High Taxes are Immoral

Catholic Exchange posts an article discussing a battle in the EU over Switzerland’s low tax rates which are drawing many businesses to Switzerland away from higher tax nations such as Germany and France. Making brief mention of the economic implications of thise (Switzerland has a better business enviornemtn which will ultimately lead to a more prospoerous Switzerland), the author makes this salient point:

Missing, however, from this debate is any reflection about how to think about taxation in a morally coherent manner. This is not surprising. Even low-tax-inclined economists almost always consider taxation in terms of how governments can maintain their income while diminishing the effects on economic prosperity. In other words, their focus — rightly — tends to be on efficiency issues. Efficiency is not the same, however, as morality. In much of the world, discussion of the morality of taxes has been reduced to the mantra of equalizing incomes as far as possible. Factors such as merit and risk are given short shrift, especially in Europe.

Indeed, we need to return to sixteenth-century Spain to find anything like a rigorous discussion of the morality of tax rates. This was sparked by rising taxation, currency debasements, and official state bankruptcies initiated by King Philip II as he struggled to suppress rebellion in the Netherlands and ward off threats to Spain’s worldwide empire.

Reacting to Spain’s subsequent impoverishment, Spanish theologians such as Pedro de Navarra insisted that it was not enough for governments to legislate a tax for it to be considered just. Tax laws, they argued, must meet other criteria of justice. Was there a genuine need for a new tax? Were the proposed taxes proportionate and equitable? Were they moderate or excessive? The same scholars claimed that imposing taxes to support wasteful government expenditures was immoral, even tyrannical. In some cases, they added, people could rightly refuse to pay, especially when taxes were taking nations to the edge of financial ruin.

Instead of using morally charged language to declaim Swiss tax policies, perhaps some EU member-states might consider applying these criteria to their own tax regimes. It is hard to imagine that their high tax rates would survive such scrutiny.

The fact is, economic advantage is merely a supporting argument for low tax rates. It’s a “bonus,” so to speak. The most important reason to support low taxes is that taxation, by its very nature is theft. If theft is the act of taking something which does not belong to you, then what is taxation? Just because the government grants themselves the power to do soemthing doesn’t make it right. Neither legality nor might make right.

So, we have two counter balancing needs: the legitimate right of government to derive income from its citizens and the right of citizens to be secure in their property. We need to balance these two needs to make sure we find an appropriate balance. Before we propose any government spending, we need to keep in mind that it can only be financed by taking money from others. Legislators would do well to ask themselves this question before voting on each new spending proposal: “Is this worth stealing money of my, or my parents’ or my enighbors wallets?” Because that’s in effect what the government does whenever it spends.

As soon as we remember that all taxation is theft, we’ll achieve a more just tax system and governmental system.

High Taxes are Immoral

Catholic Exchange posts an article discussing a battle in the EU over Switzerland’s low tax rates which are drawing many businesses to Switzerland away from higher tax nations such as Germany and France. Making brief mention of the economic implications of thise (Switzerland has a better business enviornemtn which will ultimately lead to a more prospoerous Switzerland), the author makes this salient point:

Missing, however, from this debate is any reflection about how to think about taxation in a morally coherent manner. This is not surprising. Even low-tax-inclined economists almost always consider taxation in terms of how governments can maintain their income while diminishing the effects on economic prosperity. In other words, their focus — rightly — tends to be on efficiency issues. Efficiency is not the same, however, as morality. In much of the world, discussion of the morality of taxes has been reduced to the mantra of equalizing incomes as far as possible. Factors such as merit and risk are given short shrift, especially in Europe.

Indeed, we need to return to sixteenth-century Spain to find anything like a rigorous discussion of the morality of tax rates. This was sparked by rising taxation, currency debasements, and official state bankruptcies initiated by King Philip II as he struggled to suppress rebellion in the Netherlands and ward off threats to Spain’s worldwide empire.

Reacting to Spain’s subsequent impoverishment, Spanish theologians such as Pedro de Navarra insisted that it was not enough for governments to legislate a tax for it to be considered just. Tax laws, they argued, must meet other criteria of justice. Was there a genuine need for a new tax? Were the proposed taxes proportionate and equitable? Were they moderate or excessive? The same scholars claimed that imposing taxes to support wasteful government expenditures was immoral, even tyrannical. In some cases, they added, people could rightly refuse to pay, especially when taxes were taking nations to the edge of financial ruin.

Instead of using morally charged language to declaim Swiss tax policies, perhaps some EU member-states might consider applying these criteria to their own tax regimes. It is hard to imagine that their high tax rates would survive such scrutiny.

The fact is, economic advantage is merely a supporting argument for low tax rates. It’s a “bonus,” so to speak. The most important reason to support low taxes is that taxation, by its very nature is theft. If theft is the act of taking something which does not belong to you, then what is taxation? Just because the government grants themselves the power to do soemthing doesn’t make it right. Neither legality nor might make right.

So, we have two counter balancing needs: the legitimate right of government to derive income from its citizens and the right of citizens to be secure in their property. We need to balance these two needs to make sure we find an appropriate balance. Before we propose any government spending, we need to keep in mind that it can only be financed by taking money from others. Legislators would do well to ask themselves this question before voting on each new spending proposal: “Is this worth stealing money of my, or my parents’ or my enighbors wallets?” Because that’s in effect what the government does whenever it spends.

As soon as we remember that all taxation is theft, we’ll achieve a more just tax system and governmental system.

Bishop: “It is categorically impossible for the same person to state that he or she believes simultaneously both what the Catholic Church teaches and that abortion is just a choice”

Read the whole article

“It is categorically impossible for the same person to state that he or she believes simultaneously both what the Catholic Church teaches and that abortion is just a choice,” says Bishop Robert Vasa in a column released today by the Catholic Sentinel, the diocesan newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland and the Diocese of Baker.

Although Vasa, the Bishop of Baker, did not mention her by name, he was referring in his column to Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi specifically, and to all politicians of a similar ilk in general.

“Some months ago a prominent Catholic public person,” says Vasa, “described as faithful to the church, was asked if being pro-choice or pro-abortion was an issue which conflicted with the Catholic Faith.” He goes on to quote verbatim what Nancy Pelosi stated in a highly publicized interview with Newsweek in October last year. “To me it isn’t even a question. God has given us a free will. We’re all responsible for our actions. If you don’t want an abortion, you don’t believe in it, [then] don’t have one. But don’t tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities.”

“It seems to me that there are just choices and there are unjust choices,” counters Bishop Vasa. “Choices would be the preference for chocolate ice cream over vanilla ice cream or sherbet instead of ice cream. That is just a choice.”

“A just choice would be to choose to pay a fair and living wage to employees as opposed to simply meeting the mandatory standard of minimum wage laws,” he wrote. “An unjust choice would be to choose to terminate the life of another human being. This is not just a choice and it is not a just choice; it is an unjust choice.”

This statement should be common sense but this seems to escape many people. How can you claim to be a Catholic and support the killing of an innocent human being whose only crime is existing? Posing no threat to anyone else, these unborn children are given the death penalty. You can’t call it capital punishment because they’ve done nothing wrong to be punished for. At least in the death penalty, there’s a trial with the presumption of innocence and then a series of appeals that can last for years. In abortion, there’s the writing of a check. How does allowing abortion show Christian love for the weakest members of society?

Pro-choice politicians have a choice to make: they can continue in their support for the death f the unborn or they can be Catholic. It’s an inherent contradiction to do both.

“Safe, legal” abortion causes coma

Read the whole thing

A 20-year-old woman spent four weeks in a coma, suffered a collapsed lung and had her uterus
removed after suffering complications from an abortion at a large facility in Newark late in January.

Severe complications following abortions are not unusual, although many cases are often not well publicized and abortionists are often suspected of paying off complainants. Infection, uterine scarring or perforation, and compromised cervix leading to future premature births are all relatively common complications resulting from abortion. In one case similar to Dinkins’, a 15-year-old Detroit girl suffered severe infection following a second-trimester abortion in 2004, which resulted in her death–the case was not covered by any but local media.

As well, recent studies have revealed the psychological damage many women experience in the months and years following abortion. New Zealand researcher Dr. David Fergusson, himself an abortion advocate, published a study last year showing dramatically higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide among women who had abortions.

How can abortion be considered “safe” when at least one person dies in every successful abortion? When you add in the common complications for the mother including, as noted above, despression, substance abuse and suicide it’s just an awful process for all involved. (Except the abortionist who makes money off his side of it.)