Again, the original posting from a reader:
“Really? You equate paying taxes with slavery? Would you have us pay *no* taxes, or just not have to pay taxes for things we disagree with? And why do you ignore my analogy with cops and firemen? Should cops only help those who pay them? Should firemen only respond to calls from people who have paid their fire insurance? And your comment about government only worsening peoples lives...would you abolish all government? These are silly arguments. The government is not the enemy. The government is us. We pick our leaders. We tell them what we want them to do while in office. And if they don't do that, we 'fire' them. So, in the end we the people end up with the government we asked for. I ask that this government enforce a minimum wage. I ask that this government offer unemployment insurance (which we all pay into). I ask that this government offer a guaranteed retirement program (which we all pay into). And now, I ask that the government make sure that everyone has access to affordable health care (that we all pay into). The individual can NOT do everything by him or herself. Sometimes we need to collectively do things for the good of us all. Or would you like to be responsible for that section of road out in front of your house and let your neighbor take care of that section of road in front of his house? Or, better yet, why don't you pick up a gun and head on over to Afghanistan and hunt down your share of Taliban fighters?”
Let me first address this question:
“And why do you ignore my analogy with cops and firemen? Should cops only help those who pay them? Should firemen only respond to calls from people who have paid their fire insurance?”
First of all, my original posting dealt with the question of what the Bible says and I even stated that the posting was primarily on that topic. Only 4 small paragraphs at the very end spoke to taxes and government. Now, to address the cops and firemen analogy, let me first link to the RV Dreams forum thread where that analogy was made:
Let me help those that may not have seen the analogy in the thread by saying that JCW’s comment is roughly 2/3rds of the way down towards the bottom. Also, the analogy was worded differently. Let me quote that passage:
“Just a thought, how much profit should a fire fighter make? What about a cop? Or a soldier? Doesn't the bible have something to say about profiting off the suffering of others? Health care should be a right, not a privilege of the rich. The 'for profit' healthcare system in this country is a shame.”
The analogy refers to cops, fire fighters, and soldiers and the word “profit.” As Ken (53 Merc) in the forum commented afterwards, they are salaried, based on their levels of training and proficiency. Businesses are somewhat similar, but still different, in that they profit by the level of knowledge and proficiency of their owners/CEO’s and other employees. The RV Dreams thread was dealing with insurance companies and profits that were felt by some to be excessive. Salaries shouldn’t be confused with profits except that salaries help make up a “profitable” profession for individuals who otherwise do not “own” their business.
Are those men entitled to a reasonable salary? Of course they are, and the idea of any of them refusing to answer a call (within their jurisdictions) would be foreign to their very natures of wanting to help people. As I spoke of in the previous posting, governments do have legitimate functions, for which they should receive tax revenue to provide.
Those services provided by the government are done so for very good reason. Would anyone want to resort to vigilante law should there be no police forces? I don’t think so. Plus, there are certain entities that function best under the “protection” of government. While they are still held accountable, individual police officers and fire fighters are usually protected by statute from some things that occur during their involvement with an incident. For instance, I know of no case where a lawsuit was successfully filed against a fire crew because they arrived too late to save a house.
Then there is this:
“Or would you like to be responsible for that section of road out in front of your house and let your neighbor take care of that section of road in front of his house? Or, better yet, why don't you pick up a gun and head on over to Afghanistan and hunt down your share of Taliban fighters?”
The first part of that obviously is another legitimate function of government. To do otherwise would be to have roads as a patchwork of fixed and not fixed. But, if I were to repair the road in front of my house, could I refuse access to that portion of road to anyone else? Not likely, so it is evident that roads are another function of government to avoid jurisdictional disputes.
In spite of the attempt to be a bit sarcastic, the last sentence of the last quote could very well strike the wrong cord with some veterans who have already served their country. It is obvious to almost all that the Constitution calls for the federal government to “provide for the common defense.” (Keep that phrase in mind, especially the word “provide,” for a future reference.)
“And your comment about government only worsening peoples lives...would you abolish all government? These are silly arguments. The government is not the enemy. The government is us. We pick our leaders. We tell them what we want them to do while in office. And if they don't do that, we 'fire' them. So, in the end we the people end up with the government we asked for.
Point one: the government could be our enemy. If it violates the Bill of Rights, it definitely would be our enemy. Would anyone want the government to take their property or family without due process? Would anyone want government to have absolute power to do as its leaders wished? Would anyone want government releasing criminals from justice because those criminals were of a special class or philosophical belief or imprisoning innocent people who just disagreed?
Point two: how many “leaders” over the years have been elected that shouldn’t have been because they have lied to get elected? How many really pay attention to the will of the voters if they have their own agenda. If they lie about their intentions, we do NOT get the government we want, nor do we always know their words are lies and thus vote them out.