The recent OpEd on the state income tax assumes reducing this burden necessitates an increase in existing taxes or imposition of new taxes. Tacitly implied is state entitlement to its citizens’ wealth.
Being captive to the idea of state entitlement to citizen prosperity limits conceptual thinking. Several tenets should be reiterated.
The state cannot generate wealth, so it’s forced to seize it from citizens, at point of arms if necessary.
The state is committed to redistribution of wealth under the guise of “helping” citizens, though charitable organizations have historically handled benevolent endeavors better than bureaucracy.
The state forgets equality refers to the application of law, not income redistribution.
The state seeks to provide sustenance to those who have not contributed anything to society and in fact drain its resources. The three great world religions all espouse a similitude that if you don’t work neither should you eat.
Certainly some taxes are crucial: Levies for roads, public safety, emergency services, deeds and title recording are definitely worthwhile. State activities to safeguard food and products that might cause consumer harm are genuinely valuable, too. Honest, unbiased, education is arguably beneficial, as is defense. And of course, prisons for the recalcitrant among us serve a legitimate function.
But spending taxpayer funds on research, illegal aliens, funding medical care, on attempts to restrict constitutional “rights” are an anathema. It is here where cuts can be made in state spending concomitant with the reduction of the income tax.
Society and the state benefit when working individuals are allowed to retain their income. It is absurd to think government knows better how to spend than individuals do. It is ludicrous to accept only government can take care of people. Bureaucracies by their very nature become bloated, inefficient, and corrupted. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1801, “A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” Amen.