In the midst of the perpetual statist debate over whether President Bush’s tax cuts for the rich should be extended or not, we libertarians should refrain from getting mired in that debate and instead continue raising people’s vision to the libertarian principle, which is: There shouldn’t be an income tax at all and everyone should be free to keep everything he earns and decide for himself what to do with it — spend, save, invest, hoard, donate, or whatever.
For more than a century, Americans lived without income taxation. The reason? Because they knew that income taxation was contradictory to the principles of a free society. When people are free, they are exercising the right to keep the fruits of their earnings. On the other hand, when government has the power to tax incomes, the people are relegated to the condition of serfs.
That was one of the things that made America exceptional because it was such a revolutionary development. Imagine: a nation whose citizenry barred taxation on income for some 125 years.
Needless to say, it was also a society in which there was no Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education grants, community grants, farm subsidies, foreign aid, welfare, food stamps, public housing, bank bailouts, SBA loans, drug war, paper money, legal tender laws, central bank, standing army, foreign wars, and a military industrial complex.
That too is what made America exceptional. Imagine: a nation whose citizenry decided for themselves whether to donate their money to others, without being coerced or manipulated into doing so by government officials.
Alas, 20th-century Americans abandoned those principles of liberty, converting the federal government into the master and the American citizen the serf.
Ironically, the statists claim that the welfare-warfare state that they have foisted upon our land is freedom and that it too is exceptional. They are living the life of the lie and the life of delusion. Opposites cannot be the same. And when a country is doing what every other country is doing, it cannot be considered exceptional.
Let the statists argue over their statist reforms. Let us libertarians continue raising the vision of the American people to a higher level — toward building on the founding principles of liberty enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, including the freedom to keep everything you earn and decide for yourself what to do with it.