Tag Archives: Taxation

Bill Lockwood: True Religion Results in Free-Will Giving: Not Jizya or Socialistic Forcible Taxation & Redistribution

by Bill Lockwood

By speaking of the reign of Solomon (970-931 B.C.), which was a foreshadowing of Christ’s kingdom, the Psalmist in chapter 72 depicts the expansive coming reign as being from “sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth” (72:8). During this reign of the Messiah the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts (10).

Charles Spurgeon, the matchless commentator on the Psalms, observed at these verses,

…true religion leads to generous giving; we are not taxed in Christ’s dominions, but we are delighted to offer freely to him… This free-will offering is all Christ and his church desire; they want to forced levies and distraints [to seize by distress], let all men give of their own free will, kings as well as commoners; …

Free will offerings. This is the only giving known in the New Testament. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Let each man do according as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly, nor of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” For this reason, Paul writes the letter and encourages by persuasion the churches to freely give. How beautiful is this precedent compared to other systems and man-made religions and systems!

Compare Giving to Islamic Jizya

Mohammed absolutely established that people of other religious persuasions must pay a poll tax to Muslims called the jizya. This was specifically that they might recognize they were inferior to Muslims. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Koran 9:29).

From the religionofpeace.com website:

Traditionally the collection of the jizya occurs at a ceremony that is designed to emphasize the subordinate status of the non-Muslim, where the subject is often struck in a humiliating fashion. M.A. Khan recounts that some Islamic clerics encouraged tax collectors to spit into the mouths of Hindu dhimmis during the process. He also quotes the popular Sufi teacher, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi:

The honor of Islam lies in insulting the unbelief and the unbelievers (kafirs). One who respects kafirs dishonors Muslims… The real purpose of levying the Jizya on them is to humiliate them… [and] they remain terrified and trembling.

The jizya (or extortion) is one of the main cornerstones of the entire system of Islam. It institutionalizes forever the fact that, in the eyes of Muslims, non-Muslims have an inferior status in Muslim nations.

Another example is this that there is no way to live peaceably with Islam. Where it has dominated a culture, it has exacted a forcible toll on all non-Muslim peoples throughout the centuries—without exception. As it develops and engulfs a culture, Islam is designed to extinguish all Kafir civilizations. It is but a reflection of Mohammed himself who did not stop the conquering of Arabia until 100% of his demands were met.

This is just one example that demonstrates that Islam is not a religion of God, depending upon thoughtful reasoning and persuasion by argumentation; but a man-made totalitarian system relying solely upon force. When one comes out of the dank dungeon of Islam, and stands upon the mountaintops of Christianity, he is able to breathe the clean fresh air of a religion of the heart whose founder, Jesus Christ, never used violence or force to subjugate man, but died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Compare Giving to Socialism or Social Justice

Social Justice is not simply doing humanitarian acts of kindness as Buckley and Dobson suppose in Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross. “The Social Gospel asks Christians to be concerned and invested in the world around them” (p. 42). The authors suggest that the entire issue is about whether first to give a tract or a sandwich to those in need? (p. 43) This is ignorance as to what is social justice or socialism.

The great author and thinker Thomas Sowell explains: “Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share in the wealth produced by society, and irrespective of any individual contributions made or not made to the production of that wealth.” (A Conflict of Visions, 216)

But if all people in society are entitled to a share in that which I produce, how shall this be enforced? For this reason, socialism by definition implies the “expansion of the government domain to produce social results to which particular individuals are morally entitled.”

So states The National Association of Scholars. The term “social justice”, or socialism, they explain, is today understood to mean the “advocacy of egalitarian access to income through state-sponsored redistribution.”

But state-sponsored redistribution of my production begins with theft. Forcible removing from me of the fruits of my own production to give to others. This is not even remotely associated with the free-will giving taught by Christianity. If it is, why must there be a gigantic state to enforce it?

The French writer, Frederic Bastiat was correct therefore to explain socialism as plunder.

See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. . . It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder. (Bastiat, The Law, p. 17).

That the above has already occurred in America is obvious. The evil is already upon us. A gigantic welfare state.  Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul summarizes it well.

From lower-income Americans who rely on food stamps, public housing, and other government programs, to middle-class Americans who live in homes they could not afford without assistance from federal agencies like Fannies Mae and Freddie Mac, to college students reliant on government-subsidized student loans, to senior citizens reliant on Social Security and Medicare, to billionaire CEOs whose companies rely on bailouts, subsidies, laws and regulations written to benefit politically-powerful businesses, and government contracts, most Americans are reliant on at least one federal program. (Dec. 31, 2018. Ronpaulinstitute.org)

Make no mistake. The Welfare State is nothing akin to the free-will giving of Christianity. Once again, instead of relying on force to confiscate and redistribute, the early church in the book of Acts willingly and freely gave of their possessions to assist others (Acts 2:43-47; 5:1-4). There is a world of difference between the Bible and the systems of man.

Bill Lockwood: How Our Socialist Welfare System Distorts Reality

 

How Our Socialist Welfare System Distorts Reality“It is the fact that socialism itself is immoral.”

by Bill Lockwood

In one discussion after another conservative commentators correctly point out that socialism “does not work.” Charlie Kirk, for example, has absolutely destroyed socialist arguments in one episode after another on YouTube. Reminding the uneducated Millennials that people have fled socialist nations, he highlights the failure of that totalitarian system. Since socialism has proved to be such an abysmal failure, it is a wonder that many young Americans wish to adopt it.

But there is one argument against socialism that needs more emphasis than it is receiving. It is the fact that socialism itself is immoral. It creates an immoral society and to the extent it has has already invaded America since the Progressive Era, it has eroded our value system as well as the concepts of private property.

Only two methods exist by which money may flow from my pocket to yours. Either by my free-will contribution or your theft. The first is obviously voluntary. The second is forced. Socialists of all colors and stripes always are interested in using force to remove my goods to use it themselves or distribute it to others. But it is still theft. The fact that the United States government is now the legislative tool to accomplish this does not change its nature—it is unethical. And, because it is unethical our concept of reality has become distorted.

“Hands Off My Healthcare!”

Our near-socialist system (government theft and redistribution now make up 2/3 of the federal budget) has been ingrained in the populace for nearly 100 years. It has in turn dissipated our thinking. Consider the following.

How many placards have we seen carried by those who love socialistic systems that read, “Hands Off My Healthcare!”? Stop and think for a moment.

When your teenage son or daughter has had an automobile that is paid for by parents; whose insurance is subsidized by mom and dad; and auto-repair bills covered by parents—what would one think if dad said, “I am not paying your insurance or car payments for the next 6 months”—and the child demands, “Keep your hands off of my car!”

The child is so spoiled it has warped his view of reality. “It is not YOUR car, my son.” If you want a car—go buy your own, pay the insurance, buy your own gas and get it repaired yourself.

Exactly. Healthcare is a service that is provided by the taxpayer via government force. Those who chirp, “Keep your hands off of my healthcare!” have lost perspective. It is not your healthcare as long as the working men and women of the middle class are paying for it.

Dulls the Incentives

Hunger and pain are not always bad things. God has built these into the natural world as incentives for us to WORK. Just as pain induces me to keep my hand off of a hot stove so hunger teaches me that idleness is unproductive. This is why God said, “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Reaping pain encourages me to avoid the same trap in the future.

But what happens when the welfare checks are doled out? Idleness is encouraged. Indolence grows. Instead of being incentivized to work, people are encouraged to avoid it. This is why we now have an entire third and fourth generation of people who are living off of the workers in society. The natural incentives God put into place are re-arranged. Pain has now shifted to taxpayers who frantically search for methods to avoid more pain of paying higher taxes while working longer hours.

Politicians are Compassionate?

From the “compassion” of socialism to the “conservative compassion” of the George Bush’s of the world, we have adopted a skewed view of the world when it comes to helping the poor. Politicians promise nothing to one segment of society that they have not unconstitutionally stolen from another class of people. In other words, it is easy to be “compassionate” with other people’s money, isn’t it?

Our entire system is structured along these lines. Bigger schools, more healthcare, more government housing, more free food, etc. Workers can hardly afford their own insurance because they are busy paying for others’. The politician who promises the most frequently gets elected. But they never give from their own pockets. It is with the licentious tax and spend stick that they take from the “rich” to give to the “poor.” And, just as noted above, once this begins, it snowballs.

Now the receivers have become the majority of the population. In reality, there is no compassion in this model. It is self-enrichment by political animals who maintain power and position by continuing this Robin Hood system.

Re-arranging What is Important in Life

Socialistic welfare spending causes individuals to re-arrange their priorities in life. It is common knowledge that the entire tattoo industry is funded by hand-outs. Casino gambling has become habitual. And much of this occurs with government welfare checks.

So, what is the lesson? Providing people relief in one area of life—giving them money or subsidizing their housing—encourages them to spend money foolishly. And how often have we heard criticisms of the Millennials or Generation X not saving money for retirement?

Why should they save money for retirement? We have handed them a platter full of goodies and they have glutted themselves on other people’s labors.

Only one remedy remains. Get back to the Constitution whereby it was illegal for government to confiscate property of one person to give it to another. The cancer of socialism has grown exponentially, however, and it is a massive tumor burdening our culture.

A Little Redistribution?

A Little Redistribution?

by Bill Lockwood

John M. Crisp of Del Mar College of Corpus Christi treats us to a spate of specious arguments that supposedly spell out the benefit, yea, necessity, of a wee bit of socialism and redistribution of wealth. In a 2012 article, What’s Wrong with a Little Redistribution?, he states that we need a little more government, not less. The English professor makes his case for even a Bigger Brother and less freedom—and implies a complete scrapping of the Constitution which was specifically written to prevent overreaching government.

Crisp begins defending socialism: “The term [redistribution, bl] may have acquired a bad reputation, but ‘redistribution’ can be used just as easily to describe what happens when people pool their resources to create the infrastructure of a civilized, secure society. Almost no Americans, including the Democrats, want to bring everyone’s income down or up to the same level. But nearly all of us believe in pooling our money –‘redistributing’ it — for common purposes. Furthermore, most of us believe in some level of progressive taxation to make the process work. This is how we create fire departments, interstate highways and a huge army and navy. It’s how we build dams and safe public water supplies. It’s how we manage to go to the moon.”

First, the very definition of socialism is “an economic principle of the ownership by a community of all the means of production in order to secure to the people collectively an equitable distribution of the produce of their associated labor.” (Encyclopedia Brittanica, 13th edition). Socialism demands big government. Note the reason: “redistribution” of wealth. Less Freedom is the inevitable result and is reason enough to oppose it.

Second, the professor then offers the subterfuge that “redistribution” occurs when people “pool their resources to create” infrastructures in society such as roads, bridges and fire departments. The argument is that since public works already redistributes wealth, opposition to Obama’s “share the wealth” mantra is ill-founded. There is a world of error bound up in those remarks.

By “general welfare” the founders limited the power of taxation to matters which provide for the welfare of the entire Union—such as national defense and the postal system. As Alexander Hamilton put it, “The welfare of the community [of states] is the only legitimate end for which money can be raised from the community.” In other words, does the expenditure benefit all or is it a disbursement that takes from some and rewards others?

Come back to Crisp’s fire and police department example. They are indeed supported by tax dollars, but these are public services that do not benefit one person or group at the expense of another. In other words, all of these services benefit all of us and do not qualify for the socialistic definition of forcible redistribution. Besides, these types of public works are voluntary.

What’s more, forcible redistribution is not only unconstitutional, but immoral–whether ObamaCare or Medicaid. The difference between public services that are available to ALL and private redistribution after the order of The Welfare System is stark. One is an orderly society, the other is THEFT.

Crisp’s second effort is that most Americans benefit from redistributed money, supposedly making hypocrites of all of us.

And, as it turns out, most of us — about 96 percent — also believe in deriving personal, direct benefits from the redistributed money. This is borne out by the findings of a 2008 national survey by the Cornell Survey Research Institute, as reported in The New York Times on Sept. 24 by Professor Suzanne Mettler of Cornell and Associate Professor John Sides of George Washington University. Ignoring the many government initiatives, like highways and safe food, that benefit everyone, Mettler and Sides explored the extent to which individual Americans use any of 21 social policies — student loans, Medicare, housing — that the federal government provides, including social policies embedded in the tax code.”

What is his conclusion to this?

First, nearly all of us, even the wealthy, benefit significantly from the redistribution of wealth that creates and supports our society and improves our private lives. Second, there’s nothing disgraceful about this. And third — I hate to say this — we are going to need more government, not less.”
Our government is so proportionately larger than just a generation ago and so far removed from the legal boundaries set upon it by the Constitution, yet the professor calls for even “more government.” This is where the term “totalitarian” comes to mind.

But what of Americans using “public” policy programs such as student loans or Medicare or federal housing? That may be true. But Crisp and his collegiate socialist friends refuse to see the reason for it. Government planners have made it nearly impossible to operate in America without being involved in public policy programs—for as in all totalitarian systems the “public policy programs” become the only game in town.

Witness how government has taken over the student loan program or subsidized health care costs. Recall how the government initially promised that Social Security would never take more than 3 cents on every dollar you earn, only up to $3,000 per year of income. A big lie. So also, intermeddling in the marketplace for a generation by government do-gooders has shrunk the free market until it is practically non-existent today.

Add to that the fact that the government has been forcibly redistributing my earnings for a lifetime and individuals simply see it as a method to “get back” what the government unjustly took to begin with. “I am paying for this service, I might as well use it” does not equal agreement with the basis of the program.

This is precisely the practice of which economist Frederic Bastiat warned long ago. Once socialism becomes interwoven in society, it forces moral people to choose between two distasteful alternatives: either refuse paying taxes, or, silence your own conscientious objections to socialism and participate in order retrieve some of your own stolen goods. Mr. Crisp, because people utilize the welfare system does not mean they believe it is right or even beneficial to the society as a whole.

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