Stop forced taxation to support poverty

After 75 years I am still amazed at how little many people understand about government operations. There are educated individuals who appear not to understand that governmental units do not sell anything to raise revenues. All revenues a governmental unit has must be extracted or extorted from its citizens in the form of taxes or fees.

When a governmental unit spends money, it is spending your money and other people’s money (OPM). The bureaucracy and our elected officials have little concern as to where the money comes from knowing it comes from their constitutes. It is apparent some citizens, the bureaucracy, and our elected officials have little concern for the well being of the citizen who earned the money. They have extracted and spent it so easily. They have obligated future generations.

At the end of 2016 the percentage of US citizens in poverty was 12.7 percent. From 1964 until today we have only stabilized poverty in the range of 11 to 15 percent. We have spent trillions of OPM to stabilize poverty. We spent trillions on poverty, yet our elected officials have increased the national debt obligating future generations to pay for today’s expenditures.

As a capitalist and a Christian, I have no problem paying my taxes as long as those taxes are used to cover daily operating expenses. Those operating expenses should be in three areas: national defense; administration of justice (law and order); and the provision of certain public goods (elementary education, transportation infrastructure: goods individuals cannot provide alone). But that is not the case today, our government has gone far beyond its responsibilities that were authorized in the US Constitution. It is time to reign in the excess spending of OPM.

Those of us that are Christian know and understand what our responsibilities are when it comes to the poor and needy. We have been told by God and by His son Jesus. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” In saying that Jesus has made it a personal responsibility. A personal responsibility that cannot be transferred.

Jesus also instructed government employees what they should do. Jesus is clear in Luke when the soldiers asked Jesus, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation …”

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount