There is a big lie continuing in our nation most visibly demonstrated with the "tea party crowd" whose aversion to representative government in general and our historically unique president in specific, are claimed to be founded on the anti-tax philosphy of our Founders. It's gotten to the form of religious belief (actually mythology) that we had a revolution to keep us free from taxes or that taxes (or health insurance) destroy our freedom. I just don't get it.
I took another read of the Declaration of Independence thinking that I didn't remember much in there about taxes. I was right. Out of 27 specific grievances listed against the king, exactly 1 (one!) was about taxes. It wasn't even about the evil of taxes per se, but that it was unjust to impose "Taxes on us without our Consent." Yet another issue about representative government rather than a criticism of taxes.
Around here (Utah) one frequently hears the argument that taxes are an evil imposition on agency, or simply "stealing" because we shouldn't be compelled to do good "spreading around the wealth" especially when we earned "ours" and those lazy bums getting welfare so obviously did not. Some even link it to the war in heaven before this life and the conflict between the pre-mortal Christ and satan over agency.
This came up in a posting on the blog FPR (Faith-Promoting Rumor) discussing whether certain political philosophies are part of Satan's plan by restricting freedom. And this morning, while eating my Wheat Chex, I was inspired to type out a hasty, yet very succinct statement of my position in a comment:
The only real choice I need to be free is whether I follow Christ or the other guy. I can make that choice in my present circumstances or in a communist (or CIA) prison undergoing torture, enhanced or otherwise. That’s the choice that was in the war in heaven too that continues through this probationary period.
It is just silly to base concepts of freedom on insignificant material things like money and taxes and whether you “deserve” one or the other.
And someday we may be free from the false doctrine that our nation’s revolution was about taxes (no, it was representative government) and that our Constitution’s purpose was to establish a limited federal government (sorry, that was the articles of confederation).I've been a little hesitant to bring up taxes because of being a federal employee and living off --- But, wait a minute! I work for the Department of the Interior which actually brings in more to the US Treasury, mainly through oil and gas royalties, than it spends in public services! Also, my motivation in going to work for the feds wasn't to be like some priest of King Noah but to try and do some good in the world.
So, let's work together for that more perfect Union. Pay our taxes. Reduce our debt. Serve each other. That's what "real Americans" do.