The Republicans in the House and Senate have passed their tax bills. Because they have some notable differences, they will have to be reconciled so a final version can be sent to President Trump for his signature. Liberals, predictably, have generally condemned both bills even as conservatives, predictably, have generally commended them. Libertarians have weighed in as well, but unfortunately, not always from a libertarian perspective.
What makes tax reform libertarian?
Before addressing this question, we need to briefly review the libertarian view of taxation.
The libertarian view of taxation is simply that taxes should not exist because taxation is organized government theft. As Murray Rothbard explained in The Ethics of Liberty:
All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods and services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as “taxation,” although in less regularized epochs it was often known as “tribute.” Taxation is theft, purely and simply, even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.
And if taxation is organized theft, then, as Rothbard also says: “There can be no such thing as “fairness in taxation” since “the concept of a ‘fair tax’ is therefore every bit as absurd as that of ‘fair…