Even if the money did originally belong to Caesar, once he trades it for a product or service it is no longer his, no matter whose picture is on it. If I paint a self-portrait and sell it for $10, the portrait no longer belongs to me. I can’t just go and take it and holler “Taxed!” and be in the right. It is no longer my property even if my picture is on it.
The Back Story 016 looks at taxation from a slightly different perspective than those who conclude it’s theft.
The Back Story 011 explains why the practice of taxation by governments is tantamount to stealing from others.
How long would it take, do you think, for government to learn to be more efficient (it has no incentive to do so currently, after all), or at least learn to spend money with more discretion and purpose?
Editor’s Break 008 has Skyler answering the question, “Is taxation theft?” His answer is yes, and the reason is very simple. If you can’t prove with facts and evidence that someone owes you money, then they don’t owe you money, or any other consideration. This is as true for people calling themselves “government” as it is for everyone else.
Whether the government-based practice of taxation is theft depends on whether said government has jurisdiction over those they tax. Whether said government has jurisdiction over those they tax depends on whether said government’s laws outlining jurisdiction apply to anyone.
Where the state is, there also is the growth of the state. Why does a state’s scope enlarge? One theory is that interest groups seek to use the state’s taxing power for their own benefit. I would like to suggest a complementary theory. When the power to tax is conferred upon rulers, many harmful incentives necessarily are conveyed with it. These encourage the rulers to expand their destructive acts.
Episode 452 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following questions from Quora: he starts the episode with a complaint against Quora for banning it’s most prolific author, Dennis Pratt; “How do Libertarians intend to implement/enforce the NAP?”; “Libertarians, what do you make of the argument that taxation isn’t theft because you are able to choose your representatives, so either choose ones that disagree with taxation as well or start your own political party?”; and “What is a simple explanation of libertarianism?”
There is certainly no shortage of libertarian types who will gladly tell why they believe that the practice of taxation amounts to robbery or extortion. Likewise for those who will tell you why they believe that the practice of taxation is good and necessary. Personally, I side with the former belief that the practice of taxation is illicit and criminal. But let’s look at it another way, shall we?
I remember how I felt the first time I heard it. I was shocked. But then I tried to consider any possible way it might not be true. I never did find any flaws in the reasoning. Taxation IS theft.