Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You Owe No Taxes

I just read that (terrible) actor Nicholas Cage "owes" the federal government 6.5 million in unpaid taxes and penalties.

However,"owe" is the wrong verb.

Since the federal government does not solicit your consent for its "services," you are under no moral obligation to pay it anything. Your legal obligation to pay has the moral equivalent to your obligation to pay a mugger.

The fact that we are taxed by elected representatives does not change the fact that I have not consented to be taxed. Imagine that some guy just up and mowed your lawn (badly) and presented you with a $1000 bill. You'd be outraged. You'd point out what a crappy job he did, how ridiculously expensive is his fee, and on top of everything that you never gave the guy permission. He cannot justify his bill by saying, "Well, I asked your neighbors, and they said it was OK."

If you don't pay taxes, then the government will bring upon you much harm. That means that you had better pay your taxes, but it doesn't mean that you owe them.

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