October 14, 2013

Rothbard on “Closing Loopholes”

By In C.Jay Engel

Whenever I hear a politician or statist advocate closing loopholes as an alternative to raising taxes, I think of Murray Rothbard’s point: “Definition of loophole: Any and all money the other guy has earned and that hasn’t been taxed away yet.”

It’s quite humorous that this is an often used policy goal of the GOP.  When Romney (who?) was still in the running for the Presidency during the previous election cycle, he claimed that he wanted to shift more money to “national defense” (the part of our budget that creates terrorists).  But how was he every going to get away with this when the more conservative faction of the Tea Party was growing suspicious of crumby excuses to increase deficits?  “Close those loopholes!”  Which of course has the exact same effect as a tax hike.  Indeed, it is a tax hike under a different name.

The critic may protest: “Ha! So you do want special interests to pay less in taxes than the politically unconnected!”

Answer: “Don’t be absurd.  Create one great loophole that everybody can fall into.  Is that not equality?”

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com