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Donald Trump’s Tax Returns Aren’t The Real Issue

in Philosophy/Politics by
   

A consistent storyline this election cycle that dates back to the primaries is Donald Trump’s tax returns. To date, he has refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit and advice from his lawyers to not release them until the audit is complete. Regardless of the factual basis of this claim, it’s bizarre that even conservatives and libertarians are hitting the Republican presidential nominee from this angle.

Should we care what the invoice for federal tax theft has on it?

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The problem here is a lack of a greater discussion about the Internal Revenue Service. In a free country, should the government have a right to the hard-earned fruits of your labor? In response to this, liberals often cry about the roads and talk about infrastructure. This completely neglects the fact that there are countless other taxes that are used to keep these things up.

Income tax essentially goes to the welfare state and dropping bombs on foreign countries. Helping your country is one thing, but obliterating foreign countries is another. Is enabling the military-industrial complex what Americans work hard to do?

For conservatives and libertarians who are concerned about the growth of the welfare state, this should be of concern, as well. If you’re against something, why are you in support of enabling its funding?

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While Donald Trump, to a degree, has exposed those on the right who will consent to things like religious bans and those who are fine with polarizing speech, he has further exposed Republicans who sound more like liberals.

The income tax has long been an issue, along with high taxes in general, for conservatives and libertarians. The idea that the government has a right to the fruits of your labor is contrary to the principles of freedom. The government didn’t work for that money.

Does the government even have a right to spend our money? Saying yes, because of things like crime and terrorism, validates a wide array of big government activities. Does the government have a right to your cell phone data, to ensure that you’re not aiding ISIS or peddling drugs? These are the things that enter into play when we consent to the idea that the government has a right to not only our money but to also know how we spend what we work for.

By pressing Donald Trump for his tax returns and holding it against him that they have yet to be released, these critics are validating the income tax, the Internal Revenue Service’s existence, and the belief that the government has an inherent right to your money. Is this the belief system of conservatives opposing Trump on grounds that he’s a tyrant? Is this the belief system of libertarians who believe the same?

It’s possible to criticize and oppose the Republican Presidential Nominee without validating the thug tactics of the Internal Revenue Service. It’s possible to be opposed to Trump and not validate the belief that they not only have a right to your hard-earned money but to know how you spend it as well. Conservatives and libertarians shouldn’t become useful idiots for the American left.

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.