Why Pay Taxes When the Government Can Just Print Money?

Why do we have to pay so much for milk? Let’s just put more water in it. Why pay so much for paint? Why not dilute it. Why pay so much for concrete? Just add more sand and gravel? That’s the logic of “Why Pay Taxes When the Government Can Just Print Money?”

Just because the government says something is valuable does not make it so. Printing money does not create wealth; it only dilutes the value of the money already in circulation, much of which has already been diluted (inflated).

Today, a silver dime is worth more than $3.00 today. This means that in Georgia, where gasoline is hovering around $3.15, that you could purchase a gallon for one thin silver dime. The purchasing power of our money has been devalued because our government has been printing money for a long time. Printing more money will only devalue it further. Prices will rise as the result of the inflated currency.

It was Satan, not Jesus, who suggested turning stones into bread (Matt. 4:3). Turning paper into money is the same evil. Only God can turn water into wine with a word (John 2:1–12). Only God can turn some bread and fishes into more bread and fishes (Matt. 14:13–21; 15:32–39). “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). The State is not God. When governments act like God, the people expect daily miracles. Dr. Gary North writes

“The lure of the welfare State remains with responsibility-avoiding men in every era. It was this lure which attracted the crowds to Jesus. “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.’ (John 6:26). They wanted a king who would feed them. They viewed Jesus as a potential candidate for king because He could multiply bread. They associated free food with political authority, which was the same presumption that the urban proletariat in Rome was making. If accommodated, this outlook would end in political tyranny and national bankruptcy. Jesus knew this, so He departed from them (John 6:11–15).”

Those calling for printing money over taxation commit the either/or fallacy: It’s either higher taxes or print more money. In both cases the State becomes the Great Provider. Again, Dr. North’s comments are instructive:

“Men in their rebellion against God want to believe in a State that can heal them. They believe in salvation by law — civil law. They prefer to live under the authority of a messianic State, meaning a healer State, rather than under freedom. They want to escape the burdens of personal and family responsibility in this world of cursed scarcity. They want to live as children live, as recipients of bounty without a price tag. They are willing to sacrifice their liberty and the liberty of others in order to attain this goal.

“One mark of spiritual immaturity is the quest for economic miracles: stones into bread. The price of this alchemical wealth is always the same: the acceptance of magic. Modern welfare economics teaches that the State can provide such miracles through positive economic policy, i.e., by taking wealth from some and transferring it to others, either directly or through monetary inflation. This belief is the presupposition of the Keynesian revolution, which dominated twentieth-century economic thought, 1936–1990. The self-taught economist (B.A. in mathematics) John Maynard Keynes actually described credit expansion — the heart of his economic system — as the ‘miracle . . . of turning a stone into bread.’”1

Shrinking the size of government will automatically mean a reduction in the amount of money we will be taxed and the temptation to print more money. But the people have to be willing to say no to the Messianic, god-like State.

  1. Keynes (anonymous), Paper of the British Experts (April 8, 1943), cited in Ludwig von Mises, “Stones into Bread, the Keynesian Miracle,” Plain Talk (1948), reprinted in Henry Hazlitt (ed.), The Critics of Keynesian Economics (Princeton, New Jersey: Van Nostrand, 1960), 306. []