For the sake of argument, let’s assume that taxes and budget in the USA are related (they’re not), and that if 10% of the budget goes to something, that 10% of your tax dollars go to that same thing (this doesn’t happen). (Note: In reality, the income tax goes to paying the interest on the national debt, and the USA borrows more money from the Federal Reserve to pay for all those services we’re about to discuss.)
Let’s also assume that our hypothetical wage slave (aka: taxpayer) earns $75k per year, and pays taxes within the standard range on that salary.
That means our hypothetical wage slave pays about $22,500 per year in state and federal income taxes, depending on the state in which he resides. This does not even take into account the additional taxes he pays every year on things like: utilities, gasoline, products he buys, etc.
Where does his $22,500 go?
- $7k goes directly to killing people in foreign countries.
- $1k goes to jailing drug users in this country.
- Most of the rest (about $14,000) goes towards the debt, social security, and medicare.
- The slimmest of fractions (about $1500) goes to things he wants and uses: roads, education, libraries, fire departments, and a few other services.
He does not want and does not use the services that take up the majority of the budget, and considers them all corrupt and disgusting violations of his ethics, of human rights, and at base, a violation of the golden rule.
The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code, or morality that essentially states either of the following:
- One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive form)
- One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative/prohibitive form, also called the Silver Rule)
What is our hypothetical wage slave paying for? Why should he be forced to pay for any of this crap? What is ethical about forcing people to violate their ethics in order to fund things they find unethical?
Why can’t our hypothetical wage slave give 10% (a nice tithe, according to most religions around the world) or 20% (a giant tithe, according to those same religions) to charities he chooses on his own. Maybe he likes roads, and would like to donate to improving his local roadways. Maybe he likes a certain type of school, and would like to donate there. Maybe he has compassion for homeless veterans, and would like to help some get off the streets. Maybe he would like to help cure poverty in the inner city near his home. Why must he also give an additional 30% of his income to killing people, jailing people he considers innocent of any real crime, and paying for the debts of a bunch of assholes? Why is it right for him to be jailed for refusing to participate in this system of theft and violence?