Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘fair share’

No One Has a “Fair Share” of Taxes – by Brian McGlinchey – Stark Realities with Brian McGlinchey

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2021

There’s nothing fair about the coerced funding of unlawful, wasteful and morally repugnant pursuits

Brian McGlinchey

A recurring theme in national tax debates is the idea that everyone should pay their “fair share” of taxes.

While that aspiration’s validity is widely taken for granted, the stark reality is there’s no such thing as a “fair share” of federal taxes.

To understand why, let’s first scrutinize what’s meant by “fair.” When paired with “share,” the most fitting definition is “reasonable, right and just.”

If the United States government were limited to its only morally sound function—protecting rights, liberties and lives—perhaps one could entertain the theoretical notion of a “reasonable, right and just” share of the cost.

However, that ideal is far from today’s grim reality, as tax revenue is used to assault rights, liberties and lives of Americans and people around the world—to say nothing of the sprawling waste and cronyism associated with a 2021 budget of $6.8 trillion.

So tell me:

  • What exactly is my “fair share” of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces economic sanctions that purposefully inflict suffering on innocent civilians in foreign lands?
  • What’s my fair share of the tyrannical practice of civil asset forfeiture, in which cash and other property is seized from citizens without any requirement to file charges?
  • What’s my fair share of the $1.2 trillion allocated in 2021 for the unconstitutional Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Education and Transportation, and Small Business Administration?
  • What’s my fair share of the cages in which the government confines people for choosing to intoxicate themselves with a plant or a powder rather than a bottle?
  • What’s my fair share of the several trillion dollars spent on the overwhelmingly pointless war in Afghanistan or the even more catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq?
  • What’s my fair share of so-called “Covid relief” money used to bail out fiscally irresponsible state and local governments and pay unemployed people more than they were making on the job?
  • What’s my fair share of the jaw-dropping $81 million the CIA paid to two depraved psychologists who crafted the agency’s immoral and ineffective post-9/11 torture program?
  • What’s my fair share of the unjust prosecution of journalist Julian Assange for publishing documents that revealed wrongdoing and embarrassed powerful politicians?
  • What’s my fair share of the $3.8 billion handed over to the Israeli government this year—with every one of those dollars violating a U.S. law?
  • What’s my fair share of the $1.6 trillion cost of the snakebit, contractor-enriching F-35 fighter jet program—which the Pentagon already wants to replace with something else?
  • What’s my fair share of the ongoing salary of the U.S. Central Command’s General Kenneth F. McKenzie, who betrayed his oath to the Constitution by carrying out President Biden’s unlawful orders to bomb Syria?
  • What’s my fair share of $1.5 million spent encouraging eastern Mediterranean youth to stop smoking hookah?

Anticipating objections, please note that the moral standing of federal income taxation isn’t buttressed by whatever few authorized, proper, efficient and beneficial undertakings it finances.

Let’s say your homeowners association does a fine job providing basic services and maintaining common facilities, and you contentedly pay your annual “fair share” of $2,500.

However, the HOA then announces it will:

  • Spend $80,000 to impose unemployment, malnutrition and the degradation of medical services in a neighborhood across town
  • Give a contractor friend of the HOA president $200,000 to do $50,000 worth of sidewalk work
  • Pay two men $90,000 a year to torture suspected car burglars and vandals

Shrugging off your objections that the proposed new undertakings are immoral, corrupt, wasteful and unauthorized by the HOA bylaws, the board informs you that—using the same allocation method as before—your dues have doubled to $5,000.

“You may not like everything we’re doing now,” they say, “but don’t forget—some of the money goes to plow snow and maintain the swimming pool. You benefit from that.”

Given how half the money will be used, do you think one can rationally insist it’s only “fair” that you pay the $5,000?

For the record—and the benefit of our government monitors—I pay every dollar demanded by the federal tax code. I pay not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the coerced thing to do. And if the lawless, immoral HOA threatened to lock you in the clubhouse basement if you didn’t fork over the $5,000, I’m sure you’d pay them too.

But, like me, you’d thoroughly reject the idea that there can be anything “fair”—that is, reasonable, right and just—about your share of the coerced funding of unlawful, wasteful and morally repugnant pursuits.

Help Stark Realities build a following—please share this post

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

“Raise My Taxes” Really Just Means “Raise Others’ Taxes” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 4, 2019

…First we must question how the rich got that way. What if they did so by force, fraud, or deception? If so, they got rich by harming others. In that case, which reveals government failure to do an effective job of protecting their citizens against predatory actions, the appropriate response is to compensate those harmed and prevent similar harms in the future. It is not to pay government more in taxes. That doesn’t make those harmed whole. In fact, it may do nothing for them. And, however utopian the beliefs about how the government would spend the money, in fact, government will spend the resources however it chooses (and remember, the “other” party will also be in charge part of the time). Further, we must take into account the long record of government failure to do anything efficiently and effectively, not to mention the harm its policies often impose on those not at the top (e.g., licensing laws, supply restrictions, and import barriers), which makes it a poor mechanism to actually achieve something more like utopia than dystopia.

Alternatively, what about people who got rich via voluntary arrangements without force, fraud, or deception? They benefited by making others better off, not at their expense. Further, since the market provides a premium reward for finding ways to benefit large numbers of others, to get really rich often means benefiting millions. And the benefits to others can easily dwarf the benefits captured by their creators. Yet while income and wealth data count the market wealth increases of producers, it omits the wealth (or well-being) increases to the benefited consumers, allowing mutual gains to appear as the rich benefiting at the expense of others because their share of measured income or wealth rises (this is also only one of many measurement misdemeanors behind inequality rhetoric and promises to fix it). The core takeaway, though, is that when one earned more because he or she benefited others, there is no harm to society or unfair burden to others that needs to be atoned for with higher taxes in order to pay one’s “fair share.”

In either of the cases above, paying more taxes to government is not a solution, much less an effective or justified one. Therefore, “fair share” rhetoric often reduces to “more for me” desires by those who expect more for themselves from the arrangement (including far-from-poor government employees who will administer the bureaucracies behind the utopia-to-be). In addition, it represents envy on the part of those who wish to punish the successful. But not only is relying on one of the seven deadly sins a poor basis for governing that either defends our unalienable rights or our general welfare, we must remember that punishing the successful means giving them far less of an incentive to use their assets to improve others’ lives as the means to improving their own, which is a highly questionable way to help those others.

The inadequate logic of the “fair share” claim is reinforced by the fact that the group being accused of violating that standard in fact bears far greater tax burdens, in total and as a share of their income, than those accusing them. And those far higher taxes aren’t paying for proportionately greater benefits to them. And there is never a cogent reason provided for why someone who has a lower income—whose market efforts benefitted others less–thereby acquires a greater property right to others’ earnings acquired voluntarily, which is the obverse side of “fair share” complaints. And it is not as if the non-rich get no government assistance now, given the trillions of dollars that have been spent on poverty programs and income redistribution in America.

The “tax me more” saints are also mainly proposing to tax others for their purposes…

The small fraction of the highest earners or the wealthiest who claim to be more noble higher tax volunteers are doing so only if others similarly situated are forced to do the same, whether they agree or not. If there are, say, a couple dozen “tax me more” volunteers out of a top wealth or income tier with 70,000 households, it is clear that the volunteers are actually promising to pay very little of the total cost of what they advocate. The main effect is actually to force others, who need not in any way share their views or evaluations of the programs in question, to pay for their favored causes, by exploiting voters’ envy and desires to get something for nothing…

Be seeing you


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Raising Taxes — ‘Fair Share’ & the Rich | National Review

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2017

Taxes are like climate change and war. They are a racket.

It is one of the many signs of the mindlessness of our times that all sorts of people declare that “the rich” are not paying their “fair share” in taxes, without telling us concretely what they mean by either “the rich” or “fair share.” Whether in politics or in the media, words are increasingly used, not to convey facts or even allegations of facts, but simply to arouse emotions. Undefined words are a big handicap in logic, but they are a big plus in politics, where the goal is not clarity but victory — and the votes of gullible people count just as much as the votes of people who have common sense.


Yah, MORE! That’s what I want, MORE!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »