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Author Topic: Taxes are theft....are they?  (Read 3502 times)
The Script
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May 08, 2011, 02:18:55 AM
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I was debating with an acquaintance the other day and he made the argument that taxes aren't really stealing because the money is not yours to begin with.  Basically his argument was that companies take tax rates into account when they decide salaries and so the taxes you pay come from that extra money the company appended to your salary.  Now he admitted that for the higher tax brackets the amount added by the company doesn't compensate for your entire tax burden, but at lower levels it accounts for most of it.

As I see it, that's still theft, even if it is at a reduced rate.  Also, it simply means the businesses are footing more of the bill rather than the individual tax payers.  Or actually, the customers of the businesses pay the difference as businesses pass those extra costs onto their products and services.  So really, isn't the individual tax payer still paying for it?

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting argument and was one I hadn't heard before.  Thoughts?

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Garrett Burgwardt
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May 08, 2011, 02:21:33 AM
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If that's the case, cut out the middle man and just tax corporations. They'd still be stealing from corporations, but that's another fight.

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May 08, 2011, 02:22:24 AM
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I was debating with an acquaintance the other day and he made the argument that taxes aren't really stealing because the money is not yours to begin with.
I believe he is absolutely correct. But not for the reason he and you debated.
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May 08, 2011, 02:39:01 AM
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If companies were to take into account the fact that many people are mugged each year and adjusted the average wage accordingly, by his reasoning, mugging people wouldn't theft.
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May 08, 2011, 02:40:59 AM
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His point isn't related to taxes.That your company ensures the gov doesn't steal from you doesn't negate the fact that taxes are theft. Moreover, there aren't only income taxes out there. What about the rest?

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The Script
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May 08, 2011, 02:43:01 AM
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I was debating with an acquaintance the other day and he made the argument that taxes aren't really stealing because the money is not yours to begin with.
I believe he is absolutely correct. But not for the reason he and you debated.

Do explain?  I'd like to hear your reasoning.
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May 08, 2011, 02:49:20 AM
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I believe he is absolutely correct. But not for the reason he and you debated.

Do explain?  I'd like to hear your reasoning.
If you are in the USA (and most other countries), whose money is it when you work for an employer and receive FRNs or the equivalent checkbook money in exchange for your labor? Most people believe it is their money. But literally, I mean LITERALLY whose money is it? Who literally owns the money and who has supreme property rights in that money? If you do not own the money yourself don't you feel it is right and just to pay a tax or rental fee for use of someone else's property?
The Script
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May 08, 2011, 02:52:27 AM
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I believe he is absolutely correct. But not for the reason he and you debated.

Do explain?  I'd like to hear your reasoning.
If you are in the USA (and most other countries), whose money is it when you work for an employer and receive FRNs or the equivalent checkbook money in exchange for your labor? Most people believe it is their money. But literally, I mean LITERALLY whose money is it? Who literally owns the money and who has supreme property rights in that money? If you do not own the money yourself don't you feel it is right and just to pay a tax or rental fee for use of someone else's property?

Hmm, I see your point, but I believe that when you provide a good a service to someone and they give you money it LITERALLY is your money. Especially since it is mandated that we use this money and it is illegal to use other ones.  The alternative, to me, is unthinkable.  Because if the government owns all the money, then does not that mean they own all the fruits of our labor, and therefore us as well? 
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May 08, 2011, 03:15:29 AM
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Yes, the alternative is disturbing. I don't claim that this understanding is correct/valid, but it is food for thought. Contemplate also property rights and ownership related to IOUs and how that may equate use of FRNs. FRNs are simply IOUs (Notes/Promises to pay) and they have have signatues as evidence of such...more food for thought. Smiley
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May 08, 2011, 03:24:03 AM
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I believe he is absolutely correct. But not for the reason he and you debated.

Do explain?  I'd like to hear your reasoning.
If you are in the USA (and most other countries), whose money is it when you work for an employer and receive FRNs or the equivalent checkbook money in exchange for your labor? Most people believe it is their money. But literally, I mean LITERALLY whose money is it? Who literally owns the money and who has supreme property rights in that money? If you do not own the money yourself don't you feel it is right and just to pay a tax or rental fee for use of someone else's property?

If I carve a little wooden toy top and trade it to you for something is it really your top?

But I made it!

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silversurfer
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May 08, 2011, 03:24:25 AM
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I was debating with an acquaintance the other day and he made the argument that taxes aren't really stealing because the money is not yours to begin with.  Basically his argument was that companies take tax rates into account when they decide salaries and so the taxes you pay come from that extra money the company appended to your salary.  Now he admitted that for the higher tax brackets the amount added by the company doesn't compensate for your entire tax burden, but at lower levels it accounts for most of it.

As I see it, that's still theft, even if it is at a reduced rate.  Also, it simply means the businesses are footing more of the bill rather than the individual tax payers.  Or actually, the customers of the businesses pay the difference as businesses pass those extra costs onto their products and services.  So really, isn't the individual tax payer still paying for it?

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting argument and was one I hadn't heard before.  Thoughts?



This is related to the 'deadweight loss' of taxation.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

That which is falling should also be pushed.
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May 08, 2011, 03:24:32 AM
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If FRNs are a promise to pay, exactly what is promised to be paid?

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trentzb
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May 08, 2011, 03:32:06 AM
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If FRNs are a promise to pay, exactly what is promised to be paid?
Today it is more FRNs. It used to be that notes/certificates were redeemable in silver/gold. That is no longer, but look at some old notes. The promise is printed directly on the dollar/note.

Try taking a FRN to a bank or even a FR district bank and all you will get in return is more FRNs. I recall reading this in the US Code. I am mobile ATM and can't cite the section.

IANAL.
trentzb
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May 08, 2011, 03:37:39 AM
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And also what is promised seems moot to me today as the promise itself has value placed on it. If a promise was worth nothing than few investors would be buying CDOs and Mortgage Notes...granted the asset has value as well, but investors dont really want assets do they?
The Script
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May 08, 2011, 05:03:22 AM
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Yes, the alternative is disturbing. I don't claim that this understanding is correct/valid, but it is food for thought. Contemplate also property rights and ownership related to IOUs and how that may equate use of FRNs. FRNs are simply IOUs (Notes/Promises to pay) and they have have signatues as evidence of such...more food for thought. Smiley

Also, technically, the US government does not own the Federal Reserve Notes, the Federal Reserve does.  So taxes cannot even be considered "rent" on FRNs because they are not owned by the US government.  But I think you have to look at how those bills get into circulation.  The Federal Reserve doesn't print the money and then distribute it equally among everyone, but rather gives it to the various banks underneath it who then use it to pay their bills and lend out to people.  The rent you pay on using the banks money when you take a loan is interest, but when you get the FRNs from people as payment for goods and services, they become your property.  The other thing that happens when the Fed prints money is that it lends it to the US government (who has to pay it back later at interest) which then uses the FRNs to pay its bills. 

Are FRNs still considered IOUs?  They aren't backed by anything, but rather you can only trade them at a bank for money of the same.  If you look on the bills they say:  "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."  I mean, I realize the whole US monetary system is debt-based on promises to pay that never get paid but traded around, but at some point people just accept the IOUs as currency.
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May 08, 2011, 05:23:50 AM
 #16

So, we vote people in to power, who require money to run a government, yet you call it theft when they take said money from your paycheck to run the government you elected them to run?   Huh

I'm not a fan of taxed either, but to have services like police and fire and courts/justice systems and public transport and roads etc etc, it requires some forced contribution.  These things just wouldn't happen otherwise.

The government is horribly bloated and inefficient, but I don't view taxes as theft.  JMO.
The Script
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May 08, 2011, 05:27:40 AM
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So, we vote people in to power, who require money to run a government, yet you call it theft when they take said money from your paycheck to run the government you elected them to run?   Huh

I'm not a fan of taxed either, but to have services like police and fire and courts/justice systems and public transport and roads etc etc, it requires some forced contribution.  These things just wouldn't happen otherwise.

The government is horribly bloated and inefficient, but I don't view taxes as theft.  JMO.

Question:  If I chose not to participate in the voting process or in the government system at all and refused to pay taxes, what would happen?

Also, I'm curious, how would you define theft?
NghtRppr
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May 08, 2011, 05:33:41 AM
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I'm not a fan of taxed either, but to have services like police and fire and courts/justice systems and public transport and roads etc etc, it requires some forced contribution.  These things just wouldn't happen otherwise.

The major roads in England and the early American colonies were privately owned and operated. There are still private roads that exist. You simply have to pay a toll. Many fire departments in rural areas are voluntary. Meaning, if you don't pay, they watch your house burn down. Many private justice systems, aka "arbitration tribunals", exist. The police aka "security guards" in private parks are vastly superior. Don't believe me? Go wave money around Central Park at night and I'll do the same thing at the same time in Disney World and we'll see who ends up on the 11 O'Clock news first.

Most people think these things can only be done by the government under threat of violence because that's all they've ever known. The fact that things have been historically done a certain way is never an argument for continuing to do it that way. We used to burn witches for causing disease but we know better now.
Garrett Burgwardt
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May 08, 2011, 05:46:52 AM
 #19

So, we vote people in to power, who require money to run a government, yet you call it theft when they take said money from your paycheck to run the government you elected them to run?   Huh

I'm not a fan of taxed either, but to have services like police and fire and courts/justice systems and public transport and roads etc etc, it requires some forced contribution.  These things just wouldn't happen otherwise.

The government is horribly bloated and inefficient, but I don't view taxes as theft.  JMO.

I'm actually writing a thesis on how you're wrong (except the bloated and inefficient part Tongue)

It'll be posted on the forums when I'm done.
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May 08, 2011, 06:55:03 AM
 #20

I expected some good responses to my arguments.  Smiley
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