In theory I know that taxes are essential and that I have an obligation as a citizen to do my part in paying them. I remember when Jesus was asked about paying taxes to Caesar he asked for a coin and when they handed him a denarias he asked whose inscription was on it. They said it was Caesars and he replied, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” In Paul’s definitive teaching on a Christian and the government in Romans 13 he challenged us to submit to the governing authorities realizing they were ministers of God, sent by him to execute wrath on the children of disobedience. In Verses 6-7 he said, “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
Every time I get to thinking about how poorly I think government is doing in our time, I have to remind myself of who the government was when Paul penned these words in Romns 13. He wasn’t living under some kind, considerate, fair minded and benevolent ruler. The ruler of the day was a man named “Nero” who would make the rulers who are being pushed out in different countries today seem tame by comparison. And it wasn’t just Paul that wrote such matters. In I Peter 2:13-17 Peter made the same plea declaring that the way we showed respect for governing authorities had great effect on how the world sees us as followers of Christ. He concluded his remarks with “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God and honor the emperor.” This was still during the time of Nero’s reign and Peter likely wrote after the time that Paul was in prison in Rome waiting for his appearing before Nero to have his head removed from his body by his soldiers.
So, I know taxes aren’t something we should try to avoid and I don’t know how we could if we wanted to, since everything you purchase has taxes attached to it. We tend to forget all those taxes that we pay every time we fill up the car with gas, buy groceries, purchase a car or go out to eat. It’s the income taxes that we have to file each year that tends to drive us up the wall. If we took every bill, or receipt and listed the amount of taxes we paid with the purchase and added all of them at the end of a month or year we would all be shocked.
I’m not wanting to get out of paying any taxes. But I’m not excited about paying more and more taxes to fund things that I don’t beleive are right to begin with. Every time I hear one of these speeches about how we need to increase the taxes so we can pay the debts or lower the deficit, I keep thinking of all the things we pour billions of dollars into every year that if we simply stopped, we wouldn’t have a deficit problem and the debt could be paid off rather quickly (Probably as quickly as most of us can pay off our own debts).
As Thomas Sowell said in an editorial ealier this week we could cut all subsidies to billionaires and save tons of money. Why in the name of common sense are we paying subsidies to billionaire farmers, car makers or any other such group? We cry out for private enterprise and turn around to put tax money into selected industries destroying the very private enterprise we talk about. The government could sell millions of acres of land that they are doing nothing with but keeping them out of the hands of private enterprise and pay a ton toward our debts. We could cut off things like National public Radio and Television and let them compete like all the other networds. Its has been years since I’ve heard a news program on NPR that I thought gave a fair representation of the story. We could cut out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, GM and a ton of other such matters and bring the tax bill under control.
Pay taxes? Yes, I’m ready to pay my share of the taxes. But I’m certainly not ready to increase the amount of taxes so our government can stick their hands into something else that they had no business being part of to begin with. To force the taxpayer to support Planned Parenthood’s abortion mill is unconscienable.
Don’t forget to send your tax return in!