Dan “Taxation is Theft” Behrman, who ran for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination and is now seeking the Libertarian Party’s 2022 nomination for governor of Texas, sent the following Fourth of July message today to his email subscribers.
It’s the 4th of July and everyone is celebrating as best as they can. Some states are locked down and others are just afraid to go out. In the last few days, an executive order was issued in Texas, demanding that everyone wear a mask in public.
There are two important issues I’d like to address today – executive orders and taxation without representation.
Regardless of safety concerns, and while masks might be a good idea, this is an unlawful order. Well…. almost.
Most people hear “executive order” and feel that they must comply. When we hear the words “every person must ….” we immediately think that they are talking to us. But that’s not how executive orders work. It’s easier to understand if we look at one fundamental fact. We don’t work for the government.
Imagine you’re in a restaurant and the owner comes out from the kitchen and says the words “this floor is disgusting and every person must start cleaning it.” You would probably understand that he is only speaking to his employees. This is an executive order. When the Governor or President makes an executive order, he is ordering people in his chain of command to do something. That’s what makes it perfectly legal.
So why do so many people comply with executive orders? There are two problems.
The first problem is simple confusion. When the news starts parroting “the Governor says every person must _____ or face jail time”, and we have nobody to ask but our friends who heard the same announcement, we come to the wrong conclusion that he must be talking about us. Police who DO work for the state and are obligated to follow these orders are told they can arrest anyone who violates the order. But they are also operating under the misunderstanding that that “every person” includes civilians. Cops are also trained to treat everyone they encounter as criminals and not to trust anything they say – including correct information on the law.
The second problem is contractual entanglement through coercive threats. It is a human right to own property and trade that property, even if that trade includes complex contracts. Commerce is nothing more than a series of complex contracts, and therefore a human right. But many businesses, under threats from the government, will get special licenses from the government for the sole purpose of engaging in commerce. That means that MOST businesses from kitchens to barber shops have a business license. This license is a contract with the state, which forces a business to comply with certain regulations and orders that they would not have had to otherwise.
Taxation Without Representation
We’ve all heard the phrase a million times, “no taxation without representation”. Do you know the context of those words? Many people think these words are found somewhere in the Declaration of Independence. Would it surprise you to learn that they are not?
In fact, this phrase is much older than the constitution, and taxation without representation was something that people had been complaining about for many years before 1776. However, when their pleas were not heard for justice in relation to taxes, they decided that there was a bigger issue than just consent.
The declaration of independence lists all of the grievances with King George, and the issue among them relating to taxes is “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent”. This is critical to understand because consent to take something is so much more important than receiving representation for something you never wanted in the first place.
Please take this information and share it with your friends, for we will never truly have a free society until all of us truly understand what freedom is and how this government has coerced our freedom away from us.
Dan Taxation Is Theft Behrman
for Governor of Texas