A fundamental aspect of the good news of the gospel is the message of liberty. As President Joseph F. Smith said, “The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of freedom; the gospel of the Son of God is the gospel of liberty.” Men of God, both ancient and modern, have spoken on this issue repeatedly. This book analyzes what liberty is and how it applies to government.
photo credit: mario zucca
“But it’s my money—I’m just getting some of it back.”
Such is the argument proffered by those who disagree with the government’s socialist programs in general, but excuse their own participation by claiming that they are simply withdrawing the money they’ve previously been forced to give. After all, if the government has been taxing us for years to fund these programs, are we not justified in taking advantage of the offered incentives and reaping the benefits of our own taxation?
While conventional wisdom may suggest that this is the case, it’s utterly false; in wealth redistribution, you are never able to get your money back. This, of course, is a no-brainer. Few will argue that you are able to later receive the very same dollars you were coerced to give. But most people seem to think of these socialistic programs (social security, unemployment, welfare, medicare, medicaid, etc.) as some sort of savings program whereby the money you are taxed sits and waits for you to withdraw it at a later date.
In reality, socialism is a type of ponzi scheme—forcing you to surrender your money to benefit others, and later forcing others to surrender their money to benefit you. Thus, the taxes you pay are spent immediately, and the money has vanished back into the economy through the pockets of other individuals.
How, then, are you going to get your money back? I suppose you might find out to whom the money was given, contact them privately, and arrange for them to give you your money back. Far-fetched as that may seem, it’s really the only solution whereby you can get your money back.
The alternative and popular solution is to encourage “perpetuation through participation”. In plain English, this means that when person A wants to receive some of the benefits of the program he’s been funding for years, he is indirectly coercing person B and person C to surrender their own money for his benefit. Herein lies the grand ponzi scheme: whatever money person A receives through socialism (the redistribution of wealth), he can only receive it by forcing others to pay. At no time does person A get his own money back, as it was spent long ago. Instead, person A is encouraging a fundamentally broken and immoral system by taking money from others, just as money was taken from him for others. As Ezra Taft Benson said:
The price you pay for “something for nothing” may be more than you can afford. Do not rationalize your acceptance of government gratuities by saying, “I am a contributing taxpayer too.” By doing this you contribute to the problem which is leading this nation to financial insolvency.
Whatever the program may be, and whatever its intended purpose or proclaimed benefit, if it relies on taking money from one individual to give it to another, then it’s socialism, a ponzi scheme, and confiscatory. Thinking that an individual is simply getting his own money back is tantamount to suggesting that since person A was wrongfully jailed for a crime he did not commit, that person B and person C should likewise suffer. By passively allowing a ponzi scheme to continue, the individual who participates in the socialistic program in an effort to personally benefit is authorizing the government to plunder others’ pockets on his behalf, just as his were plundered before.
Who can stop this cycle? How many people are needed to cause the ponzi scheme to come crashing down? Where are the individuals with the moral courage to say no to the perpetuation of legalized robbery?
In summary: once an individual has been taxed for the purpose of helping others who are allegedly less fortunate, that money is immediately spent. (The government is broke; it spends what it gets within days, and borrows and prints the rest.) Thus, for that individual to benefit from the same programs he has been contributing to, the government must continually and increasingly tax others.
I submit that this is an immoral and invasive act of government, and one that should be stopped immediately. Whenever the government condones and encourages an action that would, in the hands of private citizens, be decried and prosecuted, we may conclude that the action is wrong.
As for me and my house, we will not participate in any such programs. I cannot in good conscience take any money from another person through the force of government and immorality of wealth distribution.