By Jacob G. Hornberger
As the April 17 deadline for filing income tax returns and paying federal income taxes approaches, it is important that we all remind ourselves of an important point: Income taxation and the Internal Revenue Service are irreconcilable with the principles of a free society.
Another way to put it is this: If you’re living in a society in which the government wields the power to seize the fruits of your earnings, you are not living in a free society, no matter how convinced you are.
Americans lived without income taxation for more than a century. They also lived in a society in which there was no welfare state and no warfare state. No Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, welfare, food stamps, public housing, drug laws, immigration controls, public schooling, Pentagon, military-industrial complex, CIA, NSA, FBI, EPA, DEA, SEC, Homeland Security, ICE, or most of the other myriad agencies of the welfare-warfare state.
It was that way of life that defined an American. That’s what Americans defined as freedom. That’s what made the United States the most unusual society in history (notwithstanding the horrible exception of slavery).
Succeeding generations of Americans give it all up in favor of socialism, interventionism, and imperialism.
They embraced and adopted the variation of socialism known as the welfare state.
They embraced and adopted the totalitarian structure known as a national-security state.
They embraced and adopted drug laws, which are the hallmark of tyrannical regimes.
They embraced and adopted the regulated, controlled, and managed economy.
They embraced foreign wars, foreign interventionism, partnerships with dictators, coups, assassinations, torture, and other practices long employed by dictatorial regimes.
And of course they embraced and adopted the means by which all of this statism is funded — income taxation and, also, to large extent, the Federal Reserve System, which fraudulently taxes people’s income and wealth through inflation.
Today, many Americans are coming to the realization of what has happened to our country with respect to foreign wars, empire, and foreign interventions. They’re growing sick and tired of perpetual war. They’re starting to figure out that empire, interventionism, and militarism were no part of the founding principles of our nation. They are seeing what empire and foreign interventionism are doing to our rights, freedoms, and economic well-being here at home. They are beginning to think. They are beginning to question.
The same holds true on the drug war. More and more Americans are “waking up” and seeing the horrible destructiveness and immorality of this government program.
Unfortunately, however, all too many Americans have not yet come to the same realization with respect to the welfare state, the managed economy, the Federal Reserve, and, of course, the income tax and the IRS.
The fact is: You have the natural, God-given right to keep everything you earn. You also have the natural, God-given right to decide what to do with your own money. Your money belongs to you, not the government. To achieve a genuinely free society, the income tax needs to be cast into the dustbin of history, along with the immoral and destructive welfare-warfare state apparatuses that it funds.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.