It’s tax season again.
As you struggle to submit something to Uncle Sam that won’t send federal agents to your door, guns blazing, it’s worth pondering how immoral and unconstitutional the whole thing is.
It’s immoral because the government is spending far more than it takes in and keeps adding to the stupendous national debt, now $20.6 trillion and growing fast.
It’s unconstitutional because America’s Founders never envisioned the federal government having this much power to extract so much of our earnings and to spend it on social engineers who pry into every nook and cranny of our lives that they can. As the late Joseph Sobran observed, “Anything called a ‘program’ is unconstitutional.”
There is another extremely important moral component to piling up the debt. Someone will have to pay it someday. That means we are spending money that hasn’t even been earned yet by our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 2 Corinthians 12:14, the Apostle Paul admonishes that “the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” Our accumulating national debt is the opposite of that.
Tom Paine, whose fiery essays preceding the American Revolution were the most-read treatises in the colonies other than the Bible, wrote of the immorality of saddling subsequent generations with bad laws, whose corollary is bad debt:
“Every age and generation must be free to act for itself in all cases as the age and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies.”
By granting so much power to the federal government, we have, in effect, denied self-governance to our posterity. They have no say whatever in their economic bondage. That on its face violates the promise of the Constitution’s Preamble to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
Taxing honest work while rewarding indolence is the game plan for swamp creatures who wish to radically transform America into a place where everyone is dependent on government for our subsistence. This is antithetical to what the Bible teaches about economic independence within the framework of ultimate dependency on God alone.
To quote Paul again, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thess. 3:10)
At the executive level, many federal agencies have tens of thousands of employees who issue thousands of pages of regulations. The levers of real power are getting farther from the people and even their representatives, who aren’t helping matters with their latest “bipartisan” spending.
“The administrative state has made the current U.S. government almost unrecognizable to what the Founders envisioned,” wrote historian and Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson in his book “Saving the Republic.”
One way to think about taxes is to consider that slavery is 100 percent taxation of someone’s labor. So, if government at all levels combined is taking nearly 50 percent of our earnings, we are half slaves.
Since the Lord asks a tithe of our incomes (as a minimal contribution), it seems arrogant of government to demand far more than 10 percent. When answering the Pharisees with “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” Jesus did not add that Caesar should get the lion’s share.
“Any system that denies individuals the right to make their own economic decisions is denying them the freedom to pursue their dreams, aspirations, and calling,” wrote Karen Gushta in her book “How Can America Survive? The Coming Economic Earthquake.”
“Since each person’s gifts, talents, native bent, and calling are uniquely God-given, any political regime that seeks to make everyone ‘equal’ in terms of the outcomes of their efforts is at its root unbiblical and ungodly.”
The drive toward government-facilitated economic “equality” sometimes coughs up odd experiments that defy human nature. The colonists at Jamestown (1607) and at Plymouth (1620) nearly starved before halting their fling with communism and instituting a system of private property and free enterprise.
In 1850, two years after a second French revolution was pushing France toward full-blown socialism, French legislator Frederic Bastiat wrote that the key to liberty is not good intentions but a reduction in government power:
“And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.”
Please feel free to say “Amen.” That is, unless you’re in a government facility full of watchful secularists who have the ACLU on their speed dial.
• Robert Knight is a Washington Times contributor. His most recent book is Confronting Lies & Hate; Responding with Truth and Grace (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018).