There is no doubt that our government is spiraling out of control. With over $15 trillion in debt, Obamacare, and multi-billion dollar bailouts, we are in over our heads. However, the problem itself does not stem from a lack of taxation or a need for more bipartisan politics. Bipartisanship is a major source of the problem; both sides of the isle have supported unconstitutional bailouts, backroom deals exchanging earmarks for votes, and other sorts of reckless spending that have resulted in trillions of dollars in debt. To make the situation worse, the outcry that “Half the American population is not paying an income tax is wrong” is a philosophical error and should be rebutted, however some conservatives fail to grasp this concept.
The Heritage Foundation released a commentary this past Sunday about the percentage of Americans who do not pay an income tax. Bill Beach and Patrick Tyrrell found that about 49.5 % of Americans do not pay an income tax and argue that “The rapid growth of Americans who don’t pay income taxes is particularly alarming for the fate of the American form of government.”
If that statement was not bad enough, Beach and Tyrrell go on to say that “This trend should concern everyone who supports America’s republican form of government.” There are two major errors here; one, the problem here is not a lack of taxation but rather a serious addiction to spending, and two, the income tax is unconstitutional and is by no means consistent with a republican form of government. Heritage did acknowledge that too many people are dependent on government due to an entitlement mentality; however they failed to understand that an increase in the percentage of tax payers is not the answer to solve this problem.
This problem is philosophical, not mathematical. We are already extremely overtaxed and overregulated. The cry of some conservatives for more individuals to pay an income tax should be alarming to anybody who believes in individual liberty. Americans went from being a people who believed that they are entitled not to government goodies but rather the fruits of their own labor to a people that believes we are entitled to things from government like medicine and other people’s hard earned money. The fact that so many individuals are dependent on government means government has a serious problem with spending, not with taxing. Conservatives need to re-think the role of government, if we believe that government should provide services that can be better provided by the market than yes, they should support an income tax. Some conservatives seem to have forgotten that government is not a business and should not be viewed as such. An increase in taxes paid will only increase the size of the state.
Hopefully someday, Americans can celebrate the day where no individual is forced to pay an income tax. Conservatives need to find their way back to the idea that prosperity comes from the free market and the voluntary actions of free men and woman. Government can only provide services to people at the expense of others and any cry for more taxation to “fund” the government is a step backwards for those who believe in a truly limited constitutional government.Published in