Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Is Taxation Voluntary?

by Kevin D. Rollins

Jan Helfeld interviews Senator Harry Reid about government coercion. Reid maintains that taxation is voluntary despite all evidence to the contrary.


« Forget Iceland 1000 AD. How's About Switzerland Now? | Main | You Libertarian Relativist, You »

Comments

Agriculture, tourism and gaming are what makes Nevada a great place, with those industries providing work for many wonderful, hard working folks. How any part of the voting public could possibly have elected this babbling idiot to serve in the United States Senate is beyond comprehension.

# posted at by Jack Frost

You're the one who's babbling. Reid is making a perfectly standard - and correct - point about our mechanism for collecting taxes. The US system is "voluntary" in the sense that it is up to the individual to declare their own tax liability and make sure it has been paid by paying any extra taxes owed if their paycheck withholding is not sufficient. As he points out, perfectly correctly, in many other countries the individual has no role in the payment of their own taxes - the government deducts the money without asking them what they owe or what exemptions they may be entitled to. Even with paycheck withholding, in the US the individual must make the effort to reconcile their own taxes at the end of the year.

The standard term used in tax policy discussions for such a system is "voluntary". That's the term Reid used. Of course the system is not optional - and Reid says so explicitly. But it is different from other systems, and there is a standard term used to express that difference, and that was the term he used. (And that term is surely no more euphemistic that Mr. Flourescent Necktie's harping on the word "forced", which US taxation is not.)

You don't have to like the terminology that knowledgeable people use, but you make yourself look like a fool by proving that you don't know what it means.

KTK,

Jan is pointing out that taxation is inherently coercive. Do you disagree with this?

Calling it "voluntary" doesn't blot out taxation's coercive nature.

/KDR

# posted at by Kevin D. Rollins

"Voluntary taxation" is a technical term in tax policy. Reid used it correctly and explained in what way it applies. And, as he also explained, the voluntary nature of the US system makes it much less coercive than that of other systems (though you still have to obey the tax laws, just as you do every other law).

Complaining that he was wrong because it is not "voluntary" in the colloquial sense, when he was using the term correctly, in this context, in the strict sense, is just buffoonery. You don't have to like the tax system, but it's idiotic to criticize knowledgeable people who discuss it knowledgeably, using the terminology used by experts in the field. There is no "evidence to the contrary" regarding the voluntary nature of US tax policy - the US system is voluntary, as that term is used by people who are trying to discuss tax policy alternatives rationally and not playing silly word games.

Note that, in your sense, there is no such thing as a voluntary tax policy, since every nation makes taxes non-optional. Did you think Reid was claiming otherwise? If not, why waste everyone's time pretending to criticize him for making a statement nobody would believe, when he was in fact making a true statement using the accepted terminology?

If your objection is to taxation itself, then you should object to that, not to Reid, who was merely describing the system. If your objection - as you stated it was - is to Reid for making a false claim about US tax policy, then you should retract it, because you're wrong.

KTK,

Reid is using the term "voluntary" correctly with regard to question of whether the US government mandates withholding for all taxes due.

But, Reid is not answering the underlying question -- is taxation coercive? -- either because of intentional equivocation or because he cannot conceive the question Jan is asking.

Talking about withholding versus non-witholding has little bearing on whether taxation is coercive.

Do you think Reid is evading answering the question of coercion, or do you think he failed to grasp the question?

/KDR

# posted at by Kevin D. Rollins

Wow...this really is an insightful look into the liberal mind. The underlying question to Reid was whether or not using "force" to take money from individuls to give to other inviduals was inherently fair or productive to the body economic as a whole.

Reid responds by saying the taking of taxes isn't "forced" because an individual, dependent on his own unique set of circumstances, is able to determine his own tax liability per the rules set out by Congress. Failure, however, to meet that tax obligation can result in fines and/or jail time.

The individual thusly is forced to pay the tax. What is it that Reid fails to understand?

If anything, Reid is making a persuasive argument for a flat tax, though he would be loathe to come out and say that.

# posted at by Saul Goode

Reid responded to the questioner's tax-loon whining about "coercive" confiscation of taxes by pointing, correctly, that the US tax system is actually among the least coercive in the world. He is right about that, and he was right in his description of how the system works, and he used the accepted and correct terminology in so describing it.

You seem hung up on the fact that paying taxes is not optional. Get over it. Obeying the speed limit is not optional, not murdering people is not optional, and wearing clothing in public is not optional. You are "coerced" into doing all those things. The tax system is no different.

Poor you. You're trapped in a system in which society operates by rules applied generally to the whole population, in order to produce orderly outcomes (more or less) necessary to the stability of that society and the promotion of its generally-accepted values. It's called civilization. You don't have to like it, but, by definition, it's not optional (see Hobbes for why). Taxes are just part of what holds the system together. You're "coerced" into paying them in just the same way you're coerced into not murdering people (and, for Hobbes, though not for Locke, the latter is actually a greater infringement upon your freedom). But, given that there are laws, in every nation, and that they are not optional, in any nation, and that those laws include taxation, in every nation, it's a pointless indulgence in pseudo-libertarian boo-hooing to complain that you're coerced into not being an anarchist savage. Sorry about that. Get used to it. 19 is the upper age limit on taking Ayn Rand seriously.

But you'll be glad to know that, if you're an American, the tax system that contributes to your version of civilized society is in fact almost the least coercive in the world, and compliance is voluntary.

KTK,

It is possible to recognize the coercive nature of taxation but still be in favor of not abolishing taxation (which is my view.)

Recognizing that it is coercion (hopefully) should put a check on the willingness of the governing-set to impose ever-greater burdens on the public. But, if government leaders totally fail to realize this, as appears to be the case here, we cannot rely on them for any relief from the ills inherent in every government.

/KDR

# posted at by Kevin D. Rollins

Harry Reid's a tool. He tries to use semantics and typical liberal obfuscation when the plain truth is simple. The only way one can say taxes are "voluntary" is to argue that we elect the people who tax us so we are, in effect, volunteering to be hosed. That video must be years old. Reid looks a lot younger than I've seen him in recent appearances where he makes an ass of himself.

# posted at by Jarhead68

Geez, even for libs, you guys are dumb. Payroll taxes aren't voluntary!

# posted at by Gerry

KTK,

You're playing the same word games that Reid's playing.

Congratulations.

# posted at by Mace

KTK, your last point was spot on! I just wish Congress would lower my taxes.

# posted at by cv

Keith,

I agree with you that Reid is being honest and the person who really looks stupid here is Jan. I thought Reid was pretty straight forward.

I do, however, have to distinguish the difference of laws concerning taxation and those concerning murder, speed limit, etc.

The difference is that laws against murder, speeding, and public nudity are laws that protect individuals from other individuals. Tax laws, on the other hand, are taking an individuals money based on the notion that the government needs it. The amount, of course, is still left up to the government.

I understand how we create our own tax liability, but do we want the government punishing the successful?

# posted at by Neal J. Alexander

Hehe, Reid can call it "Bob" if he wishes, but the bottom line is correct - 'voluntary' is a stupid word to use for a process you neither volunteered for, or for a process you cannot opt out of. I'm trying to think of any other ridiculous use of 'voluntary' that would support Reid's position, but cannot. It'd be like Reid declaring that our Army in Viet Nam was 'voluntary', when in fact it wasn't, as people were drafted, with penalties (yes, force) if they didn't participate when they were supposed to. Today's Army, however, is truly 'voluntary' - if you don't want to be in it, don't sign up. If you want to 'volunteer', so be it.

Again, the notion that a tax system which requires 100% participation is 'voluntary' is a description only a Orwellian (or double-speak liberal) could embrace.

That other countries offer a different mechanism of taxation is no reflection on the meaning of the word 'voluntary' and the reality of our own tax system as an involuntary one. Good grief, I can't believe people are arguing that an involuntary system is voluntary, hiding behind "well, smart people use the word, so there, neener neener." Great critical thinking skills, there

# posted at by Midas

Tax is voluntary. If you volunteer to pay tax, you won't be prosecuted. Of course, you are free to opt out of paying taxes and go for prosecution and possibly jail time. It's up to you.

By the same token, anyone is free to commit murder. Of course, you'll end up on death row or behind bars for the rest of your life, but the choice is yours.

# posted at by paulie

How could anyone be shocked at liberals twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to redefine the meaning of the word "voluntary". After all, these same people thought they could achieve the same with the word "is".
At least "voluntary" contain more than one syllable.

# posted at by Mike

Don't forget, this is a politician. These are the same people who define a 4% increase as opposed to a 7% increase as a "cut".

# posted at by Mike

oh,you mean mandatory volunteerism. why didnt you say so. now i get it !

# posted at by frederick

To Keith T. Keith,

“buffoonery”, “tax-loon whining”, “pseudo-libertarian”, “anarchist savage”

What's this? Can't you make an argument without resorting to grammar school name calling?

Voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion. Where's the voluntary tax system you speak of? Playing word games does not change the definition of voluntary.

# posted at by Terry

Kevin T. Keith, you're an idiot. A Harry Reid sized idiot.

# posted at by Roy Mustang

Perhaps we should give "Dingy Harry" a voluntary pay check. This guy is from outer space.

# posted at by Richien

It's friggin' scary the leader of the senate of the greatest country in history can't (or refuses to) grasp such an elementary point.

# posted at by Scott

A friend of mine didn't volunteer to pay his taxes so the federal government stepped up and volunteered to confiscate everything he owned.

# posted at by Joey

Go libertarian Borat!!!

# posted at by gorak

Rich people don't pay taxes, people who earn income do. If you are rich I will show you how not to pay taxes ever, like move to Nevada and buy Treasury bonds, Harry "The War is Lost" Reid doesnt know crap about taxes, except to raise them on rich people...they say, yet I just proved that statement untrue... Tax Wealth not income, poor people make income, rich people have wealth...how much does buffet pay...33 cents because he only makes $1 in taxable income a year...yet is worth 62 billion....think he ever needs to work and pat taxes again? Even Harry Reid can get some dope on here to agree with him that taxes are not forced...right Al Capone, Leona Helmsley and Wesley Snipes disagree...

# posted at by Ken B

Paying federal taxes is as 'voluntary' as obeying the highway speed limit.

The unbelievable mind bending reasoning of Harry Reid and this individual named KTK makes the point of the liberal's intellectual ability. Their minds are so clouded and twisted by their inordinate emotions that their contribution to society is damaging at best.

The tax code is confusing on purpose as its constitutionality is murky. Everyone understands that government needs money to provide common benefits, such as law enforcement, etc. However, the way it is done today does not reflect the intent of the Fathers.

Let's go FAIRTAX.org and finish this painful debate.

# posted at by Florin

Keith, every word you have said here was irrelevant.

Yes, Reid was using a technical term that has a precise meaning when he talked about the "voluntary tax system" of the US.

The problem is that in response to the question asked here, it's a complete non sequitur.

If you do not pay your taxes, you will be sent to jail. If you resist being sent to jail, the police power will be used against you. That does in fact mean you are forced to pay your taxes.

And yes, you are also forced to obey other laws. There can be no doubt that the laws against robbery and murder are not "voluntary".

But unless you believe that all laws are inherently good simply because they are the law, there are some laws that justify the force used in their enforcement and some that don't. But it can be difficult to discuss that ethical threshold with people who refuse to concede the really simple and common-sense point that laws are enforced by force.

# posted at by Brian

And by the way, Keith, your entire diatribe about the requirements of civilization aren't responsive to the question, either.

Strictly speaking, that element of your post is saying "Yes, we are forcing you to pay your taxes, but because civilization requires it, I intend to ignore your complaint and dismiss your moral objection." What it is NOT doing is proving that force is not used to collect taxes.

# posted at by Brian
"…much less coercive."

Quote of the day. Lord I love me my less coercive country where I’m allowed political protest without being jailed (1 mile away from an event in a pen), where my lawyer is allowed access to me (as long as I’m not too dark or happen to be declared an enemy; a term with no legal definition), where I can lend support to the 5 million Iraqi refugees my country has made (as long as my support consists only of good wishes and neither words nor money), and where my chances of being in prison are higher than any country in the world (but not as long as I keep making the right voluntary choices, always pay taxes, never drive a stoned friend home, stay white and clean cut, don't take a pocket knife on a plane, ad nauseum).

# posted at by Ashley

When you give your wallet to the guy with the gun who says "your money or your life" is that also voluntary? I mean, you did reach into your pocket and get the wallet to hand it to him.

# posted at by Peter Boston

So according to Reid's lawyerly logic, the next time I fill up my gas tank, I can tell the station owner "I will not pay you for the portion of the gasoline price that goes towards federal highway taxes. Just have the government come and get me"?

Yeah that will work!

# posted at by AJ Lynch

Yes its voluntary in the sense that if you do not volunteer your money to pay for terabytes of useless powerpoint presentations in DC, you will have men with guns come to your door to take their pound of flesh.

Oooh the weather here in DC is just wonderful today. Of course the sun is always shining in a place where property values are not sinking like stones and the recession will never be felt due to all of your "voluntary" contributions. But I must say, the cars in town could be a little nicer. Wouldn't you guys mind volunteering another ten percent or so? We already have about a quarter of your labor and you don't care, what's another ten percent? By the way I like that guy who gave his civil society speech, its guys like you that keeps my neighborhood beautiful. Thanks for the ballpark, even though it was second hand taxes, we all know the source just the same.

# posted at by DC

So what's the point? Did Harry Reid invent our tax code? The highest tax we all pay is our federal deficit. Why don't you alleged fiscal conservatives ever take on that problem?...and don't quote the BS about "it being the lowest % of GDP in history"...completely untrue and irrelevant.

# posted at by JC

Ministry of Peace = War
Ministry of Love = Hate
Coerced Taxes = Voluntary gifts
George Orwell = Harry Reid

# posted at by Buddy

Voluntary = Do what we say, or we'll send armed government agents to your house.

Nice.

I wonder what their definition of consensual is...

# posted at by jimmyb

Place this ON youtube. Otherwise, people won't click on the link if i send the link to them.

# posted at by Place this on youtube

compliance is voluntary

KTK, I think it's more accurate if you say "compliance is mandatory."

# posted at by shecky

When there's a single thief, it's robbery. When there are a thousand thieves, it's taxation.

# posted at by Me

What a stupid and pointless interview.

If this idiot with the moustache wants to call it forced taxation, then let his little pea brain call it that. It doesn't change anything. Taxes are necessary.

# posted at by dave rywall

the comment "it is up to the individual to declare their own tax liability and make sure it has been paid by paying any extra taxes owed if their paycheck withholding is not sufficient" is totally wrong. it is NOT up to the individual to declare his tax liability. the government is all over you if you don't do it. so quit trying to twist things round. Harry Reid is a fool for even trying to say it's voluntary. so what if we have mortgage or medical deductions. the government will determine your tax liability and confiscate your assets if you don't declare them yourselves. the only thing "voluntary" about paying taxes is if you're willing to pay a penalty or not.

# posted at by Hank Waters

Oh wtf is wrong with people - American society has decided as a whole to collect taxes. That means it is a VOLUNTARY system. If some jerk doesn't want to pay, then he should get off his a** and work on getting people elected who'll do away with taxes. Otherwise, he should STFU. The majority has spoken.

# posted at by dave rywall

Kevin, thank you for posting this. May I ask when the interview took place?

# posted at by Paul

American society has decided as a whole to collect taxes. That means it is a VOLUNTARY system.

American society decided that slavery was legal. Was that a VOLUNTARY system?

# posted at by shecky

Slavery?

Could you be any more off topic and irrelevant?

# posted at by dave rywall

Could you answer the question?

# posted at by shecky

I couple of comments:
As previously noted, Harry Reid's response was a non-sequitor to the question.

I may declare my tax liability, but the government checks my answer, and if they find it incorrect, they set my tax liability. Ergo, ultimately the tax liability is not set by me, but by the government. One could argue that I can earn less, thus voluntarily lower my tax liability. This may be technically true, but it seems an awful way to inspire people to support the country.

The American people, via a representative majority, did set the tax rate. However, the issue is that Harry Reid wants to adjust that rate in a manner to serve a social engineering agenda. If it is indeed a voluntary system, then don't I at least have the right to question the use of tax dollars I contributed? Is it unlawful and wrong to say, "I don't think my money should pay for that" as it is unlawful and wrong to break the speed limit? I don't think so.

# posted at by Leland

Reid responded to the questioner's tax-loon whining about "coercive" confiscation of taxes by pointing, correctly, that the US tax system is actually among the least coercive in the world.

And here we see the duplicity of Kevin T. Keith. Sure, our system in "voluntary" in the sense that tax payers are allowed to voluntarily pay their taxes...and if they don't the full force of the State falls upon those who do not pay.

Being "less coercive" does not mean the system is NOT coercive. In short, Kevin T. Keith is hiding behind "technical jargon" to maintain the patina of a "voluntary" system when in fact it is not. It is coercive and confiscatory (translation for Kevin T. Keith: the government uses force and they take your money).

Oh, and I don't merely wear clothing simply because of laws requiring it. I wear clothing for a number of reasons. Don't be such a dope, Kevin T. Keith.

shecky:
Taxation = apples
Slavery = oranges

Tax liability is set by the government according to the wishes of the people who elect it.

People can absolutely disagree with how tax dollars are spent. That's what election, letter writing campaigns, protests, etc are for.


# posted at by dave rywall

'What a stupid and pointless interview.

If this idiot with the moustache wants to call it forced taxation, then let his little pea brain call it that. It doesn't change anything. Taxes are necessary.

Posted by: dave rywall


Stupid! Idiot! Pea brain with a moustache!
Dave, It's time you liberals start accepting this simple fact - WHENEVER YOU PEOPLE RESORT TO NAME CALLING, YOU ARE NOT ONLY CONFIRMING YOUR IGNORANCE, BUT ALSO MAKING CLEAR THE FACT, THAT LIBERALS CANNOT COMPETE IN THE ARENA OF IDEAS.
Judging by the vulgarity and gutter language that pollute most liberal websites. I know how difficult it must be for people like you to form a coherent thought.

# posted at by Mike

Suppose that I think that someone's existence is bad for society and I want to get rid of them. Naturally, I wouldn't want to use force to get rid of them, so I will let them do themselves in voluntarily. Of course, if you fail to do so, you'll be arrested and my agents will eventually make you.

But hey, this is a completely voluntary execution, so my hands are clean.

dave,

I'm not debating how taxes are spent, this is about how they're collected. You claim that taxes are voluntary because our elected representatives approved them. I'm pointing out that the laws our government passes are mandatory, not voluntary. If you get a speeding ticket, payment is required, not optional.

To use your comparison:
Mandatory = apples
Voluntary = oranges

# posted at by shecky

KTK
Yhe fool is the one who argues nuance and not truth.
The thruth is "Voluntary", is Not an acurate discription of the resulting policy. We are all Forced to pay our taxes

# posted at by commoncents

Everybody hate taxes, but everybody acknowledges they're a necessity. Therefore, taxes are voluntary, no matter how annoyed you are at paying them. The fact that the government sets the tax rate does not make it forced, since the people elected the government with the acknowledgement that there would be taxes in the first place. Of course laws that enforce tax collection are mandatory but that doesn't erase the fact that the SYSTEM itself is voluntary.

Same for speeding tickets. Society determined the laws of the road and society acknowledged that there are repercussions for speeding. Again, a voluntary system regardless of the enforcement of all the rules everybody already agreed to.

# posted at by dave rywall

KTK
Yhe fool is the one who argues nuance and not truth.
The thruth is "Voluntary", is Not an acurate discription of the resulting policy. We are all Forced to pay our taxes

# posted at by commoncents

KTK
Yhe fool is the one who argues nuance and not truth.
The thruth is "Voluntary", is Not an acurate discription of the resulting policy. We are all Forced to pay our taxes

# posted at by commoncents

commoncents - as a citizen you have already AGREED to pay taxes because that is how your society has been set up. The majority have decided that taxation is necessary, so there's nothing forced about it. If you fail to live up to that agreement, then yes, of course you're pursued by the law.

# posted at by dave rywall

Kevin T Keith is an example of the muddled relativist "thinker" turned out by liberal schooling. He redefines words to mean what he wants them to mean. Of course he is not conscious of this.

Dave Rywall and Hank Waters are the "holier than thou lib". Each man has no use for any kind of thinking, even if he were capable of it. He just feels what he feels is right. Not having the intellect to explain these feelings, he spouts gutter talk.

Keith, Rywall, Waters are such classic examples of liberal "intellectuality" that perhaps their names could be permanently attached to these to these liberal defects.

I suggest the Keith Syndrome and the Rywall-Waters Reaction.

In closing, be it known that I wrote this voluntarily!

Everybody hate taxes, but everybody acknowledges they're a necessity. Therefore, taxes are voluntary, no matter how annoyed you are at paying them.
Factually incorrect: I do not acknowledge their necessity.

Setting that aside, it's also a logical fallacy. For example, I may agree that some taxation is necessary, but disagree over the means of levying them: some economists might argue for a sales tax rather than income tax, for example. Or, I may disagree with the "progressive" system in which those who produce the most are forced to give up much more of their income. In either of these examples, people who agree that the gov't needs taxation could well protest against the actual implementation.

Why does this program not work properly with Mozilla!

Chris Wyestfeld - without taxes how will you pay for the US military?

How are you going to pay for all this:
http://www.elunah.com/US%20Budget%202007.jpg

Whatever system you want - progressive, sales tax, ow it's implemented etc etc - you AGREE taxes must be collected to pay for things for the common good. A voluntary system. You've proved my point.

# posted at by dave rywall

There's some confusion because the word "voluntary" has two definitions. One is the ordinary one, which is used to describe time given to charitable organizations, blood given to regional blood banks, money given to one's house of worship, etc. It has "mandatory" as an antonym.

The other meaning is when it is used to describe a system of taxation in which not only paying the tax mandatory, so is doing the bookkeeping.

Other words available at http://dictionary.reference.com are "orwellian", "doublespeak" and "doublethink".

# posted at by Eric S. Harris

Get over it people.

Harry Reid is simply floundering trying to defend his own stupid comment about how we have a 'voluntary' tax system. Taxes are in no way voluntary in the United States, no matter how many ways you can bring the total down, because you will be forcibly detained if you don't pay them. Politicians may call it voluntary, but that certainly doesn't make it so.

# posted at by spongessuck

How did this clown get elected? What the hell is happening to our country?

# posted at by Ray

Buffoonery at it's best, Reid's legalese mincing sheds light on the asinine liberal mindset. In what world do these people live where they ponder and dissect words to come at their desired end result. Do they not see what complete fools they are? Watch out for that 'KTK', me thinks he thinks he is the smartest in the room!

# posted at by jaywalker

dave,

To go back to my silly example, substitute slavery for taxation in this sentence of yours:

The majority have decided that taxation is necessary, so there's nothing forced about it.

Using your logic and definitions, slavery wasn't forced, but a voluntary action.

# posted at by shecky

While the legal term of art "voluntary" may apply, Helfeld is obviously not asking from a legal context. Reid insistence on answering in a legal context is naked rhetoric at best.

Kevin T. Keith's argument is actually worse in that he's actually connecting the dots and saying that the legal term of art "voluntary" is entirely equivalent to the colloquial understanding of the term. That is simply dishonest.

# posted at by Rimfax

Mr Rywall:
I am beginning to think you are just pulling ours legs. Right? You must be sitting back, posting this nonsense, and laughing at us "fools" who are taking you seriouly. Right?
If not. I reccomend you step away from the computer, get on the phone and call a psychiatrist. Because sir, if you truly believe what you are saying; you are sorely in need of some extensive therapy.
Try as you might. It's impossible for you, or anyone else, to "nuance" the meaning of the word "voluntary". The meaning is static, and not "living" as your liberal interpretation of the Constitution.
I know as a true liberal, you believe in your heart-of-hearts that you "must" defend your fellow liberals at all cost. But your "great leader", Harry Reid, have blown this one big time.
So accept defeat and "move on". Save your powder for a fight that gives you a more than "2%" chance at winning.

# posted at by Mike

All I'm saying is this: in order for a society such as yours to exist, taxation must exist, and citizens acknowledge this fact. Since 1776, you have elected governments who have implemented this notion. You are all in agreement with the notion of taxation. Hence, it is voluntary.

And I could give a flying f**k about Harry Reid. I'm not even American.

I found this interview so moronic in its attempt to discuss something so painfully obvious. The interviewer tap dancing around retardedly nitpicky bits and pieces of taxation were extremely annoying.

But, Mike, please: explain to me how your American society can function without taxation. I can't wait.

# posted at by dave rywall

Mr. Rywall seems to find a "civilized society" one in which the individual is forced to pay, under threat of imprisonment.

Tell me, Mr. Rywall, why should American society be worth keeping, if you have to point guns to do it?

Personally, I think that Americans can keep our beautiful civilization without the inhuman institution of government. I am surprised you think so little of your friends and neighbors that you think they need to be kept at bay with whips and chains.

# posted at by Ayn_Randian

How are you forced to pay taxes?
You're the one who set the system up in the first place.
You are just living up to your promise as a member of society.
This isn't 1775, for f***'s sake.

# posted at by Anonymous

Anon -

What promise sir?

Do you have my signature on said promise? Do you have tape of me swearing an oath to it?

No, it isn't 1775, but it's best we never forget the lessons drawn from that year, because that Enlightenment was the genesis for this great nation.

# posted at by Ayn_Randian

Ayn - By your statement "I think that Americans can keep our beautiful civilization without the inhuman institution of government", am I right to assume you wish to abolish the government? Sorry - you're on too much glue for me.

# posted at by Anonymous

Let's face it fellow citizens. Tax systems are almost all purely mandatory. What really gets my goat is I pay to two different tax gobbling venues and no fix is within sight.
(1) Welfare. This benefit only benefits a majority of the unwilling to participate as a contributing member of our "great society". I deal with these beneficiaries of my "voluntary" tax on a daily basis. They neither want to become self sufficient nor take responsibility for their circumstance. Blame it on someone else...drug dealers (for getting them hooked), big corporations (firing them for doing substandard work), politicians, etc.
(2) Social Security. How come Congress uses my future retirement to pay for their "pet projects" without concern? They don't pay into the Social Security System. It won't affect them. So why not use this windfall without concern for their constituents future?
The bottom line folks, call it what you may. Taxing is not the culprit (either forced or voluntary). It's what it's used for, especially when the original design has been corrupted into what it is today. God Bless

# posted at by Len

All I'm saying is this: in order for a society such as yours to exist, taxation must exist, and citizens acknowledge this fact. Since 1776, you have elected governments who have implemented this notion. You are all in agreement with the notion of taxation. Hence, it is voluntary.

All right Dave et al., get this through your head, once and for all - NECESSARY != VOLUNTARY.

All you are doing is describing how a sufficiently large number of people have agreed that a MANDATORY system of taxation is necessary. A VOLUNTARY system of taxation would rely on contributions given freely, not extracted under penalty of imprisonment.

Unfortunately, the doublespeak perversion of the word VOLUNTARY has allowed too many of those people to pretend that there are not armed government agents prepared to enFORCE the tax laws, or that somehow a system so enFORCED can still be called VOLUNTARY.

# posted at by horsewithnonick

Anon - you weren't right to assume. I said "think"...the problem is, is that I believe in the goodness of most people, whereas you don't.

Hence our disconnect.

# posted at by Ayn_Randian

just a small constructive comment, the silent text intro is way too long - we want lots of people to watch this! get to the point and cut straight to the video!

# posted at by Anonymous

Mandatory would be the correct terminology, not Voluntary.
But we live in a world by which only the brave question; and those who do not, defend their way to Governmental Servitude.

A flawed system cannot be defined, but only by how much worse it could be.

And our history has always been transformed by the brave who challenged this very disorder.
Good going for this blog.

# posted at by MB

The Federal Income Tax is voluntary because it is an excise tax of limited applicability. Most people who pay federal income tax are not liable under the tax laws so technically they "volunteer".

The problem then is that the state is criminally involved in extortion when it unlawfully seizes property or criminally prosecutes these individuals who do not volunteer.

All taxation is coercion, and hopefully as libertarians we can come up with freely contractual means of paying for essential services without taxation. But the individual income tax is voluntary for most Americans because it has to be under the Constitution. As a direct tax, it must be apportioned and collected by the states. And individuals cannot be made to file returns because they are incriminating themselves, unless they are engaged in an excise taxable priveleged occupation, or are foreigners not protected by the Constitution.

# posted at by libertreee

Tax deductability is just a way for government to control consumption and production. For instance, the gas tax is said to lower consumption of gas but it has just raised the price of a gallon of gas by the imposed tax. Then they put in effect a tax break if you drive a hybrid car but you still have to jump through a lot of hoops to benifit. This is a back door way of government trying to control what you drive and what you consume. The only true way to have a fair tax sytem would be to have a flat rate tax. No matter how little or how much you make or what you choose in a free country to purchase you pay the same rate no matter what. Now this does not give the rich a break because the rate is the same but the rich still pay more. If you make $30,000 a year if the sigle rate where 10% you would pay $3,000, and if you made $100,000 a year and the rate was the same, you would pay $10,000. That to me seams very fair, to have the same rate for all income brackets. This would also take a lot of power away from government to write the tax code in a way to control what you purchase, and if the rate was at the right level you could get rid of the heart of the problem with the tax code and that would be deductions. It would also make it easier for upward mobility with your income, and who does not want to be comfortable with your income?

# posted at by Luke Williams

Amazing how taxation always attracts crowds, as does a good mental circle session about the meanings of words.

As Bill Clinton responded when questioned "Did you have sex with that woman?" The answer was "All depends on how you define sex" In other words We will make the rules of definition as we go along. because if a person is not a polition, he or she is stupid enough to believe what told anyway.

# posted at by Dale Hargrove

With all of the bitting and counter bitting over the terminology. Can someone, anyone show me the law that requires me to pay the Federal Income Tax? Do your homework before you try to answer this one...

# posted at by Rogue

Voluntary...aka...the ability to cheat on your taxes?

# posted at by AMRAAM

BEING AGAINST TAXES DOES NOT MAKE YOU ANTI-GOVERNMENT.

Besides, most reasonable people are not against taxation.

The knee jerk reaction of irrational liberal mind: NO TAXES = NO ROADS! What a dishonest conclusion.

Here are some reasons why people are frustrated:
1) The unclear constitutionality of our current tax system; O my, show me the law! Why can't it be simply stated on paper and clearly defined!? Why do judges fall back to precedence as the only way to solve tax protesters in court? Could it be that the Constitution did not mean our tax system?
2) The deep conviction that the framers of this country did not intend that we should be taxed to the extent that we are today. They founded this country with the fundamental belief that a big government is a threat to the nation. More tax money results in more government.
3) A sense that the tax system should be uniform to be just - currently it is unjustly distributed based on political agendas.
3) The strong evidence that more tax money to the government creates more problems in society rather than solve them; The less money the government has the more focused it stays on spending it and less abusive in tax money misuse.

There's more to say but not the time.

Irrational liberal mind, hear this: I wish the US had more roads and I would gladly pay for them. The problem is that my road tax is not used for roads but for building local constituency by both parties.

Let's go http://www.FAIRTAX.ORG and remove this unjust tax power from the politicians.

If you people would only consider the positive consequences of applying a fairtax.org!

# posted at by Florin

Is it possible that Harry Reed is deliberately twisting the definition of voluntary? That depends entirely on what your definition of "IS" is! According to these liberals, I keep coming up with the wrong answer!

# posted at by Mary Gram

Helfeld was trying to make an argument against the re-distribution of wealth - a fundamental socialist philosophy prevalent in the Democrat party. I'm from Nevada, and no fan of Sen. Reid, but the interviewer got caught up in semantics (maybe they both did.)

One big problem with taxes is that we don't "see" it coming out of our paychecks. If we were to receive a bill every month itemizing how our taxes are spent, we would be up in arms.

Instead, the burden is on us to justify our exemptions every year. "We" have to disclose our budgets to get tax relief, but the government does not have to disclose why they are entitled to "our money." Both parties benefit from this because; they want to keep the "pork" rolling along.

# posted at by Alex DeJesus

I don't see how the following makes sense:

"Society has agreed we need taxes. We vote on who will then decide how taxes are levied & spent- hence, they are voluntary."

To volunteer means to decide- of your own will, without external coercion, to do something (send a check to DC).

"You" and "your" will imply the existence of an individual willing, thinking, deciding. "Society" is not an individual, "it" cannot make decisions of any kind.

I am the only person who can volunteer to send my money to DC. Not refusing, because I fear society's wrath, is not the same as implicitly agreeing to be involved in a scheme where 535 individuals other than me get to decide what "society" wants.

Last comment: if we are so interested in our "society", why is it there an 85-95% incumbent reelection rate? Could it be that continent-wide govt-by-plebiscite is a joke, especially if no one in this country cares?

# posted at by Lucas

High-sounding, idealistic phrases like 'of the people' notwithstanding...The power of government IS the power of the gun.

If you do not pay your taxes, and are not moved to action by legal threats or civil & criminal judgments, men with GUNS will come find you and force you to comply with the demands of the government. If you choose not to comply, or if you choose to defend yourself...you will DIE. It is that simple.

This is true of all government mandates: You will comply, or deadly force will be brought to bear in order to compel your compliance.

To call our system of taxation voluntary is criminally dishonest...and further, Reid should be punished for advocating a position that has the potential to mislead others into breaking the "law."

# posted at by Ron Jones

Somebody must have told Old Al Capone and a few other mobsters that taxes were volentary ??????

# posted at by Dale Hargrove

KTK ???

You are REQUIRED to file your taxes. Period ...
The word voluntary cannot be appiled.
Church donations are VOLUNTARY filing your taxes is REQUIRED.

Pin Head ...

# posted at by Jeff

This is, perhaps, the funniest dialog I've ever read! It's as bad as parsing the definition of the word is.

This is a common tactic of the left, using a word in a way that virtually no one would agree with. There may be a technical definition of the word voluntary as applied to the tax code that is different from the commonly accepted definition but that fact simply illustrates the point. A common word gets redefined so that average people think you are saying something other than what you mean. That is intentional.

The argument that because we can decide not to pay our taxes means it is voluntary is simply spurious. Using that logic there is no such thing as compulsory. Everything is voluntary.

Dave Rywall and Keith are the loons here. I love it when people line up to have their money stolen from them then say, well it's a democracy so get used to it. What a couple of complete idiots. I am sure Dave and Keith would never grab a weapon, walk over to their neighbor's house and rob them. But, they have no problem sending in armed proxies to do it for them. I guess it lets them sleep at night. For you two fools, taxation is THEFT! Armed robbery is just that, it does not matter if the robber is wearing a uniform. How did we get along for the first 120 years without an income tax? You two are so eager to to as your told it sickens me, neither of you can be called Americans in the true sense of the word.

# posted at by Bill

Well of course. When the gang of robbers assaulted me and broke my legs, I then volunteered to give them all my money.

Simple! Makes perfect sense!

And let's all hide behind technical definitions which completely miss the point of the issue at hand because we don't want to discuss how we're wrong. Democracies work best that way!

Yay!

EVERYONE WHO WANTS LOWER TAXES IS EVIL AND SELFISH AND HATE POOR PEOPLE AND MINORITIES AND WANT YOUNG BABIES TO DIE PAINFULLY BECAUSE THERE'S NO OTHER WAY THAN THE GOVERNMENT.

DON'T OPPRESS ME WITH YOUR "COUNTERARGUMENTS."

# posted at by Liberal Volunteer

Speaking of LOONS.. and Costing all Americans Money above and beyond...
I saw part of the Congressional Doiatribes spewed to the OIL Companies BIGGIES.. Let's see.. Markey Mark is upset that by hard work ther Companies are making money for their Share holders ( including retirees of Unions who own lots of share ).. are applalled at the Arab oil prices BUT None of the Congressional MORONS nor the OIL Chiefs really addressed the REAL issue... MORE DOMESTIC OIL and Gas Exploration and GET off CORN ETHANOL which is just adding to higher cost of living for food!!.. and That Moron DUDD of Conn whining over a Baker having to rise Bread prices due to higher Wheat costs... that MORON is unable to comprehend that we are IMPORING Wheat because he and the Idiots in Congress are Subsidizing Corn Growers to waste Corn and Energy in producing Ethanol... TOO many Dumb Lawyers in Congress with No Knowledge of Economics and NOT an OUNCE of Brains...

# posted at by redhawk

I guess compliance with all laws is voluntary. Hahaha.

I guess Reid is just telling us to be happy that they don't raid the banks and force them to give a portion of our income to them.

# posted at by TanGeng

I can't believe there are people here defending Harry Reid's useage of the word "voluntary." The interviewer is 100% correct - if you don't pay taxes, you're punished. Period. End of discussion.

A fine for no payment or late payment of taxes is punishment.

Going to jail for tax evasion is punishment.

The punisher, in both instances, is the government.

If idiots actually think that because you have to fill out and submit a tax statement, that this constitutes a "voluntary" action, try this: next time you fill out your 1040, omit, say, $25,000.00 of your income. And when the IRS comes knocking at your door, tell them you didn't feel like donating that money to the government.

This is up there with the time Clinton called income taxes "donations." What's even more comical is that there idiots who actually are willing to believe that.

# posted at by jpotts

Except for people who "work under the table". The government takes a portion of your earnings per paycheck, is that voluntary?
Jan, is not arguing the necessity of taxes, but simply the incorrect usage of words applied to the tax system.

Personally, i've accepted that taxes are a necessary evil that i'm mandated to pay. I also believe taxes are theft and should truly be voluntary.

# posted at by not u

I am annoyed at Reid's language "sensitivity" here in his recoil at the full-on term 'forceful.' He, like many another liberal, prefers euphemisms because they "feel" nicer. If 'forceful' is not the proper term to him, would he likewise object to 'enforcement' of tax law? What is the root of both terms?

# posted at by Robert Starbuck

Reid's semantic foolishness was an ingenious dodge by him to avoid - AND NEVER RETURN TO - the actual question asked: which was how those paying taxes "feel about the government" when that money goes to welfare recipients. How the taxpayers "think about the government" might have been the better phrasing to a non-liberal: thinking is more the conservative's domain; feeling, the liberal's. Even the interviewer was so stunned by the semantic game that he was shunted away from his own question! Still have to admire Reid's astounding change of the subject! Right up there with "Well, first of all..." as a way of NEVER RETURNING TO THE QUESTION ASKED! Count how many politicians use that dodge!

# posted at by Robert Starbuck

In 1867, Lysander Spooner correctly noted that the highwayman (mugger) with a gun and an IRS agent are the same thing, except that the former is too great a gentleman than to ask you to thank him or continue to pay him yearly.

# posted at by Glenn Winstead

Sure paying your taxes is voluntary, but the main issue should not have been semantics, but the idea of government using physical coersion to impose certain beliefs.

# posted at by classiclib

Isn't Newspeak wonderful.

# posted at by Publius

Isn't Newspeak wonderful.

# posted at by Publius

Unfortunately there are several inconsistencies being ignored here:

1: we the people no longer control how our tax money is spent. K street does that for their clients' benefit.

2: the question was about "coercive tax system". The answer is "yes - force is used if you do not comply". HR redirected it into a discussion of the semantics of the word "voluntary"

3: it is a fact that specialist disciplines have specialist usages for words that may also have seemingly contradictory common usages. It may well be that the tax specialist usage of "voluntary" is as HR described. On the other side,. the ID folks use the common meaning of the word "theory" when discussing science, which has a completely different meaning of the word "theory".

4: very few words in the English dictionary have a single precise meaning. Get used to it.

In summary: HR dodged the question. He also made the grave mistake of forgetting he was talking to laypersons and used technical jargon to argue with a non-technical audience.

# posted at by Gray Gaffer

It is voluntary and non-coercive. When you choose to work in this country and make use of public services you are entering into the social contract (one could make the argument that receiving a social security number is your first entry into the social contract). As part of your end of the social contract you must pay taxes. If you do not you are in breach of contract and can, and will, be taken to court. Taxes are not theft, they are part of the social contract.

# posted at by Fry

See you're just not thinking the way he does. For example, we have a voluntary criminal justice code here. Other countries like the U.S.S.R. would place you in prison at birth (that's what it's like there), whereas lets you voluntarily decide to commit a crime or not before they put you in prison. ;)

Just take the word "free will" and confuse it with "voluntary" in your mind and you will see what I mean.

As you will see, it's sort of like that free will and god thingy. I think he has confused "voluntary" with having free will in the sense of how "god gave us free will". Sure god lets you choose evil but then you go to hell, but he didn't force you to make that choice. Therefore god is not truly the most vicioius torturer in existence, no, it's you that was responsible for getting yourself placed in hell. You have choice so that means you do things voluntarily. You are good or bad on a voluntary basis so he has the right to punish you.

So maybe he thinks voluntary is something like free will. God could force you to do this or that, like he, under this view, forces us to obey the laws of gravity. Being all powerful he could stop murderers before they act (withhold the taxes) but instead he lets the people decide whether to murder or not (voluntarily decide not to pay taxes) at which point they get punished, or not.

Of course, withholding taxes in the US is NOT voluntary. If you consistently fail to withhold enough there are penalties and they will make sure you do. In some instances they don't even give you a choice about how much to withhold, it's automatic.

He's a confused idiot not only about the difference between the terms voluntary and free will but about the actual tax law.

# posted at by Brian Macker

Somebody must have told Old Al Capone and a few other mobsters that taxes were volentary ??????

Posted by: Dale Hargrove | April 2, 2008 01:47 PM

KTK ???
To answer the question marks you posted above "90% of them went to and some died in prision for not paying their taxes". I am referring to Al Capone and several other thugs of places like Chicago and New York. Now swallow that

# posted at by Dale Hargrove

Voluntary payment of taxes for charitable purposes is a species of oxymoron. If there were in fact a charitable impulse on the part of the general public equal to thier tax burden for such then the outpouring of donations toward private charity would be more than adequate to the task at hand, making government programs by default redundant and unneccissary. The need for government to implement charitable programs in the presence of existing, yet underfunded private alternatives serves as evidence in and of itself that there is no broad based public consent for the same and without such evidence of consent payment cannot be presumed voluntary regardless of what legalisms one employs to obfuscate the obvious.

Unfortunate, but I think true.

# posted at by KHNH

What a farce this thread is. It is SO disappointing that people lack the intellectual honesty to acknowledge THE OBVIOUS, evidently because of partisanship.

Kevin T. Keith says taxes are voluntary, even if they are 'not optional.' (And then he has the chutzpah to accuse others of "look[ing] like a fool by proving that you don't know what [the terminology] means.")

(Oh, and Kevin, you may want to check out this page before deciding that Harry Reid is using the "standard term in tax policy discussions.")

Dave Rywall says they're necessary, therefore they're voluntary. Also, the majority voted for them, so they're voluntary. But, he says later, even if they're not voluntary, they're definitely necessary!

So something that is necessary is voluntary. Unless it's not. Dave must have taken a logic course at college.

(Too bad that didn't help him understand the slavery example, which is the perfect counter to something being considered "voluntary" because a majority voted for it.)

# posted at by gator80

Due to our government's discrimination against gays and lesbians, and how this lack of legal protection (namely, marriage rights) led to me losing everything I own, becoming homeless, destitute, and having serious PTSD, I cannot and will not EVER pay a dime to our government. It is immoral tax everyone but only give civil rights to some.

Those with full marriage rights should pay taxes; those without are fools to do so.

# posted at by John Bisceglia

Remember the horrible Republican tax schemes during the Clinton administration? Those bad republican's want to cut taxes..I mean how can somebody even consider such an evil thing as to cut taxes!
It amazes me that..that sort of language is now part of our vocabulary, cutting taxes is now a "tax scheme" oh brother!

# posted at by R. Louie

Has anyone heard of the word VOLUNTOLD. You are being told you are volunteering to pay your taxes, or else. Probably the most corrupt Senator ever to serve in the Senate was backed into a corner by Helfeld, attempted to talk his way out, but didn't have enough brain cells firing to figure out an escape. He should have blamed the existence of Income Taxes on George W. Bush. That's his usual way out of trouble. Nevada, what were you thinking!

# posted at by Dog

I am begining to think that there is something fundamentally wrong with this Kevin Keith dolt. Next he'll be spewing the virtues of the moneychangers at the Fed.

# posted at by Paul Sheridan

THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE WHY THIS COUNTRY IS GOING RIGHT DOWN THE SHITTER!

# posted at by jay

" Posted by: Jack Frost | March 31, 2008 02:52 PM

You're the one who's babbling. Reid is making a perfectly standard - and correct - point about our mechanism for collecting taxes. " "The standard term used in tax policy discussions for such a system is "voluntary". That's the term Reid used. Of course the system is not optional - and Reid says so explicitly."

You are the one who is babbling. The government FORCES people to pay taxes and they've conditioned a huge chunk of the population via the public school system to think it is something every one must do. Here's a thought for you, you authoritarian scumbag. All government power comes from the "...consent of the governed". This means if some one doesn't consent then the government has NO AUTHORITY over them. Some of you are too dense to comprehend this including you. The government does not respect the concept that they are only allowed authority as granted by those who agree to be governed. Instead if you refuse to pay, they will come steal your property at gunpoint, possibly kill you in the process, if not they will lock you up in a cage. The government DOES NOT care if they have your consent or not. Get it through your dense thick skull and see if you can throw some grey matter at this concept before spewing out some emotion laden response.

# posted at by whitey

Posted by: Kevin D. Rollins | March 31, 2008 11:30 PM

"If your objection is to taxation itself, then you should object to that, not to Reid, who was merely describing the system. If your objection - as you stated it was - is to Reid for making a false claim about US tax policy, then you should retract it, because you're wrong."

You are wrong. The government claims authority from the "...consent of the governed". Those who don't consent to actions by the government are FORCED by threat of violence and death to do as the government says. The government is full of liars and sociopaths. The only reason they say they derive their power from the consent of the governed is to fool you suckers who are too stupid to realize they are nothing but thugs in special costumes which elicit submissive responses from the stupid masses. Thank you government education system! It works as well as the government indoctrination systems in Russia and China and other authoritarian regimes! The masses are too stupid and uneducated to know behavioral conditioning when it's being performed on them.

# posted at by whitey

"Oh wtf is wrong with people - American society has decided as a whole to collect taxes. That means it is a VOLUNTARY system. If some jerk doesn't want to pay, then he should get off his a** and work on getting people elected who'll do away with taxes. Otherwise, he should STFU. The majority has spoken.

Posted by: dave rywall | April 1, 2008 05:28 PM"

People living in the geographical region called the US have NOT all agreed to every thing the group of men and women known as government do. No one, any where, has the right to FORCE any one to do ANYTHING. I don't need any one to represent me either. I can damn well represent myself thank you. The concept of "representatives" allows the ruling class to easily control via top-down implementation every thing in society. Idiots like you think you have some sort of "say" on the issues. Get a clue you twit! Might does not make right which is exactly what is implied with a "majority" rule. Authoritarian scum bag!

# posted at by whitey

"Tax liability is set by the government according to the wishes of the people who elect it.

People can absolutely disagree with how tax dollars are spent. That's what election, letter writing campaigns, protests, etc are for.


Posted by: dave rywall | April 1, 2008 07:02 PM "

No it's not. I haven't consented to any of the taxes and there are plenty of other people who have done the same.

I don't have to go through your f#@@ing system. I have every right to be left alone but no. People like you want to force your beliefs on me. Your type are worse than any religious zealot considering authoritarians have killed 10's of millions of humans in the last century. Why can't people like you just mind your own GD business and only interact with others voluntarily?? It's as if you all suffer some mental disease where you have the need to control others.

# posted at by whitey

"It is voluntary and non-coercive. When you choose to work in this country and make use of public services you are entering into the social contract (one could make the argument that receiving a social security number is your first entry into the social contract). As part of your end of the social contract you must pay taxes. If you do not you are in breach of contract and can, and will, be taken to court. Taxes are not theft, they are part of the social contract.

Posted by: Fry | April 3, 2008 07:20 AM"

Lay off of the crack and methamphetamine. They are both known to induce psychosis. A contract requires an agreement from all parties. I and many others have never "agreed" to participate in some sort of "social contract". In fact, social security numbers are issued when most of us are children and we don't have ANY comprehension of what that program entails. Do you believe it is ok to make people participate in programs when they don't understand them? Again I never entered into any contract with "society" therefore taxes are extortion. Being born into the geographical region known as the US does not mean I have entered any contract (I had no choice about being born regardless of what retarded logic you try to push).

# posted at by Whitey

Best way to settle this.. ask any agent of the IRS, any tax preparer, any liberal, to SHOW YOU THE LAW!!!! You'll be amazed to learn they CAN'T, because it doesn't exist. Therefore, the Federal Income Tax is truly VOLUNTARY.... But if you don't volunteer, you get punished. Look it up........ there's no statute, law, nothing. Just an illegal organization telling you you have to.

# posted at by Jesse

Harry Reid is an idiot.

# posted at by Ronnie

The last time I saw a representative of the government using this kind of Orwellian new-think was when the tanks were crushing the walls of the Branch-Davidian compound in Waco while announcing over the loud-speaker that this is not an assault, this is not an assault.

And Fry, surely you know that any contract entered into by duress ( not be able to work if you don't comply ) is an invalid contract.

# posted at by IOpian

What typical leftwing lunacy.

While Jan Helfeld's question was a bit of a strawman argument, Harry Reid's answer was an outright lie.

Our country has a consensus that paying taxes is for the common good. However, if you dont subscribe to the majority's consensus and dont want to pay taxes, you really dont have a choice. You will suffer from wage garnishments or even prison if you don’t pay up.

Reid is just engaging in psychobabble because that is what he is comfortable with.

I suppose I'll add my "vote", since everything's been said, anyway.

First off, this usage of the term "voluntary" disturbs me. That anybody uses it in this way, technical or otherwise, seems like a deliberate attempt to develop a terminology not merely inscrutable, but misleading, to the layman.

Secondly, some of the pro-taxers are just going to have to accept the fact that they've won the war on this one, but not the argument. There are many, many people who pay their taxes not because they actually believe in majoritarian tyranny as a positive good, but because we lack the power to resist, and are well aware that even if we succeed, there's probably a worse thief waiting in the wings. Does nobody remember the phrase "necessary evil?"

# posted at by DASawyer

Poor Webster should be rolling in his grave. His dictionary is wrong! In fact many "knowledgeable" people change the meaning of a word so as to mitigate the harmful affect of their policy or idea. For example: Webster states a "fact" is something that is asserted to be true. Science has prostituted the term to where a "scientific fact" is a theory or idea that a group of individuals in the field have agreed apon. From Addison Wesley's Conceptual Physics Text Book. JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS KNOWLEDGEABLE DOESN'T MEAN THEY CAN BE TRUSTED.
JWB M.Ed.

# posted at by James Bynum M. Ed.