"Tax is legalized theft"

I am sure you've heard this quote before. And in a way, I can agree. After all, it's the stronger one (State) taking money from the weaker one (individual). The difference with regular theft is that taxes are supposed to be spend in a way which benefits the payer as well, and he has a say in how it is being spent (in a democracy).

But in practice, many of us see money flowing to a government who then spends it on stuff we'd never spend it on ourselves (insert any government policy you disagree with here.... wars, foreign aid, art subsidies, free healthcare, education, space exploration...whatever). 

So how ethical are taxes...?

 

OliveJones

I think that taxation is essential in order to run a decent society. In the UK taxation pays for roads, schools, healthcare, education, government, social care, transport subsidy, and a whole host of other things. I think it is worth paying tax in order to have these things, and it would be hard to purchase these things individually.

Crystal Clear

As much as we might not like it, I agree that taxation is necessary to run a society.  However, I do think there should be some kind of limit on how much tax the government can charge.  Here in Colorado, sales tax is already over 8%, which seems like quite a bit to me.  When I hear about new bills to vote on where they want to raise the tax even more to pay for various things, it is frustrating.  Oftentimes, the things (education, fixing the roads, etc.) are important, but we need to find a way to pay for essential things that doesn't involve raising the tax on everything.  It's a hard balance.  There never seems to be quite enough money to meet all the needs of a society. 

OliveJones

I think that income tax is fairer than sales tax, because everybody has to pay sales tax on the same goods, whether they can afford to or not, whereas income tax is incremental - you pay a rate according to your income.

It's a bit like Robin Hood - taking from the rich to give to the poor.

Jeroen