Is Taxation Theft?

Discussion in 'Debates & Contests' started by Sonofodin, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Sonofodin

    Sonofodin New Member

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    Okay so I've been seeing that a lot of people think that taxation is not robbery and I'd like to challenge that notion. I'd like to do a one on one debate with anyone who is willing to step up to the plate. We can decide on definitions for the purposes of the debate before it begins. Is anyone interested?
     
  2. Lex Naturalis

    Lex Naturalis New Member

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    Taxation is not robbery insofar as the money goes toward the general, not specific, welfare, and is applied to the essential services that defend our rights and liberties equally in a republic where only those who pay taxes can vote. But I don't think that's the argument you were looking for. Nevertheless our founding fathers set it up so that taxation was not robbery and we ruined it as time went by.
     
  3. BleedingHeadKen

    BleedingHeadKen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    From where did the founding fathers derive such authority, and how did that authority remain vested long after they are dead? The Constitution is a document for good governance; it is not a sacred text that has mystical powers to change aggression to non-aggression.
     
  4. Lex Naturalis

    Lex Naturalis New Member

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    Could you be specific? I have no clue of what your referring to or what your objections are in relation to my previous post. Are you debating the merits of a constitution that can magically change without so much as an amendment vs. a constitution that means what it says and cannot change without an amendment? Do we really need to debate the obvious answer to that comparison?
     
  5. BleedingHeadKen

    BleedingHeadKen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What I am arguing is that the Constitution has no inherent authority. It does not have the authority to make taxation not robbery. It is just a document.
     
  6. Lex Naturalis

    Lex Naturalis New Member

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    The constitution gives congress the authority of the enumerated powers in which the founders deemed necessary to protect the liberties of the people in the several states. In order to clarify on how monies are to be spent in carrying out these authorities they said that it must be for the "general" not specific, welfare. This drew a distinction from aiding one state, group, or individual over another. Tariffs could not be collected from one or all the states in order to promote businesses in New York. That would be a violation of the general welfare and the enumerated powers that didn't authorize it (during the convention the promotion of industry was voted out of the enumerated powers). The act of taxation in itself could not be theft because the monies used were for the express purpose of providing those essential services that definds everyone's liberties equally (so as long as they were uniform, in keeping with the enumerated powers, and provided for the general, not specific, welfare, as specified in art 1 sec 8 ), without such individual liberty, nothing but theft exists. With a few amendments, a bloody war, and some judicial activism, all this changed. The constitution itself, however, is the law of the land whether you like it or not. While our founders/framers wrote it, it was adopted by the people of the several states.


    The idea of taxation as robbery was debated by the framers of the constitution and if you find the time I suggest you read James Madison's notes on the Philidelphia Convention. There you would find that they took steps to prevent taxation as theft when writing the constitution.
     
  7. BleedingHeadKen

    BleedingHeadKen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Aside from dodging the question of from whence this authority for the Constitution to do anything comes, I wonder how the revenues are derived any less forcefully because they are disbursed (one hopes) for the general welfare rather than specific welfare. Robbery is an act of taking, by force, the property of another. The fact that the robbers have a document, to which the victim is not a signatory, which states that they may take the money by force and that the money will be used to benefit everyone does not make it any less a robbery.

    So then law and rights are not natural. They come only from government since only government can provide individual liberty. Is that your contention? If so, what makes the government legitimate? A document?

    That doesn't give it any inherent authority. And, if indeed, you agree that rights are natural, then you would know that consent may be withdrawn at any time and from those who have withdrawn consent, taxation is theft.

    It's a standard tactic of Christians, as well, to suggest that the whole debate is long since over and decided by earlier experts on their religion. I've read most of what is available to read (and worth reading) on the subject of the Constitution and the DoI and natural rights, etc. The fact is that I *gasp* disagree with the founding fathers on some of their views on the matter, largely because I have the benefit of 200 years more of discovery of natural rights. I am going to go with Lysander Spooner and his burning question: what gives the Constitution any inherent authority?
     
  8. Lex Naturalis

    Lex Naturalis New Member

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    1. It's not robbery because it's absence will result in robbery. Taxes were taken ONLY for those specific enumerated powers instituted to prevent robbery (the theft of liberty). As for the general,not specific, welfare, that's why we have a supreme court. A lot of good that did though huh?
    The idea is that the taxes you pay go to the services that you benefit from in the form of the defense of liberties so that you can excersize your rights without infringement so as long as your not preventing others from excersizing their rights. To say this is not the desired result of taxation, and to suggest that your rights are protected without it is to lie to yourself.

    2. The entire constitution was written under the pretext that natural liberties exist and governments purpose was to ensure their protection. In other words to prevent the exersism of one mans rights from infringing on the rights of antoher. Not to grant rights and liberties. To have the power to grant liberties is to have the power to take them away.

    3. Taxation is not theft so as long as its sole existence is to prevent theft. To say otherwise is to advocate anarchy which only promotes theft. What's your alternative? Voluntary taxation?

    4. The constitution is a social contract designed to protect the self evident truth of natural rights and liberties adopted democratically by the people who live under it. The idea of natural rights and liberties come from the idea of stoic natural law which has nothing to do with religion, though religion helped it along. The idea of reading the text of James Madison's notes is to help you see the considerations taken in debate. Not to suggest the debate is over.
     
  9. BestViewedWithCable

    BestViewedWithCable Well-Known Member

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    In a general sense, no Taxes are not theft.

    However when you hatch a scheme to line your own pockets with money, and then you bankrupt a country, then you bail everyone out with someone elses money, then yeah, Its stealing and probably TREASON.

    Lets take a look.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW5qKYfqALE"]Barney Frank in 2005: What Housing Bubble? - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1Mazjm_A5k"]Barney Frank: Plenty of rich people that we can tax - YouTube[/ame]
     
  10. HillBilly

    HillBilly New Member Past Donor

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    :bump: well , SonofOdin , you like to drive on good roads , don't ya ? when you dial 911 , you expect that ambulance or patrol car or firetruck to pull in your driveway pdq , don't ya ?

    Taxes pay for that ... it's not an ambigulation of citizenship to pay taxes .

    In my view , it is the market value itself that drives up taxes to provide those services , combined with pension plans and the size / economic base of their geographic area / locale' ..and with the property taxes my Yankee friends pay I can well understand the opinion that it's hi-way robbery , I couldn't pay it , I'd have to move down South ...

    but hey , I'm already here ... :)
     
  11. protectionist

    protectionist Banned

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    Employers paying workers less than a living wage ($20/hour most places in America ?), is robbery. Taxation works to offset this to a degree. The people who complain the most about taxation, think nothing of robbing workers blind in their wages.
     
  12. Sonofodin

    Sonofodin New Member

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    You must have a different definition of stealing. So you're saying that stealing can be consenual and voluntary?

    Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of it being stealing?

    When someone forces you to give them your resources under the threat of violence, that is stealing.
     
  13. Sonofodin

    Sonofodin New Member

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    Ah, you're making a fallicious argument.

    You are confusing the order of events.

    What is done AFTER the act of theft does not change the act of theft.

    If I stole your money at gunpoint and then, with that money, removed every toilet in your house and installed new toilets that I approved of and then you used those toilets, it is still theft.

    Government cuts off options and only allows me to use government monopolized police or hospitals etc. Even if they didn't, it doesn't matter.

    When you take something under the threat of violence from someone else, it is stealing. Period.

    See? One thing comes before the other.

    The money is stolen and THEN the services are paid for and "provided" with your stolen money.
     
  14. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Taxation cannot be theft, because theft is a legal term,
    and as such it is the government which defines what theft is.
    Most governments define theft as an illegal action,
    and in general define taxation as the government's legal right/duty.

    Government defines what is legal and what is illegal.
    If any government defines theft as illegal,
    and if the same government defines taxes as legal,
    then it cannot then be said that taxes are theft.

    So in general, taxes are not theft, they are not against the law, in fact, they are the law,
    however, whether or not taxes are fair or good is another issue,
    as many legal things are neither fair nor good in my opinion.

    -Meta
     
  15. Daktoria

    Daktoria New Member

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    Hey Meta. Should we get into the language debate again?

    Government is a metaphysical institution, not an ontological principle. Perhaps that's why you're getting confused over the law.

    The law is that which is necessary for people to coexist without taking anything for granted, and that's why taxation is theft. Taxation is predicated on property not being properly allocated, yet to project a definition of properness onto another would take for granted one's own ontological facility of understanding properness.
     
  16. BleedingHeadKen

    BleedingHeadKen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I like to have my shop protected. Does that make the local mafia taxation on my property legitimate given that they provide protection in return?
     
  17. BleedingHeadKen

    BleedingHeadKen Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If government defines the whole of the law, how can a government be legitimately formed since the law which defines it cannot exit until government does? Do you argue that it's existence justifies it's existence?
     
  18. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Daktoria, lol.

    Is ownership not metaphysical as well?
    If so, then there shouldn't be any issue with relating the two as I have.

    You're saying that the purpose of law, is to make people grateful for the fact that they can coexist?
    What exactly does that have to do with taxation or theft?

    In my view, the purpose of law is to let people coexist, as you said,
    and cooperate, all for the betterment of those people,
    or the majority, if not ever single individual.

    That is why taxes taxes are necessary, for without them,
    the government which should function for towards the betterment of everyone,
    would not work.

    And that is also why theft is usually illegal,
    because it is detrimental to the well-being of the majority of the people.

    Taxes when implemented correctly, are not detrimental,
    because they fund a government which in theory does for people in a collective fasion, what they cannot themselves do individually.

    In both cases, it is the people that decide what is detrimental,
    and what is helpful to them, and if they decide that theft is detrimental,
    and taxes are not, then taxes cannot be theft.

    Taxation is not merely about what is "proper".
    It is about what is useful to the population as a whole.

    Are you saying that the problem with taxation,
    is that it can impose on an individual, a usefulness that they do not agree with?
    That may be true, but I believe you cannot call taxation theft for this.
    I also believe that you cannot call taxation wrong for this.
    The same can be said of a government throwing a serial murder in prison.
    The murder might not agree that such a thing is useful,
    and from their point of view, maybe it isn't,
    but does this make it illegal imprisonment?
    Does it make it not useful for the majority?
    Does it make it wrong?

    -Meta
     
  19. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    No.

    Whether a government's existence is legitimate or not is something which each individual must answer for themselves.

    If you're asking me as individual, my personal opinion,
    then I say that the government is legitimized when it works towards the good of the people it governs.
    I also say that it is legitimized when the government is decided upon by the people it governs.


    -Meta
     
  20. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    What do mafia protect you from?
    They claim to be the solution to the problem, when it is they who are the problem.
    If the mafia were to simply go away, you would only be better off for it.

    The government may ask you to pay for protection,
    but what is it that the government primarily protects you from?
    What would you face, if the government were to cease to exist?

    -Meta
     

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