Letter-to-Editor: Paul Krugman Giddy About Higher Taxes

Published Jan. 6, 2016 in The Monterey Herald

People are the basis of the authority of government

In his Jan. 5 commentary “Tax hikes on wealthy: Elections have consequences,” Paul Krugman gets giddy over the prospect of higher taxation. Krugman conveniently forgets that mandatory taxation violates John Locke’s consent of the governed and the social contract for a democratic-republic.

Foremost, the people are the holders of all “unalienable rights,” not government. The people are the basis of the authority of government. In this respect, they loan their rights to elected government officials to represent their general interests. But you cannot give what you do not have. The people cannot loan the right to rob other people, since they don’t possess that authority. The question is: Where does the state acquire the right to steal? It doesn’t. In fact, where does the government get the right to torture, wiretap, spy, murder or steal? Citizens can’t do these activities with immunity, therefore neither can the government.

Some of the founders understood this principle, especially Thomas Jefferson, who as president abolished all direct taxation upon the public. The United States had almost 80 years of no direct federal taxes. Some of them knew that taxation was simply legalized theft. Krugman should know that, too.

— Lawrence Samuels, Carmel

Paul Krugman's article: http://www.montereyherald.com/article/NF/20160104/LOCAL1/160109942