Tax resistance

The moral case for lower taxes

The Telegraph

An interesting Telegraph article from Philip Johnston about the morality of lower taxes:

The moral, and Conservative, case for lower taxes is that they allow people to make their own decisions, to save when they wish, to give if they choose and to spend on what matters to them. Tory politicians should not be ashamed to talk about cutting taxes, because high taxation removes the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own lives and heightens cynicism about the ability of the government to deliver. The point of the beer/tax story is that a Robin Hood tax system of the sort envisaged by Cardinal O’Brien will harm those who create the wealth and jobs, without which there are no services for the less well-off.

The Cardinal is right to recognise the moral dimension to taxation; but it cuts two ways. Yes, we should be prepared to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but it is incumbent upon Caesar to ensure the money is properly spent; and while that was certainly not true of the appalling Tiberius in Jesus’s time, neither is it true today. Taking people’s earnings to spend them wisely in the interests of the common weal, however defined, is one thing. Squandering them is quite another. Each year, billions of pounds are taken in tax for programmes that by no measure can be justified in the public good, while at the same time the individual’s right and duty to choose is restricted. That’s immoral.