Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On Taxing Needs

I do not believe that health care is a right. It is a need.  In a free society, however, the citizens have the right to be allowed by the government to keep enough of their income to be able to meet their needs.

Currently, the total tax deduction/exemption for an individual who does not itemize his income tax is about $9000, hardly enough for housing, food, clothes, and transportation of even the most austere nature, let alone the cost of individual health insurance (In the late 1800’s, this deduction was equivalent to $52,000 today).  

The covenant between government and citizen in a democracy requires that the government take from the citizens only what property is needed to provide what the citizens cannot provide for themselves, for example defense against external threats or protection of the environment.  It does not give the government authority to pass laws that prevent the citizens from meeting their own needs and then taxing them even more so that the government can take control of meeting those needs in whatever way the government determines.  When taxation is so excessive that the citizens are unable to meet their basic needs it is no longer a free society.  I think that John Locke would agree with me.  I'm not sure which of our legislators would.

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