July 21, 2009 by J. Madson
I was approached recently and challenged to find anything wrong in Ezra Taft Benson’s infamous “The proper role of government” I want to focus this post on a question I have for those who follow Benson’s argument. And I really would like an answer from someone. Here is the spoiler with my analysis of benson below: why is it plunder to use taxes for social programs but it is not when it is used for military?
Benson claims the govt has no right to take property from an individual against his will (see example of the extra horse).
He then concludes the following
“It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. “
but it can use money for things like
a national military and local police forces
So here is my question. If it is wrong to take property/taxes of someone to redistribute wealth then why is it no equally wrong to take my money, against my will, to build up armies? If its morally wrong to take property against someone’s will, as he suggests, then it is always wrong regardless of the use.
Near the end of his speech, he argues that
once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth and providing so-called “benefits” for some of its citizens, it then becomes a means for what he accurately described as legalized plunder.”
Why is this plunder, but taking my money for other uses is not? Why is spreading wealth aggressive while blowing sh&^ up isnt?
Again, he claims
When a portion of wealth is tranferred from the person who owns it – without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud – to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed
For my entire tax life I have paid money against my consent with no compensation through force to the govt who has then used my taxes to kill others. Is that plunder? Not according to Benson. But when someone’s money is taxed to give some guy a food stamp, all hell is let loose. The whole problem with bastiat, benson, and all these guys is that they dont believe what they say. If they did, they would be against all taxes, all force, and something much more like an anarchist.
At some point his entire premise is pretty silly and boils down to the govt engages in plunder, theft, etc if money is taken to go towards things like humanitarian needs but its A-Ok if it goes towards stuff he likes, you know like guns and military.