertising, lotteries, and donations are already used by many local and state governments for a good portion of their revenue. Let them be true public servants and live within the means that these sources provide. People might even pay more voluntarily once they’re no longer forced to turn over 1/3 to 1/2 of their wealth to governments.
Ultimately, it is about the type of society we want to have. We can accomplish a lot voluntarily when we mutually respect each other’s lives and property. It begins by respecting the right of people to keep the fruits of their labor. A good start would be the abolition of the personal income tax, which only adds insult to the injury of theft by invading every part of the taxpayer’s privacy as well as making the second week of April a misery instead of a time to enjoy the early spring.
– Libertarian National Chair, Mark Hinkle.