Ok, so I’ll modify that a BIT. Taxes are a NECESSARY evil. Taxes are, by definition, forcing people to sacrifice their life-energy and time and give money to government. Usually, forcing money out of people is called stealing. However, Taxes are not truly stealing because we chose to live here and the price of having a common defense and shared infrastructure must be paid by all. If we don’t like the taxes, we can move to somewhere that has lower or no taxes. We sacrifice certain services and benefits by doing that, so we stay.
But that does not negate the fact that while taxes are necessary, they are a necessary evil. A taking of something from a person by force of law and violence. As a result of that fundamental fact of the negative nature of forcible taxation, logically it follows that while everyone should pay them, taxes should be kept to the absolute minimum required to maintain a functioning society. A famous quote by Margaret Meed illustrates this well:
War is a similar necessary evil. It is abhorrent for groups of people to purposefully kill other groups of people. However, sometimes it is necessary to take life to preserve life. Violence and death, such as the Allies engaged in during World War Two, was the only possible remedy to the much greater evil of the Axis powers and their genocidal push.
Back to taxes. Only an anarchist or a fool would say we should have no taxes. It’s not possible to have a national defense without money. Defense is the first and primary reason that groups of people banded together and eventually tribes, cities and nations were brought into being. Defense allows for all the other benefits of community and commerce. But bullets and fighter jets cost money and everyone must pay their fair share to maintain a reasonable defense. However, many governments today spend vast sums of tax money or debt money on things and services that are not required to keep society running safely. It’s not within the scope of this blog to specify exactly what every expenditure should be but rather to state categorically that taxes, if recognized as a necessary societal evil, must be approached minimalistically. They must be kept low to keep the evil they are based on (taking money and labor by force from someone) low.
Think of it this way. Slavery is 100% taxation. All of a slaves work and possessions are owned and confiscated by someone else. If taxes were at 100%, we would be slaves to the government. If taxes were at 95%, we would be slaves to the government. Where does slavery stop and being a good citizen start? Is it 70% or 50%? At some point, reducing the confiscation percentage becomes tolerable, but the fact that in the extreme it is one of the greatest evils known to humankind illustrates that taxation is indeed an evil that must be kept as low as reasonably possible.