Almost half of Americans will pay no taxes.

About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

The rest of the article is here.

Perhaps you’ve also seen this illustration of the way our progressive income tax works.

I believe that Christians should be interested in helping our neighbors. In fact, that should be our second consideration in everything we do. I suppose that many people view our progressive income tax system as a way that we all help our neighbor. The desire to do that is laudable, but I challenge anyone to explain how it’s truly an example of love for your neighbor. Did you voluntarily choose to pay your taxes, or did you have no choice in the matter? If you are a beneficiary of the system, which would include something like 90% of Americans, do you think that your reduced tax burden — or in some cases, your income from the system — comes to you from the love of your neighbors?

The entitlement systems run by our government are also funded from tax-like collection schemes. Whether or not you think that the Social Security program is a benefit to our society, and whether or not you think it has a hope of a continued existence, you should consider the fact that its funding theoretically comes from our neighbors, and is not provided voluntarily. So these government entitlement systems may be one way that our own labor ends up helping our neighbors, but that help is still not given voluntarily, let alone out of love.

If Christians want to help their neighbors, they should do so voluntarily. We can probably agree about that, but I might go a step further. If our neighbors want our help, they should not take it at gunpoint or threat of prison. Even though that very thing is legalized through our progressive tax system, I tend to think it’s contrary to the seventh commandment (You shall not steal).

I’m not advocating a rebellion against our government, or that anyone refuse to pay taxes. Caesar has always used the income of Christians to do many immoral things. What I am suggesting is that when Christians have some kind of influence over what Caesar does, we should do what we can to improve things, out of love for our neighbor.

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