Notice: The author believes that taxation is theft. The following is hypothetical based on the commonly-held viewpoint that government provides a positive service for society.
Much to do has been made over the recent revelation that Donald Trump hasn’t paid income taxes in a very long time. The orange man-thing touts it as a “genius” move to avoid paying the taxes necessary to finance the plethora of government programs he himself endorses, while his detractors call him an unpatriotic tax cheat. Bernie Sanders wisely pointed out that if everyone paid as much in taxes as Trump there would be no country… which is absolutely correct, if “country” means “slush fund for Sanders to buy another lake house (or “democratic lake house,” whatever).” Yes, the quick to criticize Bernie has paid far, far less taxes than Trump. Negative taxes, in fact.
Government employees “paying taxes” is a deceptive accounting trick
The reality is that no government employee pays taxes. If taxes are to be viewed as a portion of the productive activity of society set aside for the greater good, anyone paid exclusively through that portion cannot contribute to it, but only give some of it back. Government employees don’t pay taxes: they simply take less than they otherwise would.
The reason for this is to normalize government work and distract from its parasitic nature. If a government worker pays no taxes, the question begged is “Why?” The answer to that question is “Because he gets paid by taxes.” The logical realization from that is “Oh, that guy lives 100% off of my labor and the labor of people like me.” That revelation makes the average person much less patient with government inefficiency.
Everyone should be judged by their net tax gain/loss
As long as we’re moralizing someone’s level of taxation at all, we should be honest about each person’s contribution. The billionaire who pays a very low tax rate, but nonetheless a considerable amount, should be viewed in a more positive light than the part-time worker paying little or nothing. Those unable to pay taxes would feel embarrassed at their inability to contribute to society, and those receiving taxes should feel an intense burden of responsibility, as the hope and trust of society is placed squarely on their shoulders.
Or maybe, just maybe, we’re all trying to get through this world pursuing our own happiness, and taxes are just another affliction to be avoided, like theft or natural disaster. Actually, let’s just go with theft and be done with it.