June 24, 2014

Why Doesn’t Obama Demand a “Minimum Wage” for “Voluntary” Tax Collectors?

By In Blogs, Shane Kastler

The arguments that are typically put forth for a government enforced “minimum wage” involve supposed precepts of “fairness.” Barack Obama and others have argued for the fact that people should be able to “make enough money to pay their bills” if they work a full time job.  The free market arguments against his line of reasoning are too many to mention here.  With that said, there are numerous solutions to help people “pay their bills” if that’s what he’s really interested in.  For one, Obama could push for the complete elimination of taxation. Just imagine how much easier it would be to pay the grocery bill, if you didn’t have to fork over a large portion of your income to the government. Or if you didn’t have a percentage added to every purchase you make as a means of taxation. Yet any demand that might involve sacrifice on the part of the government is routinely ignored by those in the government. In their mind the “bad guys” are the business owners and the “good guys” are the government goons who will step in and force the “bad guys” to pay a “living wage.”

It occurs to me that Obama’s constant bark for an increase in the minimum wage is conveniently forgotten when one considers the citizen’s work of filing and paying taxes. Be it the individuals paying income tax, or businesses paying the collected sales taxes — we are expected to do this work and promptly send our payments to the government…….FOR FREE! Where is the outcry from the benevolent Obama from such a travesty? Not surprisingly, it’s non-existent.

This particular injustice was exemplified for me recently when one of my children asked me about the sales taxes we pay at the store. “Dad, does the store get to keep that money?” I explained that in fact the store is required to do the work of collecting these taxes, then send it to the various government agencies, without being compensated in the least for their work. Of course the employees who do this ARE compensated…..by the business, not the government. The government requires this service to be rendered at no cost whatsoever to them. It’s a form of forced servitude, otherwise known as slavery. Yet your Master Obama has no problem with it. Nor do any of the other politicians who reap the benefits of your labor.

This is also true regarding personal income tax. Like many Americans, I’m required to pay each year. I’m expected to do all the work, file all the correct papers, calculate the correct amount, then send in the check. Yet I get compensated nothing to be the government’s tax collector. Not only do I NOT get compensated, I will be severely punished if I fail to render this free service to them.  In my case, I’m also required to pay quarterly payments against my will, and if they end up being insufficient I can expect a fine for my “negligence.” It doesn’t seem fair. Yet I hear no outcry from the White House.

Years ago, Murray Rothbard wrote of this: “The employer is forced to expend time, labor, and money in the business of deducting and transmitting his employees’ taxes to the federal and state governments—yet the employer is not recompensed for this expenditure. What moral principle justifies the government’s forcing employers to act as its unpaid tax collectors?….To add insult to injury, the individual taxpayer, in filling out his tax form, is also forced by the government to work at no pay on the laborious and thankless task of reckoning how much he owes the government. Here again, he cannot charge the government for the cost and labor expended in making out his return.” (For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, pg. 105-106)

If Obama and the powers that be were really interested in “fairness” as they pretend to be, they would demand that the taxpayer be compensated for this forced labor. If it took me 15 hours to prepare my tax return, then I should be able to deduct the amount of my labor for the service rendered. And rather than the “minimum wage” I should be able to charge the government the market rate for tax preparation. Obama should demand this change to the law in the interest of “fairness.” And I suspect he will eventually do this, right after he abolishes the federal government, jumps on his unicorn, and flies to Mars. (In other words, it’s not happening). Nor does this surprise me. I’m well aware of the fact that I will be required to continue rendering service to the government as a “voluntary” (coerced) tax collector. And that if I refuse, I will be imprisoned (or worse). But my purpose here is to simply point out the inconsistencies in the reasonings of those like Obama, who claim to be concerned about “injustice” and yet engages in numerous injustices of his own that most people blindly accept, never thinking about how hypocritical such government mandates truly are. When I explained this whole system to my daughter, she thought it sounded grossly unfair. Indeed it is. If only the adults in power were as aghast at “injustice” as they pretend to be…… when the cameras are rolling.

Written by Shane Kastler

Shane Kastler serves as Pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana (www.hbc-lakecharles.com). He is a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Northeastern State University (Bachelor of Business Admin.). In addition to pastoring, he is the Co-Host of "Church & State" heard every Thursday from 8-10 AM on KELB, 100.5 FM in Lake Charles. Shane writes a weekly newspaper column called "Seeking Higher Ground" and has contributed articles to "Sword & Trowel", the "Economic Policy Journal", and LewRockwell.com. He is also the author of "Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption" a biography of the great Confederate general, which tells of how he found redemption in Christ. Shane and his wife Erin are both native Oklahomans, who now make their home in Lake Charles with their 3 children. His blog is: http://shanekastler.typepad.com