Can a Christian Really Say Taxation Is Theft?

Romans‬ ‭13:6–7‬ :

Thoughts?

The surrounding context points out the government’s proper role. It says “For because of this…” Because of what? The government bears the sword to punish wrong-doers.

Read Romans 13:6–7 in light of Romans 13:1–5:

The Bible seems to leave room for various forms of government, but the purpose of government is clear.

From 1 Samuel, we can gather that there are some dangers that come with having a monarchy, and that it would be better if political power were in the hands of those chosen by the people as representatives and judges.

I do believe “taxation is theft” — in the sense that most taxation today is theft. I wouldn’t say all forms of taxation are theft. I advocate for voluntary taxation as being superior to coercive taxation.

Either way, Romans 13:6–7 points to the validity of government as such and of taxation as such, not to the validity of one specific model of taxation or another.

From Romans 13 it certainly does not follow that the government is entitled to spend tax revenue on anything the rulers want — or anything that mentally deficient tyrants demand.

Addendum

Reader Question:

Which modern taxes would you call most, and least, larcenous, and what causes most appropriate for tax funding?

My Answer:

Government should be funded by voluntary means only. That means there could be a voluntary tax or other forms of collecting revenue. For instance, check out the idea of contract insurance or other means here: https://theobjectivestandard.com/2012/05/how-would-govt/

The role of the government is to punish the wrongdoer. That means when someone initiates force against one of the nation’s citizens, the government’s role is to identify what crime has been committed and to punish that person (or defeat an invading army). In order to make this possible, a government needs a legal system, police, and a military. That is about all it needs. When a government does more than this, it violates the rights of the citizens. This is true, no matter where the funding is coming from.

The modern taxes that are most harmful seem to be the progressive income tax and any kind of income tax, the inheritance tax, capital gains taxes, and property taxes. These directly penalize people for owning or creating wealth. Taxes are a complicated topic. I would be interested to hear if there are other kinds of taxes that should be added to this list of top offenders.

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