We filed our federal and state taxes tonight, and are due a refund for both. Our effective federal tax rate is 0% and the state rate is 1.5%.
I don’t feel guilty for not paying income tax at the federal level. I look on income tax as a form of slavery. If you don’t, you might consider this: slavery is accurately described as a 100% tax on the wages of labor. Given that definition, how much of a slave are you to the government, and how much is morally justified?
If the government writes the law such that I can escape all fiscal penalty for being employed, it is wise, moral, and just to do so. If I end up reducing their income for paying public debts, then it puts more pressure on them to spend less of the money they do take in, so that the burden they put on others becomes less. Further, I don’t find any moral objection to wanting a 0% tax rate, since I would want others to pay the same rate and be equally free of the tax slavery.
The obvious question comes up – how do you pay for government? You start by cutting the government to only what is authorized by the Constitution. Then, staple the remaining budget to a wall and start throwing darts at it. Keep only one out of every three programs hit by a dart. Capitation taxes should be able to cover the rest, and anyone not able to pay a capitation tax could solicit help from his community or offer service in lieu of payment.
Here endeth the rant. Too bad it doesn’t also mark the end of the 16th Amendment.