Concepts

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Tax

"Wherever plunder is less burdensome than labor, it prevails"

   --  Frédéric Bastiat

Since Government produces only regulations, Tax is the way Government finances itself.


Government is not the owner of citizens income and cannot hold a blank check on that income.

   --  Ayn Rand

Who Benefits?

It is a common misconception, that taxes are for the benefit of those who pay them.
But bear with me for one minute when you hear that taxes are for the benefit of those who do not pay them. If they were for the benefit the taxpayer, they could just keep the money, but the funds are destined for other people.

When do you get taxed

The answer is all the time

Types of tax

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Deficit spending
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inflation
Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
School Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Bad side effects of tax

"it has converted plunder into a right, that it may protect it, and lawful defense into a crime, that it may punish it."

   --  Frédéric Bastiat

One of the worst effects of tax, is that where finances raised are spent directly on something against the taxpayers conscience. E.g
  • Citizens being taxed for a war they don't support
  • Cigarette smokers taxed for a campaign against smoking.
  • Catholics funding contraception through the tax system.
Also it can cause capital to be mis-allocated. 
  • Spending and investment are different. Cut taxes on poor and spending goes up. Cut taxes on rich and investment goes up
Tax reduces peoples ability to act morally. They might prefer to spend their money on helping their children become good citizens, caring for their elderly relatives or supporting good causes. Instead they see it go towards bank bailouts, foreign wars and expensive prestige projects.
Tax makes people less responsible for themselves and others and instead makes us agents of the state. A society cannot be generous and caring, when the money is forced out of their hands.
We pay so much tax, that we convince ourselves we have no social obligations.
We walk blindly past crime, vandalism and neglect, reassuring ourselves that these are things for officials to deal with.

  • Rests on force
  • Undermines morality
  • Crowds out charity
  • Rewards power
  • Undermines personal responsibility
  • Turns the government and public into cheats

High taxes suppress economic activity reducing incentives to:
  • Work
  • Trade
  • Save
  • Invest
Tax has a tendency to not treat all economic activities in a similar manner. In a non neutral tax system, people and firms have an incentive to devote socially wasteful effort to reducing their tax payments by changing formor substance of activities.

Sin taxes should be slashed. Given the low price elasticity of demand for the taxed 'sin products', this would not lead to a massive increase in 'sinning'. It would, above all liberate resources of low earners budgets for other uses.

How to identify legal plunder

"How to Identify Legal Plunder... But how is it to be distinguished? Very easily. See whether the law takes from some persons that which belongs to them, to give to others what does not belong to them. See whether the law performs, for the profit of one citizen, and, to the injury of others, an act which this citizen cannot perform without committing a crime."

   --  Frédéric Bastiat

It has long been a principle of English law that someone should not have the benefit of unjust enrichment.

Acceptance of tax

"There is in all of us a strong disposition to regard what is lawful as legitimate, so much so, that many falsely derive all justice from law. It is sufficient, then, for the law to order and sanction plunder, that it may appear to many consciences just and sacred."
   --  Frédéric Bastiat
Not only this but...
"Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them."

   --  Frédéric Bastiat

Tax is a form of theft/plunder

Light-hearted video explaining why

Legal Plunder


History of taxes

Forbidden history taxes



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearth_tax
Brick tax
Wallpaper tax
Window tax

References

Sources

http://www.cityam.com/article/don-t-ignore-powerful-moral-arguments-against-high-taxation

Links

http://www.tax-news.com/asp/newspol.asp
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22676080 (avoiding tax and is tax voluntary)