Repeal Withholding

One of the many ways that our federal and state governments rob citizens is through “withholding.” That’s where the governments make their claims on your salary before you get your salary. The government thinks it has a prior right to your hard-earned living before you get it.

This nefarious practice was initiated in World War II (it had also been used in the northern states during the Civil War/War Between the States to forcefully fund that unpopular war).

Ironically, the Dept. of Treasury acknowledges the Machiavellian intent behind the practice: “This greatly eased the collection of the tax for both the taxpayer and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. However, it also greatly reduced the taxpayer’s awareness of the amount of tax being collected, i.e. it reduced the transparency of the tax, which made it easier to raise taxes in the future.”

I think that taxpayers should feel and understand the amount of money they are handing over to the government. And then ask themselves, “Am I getting my money’s worth?”

The government knows what the answer to that question is.

What if you had to write that big check in April? What if you had to make sure you saved enough money to write that whopper? Wouldn’t you prefer a better accounting of your money? Wouldn’t you begin to think that maybe the government could trim some of its projects and largesse (after all, you had to cut back to make the payment)? Does it really need to declare another 100,000 acres of Utah as a “National Monument”? Does it really need to guarantee a “loan” to Boeing so it can sell some jets to a European airline? Does it really need to give a grant to some academic so he can study the sex life of a toad? Does it really need thousands of six-figured employees aimlessly wandering the halls of Washington? And the list goes on.

Does it really need to spend $3.2 trillion every year, while collecting maybe $2.5 trillion?

What’s been lost is that it’s not the government’s money, especially it’s not it’s money until it is due in taxes. I live in Virginia. It has a particularly galling practice for people who have a freelance or side income. It demands that you estimate what you will make in the next year and pay taxes ahead of time on that income. If you don’t make as much as you expected you have to ask the government for some of your money back at the end of the year. And if you make too much more they might actually penalize you for not being Kreskin and knowing how much you might make. They think they have first dibs on your future income. But in their minds they think they are being kind by letting you prepay in quarterly installments.

We shouldn’t have to ask the government to let us have an allowance — taken from what is our money to begin with.

Defenders of the government believe that the money belongs to the government first and that we should be happy that it lets us keep as much as we get. That is tyranny.

It should be the other way around. One of the best weapons to get governments to live within their means and maybe even start shrinking the federal Leviathan back to its Constitutional role would be to repeal the practice of withholding and let us decide what we do with our money. The government is supposed to be our creature, not we its creature.


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