One of the issues with looking at various forms of taxation and their specific impact on countries and their citizens, it is easy to not see the actual moral issues central to taxation.
“Moral” is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.
“Morality” is defined as: a doctrine or system of moral conduct.
On their webpage, their mission statement is defined as: The Acton Institute is a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles. The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is named after the great English historian, Lord John Acton (1834-1902). He is best known for his famous remark: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Inspired by his work on the relation between liberty and morality, the Acton Institute seeks to articulate a vision of society that is both free and virtuous, the end of which is human flourishing. To clarify this relationship, the Institute holds seminars and publishes various books, monographs, periodicals, and articles.
In an excellent article written by Nathan Mech of the Acton Institute entitled The Moral Weight of Taxation, Mr. Mech makes the following points:
- Taxation coerces people to turn over their private property against their will. While taxation is not morally equivalent to theft, it is fair to call taxation a cousin of theft. The same moral problem we have with theft should lead us to use taxation cautiously.
- People use their money to take care of their families, pursue their passions and dreams, and donate to charities they support. The more money the government takes from someone, the less that person has to pursue these ends. Taxes are usually supposed to fund services that provide a fair amount of value back to the taxpayer. But a moral analysis of taxation should consider not just the value gained through government expenditures, but the value that would have been gained if that money had not been taken. If the government took less money, more would be given to charities, reinvested in businesses, and spent in our communities.
- There are likely government expenditures that you disagree with on moral grounds. Because a large percentage of taxpayers may deeply believe these expenditures are immoral, these uses of tax dollars violate many Americans’ rights of conscience.
- The government likewise bears an additional moral weight when it spends tax revenue on expenditures that violate many of its citizens’ ethical or religious beliefs.
- While taxation is sometimes necessary and morally permissible, it should only be implemented after a careful moral analysis of the tradeoffs involved.
- This understanding should drive a conversation on reforming the tax system.
THE FAIRTAX AND THE MORALITY OF TAXATION
Will the FAIRtax correct the problems so clearly expressed by Mr. Mech? Not completely, because the FAIRtax is a method, a more efficient method, but a method of collecting revenue.
What the FAIRtax will do is make the “moral” aspects of collecting federal taxes much more transparent. It will:
- Force Congress to show all of the federal taxes on each retail sales receipt;
- Not allow Congress to hide tax increases in the prices of goods and services;
- Put 100% of your earnings in your paycheck;
- Allow you to calculate the impact of any federal program, like Defense, on the FAIRtax rate;
- Knowing the impact of federal programs on the FAIRtax rate will allow you to specifically demand your members of Congress reduce or eliminate the funding allocated to programs you believe are wrong;
- End the lie that the money spent on a program is not directly traceable to the tax rate;
- Place you in control of how much federal tax you pay because you are only taxed when you purchase new retail goods and retail services;
- Not require us to file any tax returns revealing personal financial information that you now know is not confidential and can be leaked to the public at any time.
When you elect men and women and send them to Congress, you put in their hands the ability to allocate the money collected in taxes. Once they have this power and are in the majority, many of these elected representatives decide to use our money to promote their view of morality.
When other elected representatives take over the majority, they will favor policies that promote their view of morality.
Milton Friedman, the great economist, said this, When government - in pursuit of good intentions - tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.
We can only stop our elected representatives from legislating “morality” and spending our federal tax dollars if we can enlist the support of enough voters to throw them out of office if they don’t change. In order to overcome the vast amounts of cash and media support that these elected representatives have, we have to be able to show everyone the real monetary cost of these programs as it affects directly the money they have to spend for their families.
Then our representatives will either be voted out of office or see that they must change to remain in office. Armed with the actual data, we the people can overcome even the most entrenched special interests.
The FAIRtax is the weapon that transforms the people to the rulers of the Ruling Class and their minions. Like cockroaches, when we turn on the light these people who have decided that only their view of morality can be imposed on us will scurry back under the baseboard where they should stay.
The best and easiest way to take control of our money and our country is to enact the FAIRtax.
If you have friends who don’t know about the FAIRtax, send them to FAIRtax.org. Have them watch the white boards under “How It Works” and, if they agree, ask them to please join us.
Then contact your Members of Congress and the President and demand that Congress pass -the FAIRtax—the only fair tax.
Remember, if we don't continue to tell the truth and demand a change, then this quote from George Orwell's 1984 may foretell our children's future:
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
Is it hopeless? When confronted with a seemingly impossible problem, remember the statement attributed to the author George Bernard Shaw who wrote, You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
Isn’t it time for us to ask, “Why not?”