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Government Officials Want You to Know that Your Earnings Belong to Them

December 31, 2011
Robert Higgs

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, recently created a media flap when she said:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you!

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Conservatives and libertarians took offense at Warren’s claim that the government has a superior claim to “a hunk” of people’s earnings merely because every individual lives in and benefits from a society to whose creation many other people have contributed.

The critics might well have been grateful for small blessings, however. Warren was prepared, rhetorically at least, to let people keep “a big hunk” of their earnings.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    January 4, 2012 7:09 pm

    She is right. We own nothing. That crap in your wallet called “dollars” is nothing more than a federal debt instrument. How does one obtain ownership of something by paying for it with a debt instrument. The Federal Reserve has the gall to say the economy cannot function without debt. The problem is the debt MUST keep growing. Don’t expect the 535 morons in DC to do anything about it, they can’t! The income tax is a tax on the PRIVILEGE of using federal debt instruments.

    When the people realize what is going on, then there will be revolution.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    January 4, 2012 7:07 pm

    Of course, the underlying contract doesn’t say I must pay extortion under the guise, sham and pretense of supposedly paying a “tax” that actually is imposed by law upon somebody else.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    January 4, 2012 7:05 pm

    I paid gasoline tax for the roads. I paid property tax to educate the workers and to cover the police forces and fire forces.

    None of which, by the way, is federal.

  4. olde reb permalink
    December 31, 2011 11:32 am

    There is no income tax on individuals. If such a tax was in effect, the government could confiscate 100 percent of an individuals earnings. The government would be the massa on the hill; the people would be the economic slaves who would subsist on the crumbs bestowed by government. The Republic of Sovereign people would become a tryanny of bureaucrats. The Constitution would be repudiated by one law.

    The income tax is impressed upon society by fraud. The occasion to pursue a livelihood is (supposedly) secured as a Constitutional Right by the clause of Liberty. Such Rights are not suitable objects for taxation. Ref.

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