By Christopher Zimny
“The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”
— Mark Twain
“‘Cause I’m the taxman,
And you’re working for no one… but me.”
— The Beatles, “Taxman”
With a stroke of the pen, March 16, 2012 became a day that historians will regard as a major strike to the foundation of the Republic. Words of this sort have been spoken throughout American history upon occasion, but in no sense on as large a scale or with as much meaning as in the past four years. To give a short sketch of the recent thefts of individual liberty all the direct subjects of the United States have been made to endure: the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the murder of American citizens and the administration’s assertion that it is lawful, and the week-old Executive Order claiming the President’s authority to take any and all resources he sees fit “for purposes of national security.”
It will do the reader well to remember that all government revenue is, by definition, compulsory payment. Government functions on resources that are not its own, thus they must be taken, ultimately, from the people.
Obama’s newest Executive Order—so-called “National Defense Resources Preparedness”—is the most blatant tax to ever be placed on the American people. This point should be made abundantly clear, because it is something that has not—to this writer’s knowledge—been acknowledged as a new tax law.
It reads thus:
[The President has the authority] to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense.The Executive Branch may do this “under both emergency and non-emergency conditions,” and in times of peace or war. This Order largely submits to no smoke or mirrors in order to seize the reader’s property and use it. It eliminates all governmental checks, declaring freely that it may tax its subjects quite seriously as it sees fit. Instead of only taking a fifth of Average Person’s income, say, it takes his income, and his house, and business facilities. It even qualifies Average Person himself to be the government’s own property, usable for its own purposes. This is the most grotesque tax one might ever see in America, but this writer fears that in time it will not be the worst.
When a person (or in this case an entity of persons) removes someone’s private property from them against their will, it is clear that this affront to freedom needs to be dealt with. Of course it is the case that taxation is theft. The seeming inevitability of this theft is the source of all the sardonic humor, the violence, unhappiness, anger or what have you that is felt when a tax is levied upon a person. But taxes are not inevitable. When the President of the United States—himself the supposed “Leader of the Free World”—declares that he himself may take anything from anyone at any time, something must be done.
This article was also published in The Libertarian Review.