Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Is Tax Reform Libertarian? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2017

Shuffling the deck without reducing taxes and employing the necessary reduction in the size of government is worthless.

The implication is there will be winners and losers.

This government we are talking about. I do not expect to come out a winner.

And if taxation is organized theft, then, as Rothbard also says: “There can be no such thing as “fairness in taxation” since “the concept of a ‘fair tax’ is therefore every bit as absurd as that of ‘fair theft.’” And as Frank Chodorov adds: “There cannot be a good tax nor a just one; every tax rests its case on compulsion.”

It follows, then, that tax increases of any kind or amount, tax reform that is revenue neutral, tax base broadening, tax replacement of one tax with another, and tax shifting from one group of taxpayers to another are not libertarian while tax decreases, tax rate reductions, tax deduction income phrase-out increases or eliminations, tax bracket expansions, and new or increased tax deductions, exemptions, credits, exclusions, loopholes, and shelters are libertarian. The former increases or maintains the government’s total take and the latter reduces or eliminates it.

In their analyses of the House and Senate GOP tax plans, some libertarians have lost their way. There are several things I see them getting excited about that are not in and of themselves libertarian or even libertarian at all.

Simplifying the tax code, shortening the tax code, filing one’s taxes on a postcard, closing loopholes, reducing or eliminating deductions and credits, making the tax code less progressive, reducing the number of tax brackets, changing the indexing method, expanding the tax base, restoring horizontal equity, making the tax code fairer, making tax code changes permanent, and eliminating distortions in the tax code are not necessarily libertarian.

For example, if the government simplified and shortened the tax code, closed every loophole, eliminated every deduction and credit, allowed taxpayers to file their taxes on a postcard, and imposed one flat rate of 75 percent on an expanded tax base so that everyone pays their fair share—that would be horrible from a libertarian standpoint.

The president of the Tax Foundation says in an e-mailed “Insider Update” that throughout the “fast and furious process” of tax reform, his organization has “been there to guide legislators and keep the end goal in perspective: a tax code that’s simpler, fairer, and allows our economy to grow.” But is that the end goal for libertarians?

What is it that makes tax reform libertarian? To answer this question, all we need is the Rockwell rule: Does it reduce or eliminate an existing tax?

Because taxation is government theft, libertarians should primarily be concerned with just one thing when it comes to tax reform: to what extent does it allow Americans to keep more of their money in their pockets, purses, and bank accounts and out of the greedy hands of Uncle Sam.

Be seeing you


I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6

2 Responses to “Is Tax Reform Libertarian? – LewRockwell”

  1. Only if you replace the income tax with nothing.

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