My Turn: Taxation is theft – and here’s why

For the Monitor
Published: 4/1/2019 12:20:17 AM

The phrase “Taxation is Theft” is a meme that has started to permeate onto the floor of the N.H. House, but why and what does the meme mean?

Some of the younger generation are choosing to throw off the ideas of our Founders for socialism while other young people are realizing the Founders were on to something, but didn’t go far enough. In 1776, the idea of self ownership was fresh off the press and people were subjects of the king, pope or some other strongman. America’s Founders tried to delimit the government’s role as the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They left out property.

The logic for coercive taxation is that old notion that your property, the physical manifestation of your time and effort, are not owned by you. We recognize now that if someone comes up to your on the street and demands the money in your pocket, that is theft. If a group of people get together and demand your money, we call them a gang or cartel. If a group of people get to together and vote that you give your money to them, we call it taxation through democracy. America is a constitutional republic that set limits on the actions on the majority to protect the minority, but the majority has been chipping away at our republic. We now are at the brink of the mob rule of democracy. Nationally, there is talk of close to 100 percent tax rates, which is no longer just theft, it is “legalized” slavery.

The goal of government is to protect individual rights, not provide a safety net. A safety net is the job of charities and other voluntary community groups. We have lost our community because we have tasked the government with the job of the community, so our sense of community has withered on the vine.

Some politicians demand your money to not be spent on a new pair of shoes or backpack for your child, but instead to go to their pet project. If the project was noble and made sense, why not start a charity and ask for donations? They believe the project is moral and they, in their wisdom, are forcing morality on you. Morality requires choice. Actions taken at the point of a gun are not moral actions, which is why we don’t give moral credit or put people in jail for those actions.

A current example is the taxes on vaping products, which have no tobacco or nicotine, just passed by the House because some people believe vaping is wrong and they want to punish people who do it. Should the government be punishing you for breathing in flavored air? Who is the victim that the government is trying to protect? The people running the State House right now are trying to protect the person from themselves by manipulating their behavior through taxation. They are putting the “nanny” in nanny state.

What we need to do, until we end all these government programs that should be voluntary community programs or charities, is move to a flat rate of taxation without loopholes and subsidies. The government should not be taking from some and giving to others in the hope of some monetary equality. The government should place equal protections under the law, which is the only equality that matters. If our efforts to roll back the government overreach back to its proper role are successful, we will explore voluntary methods of funding the government. Until then, we must call out new and larger taxes, programs and cronyism.

As the younger generation with these views on individual rights gain influence, you may hear the phrase “Taxation is Theft” because we are the future, and we plan to call out new taxes and cronyism.

(Josh Yokela of Fremont represents Rockingham District 33 in the N.H. House of Representatives.)

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