Here’s a Rorschach Test

by Don Boudreaux on October 31, 2009

in Current Affairs, Debt and Deficits, Other People's Money, Politics, Taxes

I sent the letter below to the Los Angeles Times:

Although California’s government hasn’t formally raised tax rates, starting tomorrow it will withhold “10% more than it already does in state income taxes” (“California to withhold a bigger chunk of paychecks,” Oct. 31).  You call this move by Sacramento “a forced, interest-free loan” from taxpayers to government.  Forced it is – a fact that makes taxpayers not lenders but, rather, victims of theft.

Suppose your neighbor seizes some of your weekly income while promising to return the funds to you later.  Even if he eventually repays you with interest, he’s a thief.  Nothing – not his profligacy, not his “need” for more money, not the manner in which he spends the money he filches – excuses his thievery.

It’s fashionable today to accuse private businesses of being greedy, duplicitous, and larcenous.  But no business could get away with such audacious seizures of other people’s property – seizures that governments, such as California’s, are escalating to a dreadful new level.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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