Reclaim the Language: Taxation is Theft

The first thing any good debater learns is that the debate is never with the guy on the stage. The debate is always with the audience. Os Guinness makes a very astute observation in his book The Gravedigger File. It’s the 10-10-80 principle. In most social movements, there are worldview spokespeople on both ends of the political spectrum. They each make up ten percent of the aggregate. The real battle is over the other 80 percent. The goal is to move some of the 80 percent to one side or the other.

Politically we know that at a good percentage of the 80 percent have been bought off with stolen money. But there’s still a large enough group that can make a difference in elections. We’re talking about a three- to five-percent swing. That’s the group we need to address.

Economics is not difficult. Most people can understand how it works if simple analogies are used. Reclaiming the language is the first step.

Technically governments don’t have any money. They can either tax people to get money or print it. If the government prints money, it is involved in theft since inflation (increasing the money supply) dilutes the buying power of existing dollars. It’s economic alchemy, turning stones into bread, paper into money. Governments can do it because they’ve given themselves the power to do it, and there are enough people who are complicit in this form of theft. They are accomplices since they vote for people who promise to tax the “other guy” and print more money to “stimulate the economy.”

Another way the State gets money is by taking it from people. This is called taxation. Taxation involves force. If you don’t pay up, you will be fined, have your assets levied, or imprisoned.

If taxation means taking someone’s property and giving it to other people, how is this not a moral issue? The Eighth Commandment is quite clear: “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15). There is no “except by majority vote.” Here’s the truth of it. Deep down, this is what most politicians believe and those who put them into office (my words):

“We have the right to levy a tax at a certain percentage rate, up or down, on this amount or that amount because more than 50 percent of the people put us in office, therefore we can take 1 percent or 100 percent. The fact that we exempt a certain amount of income is proof of this fact. An exemption is what we allow you to keep.”

If it’s wrong for you and me to steal from our neighbors and the companies we work for, please explain how it’s right to steal from our neighbors and the companies we work for when we elect people to do it?

“I’ll say this plainly, I’ve said it before Taxation is theft. It presumes the government has a higher claim on our property than we do,” says Judge Andrew Napolitano.