Why Opposing Taxation Should Not Be A Libertarian Position

Many of todays leading free thinkers like Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro and Bill Maher take a some kind of libertarian position emphasizing personal liberty and reducing the government influence in our lives. While I agree with most of this, I disagree with the conclusion that most libertarians seem to make that the only way to get this is to have a small government and low taxes so you are free to use the money you earn.

Above Penn Jillette argues that libertarianism is about taking as little from others and letting everyone do their own decisions. As an example he explains he can barely make choices about his own kids hobbies let alone the healthcare of other people and how the life choices of him and Jim Morrison should not be enforced on either. While this is a relatable sentiment, it’s a false comparison as no-one is proposing to choose what your kids do as a hobby and both him and Jim were free to make your choices.

I consider myself a libertarian and for me that means the liberty to pursue my dreams and express my ideas. Freedom of speech is the fundamental value even when it means neo-nazi marches. And by default forbidding things should be the last resort that requires strong factual proof of a concrete harm. However I don’t see taxation as a limit of my freedom even if it does concretely limit my life choices. Just because you can’t pick everything at once doesn't mean you are do not have the freedom to make the choice, just that you have to prioritize more.

Instead in todays world the real borders on freedom are lacking the means pursue your dreams. You don’t need the bigger car or a house to do that, but you need your health and an education and child care. If your life is overrun by debt, you are not free. And if you feel personal liberty is a fundamental humane value, you should support it for all people. It’s not enough to fight for your right to do things, you have to support everyones access to them. Every libertarian should support universal healthcare and universal education.