Greenville, TX — In the land of the free, you can completely pay off your home but if you fail to pay the state their ‘fair share’ in the form of property tax every year, your property can and will be stolen from you by agents of the state. Naturally, this idea that you don’t own your home—the state does—has made many folks upset with the system and they have peacefully shown their discontent. Kory Watkins, who is seeking the Libertarian gubernatorial nomination in Texas is one of those people.
While the Free Thought Project has reported on multiple instances of individuals peacefully protesting by paying traffic fines in change, this is the first time we’ve ever seen anyone pay their taxes that way.
For those who don’t remember, Kory Watkins brought the “taxation is theft” viral meme campaign to the next level when he sat in the front row behind home plate at a Texas Rangers baseball game and stood up to reveal a shirt bearing the words “Taxation is Theft.” The camera operator helped out too and zoomed in just as Watkins revealed the shirt. The moment was epic.
Equally as epic as the baseball game was Watkins Facebook Livestream on Monday as he drove to his local government tax building in Greenville, Texas to pay his taxes—in pennies and nickles.
Instead of attempting to film the interaction himself, Watkins actually provided a temporary job to a local homeless man named Joseph and paid him $20 for documenting the feat.
As the duo prepares to walk into the government building, Watkins begins unwrapping the rolls of coins to make his peaceful protest that much more attention-grabbing to those collecting the money.
The pair then walks into the building and takes a number—to wait in line to pay the state money. Although Watkins’ number was 26, after they saw his two orange buckets of change, they gave him “VIP service,” as Watkins put it.
Watkins skipped to the front of the line and proceed to dump two buckets of change into the teller window and then walked out. Although they wanted him to stay to help count the money, Watkins knew it was complete and he left anyway. Peaceful protest complete.
If you are confused by the term “taxation is theft,” just think of the government as people without any special privileges. If an average person takes money from someone under the threat of force it is called robbery. However, if the government does it is considered legal and moral, and is called “taxation.” No one actually ever agreed to this arrangement, it has been forced on millions of people against their will, and a long list of justifications have been created to convince people that they are not being stolen from.
Since the government is allowed to extract money from its citizens via the barrel of a gun, this guarantees that they will have funding for any kind of project they want, even if those projects are unpopular with taxpayers. This is because the public has no choice but to pay taxes, therefore they have no say in how their money is used and are typically forced into paying for their own oppression and the slaughtering of their neighbors in foreign countries.
Sure, there are some social welfare programs that do benefit some people, but the money that these projects cost is but a tiny fraction of the money that is actually received from taxation. Most of the money that is brought in through taxes is used for bureaucratic budgets, collection enforcement, and the gluttony of federal and state governments.
So, while a portion of the revenue is being used for beneficial projects, a majority of the money is still being wasted or used for nefarious means. Some researchers have described this as a thief giving you five dollars, while at the same time taking a hundred dollars from your back pocket.
There is an unbelievable amount of fear directed at this concept because for so long, our civilizations have been propelled by violence instead of rationality. Immediately upon hearing about these ideas of doing away with coercive taxation, many people who are new to the idea will immediately scoff, “if taxes were not collected under threat of force then no one will pay them and there will be chaos and the poor will die in the streets.”
This statement shows that taxation isn’t working for the average person. Therefore, ideas about “the consent of the governed” and “the social contract” are complete fallacies. If someone explicitly states that people wouldn’t pay taxes if they weren’t mandatory, they are then admitting that tax revenue is not used to benefit the public and that no one would pay if they didn’t have a—proverbial and sometimes real—gun to their head.
When a need arises in a community, people naturally come together and take care of what needs to be done; they don’t need someone with a gun in their face telling them how to do it. For our species to have any chance on this earth, we must start thinking about more peaceful ways of going about things, and stop justifying the use of violence in all circumstances, even soft-core violence like legislation, taxation, and indoctrination.
As Watkins told the Free Thought Project, “I hope that more people will speak up and do something bold. Paying in silence is something that I just can’t do.”
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