Death and Taxes

By James E. Miller
Taki's Magazine

“What is taxation but theft on a gigantic, unchecked, scale?”

Murray Rothbard’s question doesn’t have an answer. The coercive taking of money is theft. No exceptions. Mental masturbation on the “social contract” or necessities of public action don’t eliminate that fact. The duties and obligations of society shouldn’t translate into pickpocketing folks to pay for a myriad of welfare goods.

That said, I’m ready to do the philosophically impossible: compromise. Call me a squish; I’ll own it. But the matter is of high importance. Bickering over marginal tax rates is a debate for DC talking heads. I’m talking about the most important topic: war. It’s a topic of such importance that serious folks in the news glide over it like it were a peaceful outing in the country. Americans treat war as a state of being. We’re stuck with it, we’re told, because danger lurks behind every corner.

If that’s the case – and it very well is – then I propose an unorthodox idea: let’s pay for war. I don’t mean rack up deficits and debt to foot the bill now. I mean have an actual tax that pays for sending soldiers and weapons over to foreign lands. Whether it be a tax on income or the final sale of goods is no matter. Tax, baby, tax!

Yes, it’s true a portion of the tax dollars we pay currently is used to fund overseas adventurism. But it’s clearly not enough to make us wary of further combat. President Obama recently presented Congress with an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State. The asking for permission is mainly for show. The prez had no problem using airstrikes against the caliphate over the last 6 months.

With Republicans in control of Congress, you can bet the AUMF will be approved, if not strengthened. The GOP may lack a spine when it comes to (sh)amnesty, but it certainly doesn’t lack an appetite for bloodshed. If the request is given the congressional imprimatur, Republicans should live up to their reputation as stingy budget hawks. Include in the provision a 5% tax on something Americans enjoy. Upping the payroll tax would be a good start. Maybe apply it to gasoline. Perhaps new cars. Even food should be on the table. Whatever it is, make us suffer.

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