What Happened to No Taxation Without Representation?

It was in the 1750s when taxation without representation began gaining political steam in the American colonies. The colonists were frustrated by the fact that King George and a powerful British Parliament were able and willing to lay taxes on people who did not have any direct representation of the government. What’s important is that it was not a certain tax that got people riled up, it was the principle that a powerful few can dictate laws to people who have no say in the matter. The Boston Tea Party was not simply about rebellion to the small tax on tea, it was a statement and effort against taxation without representation.

I bring this up because this is my first year paying taxes. I work a part time job for a self-employed online bookseller. Every time I am paid, an automatic amount is siphoned out for the federal income tax, Medicare, and Social Security. Recently I got to thinking about it. Do I have any say in this matter? How have I at all been represented for these taxes I’m required to pay?

Being a teen, it is hard enough getting a “legal” job. Thanks to state and federal law it is next to impossible to legally work before you are sixteen, due to minimum wage controls and child labor laws. The government will prevent two consenting parties from entering into a labor agreement, simply because one of the people is under sixteen or won’t be paid $9 an hour.

I am not saying I support the idea of seven year olds working in coalmines. Forceful or fraudulent contracts certainly must be punished, and the right to unionize is essential for all workers. But the laws, restrictions, and minimums that are put in place for the “working class” end up decreasing efficiency and take away or heavily limit job opportunities. I can say this from personal experience. The intentions of labor laws aren’t bad, but have grown far too complicated, unnecessary, and end up doing more long-term harm than good.

These are the thoughts going through my mind as I file my personal information with the IRS, an agency originally started to benefit the lower classes by taxing the wealthy. I cannot vote, I have not had any opportunity to represent myself with public policies, yet the government takes roughly 12% out of my paycheck. It does not matter that legally I cannot even drink, smoke, or vote; any money I make, the government will forcefully take a portion. As long as there is money to be had, the heavy hand of state comes crashing in.

The programs that I am forced to contribute to are laughable in their own right. The principles behind Social Security assume when government takes privately earned wealth, gives it to some bureaucrats, who then redistribute it fifty years later, that it will do more good than if people made their own choices about where they spend, save, or invest their money. I’ve already invested approximately $8,000 of the money I have earned over the course of my life (a good amount for someone my age), yet the government somehow has it in its head that it can make smarter decisions than me or anyone else. I do not need the government to take money from me in order to make my retirement easier. It is not their responsibility or business to make a decision that should purely be mine, plain and simple.

The chief purpose of government is no longer to protect natural rights; the tax system alone is enough to prove that. We are assumed guilty until proven innocent, our privacy is embarrassingly invaded, and no longer do we have the right to the fruits of our labor. In my case, I don’t even have the chance to vote for the person who wants to take away my money.

Don’t forget what Benjamin Franklin said regarding taxes:

“It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one tenth Part of their Time, to be employed in its Service.”

Over the past century lawmakers of the U.S. have become more concerned with tinkering around the edges than with actually analyzing the principles. We have given in to the flawed idea that government can force us to pay into various agencies and require citizens to have a number to keep them within those programs (Social Security numbers). It is becoming increasingly clear that government is gradually taking over the primary right to private property.

The early people of the Thirteen Colonies would not have made it very far if their only aim of the Boston Tea Party was to abolish the tax on tea. The greatest accomplishments in history are fulfilled by revolutionizing principles and the way people think. The colonists were sick of taxation without representation, and they went the full mile to eliminate that idea.

The way I see it, whether the income tax is at 1% or 95% is meaningless in the long run. The principle of government intrusion and power over property is there regardless of the rate at which it is enforced. Ever since the early 20th century, the U.S. has been built upon illusionist, tyrannical, invasive principles of taxation and power.

A nation will not succeed or fail because it’s tax rate is high or low, it is the principles upon which it is built that will lead to its everlasting success or painful demise. Ever since the U.S. veered off the path of personal liberty, Constitutionally limited government, and empowered responsibility, it has been riding on principles lacking in reason, morality, and natural legality. No country, government, or society has ever succeeded on principles neglecting freedom and individual liberty. It will not be a tax, enemy, or person who runs a country into the ground, it will come at heart simply because of a flawed principle.

It is time for the U.S. to return to the principles of a free nation. Cutting a tax, enacting a law, or creating a new regulation is not going to change the destiny, or lack thereof, of the U.S.

Solid principles alone control the will and fate of any country and people. Freedom does not come from government. No matter how many times it is ignored, stomped on, and abused, it does not matter. Freedom alone is the only principle that naturally destroys government power, elitism, and abuse, while masterfully strengthening individual creativity, responsibility, and sustainability.

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