Darryl W. Perry: ‘Yes, Virginia, taxation is theft’

2016 candidate for LP presidential nomination Darryl Perry at fpp.cc:

We’re just a few weeks away from one of the most dreaded days of the year: April 15, Tax Day. Over the past few years discussions around Tax Day have led to a larger conversation of non-filers and/or non-payers of income tax. In the last Presidential election Mitt Romney made headlines with his comments about the so-called “47 percent” – the percentage of Americans who pay no income tax. Some libertarians, specifically Ron Paul, responded to Romney’s complaints that nearly half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes by saying “We’re half way there!”

Even though over half of Americans do provide money to the federal government it is not accurate to say they “pay” taxes. Certainly, you could say people pay taxes though you would also need to say that someone being mugged is paying the mugger.

Some will argue that governments provide services and the taxpayers are simply paying for those services. That, too, is a flawed argument since most of the so-called services are being provided without consideration of whether or not anyone actually wants the service provided by a government. This would be akin to someone mowing your lawn and pruning your hedges, without your prior consent, and then demanding payment. This would rightly be considered a form of extortion, if not outright theft, and no one would rightly claim the homeowner was stealing services if they refused to pay for the unwanted lawn maintenance.

That taxation is theft is not a novel concept. Murray Rothbard wrote that taxation “is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match.” And in the 1840’s Frederic Bastiat referred to taxation as “legal plunder.” He wrote in The Law, “legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on.”

Bastiat added, “This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:
1. The few plunder the many.
2. Everybody plunders everybody.
3. Nobody plunders anybody.”

As a principled libertarian I seek a society without legal plunder, a society where nobody plunders anybody, because no one other than you has a legitimate claim to the fruits of your labor, and no one other than myself has a legitimate claim to the fruits of my labor. Such a society would be one “of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic.”

4 thoughts on “Darryl W. Perry: ‘Yes, Virginia, taxation is theft’

  1. Andy

    Question for Darryl Perry if he is reading this: I just clicked the link to Tom Knapp’s blog and I found a link to some old posts from Darryl Perry that some would say are controversial. I did not think that any of them were a big deal, except for maybe this one:

    http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61369.msg1269146#msg1269146

    “e: Would you skew a presidential election for $10,000,000?
    « Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 12:02:14 pm »
    Ignore
    It depends on who I’m an Elector for and who the other candidates are.
    Hell, I’d cast my ballot for an Independent/3rd Party for free, just to have the election thrown to the House.

    In 2004 I was a PA Elector for the Libertarian Party, had the LP won the State I would have cast my ballot For Peroutka instead of Badnarik.”

    Why did you say that if the Libertarian Party had won Pennsylvania, where you were signed up as an Electoral College candidate for the Libertarian Party, that you would have cast your vote in the Electoral College for Constitution Party candidate for President Michael Peroutka instead of Libertarian Party candidate for President Michael Badnarik? Was this a part of an answer to a hypothetical $10,000,000 bribe, or were you a supporter of Michael Peroutka, or did Michael Badnarik do something to piss you off, or what?

    I know that this was a long time ago, but somebody else may ask about this before the campaign is over, so you might as well answer the question now (assuming that you are reading this).

  2. Darryl W. Perry

    Andy,
    At the time I was more of a constitutionalist-libertarian and felt that Peroutka was a better candidate than Badnarik. If presented the same options today, I would vote for Badnarik.

  3. Andy

    “Darryl W. Perry
    March 30, 2016 at 15:48
    Andy,
    At the time I was more of a constitutionalist-libertarian and felt that Peroutka was a better candidate than Badnarik. If presented the same options today, I would vote for Badnarik.”

    Darryl, this was a long time ago and could be written off as a youthful indiscretion (as in you had not fully embraced the Libertarian Party or philosophy at that point), but even so, if you agree to be a Presidential Elector for one candidate, why would you then vote for a candidate from another party (if that party’s candidate had carried the presidential vote in the state where you were an Elector)?

    I could see being a “faithless elector” if a candidate for President had done something dishonest and/or betrayed their principles, but I don’t see how Michael Badnarik did anything like this.

    If you would have voted for the Constitution Party’s candidate for President in 2004, Michael Peroutka, if you had been sent to the Electoral College, then why didn’t you sign up to be a Presidential Elector for Michael Peroutka? How did you end up as a Presidential Elector for Michael Badnarik in the first place?

    What if somebody signed up to be a Presidential Elector for you (if you were to win the LP’s Presidential nomination), and then you somehow managed to carry a state (even though this is highly unlikely to happen), but instead of voting for you, this Elector voted for the Constitution Party’s candidate for President instead at the Electoral College? How would you like that?

    Back in 1972, the LP’s Presidential ticket of John Hospers and Toni Nathan received an Electoral College vote from Roger MacBride, who had been signed up as a Presidential Elector for Richard Nixon, and although Republicans probably did not like it, MacBride was considered to be a hero in Libertarian circles for being a “faithless elector”, however, MacBride did this on libertarian principles, so even though he broke his word, he could say that Nixon broke his word on multiple issues, so breaking his word to Richard Nixon was the principled thing to do.

  4. Darryl W. Perry

    “why didn’t you sign up to be a Presidential Elector for Michael Peroutka? How did you end up as a Presidential Elector for Michael Badnarik in the first place?”
    I was a member of the LPPA, the LP nominee for State Treasurer, and the LP needed Electors.

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