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Liberty Revealed Episode 01 Show Summary
Income taxes. Nobody likes paying them. Libertarians hvae a unique take on taxation and how to change the system. This episode goes into great detail on this important topic.
Listen to Liberty Revealed Episode 01
Liberty Revealed Show Notes
Welcome to the inaugural episode of Liberty Revealed. I am your host, Mike Mahony. I am a Libertarian candidate for Orange County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District. Allow me to introduce myself and explain why I am qualified to talk about Liberty.
Evolution of Political Ideology
My political ideology has evolved over the years. As a young person I was very conservative. My mom was likely a registered Republican. I don’t know for sure, but that is my suspicion. I tended to follow in her footsteps, but after my first presidential election I began to see how complicated politics really is. I began to realize how politics affects all areas of life. As I became my own individual, my political ideology changed completely. I realized how important it is to help others, but not infringe upon anyone’s rights. By the time of my second presidential election, I was taking lots of time to determine who the candidates really were. I investigated their stances on the issues and then aligned myself with the candidate that matched me the most. I have never looked back since. Over time I noticed I was very aligned with the Libertarian party.
What is a Libertarian?
Before we get into today’s topic, taxes, I wanted to dive a little bit into what a Libertarian is because it is an often misunderstood topic.
Libertarianism is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle.Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual judgment and self-ownership. Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions.
An additional line of division between libertarians is over the scale of the elimination of the state. Most libertarians on both the left and right think that a minimal centralized government is necessary whilst anarchists (and anarcho-capitalists) propose to completely eliminate the state.
As a Libertarian, personal liberty is at the core of my political belief system. The purpose of this podcast is to reveal all the ways liberty plays a role in our daily lives. I hope to educate listeners on Libertarianism and the official party stance on all issues. No topic will be too big or too small.
Taxes – A Discussion
Today I want to present a discussion about taxes. A common phrase among Libertarians is “taxation is theft.” I fee the need to explain the issue of taxes as it relates to liberty.
The initial question to ask is when you pay taxes, do you do so voluntarily or because you are forced to? What happens if you don’t pay your taxes? Will you be fined further? Are you going to be harassed by the IRS? Maybe you will be jailed?
No Coercion or Use of Force
The Libertarian Party is fundamentally opposed to the use of force to coerce people to do anything. This should never happen in a civilized society. It infringes upon personal liberty. It is why we believe the government forcing us to pay income taxes is inherently wrong. Anything at all that is accomplished via coercion is wrong.
Libertarians believe in voluntary exchange, where people are free to make their own choices about what to do with their lives, their time, their bodies, their livelihood, and their dollars.
If Americans want to give money to the government for one reason or another, they should be free to do so. If Americans prefer to spend their money on other things, then they should be free to do that also. It is there money and they should be allowed to spend it as they please.
Abolish the IRS
Now that you understand the basics it is time for us to dig deeper into this topic. We Libertarians call for the repeal of income taxes, abolishment of the IRS and all federal programs not required by the Constitution. We oppose the concept of making employers collection agents, collecting taxes for the government.We understand exactly what the ramifications of these ideas really is.
I can hear many of you saying I am crazy for thinking the IRS should be abolished. I am sure you think any such idea is crazy and far from mainstream. You would be wrong. You would be completely wrong.
The largest conservative group in Congress supports this concept. The Republican Study Committee, which counts over two-thirds of House of Representatives Republicans as its members, called recently for “the complete elimination of the IRS.”
The committee’s support for this idea, once confined to the fringes of conservative ideology, suggests it is more widely accepted on Capitol Hill than ever. But many in Washington, including some Republicans, have trouble taking it seriously.
Taxes – Ted Cruz Supports Abolishing the IRS
Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate for President in 216, supports the idea of abolishing the IRS. A landing page on his campaign website proclaimed “Imagine a simple flat tax that lets every American fill out his or her taxes on a postcard. IMAGINE ABOLISHING THE IRS!” Yes, the mainstream political world is getting on the abolish the IRS bandwagon. It is no longer a fringe idea. We are not crazy!
Recent news that the Internal Revenue Service has been enforcing its already inscrutable doctrine with caprice and venom – directed at conservative groups, Republican donors, and supporters of Israel, among others – confirms the worst suspicions of many Americans, of all political affiliations. The IRS has begun to abuse its vast power. It is attempting things it really isn’t allowed to do under the law.
There is a lot of talk in Washington, and across the country, of a desire to reach bipartisan accord and accomplish great things. Here is an opportunity for just that.
Abolishing the IRS Goes Mainstream
Over the course of several election cycles, what was once a fringe notion advanced by long-shot candidates (Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul, please call your offices – or call each other, or call me, as you wish) has crept closer to the mainstream. To wit, it is time to abolish the IRS.
Wherever in the world your ears hear these words, the IRS very likely believes it has business with you. If you are married or related to an American, or in business with one, or if you have held US residency or even a visa at some time, the IRS can compel your financial institution to provide information on your assets and activities, threatening overwhelming sanctions for non-compliance.
What part of this aligns with personal liberty? None of it. The entire thing is extortion and that is why the abolish the IRS movement is gaining momentum. It is my belief government funds will increase by abolishing the IRS and replacing income taxes with some kind of consumption tax.
The recent tax bill passed by Congress and the Trump Administration is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough. Nothing short of abolishing income taxes would be completely acceptable. It is important to note that the power to assess taxes on an individual also gives the holder of that power a partial property right in the individual.
Taxes – How About a Consumption Tax?
What is the solution? How will the government be able to protect its citizens without income taxes? How about a consumption tax?
Instead of collecting taxes from various sources, a consumption tax works from a single point of purchase. It taxes people when they spend money on any given item or service. By eliminating income tax, sales tax and others, the idea is that overall price would not go up and may, according to its advocates, actually decrease the overall tax burden on citizens. It would simplify things for businesses as they would always be required to collect taxes on a percentage of the total order amount.
What will happen to the corporate population in America if income taxes are abolished? Think about it. What business wouldn’t want to reside in the United States if there were no income taxes.
Conceptually, a consumption tax is brilliant. Look at a $1 bottle of soda. Currently that price includes the cost of keeping attorneys on staff, the cost of CPAs, the cost of filing income taxes, and the cost of tracking all tax write offs. If corporate income taxes were abolished, prices would likely go down. The $1 bottle of soda would reduce to $0.80. The consumer would pay $1 (including the consumption tax). Everyone wins in this scenario. Even with the current $1 price, the soda costs more than $1 because of sales tax, a tax that would be non-existent if a consumption tax were put in place.That alone is about a 9% savings here in California where I live.
A consumption tax would not be done by force. You would be voluntarily spending your money with the knowledge that a portion of what you spend would go to the government. This would keep personal liberty intact.
Taxes – How Can the Government Operate Without Them?
Many people wonder how the government can operate if it didn’t collect taxes. They should review history for that answer. Income tax entered the picture in 1913. So what did the government do prior to 1913? Prior to the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913, the United States government funded its operations mainly through excise taxes, tariffs, customs duties and public land sales. This means the government has been collecting income taxes for a mere 105 years. The country itself is 243 years old. Clearly we survived a long time without collecting income taxes.
When you realize that taxation is extortion you quickly change your viewpoint. So many Americans are conditioned to believe that income taxes are critical to the survival of the government. If you look at how many non-essential government agencies there are, the picture comes into focus. The elimination of those agencies would eliminate the need to fund them (obviously). We pay high income taxes because our government wastes a lot of money.
It is a basic tenet of personal liberty that we be allowed to make choices that affect our life. Clearly, having the government take away a huge chunk of our income doesn’t allow us to make our own choices. That alone should make you realize how wrong taxation is.
Why is it that people grasp personal liberty in other matters, but miss it in regards to income taxes? It’s time we all woke up and demand change from our government. Only then will our personal liberty be saved.
Let’s let liberty be revealed by our words and actions. Let others make their own choices while we make our own choices.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you’ve found this instructive. If you enjoyed the show please consider subscribing. You can head over to YogisPodcastNetwork.com/libertyrevealed and follow the links to subscribe on iTunes and Google Play. Please consider joining our mailing list and receive a free 10 page guide to personal liberty as my way of thanking you. Redeem this offer at yogispodcastnetwork.com/personalliberty. I hope you come back next week for another discussion.
To find out more about the show, head over to yogispodcastnetwork.com/lr. If you’d like a 10 page eBook explaining personal liberty from the Libertarian perspective, sign up for my mailing list at yogispodcastnetwork.com/libertyrevealed and I will send it to you free as my way of thanking you.