By ilana mercer
Almost every penny left in the grubby hands of federal officials is squandered, wasted, misused or misallocated. Every penny kept from the federal behemoth is private property conserved and saved.
One of Donald Trump’s virtues is that he appears smart enough to instinctively know what I just said. It benefits business and everyone else if as much private property remains in private hands, so that it’s put to the best use possible.
I’m talking Trump taxes.
It’s alleged that over two decades, Trump had the good sense to pay almost no taxes by declaring close on a billion dollars in losses, before 1995. This, at least, is my understanding of this particular trumped-up case against the candidate.
At the risk of offending the crass utilitarians who make up the cattle that is the commentariat, I’ll talk natural rights.
It has become anathema to float the outrageous idea that a man owns the proceeds from his labor, completely, and that whatever government takes from him or her amounts to private property stolen.
It’s considered an equal outrage to so much as suggest that your prime real estate is your body. And that what you do to sustain your corporeal self—the money you make—is an extension of your body and 100 percent yours.
Certainly from the fact that the state skims 30 percent or 45 percent, or some random sum, from your pay—it does not follow that this law is preordained by a higher power.
Neither does it follow that, by virtue of being decided by 535-odd clowns in the Lower and Upper Houses, property confiscated by force—taxation—is sanctioned by the same higher power.
You may also wish to consider that the US government no longer pays for its obligations, but continues to borrow against the future earnings of its people. What is not borrowed by government or counterfeited by the Federal Reserve is confiscated from individual Americans via taxation.
So preventing a thief and counterfeiter from seizing funds that’ll be further misused and misspent is a laudable thing. Moreover, what the state takes from you is fungible—in other words, the government can put your money to use as it sees fit, not as you see fit. It can meddle all over the world, sponsor the importation of refugees who may kill Americans and consume resources you’d rather see spent on America’s own displaced and destitute.
While I’m making mischief, in the context of self-ownership, consider the following:
Liberals insist a woman owns her body. That’s what undergirds their insistence that she may eliminate fetal tissue from within her body.
So be it.
But if ownership of their bodies is the ethical basis upon which women can choose to abort their babies; why can’t a man or a woman, for that matter—both of whom presumably own their bodies—keep private property accrued through the use of that same body’s labor and smarts?
I mean, is your body—your mind, soul and corporeal self—yours only when it suits liberals? Is your body your own only for the purpose of killing what’s in it, but never for the purpose of keeping what it creates?
Trump is accused of not parting with enough of his private property, taxes, which he was supposed to hand over to a shakedown agency; to what is essentially an engorged, voracious organ called government.
But put it this way: Whatever Trump did with his funds is better than what the government would have done with them.
Private property in the hands of its rightful owner is always better utilized than in the possession of centrally-managed, politically-driven systems. The perennial misallocation of funds in such centrally-managed systems is inescapable, because there is no private property in a government system.
“Oh, we’ll reform government,” conservative and liberal politicians keep promising. They lie. If they claim to be able to run the state apparatus as they would their own privately owned businesses, they lie.
Why? In a government system the concept of scarcity doesn’t exist. Why do scarcity and conservation not exist in government-run departments and systems? Not because the people are necessarily bad, but because the incentives motivating them are inverted and perverse.
Again: The imperatives associated with private property are not in operation in government.
Government misuses your taxes, or Trump’s taxes, because once in the government’s coffers, that money belongs to nobody. It’s held collectively, not privately. Government will forever end up misusing, misallocating, squandering or wasting resources, because this is money held communally, not privately.
Money that is not yours, and comes easily, by simply pointing a gun at someone and saying, “Your Money or Your Life,” a la the IRS; money you’ve not worked to earn—this money will never be put toward its most productive use, but will generally go towards shaping production and society in politically pleasing ways.
You can’t reform government no matter how hard you try. You can only minimize it, or cut it so that it “can be drowned in the bathtub,” to paraphrase Grover Norquist.
The accepted piety is that it’s patriotic to pay taxes. Quite the opposite. Be glad that Donald Trump withheld taxes, because that’s money not spent killing people (ours and others) in faraway lands, overpaying them here at home, affirmatively hiring dead wood, and generally growing the oink sector.
ILANA Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer based in the U.S. Her acclaimed, weekly column, begun in Canadian newspapers, has been going strong since 1999. (See Articles Archive.) ILANA is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter & on Facebook. Subscribe to ilana’s new YouTube channel. This shy, retiring writer/thinker promises to get better at it.