What I said to the Republican who said, “Having to pay taxes with my money is theft.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 9, 2012
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Then stop driving on We the People’s roads, you thief.

That’s the whole point of taxes: whether we agree or no individually, we as a people agree on certain values: parks, roads, education, defense, pragmatically-intentioned-at-best ridiculous unending wars…

…look, Thoreau had the same issue, thus Civil Disobedience. No one wants to pay for what they don’t want. But in the context of a democracy, we aren’t consumers, and we aren’t always right. We’re citizens, and there’s a lot of bullshit that goes with that. All in all, it’s worked out pretty well.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


8 Responses to “What I said to the Republican who said, “Having to pay taxes with my money is theft.””

  1. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to :Culture & Enlightened Society.

  2. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Sounds like a reasonable argument until you look at the reality. If taxes were limited to roads, police, education, and defense (assuming defense that is defense, ie, no foreign wars and no mil-indus complex), as suggested here, you'd have minimal govt and minimal taxes. The few still complaining about taxes would not be in the mainstream.

    The reality of giving the govt the power to collect all those taxes is this: a warfare state, an American gulag (ie millions of mostly minority men incarcerated for victimless crimes), a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a sense of entitlement by millions.

    And, those roads built by taxes to carry the products of the factory to market? They killed the best public (tho privately built and operated) transportation the world has ever seen. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, google interurban). No, I'm not happy about 'carworld', either, one of the most destructive results of massive govt tax-collecting.

  3. Ira says:

    Great post, Waylon! Thanks for your support! I said something similar in my post this morning: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/06/mindful-po
    Best wishes,

  4. thoreau3 says:

    The problem with Mrs. Warren's argument is taxes force people to support all aspects of their government regardless of their view of those aspects.

    For example, no matter how anti-war your view may be, if you pay taxes, you financially support war. So you can march all you want, wear peace t-shirts, and have an endthiswar bumper sticker all you want, but if you paid taxes, you financially support wars.

    This is why a consumption tax, paid when you purchase something, is such a great idea. If your government is engaging in actions that you personally don't support, you simply stop consuming. Tax revenues go down and if enough people agree gov't is forced to rethink their position.

    In a consumption tax environment, food purchased in a grocery store, rent and mortgage, and utilities are not taxed. So an individual can still 'live' without giving the gov't money for war, torture, and the like.

    In summary, Mrs Warren seems genuine in this populist type rhetoric. But be sure, by saying everyone must pay taxes she is really saying we need to make sure we have money for wars.

  5. yogasamurai says:

    And for Social Security, Medicaid, roads, schools, hospitals…the list of positive public goods is endless.

  6. yogasamurai says:

    Well, if all that Waylon says is true — then the cry-babies in the New York yoga community – and nationwide – should stop saying they don't have to pay taxes and licensing fees on their teacher training programs, or sales taxes on their yoga classes?

    I, for one, am sick of listening to yogis always creating excuses for why they are exempt from LIFE as mere mortals know it. As if the Mandate from Shiva had descended upon their crowns, relieving them of public accountability and personal and social responsibility.

    Most people who insist on living in their own universe strictly by their own rules are considered narcissistic at best – and psychotic, at worst.

    Most – but not all – of these same yogis would think absolutely nothing about imposing taxes on businesses for the public good in just about any other context – other than yoga.

    But my Holy Yoga? My God, you can't interfere with Shakti's Divine Purpose! (Ergo, my desire for a special tax break)

    Basically the Christian right and the Tea party say exactly the same things that the yoga lobby is saying. Get the government off our backs! Religious freedom! Power to the people.

    It's funny how selfish and politically reactionary the "Leggo my Eggo" philosophy concept can be – depending on the actual context in which it is applied?


    And yes, like most businesses, many studio owners will probably try to pass on those new taxes on to us — the consumers, in the form of higher prices for yoga classes. That's what they're threatening – let's call it spiritual blackmail.

    Well go ahead, but you never know — maybe more and more consumers will just stop coming to your lame ass studio classes altogether? That might not be such a bad thing after all.

    And if the studios can't make their newly taxed yoga teacher training profitable, either? Well, given the primitive caliber of yoga "teacher" that most of you are cranking out, that might not be such a bad thing, either.

    Since when should yoga be held hostage to a bunch of small business wannabes anyway?

    Namaste. YS

  7. thoreau3 says:

    I'm not sure what you're point is. I'm not against paying taxes. Actually, I'm all for them. I understand that a gov't has the purpose of providing infrastructure, social welfare, health and inspection, etc.

    But is this where our taxes are going?

    We don't have health care, we have sick care.

    Our bridges and highways are crumbling.

    Our k-12 school system is lacking behind the rest of the world.

    But we are first in war.

    This is the result of the current 'forced to pay tax' system.

    We, as tax payers, have no recourse if our tax dollars go to war rather than schools.

    However, if we could withhold those dollars until the gov't gets more in line with the programs we citizens want, the perhaps we'd see less money spent on bombs and more money spent on books.

  8. missbernklau says:

    Hahahahaha, yogasamurai, I totally agree with you! This is an excellent point: "Most – but not all – of these same yogis would think absolutely nothing about imposing taxes on businesses for the public good in just about any other context – other than yoga." and this: "PAY YOUR TAXES DEADBEAT YOGIS. WE ALL DO. THAT'S PARTLY WHAT MAKES US "WE." JOIN THE WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR PRIVATE BUBBLE." Yeah I have nothing more to say on it because you've already touched on every point so succinctly. Thank you.