Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 1, part 2
Of the explosion of taxpayers' leagues, Dan Hoan, mayor of Milwaukee, said that taxpayers' groups "who are always damning their government because they have to pay taxes are doing more to undermine faith in government than all the communists in the world." Hoan's party was the Socialist Party, so no big surprise that he was opposed to taxpayers' organizations, but he reveals something in his statement that every honest socialist (or Socialist, or any other statist sympathizer) will admit is true—the State is their god. Christians should shudder at the thought of having "faith in government," and so should Jews, Muslims, and any other religion that worships a supreme being. Exodus states clearly that "thou shalt have no other gods before me." Jesus Himself said, "Have faith in God." Paul defines faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This is why Socialism demands the watering down and eventual destruction of religion—because their one true religion is the State. It obviously follows that no truly religious person can be a socialist without being a hypocrite and/or blasphemer (and I'm looking at you Sojourners). Anyway, enough lecturing on faith.
Later on in the chapter the Wisconsin Taxpayers' Alliance is quoted on a related topic, but not quite so doctrinal in nature. Beito uses the quotation as an example of how these groups "frequently linked their efforts to a general hostility toward governmental paternalism." From the WTA: "Instead of simply protecting the citizen in the enjoyment of the natural right to live and to follow his vocation unhindered, government is now telling him how he must live, and is, regardless of his wishes, charting the path which he must follow." Once every god is replaced by the State this is how it goes. There are no more natural rights, only rights given by the State. No more choosing your own path, or following a religion. The State chooses for you. Think about the Soviet Union for a minute if you don't believe me.
Unfortunately, people rarely learn from the past. Even more unfortunately, politicians (and their various instruments) learn from the past very well (notice I don't include politicians in the same group with people). In 1932 the Milwaukee Leader, a Socialist daily paper, warned of the dire consequences resulting from the various "tax dodging" groups. "If the taxpayer should go on strike, all services would have to stop…. Epidemics of disease would sweep the city. Burglars would ply their trade unhindered. Fires would rage unabated, burning up the homes of the taxpayers." Oh, the humanity! Such tragedy and ruin resulting from the refusal of an ignorant few to pay tribute to their mighty masters! The Milwaukee Leader apparently assumed the average citizen would be incapable of preventing disease (should I wash my hands? Should I not wash my hands? Whatever shall I do?), defending themselves and their homes (Oh no, a burglar! Everyone stand still, and whatever you do, don't point a gun at him!), or even using common sense. Destruction and utter desolation result when taxes aren't paid, don't you see? Last year I filed my taxes late* and three houses on the next block burst into flames. In reality, taxpayers are supporting much more than government "services," they are supporting the growth of government. It's a vicious cycle of programs and taxes, one feeds on the other, until nothing can be done without the permission and funding of the largest available government agency. No houses can be bought, no trash can be cleaned up, no dogs can be walked, no hurricanes can be fled from, no television can be broadcast without interference from government. What a pitiful existence.
There may be hope. Beito asks about the motivation of once complacent taxpayers to suddenly get cranky about paying. He says they didn't just suddenly become anti-big-government when the depression hit, but that "the depression forced taxpayers to think for the first time about the burden and perforce the purposes of high taxes." They became "tax conscious." Conscious of not only how much is taken from you, but what is done with it. Have you ever thought about what happens to your money after it gets passed through so many grubby bureaucratic hands? Probably nothing that you would voluntarily do with it if you were allowed to keep it. Kinda stinks, huh? The biggest danger to the statist staus quo is thinking. A thinking person is a dangerous person to manipulators and finaglers, and thinking is exactly what the state doesn't want us to do. I'll hold up public school and American Idol as irrefutable proof for my argument.