Health Magazine

No Representation Without Taxation

Posted on the 11 January 2013 by Fadi Bejjani @DrFadiBejjani
No Representation Without TaxationYou may think I suffer from a form of dyslexia which distorted the structure of the famed historical slogan of the 1750s "No taxation without representation" The latter was a grievance of the Thirteen colonies at the time against the British Crown claiming that they should not be taxed on income if they do not have any representation in the British Parliament. That was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. By 1765 the term was in use in Boston, and local politician James Otis was most famously associated with the phrase, "taxation without representation is tyranny".

Let us see how all that Historical material applies to our current 2013 situation. First of all a lot of taxpayers do feel very overtaxed and underrepresented: they pay most of the taxes (80%) and they have only 2% of the votes. About 50% of Americans pay no taxes at all and have equal votes to those who pay all the taxes. Does that mean that another American Revolution is brewing? 

"The Business of America is Business" said Glover Cleveland. We use the word business dozens of times a day in many ways that are purely American: state your business; none of your business; sorry it is business, nothing personal (that is the one that the Arabs simply cannot comprehend); do your business and go; what business do you have doing this, etc. In Business as it were there is NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION. If you want a vote in any kind of company or board, you have to be a shareholder or at least a stakeholder. The more stakes or shares you buy (taxation) , the more votes (representation) you have. If you think about it why would you or should you have a say or vote in a company, board, enterprise or even government that you do not have a stake in? What would be the meaning of that vote.

If any of us has any stock in any of the publicly traded companies, we usually do have a vote at the shareholders meetings, and most of us via our pensions and/or portfolios do have some stock in these companies, including a lot of people who pay no federal or state taxes. The misconception is that all people who pay no taxes make no money, are disabled or on welfare. Some are, but a large part is involved in cottage industries and cash businesses like night entertainment and drug trade, but also grocery stories, restaurants and others, or aliens working off the books. How does a society compel those who can and do make money but pay no taxes, to contribute to the treasury?

Many ideas have ben tossed around. Instead of income tax that penalizes the hard workers, some have advocated a national sales tax or VAT (value added tax) which is implemented in Europe that we are trying to emulate slowly by surely. Every consumer in the country, tax paying or not, will have to pay that at the cashier. The more you consume the more you pay. Since we are a consumer society, the shoe fits! The tax could be less for food and essentials. 
I looked at the amount of money that was donated to the candidates  in the last elections and I could not help thinking that this is the stake that these donors, including a sleugh of small donors and/or non-tax paying donors,  are investing. Instead of going to candidates, it should go to the treasury in part or in whole as a fee for voter registration for example, a token taxation to seek representation. Better yet have that assessment on all who want to vote, make them have a personal stake in it, skin in the game, but for the country not just for the candidates. I bet you any citizen, who really cares about fulfilling this most precious of civil rights, can scrounge a few dollars once every other year to buy his/her voter registration.  
Freedom is not Free neither should Your Vote!

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