The Morality of Taxation

No, not is it moral to collect taxes. People have hated tax collectors since the beginning of time but Jesus forgave them… or at least one of them so they’re ok with me.

I’m thinking of tax as a ‘sin’ deterant. You don’t want people in your society doing something but don’t feel comfortable telling them they no longer have a right to do it then slap a tax on it.

Now it could be said that income tax and sales tax are just too ubiquitous not to tax and this is true. They serve more as the baseline on where the money comes and goes. We tax income but we as a society think people should have houses and babies so we offer deductions to the income tax based on those. We tax any time someone makes a purchase but in some places don’t for unprepared foods and clothing. We think people should wear clothes and cook their own food.

I’ve often come out about how much I hate seatbelt laws. It isn’t the government’s job to keep me from dying in a car accident because I’m a moron. Kids yes, Adults no. But as a contibuting member of society isn’t it my right to take my life into my own hands? If you want to make me pay for that right then sure, give me a seatbelt tax but don’t make it illegal.

Now the tricky part here is that taxation as a deterant naturally favors the rich. I want to smoke cigarettes and there is a high tax then it is less out of my pocket percentage wise than someone who makes less money than me. It is unfair but it would work if we were actually living in a meritocrocy. The existence of old money makes this a hell of a lot trickier.

I’m not exactly against the idea of making people start fresh but then I don’t have much of an inheritance either. If I was looking at the millions in savings my parents don’t actually have, I might have an entirely different view of inheritance laws.

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